Saturday, May 04, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE, CONFIDENTE NM) Namibian leader 'snubs' Tsvangirai
02/05/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has suffered a setback in his bid to lobby SADC leaders to lean on his Zanu PF rival, President Robert Mugabe, to force him to agree a string of reforms ahead of elections.

Reports from Namibia say President Hifikepunye Pohamba – a regional ally of Mugabe – refused to meet Tsvangirai.

The MDC-T leader should have arrived in Namibia on Wednesday after stops in South Africa where he met President Jacob Zuma, Tanzania where he met with President Jakaya Kikwete and Angola which put forward its foreign minister.

But Namibia’s Confidente newspaper reported on Thursday that Pohamba and Prime Minister Hage Geingob “showed no inter­est in meeting with Tsvangirai” who is believed to have stayed away.

A source told the newspaper: “It appears that Pohamba and Gein­gob are not so keen to engage with Ts­vangirai on this matter because of their relationship with Mugabe and his party so they will not meet with him.”

Tsvangirai is travelling with his spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka who was not available for comment on Thursday, but Alex Magaisa, the Prime Minister’s political adviser responsi­ble for transitional affairs, confirmed earlier this week that “a stop in Namibia by the Prime Minister is on his itinerary”.
Namibia’s Presidential Affairs Minister Albert Kawana said he knew of no scheduled meeting between Tsvangirai and Pohamba.

Facing attacks at home from Zanu PF and the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Tsvangirai is crisscrossing the region trying to convince SADC leaders to convene an extraordinary summit to discuss Zimbabwe and possibly force the parties to agree some election rules.

Tsvangirai, in a coalition with Mugabe and Ncube since 2009, fears the Zanu PF leader is preparing to call elections in June before agreement can be reached on a raft of reforms his party insists on including the issuing of licences to “truly independent” radio stations.

South Africa’s Zuma, who took over the mediation on behalf of SADC from his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, told Tsvangirai during their meeting that he would be travelling to Zimbabwe soon for talks with the main parties.

Tsvangirai is expected back in Harare on Sunday.

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We won't wait for elections to develop Zambia - Sata
By Ernest Chanda in Chongwe
Sat 04 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says he will not wait for elections in order for him to develop the country. And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II has praised President Sata for delivering to Chongwe, what she said she suffered for when lobbying from the previous administration.

Launching the tarring of the Chongwe-Chalimbana Road yesterday, President Sata said during his time as minister in the two administrations, such road works were associated with elections.

He said investors could only be attracted to an area if there was a good road network.

"When I was in UNIP with Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya, and when I was in MMD, such kind of projects were only associated with elections. The people who are going to use bicycles, the people who are going to walk; many people are dying because of dust. When I was district governor for Lusaka, I had problems with the youth in Lusaka. Senior Chieftainess Mukamambo gave me land which we called Kanakantapa Youth Resettlement Scheme," he said.

"And today if you go to Kanakantapa, some of the youths have progressed very well. Others have not done anything. Lusaka is supposed to start growing eastwards. To attract investors, we have to do all these projects. You councillors, members of parliament, tell us all the roads in your areas so that we can move in. And your royal highness, please write the problems which you have in Chogwe, we shall attend to them."
President Sata later officially launched the construction of Chalimbana University.

And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya said she was happy that the projects for which she faced dethronement were being fulfilled by President Sata's administration.

Prior to the 2011 general election, then president Rupiah Banda during a public rally in Chongwe, threatened to dethrone Nkomeshya if he won the election.

"And today I stand here and the President of the Republic of Zambia in the name of Mr Michael Chilufya Sata is able to invite me to share a platform with him. I'm grateful to you, Your Excellency. You heard my cry; you saw how I suffered to ask for the development of these people in this chiefdom, in this province. How can I say thank you to you? What words can I use?" asked chieftainess Nkomeshya.

"Today is a great day in my life; and this day brings to me a lot of memories because of what I have passed through. And If I were to shed tears, I would do so because of the difficulties that I have gone through, but in the name of the Lord, he always makes me strong. I'll not tear off; instead I'll praise the Lord. This Chalimbana Road, the Chalimbana College, the Palabana and many other institutions and roads in our province which I have been fighting for many, many years of my life; and some of these projects in this chiefdom at one point they almost cost my chieftaincy in this Republic of Zambia."

Earlier, chieftainess Nkomeshya thanked President Sata for giving her a platform to speak after the Road Development Agency officials who were the organisers of the function left her out of the official programme together with Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo.

She implored organisers of similar functions to, in future, respect local authorities by recognising them.

And Masebo said she would be President Sata's campaign manager in the 2016 election.

"I want to say thank you to the President because there's nothing for me to do here, because everything you have done for me," said Masebo.

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Impunity among leaders dangerous - Kabimba
By Moses Kuwema in Livingstone
Sat 04 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba says the spirit of impunity among those in leadership positions is dangerous to governance.

And University of Pretoria Professor of law, Michelo Hansungule has observed that most African constitutions are transplants.

Kabimba, who is justice minister, said leaders should not steep into the spirit of impunity but ought to be cautious and break it.

He was responding to a presentation by South Africa-based Prof Hansungule during the Law Association of Zambia second annual law conference at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone on Thursday, where he advised the ruling PF against fighting the opposition, saying that would hinder the development agenda.

"The impunity of trying to intimidate others can revisit you or can grow into a culture. We ought to tame that as leaders. We also have to ensure that those who remain in the opposition after losing must also accept defeat. Don't pretend that you have won. We must ensure that the losers accept that they have lost and the winners must not oppress the losers but include them in the governance system," Kabimba said.

On Prof Hansungule's concerns about the lack of a legal framework for the constitution making process, he said the process has not been prejudiced in any way because of lack of one.

"I have heard this argument time and time again from LAZ and other stakeholders. Is there anybody that can tell me to date that the constitution making process has been prejudiced in any way because of the want of the so-called legal framework?" Kabimba said.

He said when the Americans were making their constitution, they did not have any legal framework but only agreed in their sessions after the delegates had formulated the constitution that they would take it to the states for ratification.

"We have said as government that we shall not issue a white paper to prejudice the opinion of any stakeholder in the constitution-making process. We shall allow this process to be driven by the people. There will be no cutting and pasting," Kabimba said.

And Kabimba said third world countries were in the process of democratisation as they had not yet reached democracy.

"We are still building institutions. We are still grappling with issues of what should be in the Bill of Rights so we have to take cognizant of this process of democratisation. We must have a spirit of being prepared to go through the process of democratisation and it is a long journey," said Kabimba.

Meanwhile, in his presentation titled "Challenges to the rule of law, human rights, constitution and constitutionalism in Zambia", Prof Hansungule said most constitutions in Africa, including Zambia's, were not rooted in the soil as there was no involvement of the people in writing them.

"The non-participation of the people in putting their values is not a good approach to take in relation to what we are trying to do. This is my view. What seems to be the problem in Africa and the constitutions, I have already said that the majority of them are transplants. They are transplanted, even if you put Hansungule to write the constitution, he is likely to transplant the ideas from the Atlantic Ocean and put them in Zambia. It is quite easier for the constitutional writer to just cut and paste. This is why most of our constitutions have never taken root because they are cut and paste. You come to the village, they know absolutely nothing about what you mean about the Bill of Rights," he said.

Prof Hansungule said the other challenge faced in the constitution-making processes was their extreme focus on the Bill of Rights.

"We rarely give focus on the institutions and yet the constitution has two parts, the Bill of Rights and the institutions to enforce the Bill of Rights. If you leave the institutions like they are more or less like the power of the president, then you find there is some dis-proportionality and if there is some dis-proportionality between the institutions and the rights, it is very unlikely for people to enjoy their liberty. We must always aim at striking a proportional balance between the institutions and the rights," he said.
On constitutionalism, Prof Hansungule said this meant governing on limited powers.

He said constitutionalism does not mean that the leaders were free to do what they liked.

"Everything you do should be based on the law. If you are able to do things without any limitations then it is unconstitutional. The limitations may be prescribed in the law," Prof Hansungule said.
And Prof Hansungule said leadership issues in the Judiciary must be solved as soon as possible.

He said Zambia should in future try to borrow from the Danish constitution which he said was very attractive to the problems faced by the Zambian Judiciary.

"In the Danish constitution, they say the chief justice shall be elected by the peers, the Supreme Court judges are the ones who nominate then they send the list to the Judicial Service Commission and from there to the president. The president should be separated so that there is separation of powers on a proportional basis. The president should stay away from this, let them mess up their activities; he should not be part of the mess in the Judiciary," said Prof Hansungule.

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(STICKY) Land worries

By Editor
Thu 02 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - I think this editorial is a little shallow. The idea that land redistribution can be replaced by land tenure reform is without merit and without historical evidence. You cannot give poor people right to sell land. Also, as 90% of all startups fail - usually due to lack of capitalisation - you would be merely handing land over to the banks. Zambia needs a well funded land reform program, that builds up small farmers as the backbone of agriculture, which they already are. They need capital, just like all entrepreneurs. And that is where taxing the mines comes in. I want to hear the PF government talk a lot more about why they are not heavily taxing or owning an asset that already belongs to the Zambian people - copper. - MrK

The worries expressed by Livingstone Catholic Diocese Bishop Raymond Mpezele over our country's land policy, system of land tenure and the process of land alienation are understandable.

There are serious problems with our land policies. These are generating many anxieties. And anxieties of the men and women of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted in any way, should be the anxieties of their genuine and caring leaders, political, religious and otherwise.

