Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shamenda urges miners not to panic
By Misheck Wange in Kitwe and Ernest Chanda in Lusaka
Sun 26 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

LABOUR and social security minister Fackson Shamenda has appealed to miners and Zambians not to panic over reports that Konkola Copper Mines intends to lay off 2,000 miners. And the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says KCM's plans must be immediately halted by the government and all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has accused the mining giant of not being insincere to the government about its operations and the plans to retrench employees. Shamenda yesterday said the law was very clear on procedures to be followed before any company could lay off workers and those procedures had not been exhausted in the case of KCM. KCM informed the government about its intentions to retrench 2,000 workers.

"It is a requirement that employers first engage the unions on their intentions and thereafter engage the government. So far, all these processes had not been exhausted by KCM," he said.
Shamenda said to this end, no miner would be retrenched at KCM.

He said the government had stepped in and was engaging KCM management and the unions to look at the reasons behind the proposal to retrench miners.

Shamenda assured the miners and the nation that it would take care of their interests and that no Zambian would unnecessarily lose employment.

He stressed that issuing statements on a matter, which had not been exhaustively concluded, would not serve anyone.

Shamenda has since banned issuance of any statements on the intention by KCM to lay off miners saying mining was a serious industry requiring only his deputy ministers and himself to be informing the nation.

Labour matters, he said, were very delicate and Zambians needed to be careful in the manner in which they issued statements hinging on people's livelihood. MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said the negotiations with KCM should not be aimed at mitigation of the idea of retrenchment but at halting the entire process of retrenchment.

Chishimba said the plans by KCM had a huge negative impact on the country as over 20,000 people would be subjected to misery if mining giant was allowed to trim its workforce.

"Remember that these people have families and one miner looks up to about 10 people plus the extended family. KCM will set a bad precedent if it will be allowed to do that. We urge our members and every employee at KCM to remain calm and work extra hard to boost production so that we leave management with no excuse. On the other hand, we have engaged the government, KCM and all stakeholders so that we resolve this issue amicably," said Chishimba.

And SARW campaign officer for Zambia, Edward Lange, said the retrenchment plans by KCM were retrogressive and contrary to the ideals of the PF government that was working hard to create jobs.

Lange said KCM must rethink its decision and sit down with the government to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said the government must protect the people by not allowing KCM to retrench the workers.
In a letter dated May 23, 2013, addressed to MUZ, the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ), KCM vice-president human capital David Kaunda stated that the company would lay off 2,000 permanent jobs as it had been impacted by a number of economic and legacy issues that have made it imperative to review its operations for its continued viability.

And a member of the PF central committee in charge of labour Davies Mwila said the government would prefer that KCM leaves the mines rather than allowing them to retrench over 2,000 employees.

Mwila, who is also defence deputy minister, said the PF as a party in power had been watching closely the operations of KCM and its manoeuvres to deprive Zambians that had been working very hard over the years to stabilise the operations of the mining sector which was the backbone of the country's economy.

Mwila, who is also a former general treasurer of MUZ, said KCM had not been fair to the Zambian people in its operations despite the mining company enjoying good prices of copper and other metals at the international market.

"In fact, KCM's departure is long overdue. So, if they want to leave, let them go and God will give us other progressive investors ready to work with the government rather than allowing them to sack our people. Look, 20 years ago before KCM inherited those mines, the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) employed over 20,000 people when the price of copper was 2,000 dollars per tonne and this labour force was maintained," he said.

"When KCM took over, the number of permanent jobs drastically reduced and it's now below 10,000 despite the copper price at the London Metal Exchange being around 7,000 per tonne. Today they are telling us that they have to reduce the labour force further, no! We will not allow them to embarrass the PF government. Those reasons they have advanced to lay off are not genuine."
Mwila said that, in fact, the government was not happy with the operations of KCM looking at the dilapidated roads and public infrastructure in Chingola and Chililabombwe which are not fit for towns hosting of the world's largest mines .

Mwila said the owners of KCM had built a masterpiece university in India using the mineral resources extracted from Zambia but had failed to do the same to satisfy the custodians of the minerals who were the citizens of Zambia.

He said companies like Mopani Copper Mines, Lumwana, Kansanshi and many others were working hard to supplement government's efforts to create employment.

"Two years ago, KCM started outsourcing labour force as a way of indirectly sacking our people. They brought in U and M, they later cancelled the contract and over 700 people were left jobless. MMS is another company that was contracted to work underground, the company is no more as we speak and about 600 miners were retrenched. Another company, Black Smith, was contracted at the concentrator and over 400 people are on the streets and the list of contractors whose contracts have not been renewed at KCM is huge and these people (KCM) expect us to keep quiet? No we will not allow them," said Mwila.

On Wednesday, Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebiel urged Zambia to put in place measures that would enable it get better contracts to reap more benefits from the mining sector.

"… It is very important to find a way to use the mining sector for financing your own budget than you can do at the moment and we could give a helpful hand to have better contracts in the future for more income, revenues for your country to invest in your country," said Niebiel.

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'Think of alternative staple foods'
By Agness Changala, Darius Kapembwa and Vincent Chilikima
Sun 26 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

ZAMBIAN Vision Foundation president Chilufya Luchembe says the current debate over the removal of maize subsidies gives Zambians an opportunity to think of alternative staple foods. And North Western Province minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu has described the decision by the government to remove fuel and maize subsidies as a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, a Kitwe resident on Friday staged a lone protest against the anticipated increase in mealie-meal prices following the government's recent removal of fuel and maize subsidies.

Luchembe, in a statement, stated that instead of engaging in shadow boxing politics with the government over the removal of subsides, the general citizenry and all stakeholders should take the opportunity to think broadly and strategically about the national staple food and diversify into other crops.

He stated that there was nothing that forbids the country from adopting and promoting other food crops such as cassava, finger millet, rice and potatoes as national staple foods.

Luchembe stated that cassava was a drought-resistant crop that the nation could adopt alongside maize as a national staple food.

"Cassava and other crops such as finger millet, rice and potatoes demand relatively less production cost compared to maize," he stated.

Luchembe stated that countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania, among many others, had more than one major staple meal, which had resulted in their politics being more development-focused than consumption-oriented.

Luchembe urged the Ministry of Agriculture to open up their network of diversifying the production of variety crops using the comparative advantage of every province.

And Zambia Small-Scale Farmers Network stated that subsidies to millers and consumers did not benefit the ordinary Zambian as they were working in the interest of the former who were making huge profits out of them.

Network national coordinator Boyd Liambai asked the government to establish milling plants in all districts to curtail the monopoly of the few millers that were producing mealie-meal.
He stated that the move would necessitate a reduction in mealie-meal prices in the short term.
Liambai also appealed to the government to increase the input packs to the farmers at production level to increase yields.

Global Partnership for Africa Development Limited (GPAD) regional coordinator Edward Nsama stated that subsidies on fuel and maize had for a long time been a drain on the national resources, leaving the Treasury "completely empty" and forcing the government to run its affairs on borrowed money from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and many other international lending institutions.

Meanwhile, Makesa Kalifungwa, a Kitwe businessman, on Friday wore black clothes and stuck two big posters on his body with inscriptions reading: "poor people are saying NO! Do not increase mealie-meal and fuel" in protest against the removal of fuel and maize subsidies.
He dismissed the government's explanation that the removal of subsidies was aimed at channelling funds to social sectors that would enhance poverty reduction amongst the poor people in the long term.

"Their explanation does not hold water, it simply does not add up. This decision is not in the interest of the poor people, it's against the spirit of competitiveness because our neighbours like Botswana and Zimbabwe have cheaper fuel, so investors will prefer going there and it will also affect the cost of doing business which will go up," Kalifungwa said.

He said the government should come up with a formula of identifying rich companies and individuals that did not deserve subsidies instead of generalising the matter.

Kalifungwa said maize was seen as an expensive crop to continue subsidising because there was no value addition on the commodity and that it was always sold out to neighbouring countries in raw form.

"There should be value addition on maize so that the benefits of subsidising maize could be realised through profitable sales of other maize products," he said.

Kalifungwa attracted curious onlookers as he moved around streets in the main business district.
And speaking when two Finnish government ministers and their 40-member business delegation paid a courtesy call on him, Mubukwanu said the government's bold decision to remove fuel and maize subsidies had become a contentious issue despite its socio-economic benefits to the populace.
He explained that the government saw it prudent to save K300 million every month by removing subsidies on maize, adding that the money saved would be invested in infrastructure development for the benefit of many people rather than supporting consumption.

"People in rural areas, who are the majority of the citizens, live off their own produce but face the challenges of inadequate educational and health facilities. So government wants to re-channel resources to the most critical infrastructure required by the general public," said Mubukwanu.

And after touring Kansanshi mine, Finnish Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala said she was impressed with the Zambian government's policies because they were intended to benefit the local people.

She said Zambia being a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative had demonstrated compliance to the initiative's principles by introducing financial legislation that would be of benefit to the local people and government.

Hautala explained that one of the EITI principles encouraged member countries to prudently use natural resource wealth for sustainable economic growth that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

She added that the management of natural resource wealth for the benefit of a country's citizens is in the domain of sovereign governments to be exercised in the interests of their national development.

Hautala further said transparency by governments and companies in the extractive industry and the need to enhance public financial management and accountability is an important EITI principle, adding that financial transparency enhances the environment for domestic and foreign direct investments.

"EITI is committed to encouraging high standards of transparency and accountability in public life, government operations and in business. Payments' disclosure in member countries should involve all extractive industry companies operating in that country," she said.

Hautala also assured Mubukwanu that her government had a plan to support forestry in North Western and Muchinga provinces, adding that attention would go towards environmental issues and particularly renewable resources such as tree planting.

And Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb said his first impression of Zambia is positive.

He said it was phenomenal to see how Kansanshi mine was contributing to the development of the nation and the local community.

Stubb disclosed that his business delegation was represented by 25 Finnish companies whom he was optimistic would have "a good story to tell others back home in Finland about Zambia's economic environment and investment opportunities".

Meanwhile, Kansanshi Mining Plc public relations manager Godfrey Msiska said First Quantum Minerals had raised its profile from humble beginnings to a company of international reputation, going by the frequency of international visits to the mine.

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Eurobond is being used well - Chikwanda
By Henry Sinyangwe in Siavonga
Sun 26 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda says the government will not tell the public whether it intends to go back to borrow from the international market following what he terms the proper utilisation of the US$750 million Eurobond.

And Chikwanda (above) says there is need to end the annoyance of load-shedding and its inconveniences.

Speaking to journalists after familiarising himself with Zesco operations at Kariba North Bank Hydro Power Station on Friday, Chikwanda urged Zambians not to listen to irresponsible remarks over the government's utilisation of resources.

Asked if the government intended to go back to the international market considering his position that the money was being properly utilised, he said that was the preserve of the Ministry of Finance.

"Why are you zeroing in on the Eurobond money… why the fixation on Eurobond money? That is a preserve of the Ministry of Finance. We don't broadcast whether we are going to the market, and it does not work that way," Chikwanda said. "The Eurobond is being utilised very well. Don't go by irresponsible remarks. The Eurobond money is only used for growth-generating projects; its not being used to pay you in the media salaries, it's all for development projects, it's being very properly used. Zesco are using proceeds from the Euro bond to develop the energy sector. When they can't use it, for instance in the case of Zambia Railways, they have already earned a lot of interest from the US$120 million and banks now are competing to attract the Zambia Railways account. So by the time they have projects to finance, they would have already earned quite a lot of interest from the money. So all the money is being used properly and this money has to be paid back by you Zambians."

He said the government would ensure transparency in the utilisation of taxpayers money.
"There is no secrecy, no mafia-type activities; we have to account for the money," Chikwanda said.

And Chikwanda said there was need for the country to generate excess power to enable it earn income from power exports and end constant load-shedding.

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Scott urges Zambians to be proud of their past

By Mwala Kalaluka
Sun 26 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-President Dr Guy Scott says Zambians should celebrate the Golden Jubilee of African freedom without forgetting that barely 20 years had passed since the last shots were fired in anger in one of its neighbouring countries.

And tourism, arts and culture minister Sylvia Masebo says Africans should free themselves from foreign domination and oppression by embracing and developing their rich and diverse culture.

During festivities to mark Africa Freedom Day and the Golden Jubilee of the African Union at the Lusaka Showgrounds yesterday, Vice-President Scott urged Zambians to be proud of their past and continued liberation efforts in the southern African region.

"This is the climax of the week of celebrations for Africa Freedom Day," said Vice-President Scott who had earlier joined ordinary Zambians on stage to dance to a Luvale song titled 'Ng'oma Yami' performed by the Green Buffaloes Band. "Zambia has itself been nearly independent for 50 years."