Bishop Mpezele says he is worried by the acquisition of land by investors on long-term lease at the expense of Zambians. He says access to land is a major means of production for rural people but its acquisition is being threatened by privatisation. Bishop Mpezele says this is why, as a diocese, they would like to be part of the national effort aimed at addressing poverty levels of our people through initiatives such as land empowerment strategy. And this would guarantee people's rights to land and its utilisation.

Bishop Mpezele says the Church would be failing in its work of evangelisation if it failed in addressing the needs of the human person.

Zambia has abundant land resources. And there is no good reason why most of our people should have no reasonable access to land. Most of this land is very fertile and suitable for agriculture, but millions of people in Zambia have no access to this land. Denied access to land is still one of Zambia's major constraints to economic development.

Unlike in other countries, our people's lack of reasonable access to land is not because there is a shortage of land. There is plenty of land in Zambia to satisfy the needs of everyone. What appears to be a shortage is due to inefficient policies and methods of land ownership, its management and utilisation.

Government policies appear to be the main obstacle towards access to land and its efficient utilisation. This seems to be because the policies, laws and regulations governing the system are not clear enough to both the general public and the institutions involved. And as Bishop Mpezele correctly observes, very few of our people appreciate the right to own land.

Land is a very important asset. For the poor, it is even more important. Since the poor have no means of livelihood, they depend on land to support and nourish their lives. It is primarily for this reason that land policies, administration and management should not go wrong. If it becomes difficult for people to acquire land, they may die. This should be avoided because life is valuable. It is therefore important that the policies that we put in place to regulate the ownership, use and management of land are based on the clear need to ensure the equitable distribution of this resource.

We need to bear in mind the fact that land administration systems are not static; they are responsive to changes in society. And as such, they should be modified, redefined or structured in response to many factors such as population growth and density, conflict of interest or changes in the political and economic organisation of our society. Land law reform in Zambia is an urgent necessity.

The right to access land needs to be guaranteed in the Bill of Rights because of its importance to the sustenance of life. In order to ensure effective rights, this must be there. Without this, it will not be easy to protect land from abuse. Land dealings should be a constitutional matter. The Constitution should guarantee the right of access to and ownership of land by Zambians.

There is need of integrating Zambia's land policy framework into wider processes. A land policy strategy or framework is needed that links integrations in the land sector clearly to the broader poverty agenda, establishes clear priorities based on broader national goals and a careful consideration of tradeoffs and links with other policies involved and commands political support from the majority of the population.

It cannot be denied that the current land legal framework is not totally in tune or in line with what is on the ground, that is the demands and needs of the people.

The current land Act has some harmful effects which, among other things, marginalise the already disempowered, the poor and peasant farmers. And the land issue should therefore be perceived as one of human rights and constitutional concerns. This time around, we should do things differently and correct mistakes of the past. Some of the problems we are facing on the land issue are as a result of really not having sat down as a nation to draw our own land laws. We have been applying various land laws hastily assembled or picked from other jurisdictions with very little relevance to the situation here. For instance, the 1995 land Act repeated most of the 1985 principles designed to smoothen the way for the acquisition of land by foreigners.

This was done at the expense of the local people, who lack the power and the means to assert their rights and interests. Many people have been evicted to give way to foreigners and transnational corporations. This has been compounded by the fact that the land Act of 1995 clearly prefers the title deed to customary land holding. The Act makes provision for conversion of land from customary to title-based ownership. But there is no equivalent provision for converting leasehold land to customary land, even for land that may originally have been customary land. This is so because there is a belief that the customary land system is an inefficient way of owning land and the most efficient way is by title deed or to own land in the Western way. But is this true? Certainly not.

Customary land holding can be as efficient as title land provided a necessary environment exists. However, the question is how can customary land be an efficient way of holding land when there is no security of tenure and people cannot use this land to raise loans from banks? It is true there is no security of tenure in customary areas but this is the modern security of tenure.

A customary security of tenure exists to protect those who hold customary land and since the law recognises this, it is as secure as any other. As for the attitude of banks, it is because the government has not convinced banks to find a way of using customary land as collateral. In other countries, they do use this land in spite of the lack of title deeds. Moreover, in volatile economies such as ours, a title deed is not a sure way of accessing bank and other loans. Many people that have tried to raise money this way have ended up losing their land to banks and creditors due to the unfavourable economic situation. In other words, contrary to widespread belief, a title deed is not a magical word out of economic and social ills.

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Fr Bwalya overrating himself - Kambwili
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Thu 02 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

FATHER Frank Bwalya is a wolf in sheep skin who is being misled into overrating himself, says Chishimba Kambwili.

Commenting on Fr Bwalya's presidential ambitions, Kambwili, who is PF national youth chairperson and minister of youth and sports, said the priest was misleading himself into believing that since he was popular as leader of an NGO, he could make a good or popular president.

Kambwili dismissed Fr Bwalya's claims that he was receiving overwhelming support from Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers, as cheap political propaganda.

"He is taking a wrong route. I advised Fr Bwalya that to be leader of an NGO and being popular is very different from being popular in the political circles. And I gave him this advice, free advice as a friend, and now when I read today's (yesterday) Post, I am disappointed that he has continued to pursue the same ideas that he has," he said.

Kambwili said Fr Bwalya was insulting all the PF members by suggesting that President Michael Sata did not know anything about governance and he was better than the President.

"Let me tell Fr Bwalya again that my advice to him is a very open advice, that if he does not want to rescind his decision to try and attack PF and want to be president in the next three months, there will be no Fr Bwalya," he warned.

Kambwili said Fr Bwalya would soon lose the respect that people accorded to him.

He said forming a political party in Zambia and making it grow to a level where people appreciated it to the point of entrusting such a party with power, was a very difficult undertaking that Fr Bwalya would soon come to understand.

"The Father is overrating himself. He may be popular as an NGO but being popular as an NGO is not being popular as a political party. I can give him a practical example. Nevers Mumba was a very popular preacher - Zambia Shall be Saved, and Nevers miscalculated. He thought if he formed a political party all the born-again Christians were going to support him. What happened to Nevers? He formed an organisation called National Christian Coalition and was refusing to say it is not a political party. People asked him; are you going to form a political party? He said no, just like Fr Bwalya said in yesterday's Post that 'I don't want to form a political party.' But we are able to differentiate sense from nonsense and read between the lines," he said.

Kambwili said he hoped Fr Bwalya would learn from the experiences of Mumba.

He said Fr Bwalya had ill-timed his attacks on President Sata, who enjoyed a lot of popularity nationwide.

"I can give him an example, Levy Mwanawasa wanted to attack Frederick Chiluba when Chiluba was at his peak, the way Mr Sata is. What happened to Mwanawasa? He just resigned and went into oblivion," he said.

Kambwili said many other people have started political parties in Zambia which have ended nowhere.

"You see, when you perceive that there are problems, it's better to solve them from inside but I think Fr Bwalya is being self-centred and I am so disappointed that we respect this man of God because we thought he was speaking for the people of Zambia and yet he was speaking to lay a ground for him to say he can be president," he said.

Kambwili said a lot of youths had sent him messages requesting for permission to rise against Fr Bwalya to which he had declined.
He asked Fr Bwalya to refrain from the route he was taking, saying the clergyman would be finished in no time.

"My advice to him as a friend, which advice I gave him one-on-one, is that let him abandon his presidential ambitions because the people of Zambia are not stupid. When you rise on a platform and speak to the people of Zambia as an NGO, people would want you to continue as an NGO and speak to the people as an NGO but when you rise as an NGO and later on you say you want to be president, people will lose confidence," Kambwili said.

He said Fr Bwalya should take the free advice he was giving before he becomes finished like a doormat.

Kambwili said he was a very close friend of Fr Bwalya but was gravely disappointed with his 'rantings' and wondered what wrong the PF had committed within a short period in office for Fr Bwalya to start challenging.

He reminded Fr Bwalya to recall the case of former Kasama Central member of parliament Saviour Chishimba, who wanted to challenge President Sata then as an opposition leader and went on to form a political party that never lasted.

He said Enoch Kavindele also wanted to fight first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda and resigned to form his own party but that he ended up being losing out.

Kambwili said PF would silence its critics after three years because of the programmes the ruling party had rolled out.

"...I have been there, we formed PF in 2001. What we have been through to be where we ba Father, I think apa pena awe you are out of contest. Ba Father bweleleni mukufwala inkansu pantu abantu balamisula. I am telling him abantu balimuchindika but balamusula Father get back to wearing your priestly robes because people will detest you, people have respect for you but you will be detested soon.," said Kambwili
Fr Bwalya claimed on Tuesday that he was receiving a lot of support from some ministers over his presidential ambitions.

Fr Bwalya, who recently resigned as Zesco board chairman, said he had received overwhelming support from sections of society, including ministers and deputy ministers, on the presidential idea and that it was up to the people to decide whether he could actually be trusted for the mantle or not.

"When I speak like this, I speak with confidence because of the text messages that are flooding my phone. I don't want to delete them because I believe it's God speaking to me through these messages but my phone now is congested," he said.

"I am just overwhelmed and I have always said God's way is the best and it is for the good of the people. No one has sent me any negative message, people are sending me positive text messages, some of them are cabinet ministers, some of them are deputy ministers and a leader of a certain country abroad who I met on one of my official engagements."

On Monday, sources revealed that Fr Bwalya was positioning himself to stand as Republican president in 2016 because he feels he can make a better president than Sata.

Sources also disclosed that Fr Bwalya had been telling his confidants that President Sata was too old to lead Zambia.

The sources also said Fr Bwalya had been telling people that he could make a better secretary general than Wynter Kabimba.

And Fr Bwalya said he would only state his position over the presidency after 32 days..

On Sunday, Fr Bwalya claimed he resigned as Zesco board chairperson so that he could be free to praise or criticise the actions of the PF and President Sata in particular.

Fr Bwalya also strongly criticised President Sata and the PF over the by-elections and the arrests of opposition political party leaders.
"I am back. I apologise to UPND leader HH and MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba for not speaking out for them when they were arrested on flimsy charges on Livingstone and Kitwe, respectively," he said.

Fr Bwalya also said people were losing hope in the PF and the promises the party made even in terms of the fight against corruption, citing President Sata's statement advising the Anti Corruption Commission to notify him before investigating ministers which he hoped was a slip of the tongue.

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My life belongs to God - Sata
By Staff Reporters
Thu 02 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

MY life belongs to God, says President Michael Sata.
And President says the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows was top priority for his government as it diverted resources that created jobs.

Meanwhile, President Sata told workers that salary increments and hard work should go hand in hand.

Addressing workers and other citizens during this year's International Labour Day celebrations at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka yesterday themed 'Transforming the economy through job creation, labour law reform, better conditions of service and improved work culture', President Sata said MMD leader Nevers Mumba and his UPND counterpart Hakainde Hichilema stayed away from the event because they had been spreading rumours that he was ill.

"My life belongs to God… Even if I were to die today, there are some young PF leaders who are ready to take over from me…," he said. "Nevers Mumba is not here. Hakainde Hichilema is not here because they are ashamed. Go and tell them Mr Sata is still alive and what type of leaders are they that want others to be sick and to die? If you are a leader and you are aspiring to lead the people of Zambia, come here and celebrate with them, including my boys who are in the trees."
President Sata also said there were no leadership wrangles in the Patriotic Front.

"There are many people in PF who can take over from me. They are not fighting, they are waiting (for the right time) and some of them are trying witchcraft from Chipata, people like Edgar Lungu (home affairs minister) but it fails," he said.

And President Sata said increased salaries and improved conditions of service should go hand in hand with hard work.

"If the unions are sleeping, I am not going to do the job for you. If you knock on our door, we are ready," he said. "We have shown that we can."

And President Sata said the problem with the young generation in Zambia was that they preferred shortcuts than to emulate people like Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

"Our fight against corruption and illicit financial flows is a priority," he said.

"Kenneth Kaunda saw this country in Northern Rhodesia when he came from Chinsali. He was walking from Chinsali to come and look for my late sister (late Mama Betty Kaunda) in Mpika… He has struggled to see this country get where it is, that is why today it pains him and he doesn't want to keep hair; us young Zambians we can't emulate people like KK, you are making shortcuts."

President Sata also paid tribute to workers for their sacrifices towards transforming the country's economy.

He said the government would implement forward-looking and equitable policies in line with the PF manifesto.

President Sata said the government had created more than 175, 000 jobs since assuming power.

He said transforming the economy of the country required upholding integrity, accountability and transparency in the use of public resources.

President Sata said corruption diverted resources meant for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Earlier, President Sata asked the master of ceremonies to invite former ZESCO board chairperson Fr Frank Bwalya, who was, however, not present at the event, to offer a prayer.

And President Sata sang a birthday song for Dr Kenneth Kaunda soon after getting to the podium.

Dr Kaunda turned 89 on Sunday.

And speaking earlier, International Labour Organisation (ILO) country director Martin Clemensson said there had been positive economic growth under the PF government.

Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko said she was happy with the positive dialogue that had been there between trade unions and the government, adding that the MMD lost the 2011 elections because it had no policies that supported the poor.

She said the opposition must grow and mature.

"We are disappointed that the opposition are not here. They need to grow up and mature. We need to put an end to this. The opposition must be here to listen to us because their members have different political affiliation," said Nonde-Simukoko.

And Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) president Alfred Masupha thanked President Sata for listening to their demands.

"When we cried that the Ministry of Labour be delinked from the Ministry of Information you listened and we thank you for that," said Masupha.

Labour minister Fackson Shamenda said the PF had shamed those that insulted President Sata.

He said some of those that insulted President Sata were ministers and deputy ministers.

"If you were a dictator, you wouldn't have called for dialogue with the opposition. Those that insulted you are not only walking the streets of Lusaka free, some of them are serving in this government as ministers and deputies," said Shamenda.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions president Leonard Hikaumba said Zambia would only progress if people support the PF because the party had shown commitment in uplifting the general living standards of citizens.

And during Labour Day celebrations in Kitwe, health minister Dr Joseph Kasonde said workers must lead the movement for the transformation of the national economy through positive work culture.

He said workers must demonstrate the ability to add value through discipline, good time management and overall commitment towards work.
"I urge the workers with the bad attitude towards work to stop it.

Let's persuade those people with a bad attitude towards work to stop it! They must behave themselves not only in their on interest but in the interest of national development," said Dr Kasonde. "We have pillars of development, with the first being job creation. The PF government is committed to ensuring that decent jobs are created through increased investments in social and economic programmes for sustainable development. We will continue working with the private sector to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to cheap credit for investment."

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) executive board trustee Misheck Nyambose said the much-needed development in the country could only be achieved by uprooting slavery conditions of work and forging strong ties of alliance between the government and the trade union movement as well as correcting misconceptions that the trade unions have nothing to do with politics.

And in Livingstone, gender minister Inonge Wina said gender-based violence reduces women's productive capacities at the work place due to high levels of absenteeism.

She appealed to workers to be productive and bring on board positive attitudes at their places of work. "Women affected by gender-based violence experience high levels of absenteeism from work," she said.
Wina said leaders should be accountable to the Zambian people and work tirelessly to raise the living standards of the people.

Livingstone PF area member of parliament Lawrence Evans said he was saddened by the work culture of most of the over 500 youth employed to work on UNWTO general assembly developmental projects who tend to abscond for work after getting paid.

Deputy labour minister Ronald Chitotela urged employers to abide by the minimum wage law and promised the workers that the government was not going to abandon them.

ZCTU first vice-president and Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Chishimba Nkole said a lot of Zambians were without jobs because some investors were anti-union.

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Authors of economics book call for industrial growth
By Henry Sinyangwe
Thu 02 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - This is from Mohammed Yunus' outfit. I don't know what to make of it. As a bank, I've never seen how his Grameen Bank makes money. I have the book, and I have decades of background in trading stocks and ETFs, but I don't get it. Here is an explanation of their concept on their website.

BROADENING the industrial base and encouraging medium-sized manufacturing industries will earn Zambia a medium-income status, it has been observed.

John Sutton and Gillian Langmead, co-authors of a book titled An Enterprise Map of Zambia' have observed that a 10-year plan was needed to raise the living standards of Zambians.

The book has been published by the International Growth Centre, a policy research institute coordinated by the London School of Economics and Oxford University in the UK.

Speaking during the launch of the book in Lusaka on Tuesday, Prof Sutton said qualitative change is needed over the next ten years to broaden the industrial base and bring the country to middle-income status.

He said Zambia's manufacturing base had doubled in the last decade, and the country's economy was among the most rapidly growing in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Understanding what is needed to maintain this growth is crucial to the formulation of good policies. And this in turn requires a deep understanding of Zambia's current industrial capabilities," Prof Sutton explained.

He said countries that had made the advance into middle ground manufacturing had faced major challenges with regard to quality standards.

"The most powerful driver of this advance is appropriate foreign direct investment (FDI), which involves companies operating in new industrial activities and bringing new capabilities, and creating new jobs," Prof Sutton said.

[Prof. Sutton is full of sh*t, like most economists. They know their discipline, they don't know agriculture, history, politics, etc. - all the points of contact with reality outside of the field of economics. - MrK]

He praised the work of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and emphasised the need for expansion of domestic companies into new areas of activities, as well as maintenance of a good business climate for all firms, whether domestic or foreign.

"This is a turning point for Zambia's economy, and getting the right policies and rules, and ensuring these policies and rules are implemented and enforced, is crucial to the country's future," said Prof Sutton.

And commerce permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa said the government is committed to raising the living standards of Zambians.

He said there should be an industrial data base that provides information on available trade and investment.

Mwansa said Zambia aspired to be a strong and dynamic middle income industrial nation that provided opportunities for all.

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(TIMES ZM) Broaden industrial sector – economist
Posted May 2, 2013 by andrew Miti in Business

COMMENT - The International Growth Center is Muhammed Yunus' (Banker To The Poor) project. - MrK

BROADENING and deepening of industrial activities is key to Zambia’s growth over the next decade, a London-based researcher has said.

Professor John Sutton who is the co-author of the book titled An Enterprise Map of Zambia and professor of economics at the London School of Economics said this when he presented a paper during the launch of the book on Tuesday night.

The book was written by Prof Sutton and Gillian Langmean with sponsorship from International Growth Centre (IGC).

Prof Sutton said this was a turning point for Zambia’s economy, and getting the right policies, rules and ensuring they were implemented and enforced is what was crucial to the country’s future.

“What is key to Zambia’s growth in the next decade is broadening and deepening of the industrial sector. Appropriate FDIs will be key to job creation and the advance of Zambia’s industrial capabilities,” Prof Sutton said.