But he said although Zambia's struggle for liberation from colonialism may have ended in 1964, it continues to contribute and suffer as a result of its neighbours experiencing fighting.
"It is not nearly 20 years since the last shots were shot in anger in the southern African region," Vice-President Scott said. "Let us be proud of our contribution and our continuing contribution to this cause."

He said even as the country was struggling to liberate itself from poverty, it was imperative that the forefathers that rendered personal sacrifices to liberate Africa were appreciated.
He urged Africans to clearly understand their past.

"So that we face our future with a great sense of determination," said Vice-President Scott. "Since I am from a minority ethnic group, there are some people from the minority group like my father Alexander Scott, Simon Zukas who also contributed."

And during a cultural night gala held on the eve of Africa Freedom Day at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Masebo wondered why the audience looked like people who were in mourning when the event was about celebrating Africa's birthday.

"I think that the Lusaka provincial minister Freedom Sikazwe was right. We don't seem to be in a celebratory mood. Surely this is a very important event where we are celebrating our 50th birthday," she said.

"We are gathered here so that through the arts we can celebrate and recall the revolutionary decision taken by 32 individuals."

Masebo said the fore-runner of the OAU, the African Union AU had come up with a Charter for African Renaissance and that part of it documens thematic areas that build the capacity of the continent's cultural sector.

She noted that apart from its objective of eliminating all forms of alienation, exclusion and cultural oppression, the Charter for African Renaissance seeks to promote freedom of expression and cultural democracy.

Masebo said cultural democracy could not be separated from social and political democracy and she said the government had completed the process of drafting the art, culture and heritage bill that would culminate in the formation of an art, culture and heritage commission.

Masebo said these efforts coupled with the soon-to-be established New Media and arts college in Chilanga district were not only the government's tangible commitment to the development of the cultural sector but also a vehicle for job creation.

"Without our cultural identity Africa will have nothing to contribute to human diversity," said Masebo.

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(MG SA) Land reform: Hopes die hard on battle fields
17 May 2013 00:00 - Manqoba Nxumalo

One of the democratic government's biggest challenges has been to undo the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913 with land reform.

George Mphela holds a photograph of his father, Amos, who is buried in the cemetery on Pylkop. Amos never believed his sons would inherit the land. (Felix Karlsson, M&G)

It started the process of depriving black South Africans of the right to own land in the country of their birth and became one of the cornerstones of apartheid. One of the democratic government’s biggest challenges has been to undo the Act with land reform. But as one black North West farmer has found, the process has also had some unintended consequences.

‘This is our farm. We bought it. Look at this title deed. Look carefully, whose name is there? That is my father’s name,” George Mphela, the oldest son of the late Amos, says passionately, as he points with his right index finger at the title deed he’s holding in his left hand.

The ragged, yellowing document, folded open, has clearly been used a lot. We are standing in the blazing sun next to the family graveyard, further “proof” that this land here in North West belongs to the Mphelas.

The tall, charismatic George, the current patriarch of the Mphelas, carefully folds the title deed and puts it away in his pocket. His is a family with a deep but troubled history with the land. Their battle over generations to stay on the land tells the heart-breaking tale of how black people have been dispossessed.

The Mphelas’ story goes back to 1918, five years after the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913, the law that was the first attempt by the white government to drive black people off the land.

Democracy was supposed to herald the return to the Mphelas of what was rightfully theirs, but that has still not happened. And to make matters worse, the Mphelas’ ongoing battle is taking place not only on one piece of land but on two farms, 17km apart.


In 1918, George’s grandfather, Klaas, bought the farm Haakdoornbult on the banks of the Crocodile River near the bushveld town of Thabazimbi in Limpopo. He built it up into a successful cattle farm, with ample land used to cultivate and provide his family with fruit and vegetables.

After Klaas’s death in 1932, his son Amos took over.

But it was never easy for a black man to own a farm in those days. Amos was subjected to considerable duress to sell his farm to the Botha brothers, the owners of a neighbouring farm. The government considered Amos’s farm a “black spot” in an area they believed was meant for the white community. After initially resisting the overtures to “give up your farm”, he was eventually forced to sell it in 1953 but, fortunately for him, he got 50% more than market value.

He never left the farm, but, he took the proceeds from the sale and bought a farm called Pylkop, 17km away in what is now North West. This incensed the government and the new owners of Haakdoornbult.

In 1962, the police raided Amos at night and bulldozed his house, razing his kgotla (meeting) tree, kraals and school. Using the Natives Land Act and the Native Trust and Land Act of 1936, the police forced Mphela off Haakdoornbult and dumped him and his family at Pylkop. Amos and his family had no food or shelter – Pylkop was not as developed as Haakdoornbult.


Amos lived on Pylkop for the remainder of his life – he died in 1996 a depressed and humiliated man. Not even the dawn of democracy two years earlier could rekindle his hopes of regaining his lost farm.

He lies in the graveyard at Pylkop. George speaks in a sombre tone when he tells the story of Amos who died an old man racked by a sense of injustice.

“His usual stoic personality had been eaten up by self-resentment. He always blamed himself that he would die having failed to bequeath to his sons the one thing he treasured the most – land.”

However, after his death, his children decided to seek justice for their late father and opened up restitution claims to regain Haakdoornbult, by then subdivided into four. After a protracted battle the Land Claims Court ordered in 2005 that all four subdivisions of the farm be returned to the Mphelas.

The then Haakdoornbult owners took the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal, asking whether that would not amount to overcompensation.

The court found that, despite having received a fair market price for Haakdoornbult when it was sold in 1953, the family was not fully and fairly compensated because, in the forced removal, they had lost much more than just the market value of their farm.

Pylkop was dragged into the picture as well. The court felt that the family would be overcompensated if they kept both Pylkop and Haakdoornbult. It therefore ordered the return of 86% of Haakdoornbult to the family.

But the family was not happy with the ruling and went to the Constitutional Court. In 2008 the Constitutional Court finally gave the Mphela family the rights to Haakdoornbult and Pylkop. It found that the state could not claim back Pylkop because it was not compensation to the Mphelas for losing Haakdoornbult – the family had bought it.


But things are never simple. Shortly after that ruling the Mphelas found themselves on the receiving end of a land claim for the 1940-hectare Pylkop. It is rich in minerals like platinum, chrome and iron. It has game too – kudu, wild pig and impala. The Baphalane Ba Ramokoka community, represented by Chief Kgosi Modise Ramokoka, had lodged a restitution claim over Pylkop.

The Baphalane community’s argument was that they had enjoyed the rights over Pylkop even before 1913. In the court papers, they claimed the Mphelas were subject to the authority of the Baphalane tribal authority and, from the day that they were dumped at Pylkop, they only enjoyed a right of occupation, not ownership.

This opened up yet another court battle between the Mphelas and the community, which strained the hitherto cordial relations between them and their tribal leaders.

George says the title deed confirms his assertions – that Amos was the original owner of Pylkop.

“It is absurd really,” he says. “You can’t file a restitution claim against us. Our forefathers are buried here. We have our lives built around this area.”

Starting off as a mere headman responsible for Pylkop, George has upgraded his status to that of a chief since his relationship with the inner council under Ramokoka went sour. George says the relationship deteriorated when he refused to give the chief the royalties he gets from selling plots on Pylkop.

“I don’t see why I must give them the money. This is our land, we have title over it. They can’t control our finances,“ says George.


But Kebu­seditswe Ramokoka, Ramokoka’s mother and also member of the inner council, has promised a fight. In 1998, her late husband, Chief Kgosi Kobete Ramokoka, lodged a large land restitution claim, and it included Pylkop.

“If they say they own this land, my question is: before they were dumped here in 1962, who was owning the area? That is my only question. Tell them to answer that one,” Kebuseditswe says.

She argues that the Mphelas are subject to the Baphalane tribal authority and they must pay royalties to the chief as the legitimate owner of the land they occupy.

The ownership of Haakdoornbult itself is fraught with internal squabbles. Some of the Mphelas don’t recognise George as a chief.

“As a family we have never had a chief. George is not a legitimate chief; he is a fake, an imposter,” says Steve Mphela.

The ripple effect of this squabble is that Haakdoornbult has been abandoned. “I think we will have to sell this farm, or we can farm,” George says dejectedly. “I don’t know, but selling it is a possibility.”

Manqoba Nxumalo is the Eugene Saldanha fellow in social justice journalism sponsored by CAF Southern Africa

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Thank you to KK and his comrades
By Editor
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

It is important to have a sense of gratitude. We should be grateful for all that has been given to us and for all that has been done for us.

Of course, our first and greatest thanks should go to the Creator of all things - God. But God works through people. This means that our second thanks should go to all those people God has chosen to be of service to us, those people who have accepted to be God's servants and serve us.

We should be grateful to the Creator for creating a man like Dr Kenneth Kaunda and placing him at his service in our homeland.

And there is need for us to follow the teachings of Michael Sata on this score. Michael has shown us how to be grateful, thankful to Dr Kaunda and his comrades for what they have done for us and for giving us a country, a respected homeland. And this teaching seems to have been well accepted given the response that Michael's words on thanking Dr Kaunda and his comrades received in that church, in that Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It is a demonstration of our people's sense of gratitude and their faith in those who have faith in them. The Zambian people seem to know how to honour and respect those who are loyal to them, those who sacrifice for them.

This sense of loyalty that Michael is demonstrating needs to be encouraged and inculcated in all our people, especially the young ones. They all need to be taught to respect the people who gave up everything to serve them. They need to be made aware that these people fought a noble battle and lived their lives in pursuit of a better life for all of us, for all who follow. The Zambia we are enjoying today was made possible by them and is the sweet fruit of their lives of struggle and sacrifice.
And our people also need to be made aware how selfless Dr Kaunda and his comrades were. These are very humble and honest human beings who, despite being in power for many years, own nothing. They could have shared all the land among themselves like their colleagues did in Kenya. Dr Kaunda is not a landowner and neither are Grey Zulu and others. Compare this with what their friends owned in Kenya. In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta was the biggest landowner and his family is today very rich because of this. This cannot be said of any of our liberators. Most of them today live in poverty and don't seem to count for anything. Michael is trying to reverse this.

Our country is too poor to give them great material wealth, but we can give them a sense of human dignity - a feeling of counting for something; a feeling of being near and necessary to their people.
This generation now reaching the end of a long and heroic struggle deserves special treatment.

A society that does not value its liberators, those who founded it and gave it everything they had, denies its roots and endangers its future.
Let's march to a new future based on a sound basis of respect for those who gave us their lives, who sacrificed everything to give us the Zambia we have today.

There are some people who, by pursuing their own convictions and without being self-conscious about it touch the lives of millions of others. Such have been the lives of Dr Kaunda and his comrades.
We are extremely fortunate as a nation to have had such an outstanding revolutionary as Dr Kaunda leading our independence struggle.

We share the pride of Michael in having Dr Kaunda, comrade Zulu and other leading liberators of our country with us. We should all thank the Lord for giving them a relatively long life. Their sacrifices are worthy of the greatest honour. We hope one day we will erect statues all over our homeland in their honour. We thank them for giving quality, integrity, principles and values to political life in our country. For all that, we are truly grateful. We thank them for the example they have shown us and we should assure them of our love and respect. What more could a person expect out of one life?

In praising these outstanding comrades, we are not in any way trying to turn them into saints. They are not saints. They are simple human beings who committed everything they had to the common good of our people and our homeland. They made many mistakes. They had many failures and weaknesses. But one thing they had in abundance was loyalty to their people and their country. These were honest men and women who made mistakes. They were not crooks like the political crooks we see today in Zambia. They were not thieves out to enrich themselves using their prestige and the high offices they occupied like some of the politicians we have today. This sets them far apart from the other leaders we have had. And it gives us great hope that Michael sees this in these old comrades and is trying to live up to their standards and values. And if Michael continues on this path, we have no doubt that he will accomplish much more and he will make all the people of Zambia what destiny intended them to be. With this attitude of Michael, we will end a period of ill fortune, and Zambia will discover herself again. The greatest ambition of Dr Kaunda and his comrades has been to wipe out poverty and ignorance, disease and inequality; to wipe away every tear from every eye. There is still poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality in our midst. And as long as there are tears and suffering, their work is not over, and Michael and all of us have a duty to continue it. And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to these dreams.


Govt rejects KCM's plan to sack 2,000 workers
By Misheck Wangwe and Darius Kapembwa in Kitwe
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) plans to lay off 2,000 permanent employees across all its operations.

But mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa says the government has rejected KCM's plans and has further challenged the company to surrender the mine to the state if they have failed to run it.

In a letter dated May 23, 2013 addressed to the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ), KCM vice-president for human capital David Kaunda stated that the company had been impacted by a number of economic and legacy issues that had made it imperative to review its operations for its continued viability.

"The challenges the company faces include; the downward trend of the price of copper at the London Metal Exchange from highs of US$9,000 per tonne to an average of US$7,000 with general market focus expectations being subdued prices for the foreseeable future," he stated.

Kaunda stated that the over 200 per cent increase in petroleum products in the last eight years, propelled with a sharp rise in the cost of tyres, chemicals and explosives was another factor.

Kaunda stated that the other challenge was the high cost of labour that had increased by over 220 per cent in the last eight years.

"The gradual increase in the company's electricity bill which had increased by over 60 per cent of total production cost since 2008, the impact on operations arising from the implementation of statutory instruments numbers 32, 33 and 78 and the charges implemented under the national budget as regards capital allowances and increase in mineral royalty tax by six percent is another challenge," he stated.

Kaunda stated that these issues had not only placed serious challenges on the company's cash flow, but had resulted in "a very unsustainable cost of production".

Kaunda stated that the high cost of production had placed KCM in the 98th percentile of the global cost curve index for mining companies.
"In this regard KCM regrets to advise that the board and management has decided to reduce 2,000 permanent jobs across its operations, in a bid to streamline and sustain operations. These job cuts will take effect from the date of this notice as provided under the laws of the country," the letter read in part.

Kaunda further stated that KCM appreciated the government's intention to ensure a wider spectrum of society benefit from the national treasury, but that the above measures needed to be undertaken for continued sustainability of the company.

And in a statement issued by its public relations manager Joy Sata, KCM regretted its decision to cut jobs, saying the current copper prices on the world market has been steadily declining - by 22 per cent in the last year - and macro-economic trends suggest it would remain depressed.

"KCM has invested very huge sums - now over 14.3 billion rebased Zambian Kwacha (US$2.7 billion) in seven years in a process to make the company's mines, smelter, processing plants and refinery among the most effective in the world. However, with the depression in the copper price, KCM needs to make business changes to remain economically viable. Regrettably, this means reducing staff numbers as many of the upgrade and expansion projects come to an end," Sata stated. "We do have other upgrade projects and expansions planned for the coming years, and expect to create jobs for those opportunities at the appropriate time."

She stated that KCM would make every effort "to assist redundant staff find new jobs, both on an individually and on a collective basis to increase economic opportunities in the Copperbelt region and around our facilities".

"The scale and nature of these efforts will vary according to the nature of individual circumstances and the opportunities available," stated Sata. "The management of KCM sincerely regret this action but considers it necessary. The company recognises its role in helping to create and sustain Zambian jobs, to train youths, workers and professionals for the jobs of tomorrow, and to foster the development of service industries and manufacturing across the country. However, the company has to be economically viable to do this. Revenue from KCM is an important contributor to the Zambian treasury and we need to create a situation where that revenue can be protected."

But at a press briefing in Kitwe yesterday, Musukwa said KCM's plans were extremely unacceptable and only meant to embarrass the PF government.

"Government has rejected the labour reduction by KCM which they are proposing to implement. This is unsustainable because the reasons being advanced are principally pure arrogance and we will not be blackmailed by mining houses like KCM. The workers on the Copperbelt, the miners have sacrificed a lot for a long time and they brought the PF into power. I want to state clearly that we will not accept and KCM has no moral obligation to reduce the workforce," he said.

Musukwa said the government had been closely monitoring KCM's maneuvers and in the last few months, a huge number of workers had lost employment at the company through outsourced operations.

"We have seen that KCM is now trying to test the ability of the PF government. We will defend the workers, we will defend the workforce because they put in this government to ensure that their interests are protected," he said.

Musukwa said going forward, the government would engage KCM as the reasons they had stated, prominent among them copper prices and production costs, electricity and petroleum and the statutory instruments the government signed, were unjustified.

"When the copper prices are at its best, these mining companies, KCM in particular don't say anything in terms of remunerating our people and when it suits them they want to sing another song. This, my government will not allow," said Musukwa.

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Cuba reaffirms bond with Africa in fight for decolonisation
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

The Cuban government has reaffirmed its bond with Africa in the fight for decolonisation.

Congratulating the African continent on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union, Cuban Ambassador to Zambia Caridad Pérez González said Africa had achieved a lot during this period.

"This is also an occasion to reaffirm the historical and unwavering bonds of solidarity and friendship that exist between the Cuban and African peoples cemented in the joint fight for decolonization, for independence and against apartheid," said Ambassador Gonzalez in a statement yesterday.

"The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba has the honour to express its most heart-felt congratulatory message to the Zambian and African peoples on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Organisation of African Unity/African Union, on 25 May 2013, which makes Africa Day this year a historical celebration. The Embassy takes accordingly the opportunity to wish a very successful African Union May Summit under the theme Pan-Africanism and Renaissance in the 21st century, which becomes a Special Summit because of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and the outstanding goals achieved during this period."

Cuba has been a friend of many African countries for over six decades.
The African Union celebrates its golden jubile today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda and other liberators will be honoured.

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People in rural areas should be thankful for removal of subsidies - Mabumba

By Godfrey Chikumbi in Kawambwa
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

PEOPLE in rural areas should be grateful to government for removing the fuel and maize subsidies because they never benefitted from them, says education deputy minister David Mabumba.

Speaking when he addressed teachers and parents at the newly opened Kanengo, Kawambwa Central Day and Kawambwa Boys Secondary Schools in Kawambwa, Mabumba said people in rural areas should thank the government for taking an initiative of removing subsidies from fuel and maize as it was aimed at bettering their lives.

Mabumba's tour follows President Michael Sata's directive for Cabinet and deputy ministers to explain to people about the removal of the subsidies.

He said very few people, especially those from towns who owned cars, were benefitting from the subsidies at the expense of the majority poor.

Mabumba explained that the government decided to remove the subsidies to broaden the revenue base in order to develop rural areas.
He said those who were opposed to the government's decision to remove the subsidies were selfish and never wanted the poor people in rural areas to see development.

Mabumba said rural areas needed more infrastructure development than urban areas because very little had been done in the previous regimes.