He said countries that had made advancement into middle ground manufacturing had faced major challenges in regard to quality standards.

The most powerful driver of this advance, Prof Sutton said was appropriate FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), which involves companies operating in new industrial activities, bringing new capabilities, and creating new jobs.

He explained that the challenges faced in terms of quality were well illustrated by Kafue Steel’s acquisition of international certification.

“In Zambia, relatively few leading sector, but the contribution of the trading sector in this regard is still impressive,” he said.

Launching the book, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Emmanuel Chenda said, as Zambia aspires to become a strong and dynamic middle-income industrial nation, there should be an industrial database that provides information on the available trade and investment opportunities.

In a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa, Mr Chenda said the launch of the book had come at an opportune time as it provided the private sector, potential investors and other economic players information on leading industrial enterprise and their capabilities in Zambia.

“Zambia’s manufacturing sector accounts for about 11 per cent of the country’s Growth Domestic product (GDP) and has been growing at an average annual growth rate of three per cent in the last five years.

“If this has to increase, this will require broadening and strengthening industrial activities,” Mr Chenda said.

Mr Chenda said FDIs remained essential to the development agenda including the benefits that come with it which include among other issues wealth and job creation.

“Our strategic focus as a country is to strengthen and widen the country’s manufacturing base with emphasis on backward and forward linkages in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors given the country’ wide resource base,” he said.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

COMMENT - This is a neoliberal MDC comment. "Africans must move beyond complaining about Western economic exploitation and begin safeguarding their interests" - safeguarding THEIR interests? A freudian slip, perhaps?

(NEWZIMBAWE) Editorial Comment: Sovereignty is self-reliance
Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:00

She came, she saw and she was impressed.

That, in a nutshell, describes President Joyce Banda’s four-day State visit to Zimbabwe. The Malawian leader, at the end of her tour, declared: “Africa is a continent on the rise.” Indeed, Cde President, we are marching forward.

By all standards, it was a remarkable visit, during which she officially opened the 54th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), had engagements with Malawians based in Zimbabwe, saw the commendable fruits of the land reform programme and went to see the sterling work being done by the First Family at the Amai Mugabe Children’s Home and at Gushungo Dairy. Most importantly, President Banda got to see for herself what Zimbabwe is all about.

No doubt, the Zimbabwe that she saw is totally different from the Zimbabwe that has been portrayed on CNN, BBC and other megaphones of Western propaganda.

There was a frenzy of speculation on the Internet as soon as it was announced that President Banda was scheduled to officiate at ZITF. The questions came thick and fast: How could President Mugabe invite President Banda? Had she really accepted the invitation? Surely, these two leaders had nothing in common ideologically? What will the West say about such a visit? So many questions.

Well, in the world of realpolitik, life is not always what it seems. Zimbabwe and Malawi are African nations. As sovereign states, they have a right to choose their friends and chart their own path among the community of nations.

President Banda shamed the naysayers by hailing Zimbabwe’s land revolution and denouncing the illegal Western sanctions. To all right-thinking people out there, there was particularly nothing astonishing in this. It may have surprised and angered some politicians in London, Brussels and Washington DC, but President Banda must be commended for her courage, dignity and humility. After all, why should relations between two African nations be determined by Western governments? In any case, are those Western governments not reaching out to Harare these days?

Ahead of this year’s make-or-break elections, the European Union is reaching out to Harare. The Obama administration is also reaching out. Why should African nations not reach out to Harare while the rest of the world is doing exactly that?

Some figures show that a staggering 40 percent of Malawi’s budget is funded by donors. As Zimbabweans, we would be happy to see the people of Malawi moving away from donor dependency to economic self-sustenance. Western donors are very ruthless. They pamper you with all sorts of aid, as long as you dance to their tune. Once you try to assert your rights, the donors are quick to remind you that they call the shots.

The late President Bingu wa Mutarika tried to break the West’s donor stranglehold on Malawi, but what did the donor warlords do to his country? The nation’s foreign currency coffers ran dry instantly, fuel queues mushroomed all over the country, hospitals ran out of drugs, and inflation ruined the lives of ordinary citizens. The retribution was swift and pitiless. From a darling of the Western donor community, Malawi became a pariah state in the eyes of the powerful nations.

When President Banda succeeded Dr wa Mutarika, she brought back the donors. But before the money could begin flowing in, the donors demanded their pound of flesh. There is no such thing as a free lunch. In exchange, she had to devalue the kwacha, sell her presidential jet, pray that Sudanese President Omar al Bashir would never attempt to set foot on Malawian soil, and generally “reverse” the damage wrought on Malawi by the former president who had “unfriended” many Western governments.

Donor aid, to be sure, is not inherently evil. There are many practical examples of donor support that has made a difference in the lives of people in the developing world. A nation like South Korea, for instance, shows you the impact of donor money. But in most parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, donor aid has worsened the situation. When the World Bank directs an African government to scrap subsidies on education or fertilizer, the prescription almost always ends in disaster. Millions of children who are denied an education are condemned to a life of servitude and farmers who are deprived of a subsidy are left counting the losses.

Western donors can bring their support to Africa, but they must never use the assistance as an instrument of blackmail.
Africans, for their part, should stop moaning and start safeguarding their interests. Zimbabwe and Malawi both grow lots of tobacco, yet the countries that buy their crops are making 10 times the money that the farmers on the ground are getting. Zimbabwe and Malawi both mine precious minerals, yet the maker of jewellery in India who buys our diamonds and platinum is raking in 100 times more we are getting. The time for beneficiation is now.

Africa needs to address the issue of economic integration. In many respects, regional economic integration remains a pipe dream. For instance, not much progress is being made in creating a truly integrated Southern African economy.

There has been too much mutual mistrust among the regional states. Although the heads of state, at the level of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), appear united, in reality some of the countries are only paying lip service to regional integration.

Intra-regional trade remains stifled, trade barriers are still a hindrance and some countries have not dismantled their protectionist policies. There is a Sadc roadmap which outlines the milestones to full integration. By 2008, a Free Trade Area should have been created. After that, a common market and monetary integration were supposed to be achieved. None of these goals have been met.

In analysing the root causes of this failure to attain regional economic integration, one is struck by a stark reality that there are still many impediments. These are economic, political and legal.

Economists have pointed to the bottlenecks associated with aid dependence, natural resource dependence and the fact that each nation has a unique economic cycle that makes it more difficult to synchronise with the other regional states.

Ultimately, Africans must move beyond complaining about Western economic exploitation and begin safeguarding their interests through economic self-sustenance, regional integration and strategic thinking.


(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) President Banda leaves footprints in Zim
Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:00
Lincoln Towindo

President Mugabe and his Malawian counterpart, Dr Joyce Banda, share a lighter moment while touring exhibition stands at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday — Picture by Percy Musiiwa

In the five days she spent in Zimbabwe, Malawi President Dr Joyce Banda made her presence felt.

One of the most powerful women on the African continent, she last week traversed the length and breadth of the country interacting with all and sundry from senior Government officials, business executives, tobacco farmers, right through to orphans at the Grace Mugabe Children’s Home in Mazowe.

A champion of affirmative action, women empowerment, Dr Banda — just like her Zimbabwean counterpart — is renowned for her pro-poor economic policies in Malawi.

Her visit served to further encapsulate African solidarity for a fellow nation whose people’s aspirations have been ravaged by the bane of illegal Western sanctions for over a decade.

During her brief stay, President Banda was evidently impressed by the Zimbabwean model of black affirmative action.

She visited places such as the country’s tobacco auction floors, the Grace Mugabe Children’s Home and subsequently the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which she officially opened on Friday.

She hailed Zimbabwe’s economic empowerment programmes, saying Malawi will work to replicate the land reform and economic empowerment programmes which benefit the majority.

Since assuming power last year following the death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika, Dr Banda has instituted a raft of policy measures aimed at uplifting indigenous Malawians, especially women, thereby drawing a parallel with Zimbabwe’s black empowerment initiative.

President Banda’s Economic Recovery Plan, which emphasises farm input subsidies in an economy that is hugely dependent on tobacco exports for sustenance, has been hailed as the pinnacle of her short reign.

Following in the footsteps of her predecessor, President Banda has trudged on fighting Malawi’s economic dependence on Western economies nearly 50 years after the country attained independence.

Speaking after touring the country’s biggest indigenous tobacco auction floors — Boka — Dr Banda — who was clearly impressed by Zimbabwe’s apparent progress — was quick to point out that her government will seek to replicate the Zimbabwean affirmative action model.

“I am impressed by your programmes in the agricultural sector,” she said.

“I have plans to send a group of people to come and learn from our brothers and sisters here.

“It is our hope that we will then begin to implement what we have seen here for the benefit of our country and Africa as a continent. Such empowerment initiatives are welcome.

“I was talking to the Vice President (Cde Mujuru) and told her that I have come to learn how we can increase the growing of flue-cured tobacco. In Malawi, we rely on burley tobacco.”

Zimbabwe and Malawi share a common history and heritage of solidarity and oneness.

During the colonial days, Malawi and Zimbabwe along with Zambia fought settler oppression under the ill-fated Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Zimbabwe is also home to a large contingent of Malawian Diasporans.

Following the change of guard in Malawi last year, reactionary forces sort to place a wedge between the two Southern African countries, arguing the Banda administration, thought to be Western-inclined, would fail to co-exist with President Mugabe’s revolutionary leadership.

But President Banda’s visit last week was a clear indication that all is well and dandy between the two nations.

Given Zimbabwe’s suffering and ostracization at the hands of Britain and her Western allies through the illegal sanctions regime, African nations have been steadfast in their demands for Zimbabwe’s right to self-determination.

And who was better to throw her weight behind Zimbabwe’s protracted fight against needles and unfair exclusion than the Malawian leader?
Dr Banda made it clear that in spite of the conspiracy theories that seek to destabilise the harmonious relations between the two states, Malawi will continue to lobby for the removal of the illegal Western sanctions that are affecting ordinary people.

“My visit to Zimbabwe has provided me with a rare opportunity to see what is emerging in Zimbabwe. It gives hope to see that the destiny of Zimbabwe remains in the hands of Zimbabweans,” she said while officially opening the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday.

“We will march with you and the rest of us shall blow the trumpet: ‘lift sanctions, they are hurting the ordinary people.’”

Just as is the case with Zimbabwe’s First Family, President Banda is also renowned for her charity work in Malawi, which is aimed at helping educate and empower women. She is known for her strong passion for women, children and the under-privileged.

In 1989, she started the National Association of Business Women, which raised cash for women to start small businesses by lending them start-up cash for small businesses.

Dr Banda is also founding member of the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE) which operates in 41 countries in Africa.

As a result, she made it a point during her visit that she passed through the Grace Mugabe Children’s Home.

During her tour of the home, she commended the First Family for serving the underprivileged.

“Throughout my adulthood I have been running a lot, including mobilising underprivileged children, but what I saw today makes me feel small and I am impressed by what the First Family has done to reach out to the masses.

“Perhaps people out there do not know that this is what the First Lady is doing here. If you get an opportunity to make money, make sure that you use that money for good and that is what the First Family is doing.

“For Africa to prosper, it means putting the money into households, particularly the poor ones. Once God has blessed us, we have a moral obligation to help underprivileged people.”

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Chief dies after being stung by wild bees
Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:00

Chief Chiweshe and spirit medium Katombo Kanyai display the Zim­babwe bird which landed at the spirit medium’s home­stead
Nomore Kudzedzereka

Chief Chiweshe Joseph Chigariro of Chiweshe, Mazowe District, has died. Mr Chigariro (82) died last Thursday after he was attacked by a swarm of wild bees at his home in Chiweshe.

Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira confirmed the death yesterday.

“I can confirm the sad departure of one of our fellow chiefs whom I have been told was attacked by stray wild bees,” he said.

According to Chief Charumbira, Mr Chagariro, who was an experienced bee-keeper himself, was resting outside his house on Thursday afternoon.

He was alone at home at the time.

A swarm of bees suddenly swooped on the homestead and attacked him. Neighbours only rushed to the scene an hour later. The neighbours subsequently ferried him to Concession District Hospital where he died.

It later turned out that the bees also killed one of the chief’s dogs and attacked poultry.

Chief Charumbira said the realm leader will be buried on May 8.

He said Chief Chiweshe was a key member of the Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe who also played an active role throughout the land reform programme.

“He was one of our strongest members in the Council of Chiefs. He had a great passion for the country and wanted to see the preservation of our culture and traditions.

“The colonialists had parcelled out land among themselves because Mazowe comprises rich agricultural land. However, Chief Chiweshe made sure these land imbalances were corrected.

“He stood firm to ensure our identity and heritage as blacks were well-protected. That ranks him among the greatest chiefs of our era.”

Concession District Hospital authorities could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Harare General Hospital clinical director Mr George Vera said an individual could succumb to a bee sting if his or her body reacts.

He said victims could survive if treated early.

“There are two ways in which one can die from a bee attack. An individual can die even if he or she is attacked by a single bee if that person is allergic to bee stings,” he said.

“Then there are times when the body becomes overwhelmed by multiple bee stings, resulting in the inflammation of the skin.”

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MMD needs a team of good leaders to succeed
By Editor
Wed 01 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

"We must not bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend all is well because that route leads to doom," advises Copperbelt MMD information secretary Yotam Mtayachalo. This is the advice of an MMD leader to his party. And we think it is advice that needs to receive the most favourable of considerations from the MMD leadership, cadres and members.

To begin with, we would like to refer to a saying of Lenin, that the attitude - that is to say, the seriousness of purpose - of a party is measured, basically, by the attitude it takes toward its own errors. And in the same way, the seriousness of purpose of MMD leaders, cadres and members will be measured by the attitude they take toward their own errors, problems, challenges.

Of course, their political opponents will always be alert to know what errors they have made, what problems and challenges they are facing. When those errors are made and are not subjected to self-criticism, their political competitors will take advantage of them. When those errors are made and are subjected to self-criticism, they may be used by their political opponents or competitors, but in a very different way. This is so because in the former case, their errors would not be corrected whilst in the latter they would be. That's why it is important for the MMD leadership, cadres and members to heed the advice of Yotam and take a forthright and serious attitude toward their errors, problems and challenges. They need to make a serious and honest analysis, a deep analysis of the state of their party. They need to analyse all that has been done, the good things that have been done and all the errors that have been made and the problems and challenges that have emerged.

The MMD has to begin by recognising the scale of their defeat and of their problem. They need to fully understand the causes of their defeat.

It is a fact that the MMD became increasingly associated with the most disagreeable messages, thoughts and practices. This is a political party that went to Parliament and removed the abuse of office offence from our Anti Corruption Commission Act so that its leadership could steal with impunity. They failed to produce convincing arguments for the removal of that offence, but still went ahead and enacted a law that suited their corrupt desires.

There is no need for the MMD to cheat themselves that the people of Zambia like it. If the people of Zambia loved the MMD and its leadership, why did they vote them out in such a way? It must be appreciated that the people of Zambia detest them. And this distaste is deep, it is not a momentary irritation which they can easily scratch away. They should not dismiss it as a mere false perception. They lost the election because they were linked to intolerance. In early 2011, they caused the deaths of many young people in Mongu and left a good number maimed for life as a result of their intolerance and inability to peacefully deal with dissent. They were also linked to harshness: thought to be uncaring about poverty, unemployment, poor housing and so on and so forth. They were thought to favour greed. It can also not be denied that the key leadership of the MMD was thought to be arrogant and out of touch. They were insensitive to the feelings of the people.

Corruption disgraced them in the eyes of the people. And these perceptions will not go away quickly unless a lot of work, reorganisation, reorientation and realignment are undertaken.
As Yotam says, the MMD should face these issues head on and deal with them and not pretend all is well.

Actually people need a rest from them. And they themselves need time to reflect and listen and come to understand one another better than they have of late. They certainly need to do a lot more about themselves. They need better leadership than they currently have. They need different organisation. They need a broad and stable financial base and not dependence on handouts from those who have stolen public funds. They need to spread their appeal and attract different sorts of people. In a word, they need to take a fresh look in the new circumstances.
And the impact of disunity upon them is clear to see. The MMD must in the very near future learn again to display the camaraderie and common purpose that is fundamental to a party's prospects. If they don't strengthen their leadership, they will stand no chance of ever being re-elected.

The MMD needs to confront head-on the danger of inner-party factionalism. This danger has its roots in several factors: the rough-handling, marginalisation and demotion that many outstanding MMD cadres have experienced since the change of leadership. This is leaving a strong legacy of bitterness and resentment - the walking wounded. This has cultivated tendencies towards excessive defensivism, and also to habits of counter-factionalism in some cases. There are also some warning signs of the dangers of disciplinary measures being used to settle political differences.

And as we have stated before, experience has repeatedly shown that a party divided into hostile groups loses its militancy. Protracted inner-party strife inevitably results in party members' concentration on discords. The party becomes distracted from political struggle and day-to-day work among the masses and loses its influence. On this score, the advice given by Yotam also needs to be heeded.

Yotam says: "We need to initiate dialogue and reconciliation within the MMD first than rushing to expel ailing members because that will not build the party. We will divide it further. We must have an honest assessment as leaders and not pretend that all is well. The leadership of the party at all levels must strive hard and make personal sacrifices and make the party attractive once more by first identifying our weaknesses and strength in an honest manner. Political parties have gone into oblivion because their leaders lived in perpetual denial, leading to a catastrophic end."

If the new leadership of the party is not up to the job required of it, let it be replaced in the interest of the party.

There is clearly very poor judgement on the part of the current leadership of the MMD that needs to be corrected. If a leader repeatedly shows poor judgement, even in little things, people should start to think that having him as the leader is the real mistake. And just as in sports, a coach needs a team of good players to win, a political party needs a team of good leaders to succeed.

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Fr Bwalya claims PF ministers' support
By Kombe Chimpinde
Wed 01 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

FR FRANK Bwalya says he is receiving a lot of support from some ministers over his presidential ambitions.

Fr Bwalya, who recently resigned as Zesco board chairman, yesterday said he had received overwhelming support from sections of society, including ministers and deputy ministers, on the presidency idea and that it was up to the people to decide whether he could actually be trusted with the mantle or not.

"When I speak like this, I speak with confidence because of the text messages that are flooding my phone. I don't want to delete them because I believe it's God speaking to me through these messages but my phone now is congested," he said.