"Most of you our people in rural areas do not own cars and you don't benefit from the subsidies on fuel yet you have seen little or no development. Here in Kawambwa, what can the MMD point at which they did? Nothing. Our second Republican president (the late Dr. Frederick Chiluba) came from Mwense where I am MP but there is nothing to show for it. That's why we decided to remove these subsidies in order to broaden the revenue base for us to be able to construct roads, build schools and hospitals," he said.

Mabumba observed that the government was fully aware of the short-term negative effects that would be experienced as a result of the removal of the subsidies but that the long term benefits would be massive, hence the need to sacrifice

"The money we are going to raise from the removal of the subsidies would help us build universities where your children will have to go without fighting for a place at the University of Zambia," he noted.

Mabumba has since appealed to the rural communities not to allow politicians to mislead them over the removal of the subsidies.



Sata disagrees with one passport for Africa concept
By Kombe Chimpinde in Addis Ababa
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says he does not agree with the concept of Africa having one passport.

Speaking during an inter-generational dialogue for children at the UNECA headquarters, which included an interactive session of children and selected heads of state and government as a prelude to the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union, President Sata said Zambia would not subscribe to any policy implemented by AU, to which it is member.

President Sata was responding to a question by some youths, who wanted to know when the heads of state and government of AU would sit and re-look the issue of the member states having one passport.

"The African Union has no control over Zambia. Zambia is a member of the African Union but the chairman of African Union has no control over Zambia, they can't dictate to us. Zambia makes its own laws to suit the environment of the people of Zambia and two, Africa has the biggest crime rate and once you say you are going to have one passport, there will be stealing, " he said.

"When people have one passport, they come to Ethiopia steal, go to Nairobi, steal, go to Malawi steal."

President Sata said there was need for African states to note each country's composition of government.

"Zambia has its own government and within Africa itself, Kenya cannot go to Zambia without visas, Botswana to Zambia without visas and now you want to have one passport? You can say no but as far as we are concerned, we can't," he said.

And President Sata says children should be moulded in a manner that will make them self-reliant.

"If our parents brought us up the way we are bringing them (children) up today, we wouldn't be here. These children are not objects. When I was growing up, I used to fetch firewood. That is what made me to be disciplined because if I didn't want to go and fetch water when I was told, I wouldn't be here today," he said.

President Sata said most children were becoming lazy and spoilt and wanted all things to be done for them while they were just chewing gum.

President Sata, who repeatedly referred to Dr Kaunda's achievements, expressed gratitude to him as one of the founding fathers of the AU.

President Sata also announced that he had, together with first lady, Dr Christine Kaseba, mounted a serious campaign against early marriages.

He said early marriages were detrimental to the growth and wellbeing of girl children and their children.

"We are going to have more than three universities. This will give an opportunity to more women to be in university and there will be no domination of men," he said. "Number one task is to discourage 'children marriages'."

President Sata and Dr Kaunda are in Ethiopia to attend the 50th anniversary of the African Union today, and related meetings.

And Dr Kaunda yesterday said women were givers of life and, therefore, must be respected and acknowledged as important actors in the development process.

Dr Kaunda, who was a special guest at the dialogue meeting, reminded participants to maintain both regional and national unity.

He also highlighted the continued lack of respect for women by society even when they were key players in the development process.
"We must accept that mothers are extremely important people of society. A mother carries a child for nine months. That child is born through pain and us who saw her suffering don't look at her as an important being . You know us men can be hopeless at times. Women must be seen as important. I am glad my President (Sata) has appointed many women in positions of decision making," said Dr Kaunda as the audience applauded.

And Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the future belonged to the young generation and that the young people must take responsibility of their lives.

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(MG SA) Zimbabwe: The land issue revisited
03 May 2013 00:00 - Inyasha Chivara

Zim is reconsidering compensating white commercial farmers whose farms were seized during the chaotic 2000 land reform process, the M&G has learnt.

The issue of the over 4500 farms seized without compensation is turning out to be a pertinent matter in Zimbabwe's re-engagement efforts with Western countries after a 12-year political standoff.

Diplomatic sources with knowledge of two meetings held in Harare between Mugabe and two senior United States officials in recent week's stated that Mugabe had said Zimbabwe was willing to reopen talks about compensation but money promised by the British and Americans in 1979 was critical to any settlement.

In recent weeks, Harare has hosted two prominent American black civil-rights leaders, Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson. The sources said the men, who both held closed-door meetings with Mugabe, discussed land and other issues.

Young, a former American ambassador to the United Nations, was in the country two weeks ago as a special envoy of the US state department. During a discussion hosted by a local political and economic institute, the Sapes Trust, Young spoke of the need to "find ways of re-engaging with Zimbabwe".


Ibbo Mandaza, an academic and director of the Sapes Trust, hinted that there were ongoing negotiations about compensation for white farmers. Mandaza said the issue of compensation was "very much alive" and that they "are engaged in these efforts to see to it some of these issues are addressed and resolved".

Mandaza, who was one of the negotiators during the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations that helped to broker a land-reform compensation deal, said the US had pledged $750-million at the time and the British government $1-billion, to be paid in tranches over 10 years.

"The commitment was never put on paper but it's contained in the minutes of the negotiations. It was taken for granted that they will pay but this was never followed up after independence. Takavarairwa [we relaxed]," he said.

Young said his greatest concern was why Britain and the US government "reneged on funding the land issue. When nothing was done, Zimbabwe did what it could under the circumstances", but there was still an opportunity to "forgive each other".

The president of the Commercial Farmers' Union, Charles Taffs, also confirmed that negotiations were under way about compensation. He said his organisation was currently engaged in talks with the government and Western capitals over compensation issues for former farmers.

"We have been in touch with every­one and we want to see all the disputes resolved because [they] keep this conflict going on forever," Taffs said.

"If the British government and the American government pledged to pay compensations for land reforms, surely they should honour their obligations," he said.

"The country needs to move forward, we can't keep wasting time. The country has been held back for too long."

Taffs estimated that the compensation figure would now be about $6-billion, up from $1.75-billion taking into consideration interest accrued over the years.

Jesse Jackson meets Mugabe

This week Jackson held a two-hour meeting with Mugabe. After the meeting, Jackson spoke of the need to remove sanctions and emphasised that the land issue was a source of tension. "Some focus on land was not honoured and [this has] been a source of struggle," he said.

The American embassy in Harare did not respond to questions from the M&G and the Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached by the time of going to press.

Jameson Timba, the secretary for international relations of the Movement for Democratic Change, said, although Young's visit was "critical in Zimbabwe's re-engagement efforts" and compensation was a necessity, there was also a need to "address the current challenges that the country is facing.

"We need to deal with the issue of security of tenure, productivity and multiple farm ownership," Timba said.

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(STICKY) (HERALD ZW) Zimbabwe: What Future White Viewpoint?
Friday, 17 May 2013 23:16

COMMENT - There have been several articles that are of interest and are mentioned in this article.

(ZIMBABWELAND) Difficult lessons from Zimbabwe that some South Africans just don’t want to hear, prof. Ian Scoones.

(IOL) We can learn from Zim’s flourishing farms
April 30 2013 at 09:22am
By Max du Preez

And Max Du Preez' follow-up article:

(IOL, THE MERCURY) What we CAN learn from Zim
May 14 2013 at 09:51am
By Max du Preez

(HERALD ZW) Zimbabwe: What Future White Viewpoint?
Friday, 17 May 2013 23:16

When a professor cannot read the day

We are headed for very interesting times I tell you. The MDCs do not want elections before or by June 29, which is when the life of Parliament extinguishes itself. Yet they harp on laws which need realignment with the new constitution when it comes into force, and all this before we go for elections.

This is increasingly sounding like a precondition. Those laws would have to be passed by Parliament, is that not so? Which means they have to be done and processed by June 29, right? And when they are done, what else remains in the way of elections?

Nothing! I happen to know that the Justice Ministry has been working tirelessly on all those laws that stand affected by the draft constitution as and when it ripens, which means what is being projected as an arduous task will be a one-day wonder, all parties willing.

Unless of course the MDCs decide to frustrate the legislative process, which they can do by the way, what with their stay-away model politics. I am not excited about a positive scenario where the MDCs play ball in relation to the legislative agenda. I am interested in that knotty situation which they provoke when they don’t. What happens next? Well, the country falls back on Presidential Powers by which the President can make laws, albeit for six months! Interesting times ahead of us, I tell you.

---------------When power-hunger is no emergency ------

A few days ago I engaged a high-ranking MDC-T official on why they now stomach an unconstitutional interregnum falling due after June 29. He berated me. “Don’t mislead the nation,” he fumed. “The Government in place remains in Office until the next President is sworn in.” Incorrect if both of us understand Government to comprise the three arms. If MDCs wish is granted, it means Zimbabwe will continue under the current Executive - not Government - for the next three or four months. It will be a short, bastardised epoch of an Executive and Judiciary, without the third leg, Parliament, which cannot extend its own term. It shall be a fraught period, one dominated by flying writs, most of them constitutional. I don’t know the disposition of the Bench on this one. Most probably it will do like it has done with MDC defectors who approached it for immediate by-elections, namely rule in favour of elections without further ado. If so, you wind up with a lonely, discredited Executive. You don’t need any exceptional skills to know that the extension envisioned and granted under the current constitution which has been retained in the present draft is meant for emergencies, or for an unavoidable short overspill beyond the life of Parliament. And power-hunger is not an emergency, although its consequences may very well create one.

-------------Dictatorship by opposition consent-------

But all that is not the exciting part. The real exciting part is the fact that the two MDCs are gradually driving the country towards a situation where everything else is speed-able, indeed gets speeded up except harmonized elections. It boggles the mind how anyone who can fast-track a sensitive document like the constitution, can plausibly drag on anything else. If you can sire a God in one month, why can’t you sire a mere mortal in much less? Or in slightly more time of its fornication? Through dilation, the MDCs are slowly making the prospect of turning the President into a sole lawmaker real. The same President whose powers they wanted drastically pared down in the run-up to the draft! Much worse, they want him to run a Government without Parliament. The same MDCs whose “democratic” argument was “to give Parliament its real teeth”! The MDCs are systematically repudiating those values around which they wove their claim to opposition, indeed on which they pitched their vision of a new Zimbabwe. What is going on? Whose values have they been espousing all along, values so vulnerable, so susceptible to their power-craving whims? Do they realize the absurdity of their current position, where they are poking a President they have all along termed an autocrat, towards real dictatorship, seemingly by oppositional consent? And if they consent to that, why then do they fear their impending defeat? Because in their lore it will be a Mugabe dictatorship which they do not seem to mind, as long as it is with their participation as ministers! Dictatorship is always a problem, until it gives you a place in the inclusive sun! What a peculiar New Zimbabwe.

--------Parroting Government Work Programme----------

Has anyone seen the MDC-T document over which they are congregating in the name of working out a vision for a new Government which they dream as theirs after elections they dread? You go through the policy documents of the Inclusive Government, themselves wholly derived from the Zanu (PF) era, and you immediately see the parentage of the MDC-T documents for their policy conference. And by the way, all ministries in Government recently came under real pressure from the about-to-be-defunct Prime Minister’s Office to give reports on their policies and activities, all in the name of a review of that stillbirth called GWP, Government Work Programme. Politically conscious ministries did not cooperate. Those which did today realize that they provided fodder for the MDC-T manifesto, an unacknowledged, thankless pilfering effort. So much about change, making remarkably true the age-long saying that the more they change is the more they stay the same. You don’t make a new Zimbabwe out of a blueprint for legendary dysfunction, which is what the Inclusive Government was all about. Why is there this mental atrophy in the MDC-T, which cannot come up with a simple manifesto? We need to peep into the state of white thought which launched them in the first place. Let us do so now.

-------------When a professor cannot read the day -------

Just before the recent referendum, Professor Tony Hawkins was invited to proffer his views on the event. He had this to say: “All the signs are that it will be something of a non-event because the three political parties who drafted the constitution have all supported it and there is no active campaign against its acceptance. There are certainly civil society organisations who have opposed it, but there is no organized campaign and it seems quite clear that it will go through with very little opposition, with probably very apathetic electorate and a very low turnout of less than 20 percent, if not less, of the voters.” But the referendum result would prove the intellectual clairvoyant woefully wrong. Well over 3,3 million Zimbabweans voted, the highest figure ever recorded so far in all elections this country has held so far. And of these, about 3,2 million supported the draft constitution, giving the document an above 94 percent approval rate, something of a history given the almost instinctive No stance in past referenda. Again confounding the good professor, the Nay vote garnered just over 179 000 votes, quite a far cry from Hawkins’ “no organized campaign” against the draft. This hefty misreading of national disposition by our seers got me thinking, this inability to read a cloudless day.