"I am just overwhelmed and I have always said God's way is the best and it is for the good of the people. No one has sent me any negative message; people are sending me positive text messages. Some of them are Cabinet ministers, some of them are deputy ministers and a leader of a certain country abroad who I met on one of my official engagements."
Fr Bwalya said people had been calling him to assure him of the trust they had in his leadership qualities.
"I am not asking the Zambian people to trust me. I am asking them to see a heart in me that can be trusted," he said.
Fr Bwalya said the Zambians had the onus of putting whoever they trusted in power.
He said that God, through people, was drawing his attention to the issue of leadership, which he was seeking counsel on and that he had realised that there was nothing wrong with it.
"Talking about the question that you asked on whether I want to become president, my answer is very simple: the Bible makes it very clear that anyone who admires to serve the people and the position of leadership does a good thing," said Fr Bwalya.
"The only difference is when a good man admires to lead people, it's a good thing but when a bad man admires to lead the people, that one is dangerous. So I want the people to judge me whether I am a good man and if I am good man who is desiring to lead the people, the people shouldn't be worried because after all, I will not impose myself on the people. It will be the same people that will go into that booth and put a cross after my name."
Fr Bwalya said he was in a prayerful manner.
"I am not on my knees 24 hours. For me prayer is a way of life, so the way I am eating, reading spiritual books, the way I am cleaning my house, making my bed when I wake up in the morning, I am doing everything in a prayerful manner and trying to make sure that God speaks to me even through small things.
"When I wake up in the morning, I see birds singing outside, I listen to them," he said.
Fr Bwalya said it will be the people that will elevate him and bestow the honour of serving them in whatever capacity they will choose.
On Monday, sources revealed that Fr Bwalya is positioning himself to stand as Republican president in 2016 because he feels he can make a better president than Michael Sata.
Sources also disclosed yesterday that Fr Bwalya had been telling his confidants that President Sata was too old to lead Zambia.
The sources also said Fr Bwalya had been telling people that he could make a better secretary general than Wynter Kabimba.
And Fr Bwalya said he would only state his position over the presidency after 34 days beginning Monday.
On Sunday, Fr Bwalya claimed he resigned as Zesco board chairperson so that he could be free to praise or criticise the PF and President Sata in particular when he does something correct or wrong respectively.
Fr Bwalya also strongly criticised President Sata and the PF over the by-elections and the arrests of opposition political party leaders.
"I am back. I apologise to UPND leader HH and MMD president Dr Nevers Mumba for not speaking out for them when they were arrested on flimsy charges in Livingstone and Kitwe, respectively," he said.
Fr Bwalya also said people were losing hope in the PF and the promises the party made even in terms of the fight against corruption, citing President Sata's statement advising the Anti-Corruption Commission to notify him before investigating ministers which he hoped was a slip of the tongue.



HH has weakened MMD further - Pule

By Allan Mulenga
Wed 01 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

PASTOR Dan Pule says Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND have further weakened MMD by poaching its senior members.

And Pastor Pule says he will prayerfully consider an opportunity to serve in the government if called upon by President Michael Sata.

Addressing the press yesterday, Pastor Pule, a former deputy finance minister in the MMD government, said UPND's continued poaching of MMD senior leaders had the potential to ignite fights between the two opposition parties that had been in a loose alliance.

"Our concern is that if they begin to poach leaders from one opposition party to the other, they will begin to fight one another, instead of constructively fighting the ruling party so that they can be a real alternative to the ruling party in forming the next government," he said. "Obviously, if it is in the light of an alliance it will weaken that alliance. If they can poach members from one opposition party to another…however, we are emphasising unity among opposition parties."
Pastor Pule said although politicians had democratic rights to belong to political parties of their choice, the happenings between the MMD and UPND would dent the relationship between the two opposition parties.
"… Now, the question that arises is whether this has happened in the context of an alliance between the UPND and the MMD," he wondered.
And Pastor Pule, who is Apostolic Prophetic Network (APN) president, said appointments to any leadership position came from God.
"We fought for the change in the government. We stood with President Michael Sata. We have since then been quiet. I want to say that it is the President's choice; I cannot say whether I would accept an appointment at this point or not," he said. "But obviously sometimes it might become an academic exercise. At the moment all I want to say is that I have remained a national leader, a politician, a Christian leader and I will continue to do so. By the grace of the Lord we are looking up to Him to lead us. Appointment comes from not the North or South, it comes from the Lord."
Pastor Pule said opportunities to serve in the government came from God.
"The President is an instrument the Almighty God can use to appoint one into government. But the ultimate appointment comes from the Lord. For now I am satisfied where I am, except a lot of people are asking me why I am so quiet as a politician," said Pastor Pule.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) 'Leave Zim to me': What Zuma told SADC
large image
01/05/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZAMBIA’S Vice President Guy Scott has launched an astonishing attack on South African President Jacob Zuma, describing him as “very like De Klerk” – the last leader of the racist apartheid regime.

Zuma had an exaggerated sense of South Africa’s standing in the world, Scott said as he revealed how the ANC leader had told other SADC leaders including Zambia’s Michael Sata to “leave Zimbabwe to me”.

"He's very like De Klerk. He tells us, 'You just leave Zimbabwe to me.' Excuse me, who the hell liberated you anyway, was it not us? I mean, I quite like him, he seems a rather genial character but I pity him and his advisers."

Zuma, who took over from former President Thabo Mbeki as the region’s point man on Zimbabwe where mediation efforts led to the formation of a power sharing government in 2009, is expected in Harare within days to discuss preparations for forthcoming elections.

Speaking to the UK Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, Scott appeared to put up a defence for President Robert Mugabe whom he says wants to leave power after 33 years at the helm.

"I think if you asked him he'd say it was enough. That's what he said to us a few months ago. I said the way forward in African democracy is the way we do it in Zambia. He said, 'I absolutely agree, I wish it would happen to me.'"

Asked if that meant losing an election, Scott replied: "Yes, and a smooth handover. I think he meant it, or he was toying with the idea of meaning it. He wanted to hear how it sounded, maybe. Or something."
Scott went on to describe 89-year-old Mugabe's persona.

"He's a funny chap. He seems to doze off and then he suddenly laughs at a joke while in the middle of dozing. And very articulate, without a note, without a scrap of anything.

"He's an Anglophone. He loves to give lectures on the English language, English weighing systems, English this or that. He was a teacher and so he taught himself all that."
Zambian President Sata – whom Scott refers to as "the boss" – is known to be on friendly terms with Mugabe.

"I'm sure any good African nationalist admires Mugabe," the vice-president added. "Racism in Zimbabwe is a serious issue. I was sent to school down there and it was like being in the Hitler Youth: the theories about black inferiority and this kind of stuff.

"It was a whites-only school; they tried to introduce an Indian and he was hounded out at the instigation of the parents of the boys. I think Mugabe is a product of having to contend with that."

Defence ... Guy Scott says Mugabe's politics influenced by experienced racism

But talking about the region’s largest economy, South Africa, its politicians and its people, Scott bristled with indignation.

"The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development," he said. "I hate South Africans. That's not a fair thing to say because I like a lot of South Africans but they really think they're the bees' knees and actually they've been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world.
"I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they're in power. 'Don't you know who we are, man?'"

Scott scoffed at the inclusion of South Africa in the BRICS grouping of emerging economies.

"They think in BRICS that the 's' actually stands for South Africa whereas it stands for Africa. Nobody would want to go in for a partnership with Brazil, China, India and South Africa for Christ's sake.

"I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States, I think. It's just too big and too unsubtle."

Chiawa denies land wrangle reports
By Henry Sinyangwe
Wed 01 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

CHIEFTAINESS Chiawa has denied reports that there are land wrangles in her area. Recently, 25 representatives from 10 villages stormed the Kafue district commissioner's office to register their displeasure over the manner land was being offered to foreign businessmen.

But chieftainess Chiawa's representatives Christopher Musanda and Ernest Shikalomo disputed the claims, saying the chief had never sold any land.

Musanda said most of the land where the lodges had been built are on the eastern part of the game management area and the community had sat and agreed to allocate small pieces of land to the tour operators.

"… Chieftainess Chiawa has not sold any land. She is entitled by law to give consent to any investor who comes in the area after some application has been made. This issue of saying chieftainess Chiawa has now sold land in the area is not true," he said.

And Shikalomo said no one had been evicted from any land.

"Displacing of villagers as reported is a total blue lie. No eviction has been done, not a even land from the river front has been sold," said Shikalomo.

"In Mugulameno village almost 2000 people there are still fetching water in the Zambezi River, they have gardens there and they fish from there. But where is that land which these people are claiming to have been sold and if there are any barriers, how are the people managing to do all the activities in the river?"

Kafue member of parliament Obvious Mwaliteta has since advised the villagers to dialogue with the chieftainess over the matter.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why is MMD defending corruption?
By Editor
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

It is difficult to understand why the MMD has continued to defend Rupiah Banda and his corruption. The problems that the MMD is facing today have been foisted upon it by Rupiah. The MMD is in the state it is in today because of Rupiah's behaviour and corruption.

It is Rupiah who made the MMD lose power and be kicked out of government. Rupiah ran a corrupt and very intolerant regime that discredited the MMD in the eyes of our people. Rupiah's behaviour as president of the Republic was disgraceful and lacked seriousness in all aspects.

Rupiah was in State House to enjoy himself, enrich himself and his family and not to lead the country and strengthen the MMD. The MMD was simply a ladder for Rupiah to use to ascend to power. And the rung of a ladder was not meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.

The MMD, in its current state, is of very little value to Rupiah. The MMD as a party is not able to give Rupiah the protection he wants from it. The party failed to mobilise against the removal of his immunity. The most the party can give Rupiah today is to parade some cadres at court whenever he goes for an appearance. This is not of much value to Rupiah because it will have no effect on the outcome of his cases.

Rupiah needs the services of his lawyers more than of the MMD cadres.
And MMD cadres are making fools of themselves going to court to give support or solidarity to a person who is responsible for the destruction of their party. The sleaze of Rupiah's regime totally disgraced the MMD in the eyes of the public. Their perception is of corruption and unfitness for public office. And if the MMD does not distance itself from the corruption of Rupiah's regime and start afresh, that distasteful perception will endure and do them damage for a long time.

The support and solidarity the MMD is giving to Rupiah is sending a message to the Zambian people that the party, its members and leadership stand for corruption, defend corruption, embrace corruption. With such a public perception, MMD will never see a reversal of political fortunes.

And decent members, cadres and leaders of the MMD should be ashamed of themselves being seen to be defending Rupiah's corruption. Only if they themselves are corrupt will they not be ashamed of this.

As for Nevers himself, his defence of Rupiah's corruption is understandable because, like Rupiah, he is also facing corruption allegations. Probably Nevers needs Rupiah to fight his own corruption charges. But it can never be true that everyone, everybody in MMD is corrupt. There are decent people in that party who have allowed themselves to be misled, to be fooled, to be manipulated into defending causes that are not worth defending.

Rupiah is not being persecuted. If this was the case, Rupiah would deserve the support of all Zambians of goodwill, including ourselves. If Rupiah was being persecuted, as he wants everyone to believe, we would be there to defend him in spite of everything that he has done against us, in spite of his evil schemes against us. But Rupiah is being prosecuted justifiably and legally so. If Rupiah was being persecuted, he wouldn't be in that court today. That's not a court of persecution; it's a court of prosecution. The magistrate before whom Rupiah is appearing is not a persecutor.

So what is this solidarity with Rupiah about? Anyway, we know that wherever you see such gatherings, someone is forking out money. MMD cadres don't move without being paid. And for money, they will allow themselves to be hit by the cold and to be scorched by the sun. For money, they will leave their homes and families to come and show the world that Rupiah is not alone; he has got people supporting him.
Probably some of them believe that the good old days of eating endlessly will come back. MMD is out of power and probably out of power forever. It is a discredited political party with a discredited leadership.

Solidarity with Rupiah will never save the MMD. It will instead get the party more discredited and dismissed as corrupt by the Zambian people.

Probably some think by supporting Rupiah, more money will flow into the party. It won't. The most Rupiah will do is to release a bit of money to pay for those cadres who come to court and meet the legal fees of his lawyers. About Rupiah funding the MMD to the extent they are expecting, it won't happen. This will be a waste of money on Rupiah's part because there is no profit in him financing the MMD, especially with money he is being accused of having stolen.

And this also demonstrates the lack of morality on the part of those involved in giving Rupiah solidarity over his corruption cases. They all know very well how the MMD was being run, where the money was coming from. Can any of them really stand up and say the MMD was being run by Rupiah on a clean basis with clean money?

It is not difficult for the MMD to distance itself from the corruption of the Rupiah regime. Under Levy, the MMD distanced itself from the corruption of its former leader Frederick Chiluba. Cadres from the MMD of Levy never went to court to give solidarity to Chiluba's corruption. They stayed away and allowed the law to take its course.

But the MMD of Nevers has no shame going to court and defending the corruption of those who previously led it.

Of course, Levy is not Nevers. Levy was not facing any corruption charges before our courts of law. Nevers is facing corruption charges before our courts of law. This is not a small difference.

But the consequence of this is the total destruction of MMD because every day that MMD cadres and leaders are seen parading themselves in defence of corruption, the party's standing diminishes.

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Access Bank targets local investors
By Kabanda Chulu
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

ACCESS Bank Zambia has concluded a Private Placement targeted at local investors from which a total of US$21 million has been received.

The Private Placement will enable the bank convert to a local institution as it seeks to meet the minimum capital requirement of KR104 million (US$20 million).

Access Bank, which is originally from Nigeria, is also listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

"Suffice to say that once we receive all the funds pledged, Access Bank Zambia Limited will be well within the Bank of Zambia's stipulated Capital requirement, with 51 per cent of the Bank vested in the local shareholders," Access Bank Zambia managing director Jekwu Ozoemene said in an interview in Lusaka.

"However, Access Bank Plc will still maintain management control to enable the local related company leverage off the network and connections of the Group."

On macroeconomic fundamentals, Ozoemene said the Zambian economy was strong and moving towards a positive direction, provided political stability and sound macroeconomic policies were maintained.

"We see inflation closing at the target approximately seven per cent. We also foresee the economy expanding at a rate of about seven to eight per cent in view of the anticipated huge infrastructure spending by the government," he said. "On depreciation of the kwacha, the local currency may have depreciated against the US dollar but has actually appreciated against other currencies such as the rand, euro and evidences more of a strengthening of the US dollar than the weakening of the Kwacha."

He dismissed assertions that commercial banks were operating a cartel in the country, resulting in similar lending rates.

"Commercial banks in Zambia (Access Bank being one of them) are in competition with each other thus I find it extremely difficult to support or believe the assertion that such a cartel exists," Ozoemene said.

"Having said that, however, if such a situation is found to operate in this market, then the regulatory authorities should not just stop short at pronouncing the existence of the cartel, but should see it through the apprehending of identified culprits and applying the appropriate sanctions."

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S/Africans know, respect KK immensely - Mathebe
By Moses Kuwema
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:01 CAT

Dr Kenneth Kaunda (c) cuts his birthday cake joined by Cosatu
president Sdumo Dlamini (l), Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union president Zizamele Cebekhulu (2nd right), South Africa's Communist Party central executive committee member Charles Setsubi (3rd right) and High Commissioner Kgoshi Mathebe during a party at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Sunday - Picture by Joseph Mwenda

SOUTH African High Commissioner to Zambia Kgoshi-Piet-Mathebe says his country's liberation could not be talked about without mentioning the selfless contribution by Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Zambia.

Speaking on Sunday at Mulungushi International Conference Centre to celebrate Dr Kaunda's 89th birthday, High Commissioner Mathebe said South Africans know and respect Dr Kaunda immensely.

"We are always indebted to you and this nation. Dr Kaunda, we all hope you are still enjoying a wonderful day and I talk on behalf of everyone here and the millions of Zambians, South Africans and others around Africa in saying that we hope that we will be able to celebrate with you many birthdays to come," he said.

High Commissioner Mathebe said it was not coincidence that Dr Kaunda was celebrating his birthday a day after South Africans celebrated Freedom Day, which fell on April 27.

He said South Africans could not celebrate without invoking the names of Dr Kaunda and Zambia.

"It is this visionary African statesman that invited the African National Congress and other liberation movements to settle here in Zambia when it was not fashionable to do so. For Dr Kaunda, it was just the right thing to do. For that, he and Zambia paid a heavy price for the more than three decades of support, solidarity and compassion," he said.

High Commissioner Mathebe said Dr Kaunda was the driving force behind the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth because of apartheid.

He said this, once again, testified to the character and commitment of Dr Kaunda to peace and freedom.

"Let us not forget that our mother body, the African Union - in the past the OAU - will on May 25 this year be celebrating 50 years. You will agree with me that there is no better human being, no better African that embodies the values of our continental body. Dr Kaunda is counted among our founding fathers, those Pan Africanists, who in their wisdom and vision laid the foundation for unity and solidarity on the African continent," said High Commissioner Mathebe.

During the same event, Dr Kaunda was honoured by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) for the role he played in the liberation of various countries in the region including, South Africa.
In accepting the honour, Dr Kaunda described apartheid as an evil system.

Popcru was holding its fourth international police symposium to push African countries to recognise police and prison warders unions.

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Govt apopoints Maambo minerals body chief
By Kabanda Chulu
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE government has appointed mining expert Pius Maambo as head of the Minerals Develop-ment Commission that will independently verify production figures submitted by the mines to come up with appropriate taxes.

And mines minister Yamfwa Mukanga says the government has not yet decided on proposals to increase shareholding in mining companies to 35 per cent from the current 20 per cent.

In an interview in Lusaka, Mukanga said the Minerals Development Commission would be looking at reconciliation of production figures.

"The committee comprises officials from Bank of Zambia, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Mines, Chamber of Mines, UNZA, CBU; these are key stakeholders in the development of the country and we want to see how best we can reconcile figures by knowing how much copper is coming from the mines on daily, weekly and monthly basis," he said.

"This way it will be easier for us to tell whether the levels of taxation are enough or not rather than just talking so we need to know actual production figures from the mines. At the moment, we rely on figures from the mines and ZRA has been looking at those but what we are trying to do is for the committee to come up with independent data for the sake of transparency and accountability."

On speculation that the government wants to increase shareholding in the mines, which is held by ZCCM Investment Holdings, from the current levels of 10-20 per cent to 35 per cent, Mukanga said the government wanted to do things backed by legislation.

"We would love to increase to those levels but government through cabinet has to decide for now that is just talk and whenever we want to change things we shall do it with legislation," said Mukanga.

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Nkalamo urges govt to recognise informal sector efforts
By Prince Chibawah in Mansa
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE government has been urged to recognise informal sector efforts towards the country's economic development. Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Association secretary general Lameck Kashiwa Nkalamo said this during the association's development workshop in Mansa over the weekend.

He said many organisations in Zambia have been deregistered due to non-compliance of their constitutions and registration certificate regulations. Nkalamo cited lack of skills among management members and resources as major challenges faced by most organisations countrywide.

"Several organisations are operating without legal documentation which is making it hard for them to operate effectively. Apart from the issue of non registration of organisations, most of the organisations are also being managed by unskilled and inexperienced leadership leading to mismanagement of resources and failure to sustain membership," he said.

"… The Constitution promotes orderly running of the organisation. It gives specific functions of each executive member and groups in executing duties and responsibilities. Leadership is for guiding and directing, and the leaders are elected because authority and mandate to lead should come from the members. Roles and guidelines reduce conflicts, making leadership accountable and sustainable."

Nkalamo said the smooth running of an organisation requires every member to understand obligations of the institution they belong to.

"…If you are running an organisation which has no vision then it's high time you left it and do something else because the reason why we set objectives in any organisation is for them to clearly drive you to your vision," said Nkalamo.

Earlier, Mansa district AZIEA chairperson Ethel Mwanza said the objectives of the workshop were "to orient the membership in identifying gaps in their organisations, to know and understand their roles and responsibilities and to develop a timeline for making their organisations viable".

Mwanza called on the government to recognise and consider her organisation in the same way trade unions have been recognised.

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Take advantage of favourable prices, Chanje advises tobacco farmers
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

CHIEF Chanje of the Chewa people in Chipata has advised tobacco farmers to take advantage of this year's favourable prices clear their loans with out grower companies.

Last year's tobacco marketing season saw a significant decline in prices when a kilogramme of high grade tobacco sold for less than KR10.

In an interview yesterday, chief Chanje said he does not expect tobacco farmers in his area to default.

He said in the past seasons, he had been receiving complaints from out grower companies about the defaulting farmers.

"I would like to make a passionate appeal to the farmers to ensure that they pay back loans to the out-grower companies. Once we pay back loans then next time they are also going to give us loans. And to out-grower companies, please let's buy tobacco according to the grade of the commodity. It will be bad if farmers will start complaining about the way their tobacco will be bought and end up failing to pay loans," chief Chanje said.

He reminded out-grower companies to start paying farmers who had already sold their tobacco. Chief Chanje said some farmers who sold their tobacco about two weeks ago had not yet been paid.

"People who sold their tobacco should get their monies because there are a lot of things that need money. I would also like to appeal to farmers to take extra care of the food they have grown because this year's rainfall pattern was not very good so they should not sell everything," he said.

Chief Chanje said some companies were buying the crop at as high as KR15.7 per kilogramme, adding that he had not received any complaint from his people over this season's tobacco prices.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Nevers is dribbling himself
By Editor
Mon 29 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

Nevers Mumba says MMD feels betrayed by UPND for cannibalising the former ruling party's senior members. This was expected and Nevers was warned by many people who have dealt with Hakainde Hichilema and UPND about their dishonesty, lack of respect and loyalty to allies.

Today, Nevers is saying, "The behaviour of our colleagues will now force us to reconsider the working arrangement which was slowly being built on the basis of mutual benefit and trust. The MMD has now had its hand forced and we will actively review any further dealing with any possible associate who is unfaithful to the spirit of common interest."

Hakainde and UPND have never entered a pact or alliance in the spirit of common interest. They have always done so purely on the basis of their own narrow interests, their own expansion agenda.

If Nevers was an experienced politician, he wouldn't be surprised at what he is seeing today. In fact, there is something bigger than what he is seeing today in this alliance of his and Hakainde. Nevers should ask himself why people who have been very close to Rupiah Banda are the ones leaving MMD for UPND. One such person is William Banda, who left MMD to become a political advisor to Hakainde. William was very, very close to Rupiah. Now we have Canisius Banda. Canisius was brought by Rupiah into the MMD politics. In a word, Canisius is a Rupiah man. If Nevers thinks Rupiah is with him, he is cheating himself; Rupiah is with Hakainde. And everything possible will be done by Rupiah to strengthen Hakainde and not Nevers. Moreover, Rupiah has no serious commitment to MMD. It was not his political party; Rupiah was UNIP until Levy Mwanawasa gave him a job in his MMD government. Rupiah has no serious attachment to MMD, just like Nevers himself. They are both travellers when it comes to MMD. So, Rupiah doesn't care what happens to MMD. What matters to Rupiah is what happens to himself. And today, Rupiah sees Hakainde as a better defender of his interests than Nevers. Hakainde has a constituency that he can call his while Nevers has nothing. Nevers cannot win even a parliamentary election in any part of this country. And Rupiah knows this very well.

And we have given enough valuable advice to Nevers and his friends on their alliance with Hakainde and UPND. In a recent editorial comment headlined 'Building an alliance on illusions, opportunism', we stated the following: "Kenneth Chipungu, MMD chairperson for elections, says they need to work together with the UPND to win 2016 elections. This may be true. But there are other factors that need to be taken into account if the desired result is to be achieved.

It is said that there is strength in unity and that those who are ready to join hands can overcome the greatest challenges.

For political parties, just as for individuals, there has to be some reasonable degree of honesty for them to work together. Those who have worked with UPND in opposition alliances have no kind words for them. And MMD should take this into account in their dealings with UPND.
UPND is a political party that always strives to get more than their partners in any political alliance. This was the situation in UDA in 2006. It was also the situation in their pact with the Patriotic Front from 2009 to 2011.

For a political alliance or an election pact to work, it should strengthen all the parties involved in it, and not just one of them. It is also very important that the biggest alliance partner should not be weakened to strengthen the smaller partners. An alliance or election pact in which the strongest or biggest political party is weakened at the expense of the smaller ones will not win an election.

UPND is never faithful to its election partners. This is a political party that recruits members from its alliance or pact partners without shame or disguise. Recruiting members from your alliance or pact partners does not engender confidence in a political alliance or election pact. It simply succeeds in creating an intra-pact strife.

Experience has repeatedly shown that a political alliance or election pact beset by internal struggles and unbridled competition loses its militancy. Protracted intra-pact competition, scheming and manoeuvring results in partners' concentration on discords. And as a result the alliance or pact becomes distracted from political mobilisation and day-to-day work among the masses, and loses its influence.

UPND is a party that always over-values, overrates itself. They will always claim to be more popular, more influential than empirical evidence can prove. In their pact with the Patriotic Front, they claimed to be more popular than their pact partners, who had more seats in Parliament, and whose leader had defeated their leader by far in the previous two presidential elections. Their claim was that the political landscape had changed in their favour since the last elections. But they had no evidence to back up this claim. They wanted to field more candidates in by-elections than their partners. Whenever there was a by-election, problems started in their pact because they wanted to field candidates even in places where they stood no chance of winning.

The 2011 elections proved their assumptions, their claims of being more popular than their pact partners totally wrong. But these are shameless people. They simply carry on as if nothing has happened and continue to behave in the same way in their next engagement. We are seeing the UPND behaving the same way in their alliance with MMD. A smaller political party has assumed hegemony over a political party that is more than twice its size. The smaller political party is trying to swallow the bigger one. This may seem illogical. But that is how UPND behaves and conducts the politics of its alliances or pacts.

Opposition alliances can work if founded on sound principles, values and common aims. But UPND never anchors its political alliances and election pacts on a fair and just base. It is always on intrigues, manoeuvring, scheming and dribbling. But it is a well-known fact that no true alliance can be built on the shifting sands of evasions, illusions and opportunism.

Like in any marriage, to succeed in a political alliance or election pact, those involved have to accept and respect the legitimate interest of each other. Concessions are inherent in alliances and pacts. When you enter into an alliance or pact, you must be prepared to care about the legitimate claims of your partners and make the necessary compromise. UPND is not a political party that respects such an approach to alliance or pact politics. They always get into alliances or pacts to get more and give less, if not nothing.

But in the Patriotic Front, they met their match and were dealing with politicians who were more intelligent, wiser and more experienced than themselves. They couldn't get more than they deserved. And when they realised that they were dealing with people they could not fool, manipulate or disadvantage, they left the pact. But these are prostitutes who cannot live without a partner. They quickly started prostituting themselves with Rupiah. And in Rupiah, they think they have an ally who will deliver MMD to them. They see MMD as a political party beset by a lot of problems, a party that is disintegrating and from which they can pick the pieces, assemble and integrate them in their own party and build a much bigger party for themselves. For UPND, this is not an alliance to strengthen and preserve MMD and the collective. It is an alliance to finish off MMD from within and inherit its remains.

But again this is a wrong assumption for UPND. They never learn. When a political party dies, there is nothing to benefit from it politically. When a political party is dead, its political prospects die with it, and no one can benefit from it. UPND will only benefit something politically from their alliance with MMD if this alliance strengthens it. But so far, we are not seeing any signs of MMD being strengthened by this pact. All that we see are moves by UPND to weaken MMD, assume hegemony over it and take it over.

A political alliance or election pact founded on such practices will not win them the 2016 elections. A congregation of weakened political parties will not produce a strong political alliance or election pact. It will simply produce a seemingly bigger grouping but a weak collective. Adding two parties does not necessarily mean that two is bigger than one.

In saying all this, we are not in any way attempting to put a stop to this alliance. We are simply pointing out the challenges, the problems, the difficulties that need to be overcome if this alliance is to succeed in its objectives of winning the 2016 elections."

Clearly, there is no one betraying Nevers and MMD. It is Nevers and MMD who are betraying themselves by getting into arrangements or schemes they don't understand. It is their sheer political inexperience and immaturity that is betraying them. Rupiah is making them dribble themselves without them realising that they are being used.s

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