------------Swimming with the current? --------

A few days before our Independence Celebrations we had a surprising piece from the Commercial Farmers Union indicating this all-white farming body, or more accurately put, the scarecrow of it, was giving up its opposition to land reforms and would not “continue swimming against the current”. Said its vice-president, one Peter Steyl, “We have finally realized that the land reform is irreversible.... There has been a change of heart. We have realized that we cannot carry on like this. The overall concept is to empower agricultural stakeholders and investors, past and present, in an inclusive way that brings sustainable benefit to all sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.” This ringing statement amounted to a major climb-down by a body that historically has been the bedrock of white power and white politics in this country from colonisation and beyond. Except it is coming a good 13 years late, well into our land reforms, well after the deluge, well after the current and all is settled. Again, another clear day misread!

---------When Bloch takes back his words --------

Two weeks back I read through a piece by Eric Bloch which attempted to review a recent publication on land reforms co-authored by Joseph Hanlon, Jeanette Manjengwa and Theresa Smart. Its title, Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land, is militant and assertive, loudly marking a departure from the Mugabe-takes-white-land-and-ruins-commercial-agriculture-and-once-viable-economy intellectual mantra.

Eric Bloch benevolently differs with these writers stressing: “Although the authors undoubtedly formed their opinions and expressed them in good faith and they are well-intentioned, those opinions and conclusions are regrettably at pronounced variance with the realities.” His view is that so bad is the land reform that “its benefits are grossly exceeded by its negative consequences”.

It is a conclusion which will find favour with white farmers who lost land in these wide ranging reforms, but hardly in the Africans who feel they recovered their heritage, directly or vicariously, and are eke-ing a living out of it. I notice even the MDC formations, themselves a political expression of anti-land reform politics, today concede that land reforms area irreversible. Indeed one outcome of their so-called policy brainstorming retreat shall be to recognize the salutary impact of land reforms, while priggishly hiding behind the miasma of “land audits”.

-----------When even a Devil cries “Amen” ------

Hardly a week or so ago, a white Afrikaner senior journalist, one Max du Preez wrote an extensive admission that South Africa has to cast aside its pride and admit that Zimbabwe’s land reforms are not just working, but a veritable way out of rural poverty. “Zimbabwe’s radical land redistribution has worked and agricultural production is on levels comparable to the time before the process started. What is more meaningful is that the production levels were achieved by 245 000 black farmers on the land previously worked by some 6000 white farmers.... Mugabe cronies own less than 10 percent of the land. Many of the small farmers (a few hectares) make a profit of about R90 000 a year while some of the more commercial-sized farms have turnovers of more than R1 million.” And he gets to amazing conclusions: “The first is that most new black farmers can actually farm successfully and commercially if given enough time and help. There are far too many South Africans who believe the opposite. The second is that an ambitious land redistribution programme can play a large role in alleviating poverty and providing employment and dignity to large numbers of marginalized people.”

------------Dominant ideas, dominant class -------

Du Preez is an Afrikaner, part of the Volk enjoying a stranglehold on land in South Africa. This group traces its roots as far back as 1652. They contest their African roots, making it clear they know no Europe, no Holland, no Dutch language. The Afrikaners are wedded to the land and it takes far more humility than Bloch ever needs, to admit that indeed the land can be merited by any other race other than Afrikaners, let alone to acknowledge that land can be productively used by anyone else outside the Afrikaner Volk. Compare this with our Eric Bloch, our Freeth, our Bennett, our Buckle, our Hawkins and many others of the same ilk. It got me wondering: Is white opinion valid anymore in this country? Is there room for it anymore? Can it ever dominate once more?
Most of us recall that Zimbabwe from the eighties right up to Two Thousand was a paradise of white thought, opinion and sensibility. Collectively, we remained a colonized mind, whatever had happened at midnight on 18th April, 1980. And it got one really cynical. Was 1980 a mere rearrangement of 1890 ideationally? In the media, themselves mirrors of the national mind, white thought dominated, especially in the area of business. The authorized knowers were white. The viewpoint that mattered was white, with black mouths, black thoughts, only featuring in public relations puffery. We were a marginal thought, that speck of thought on the fringes.

A bit of advice from Karl Marx: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, that is, the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”
For those not familiar with the works of Marx and Engels, this piece is culled from The German Ideology, a must read for social analysts.

---------Into the castle of their skin ------

With the white man in charge of land, industry and commerce, it was little wonder that our farcical dominance of politics would soon give way to ideas founded and espoused by those in charge of the means of material production. Our marginalization ideationally thus mirrored our true and correct place and position in the post-colonial society, if post-colonial it ever was, concretely. That position has since changed, somewhat. The white man has been toppled from the pedestal that gave him a stranglehold over land. His citadel for hegemony over industry and commerce is being shaken, thanks to Indigenisation. He is now an outsider, while the outsider in history is slowly inching towards the centre. This massive change is showing in terms of mental production.

As for people like Hawkins it is much worse. Their hellfire vision in the wake of land reforms is slowly being challenged by the good things happening in the countryside. The rules of the game have changed and their thinking, all of it founded on a challenged orthodoxy, on a vanishing status quo, is now incongruous, a clear misfit. Made worse by the fact that their attempts to venture into political commentary or denial, runs into another formidable wall. They seek to read the mind and behaviour of an African who resides in Chitungwiza, Dotito and Buhera, grounds where no white angel dares tread. Remember Simon Chimbetu: “KuChitungwiza uko kwatinogara havawanikwe”? Beyond lost place, the white commentator faces a stiffer problem of a different habitat from those who now make, move and shake Zimbabwe. It is a complete disorientation, one likely to see many whites whine, wail and whimper. Or much worse, withdraw into the castle of their skins.


“There are THREE very important topics when the MDC-T wins power:

1) Unemployment, Unemployment, Unemployment! Heeee!

2) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Heeee!

3) Economy, Economy, Economy! Heeee!

?) Corruption, Corruption, Corruption! Heeeeeeeee!

These are the THREE issues. Heeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Little, confused bird chirps: “So what is three? The issues, or the stress?” And the village cur barks back: “The issues, if your count is juicy!” Happy Conferencing Mister Prime Minister!

Icho once more again to the power of 3!

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(HERALD ZW) MDC-T: Vote Unbridled Imperialism
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 21:13

THE MDC-T has just come up with its policy position for Election 2013, and the party has emphatically validated its long-time political tag of being an attack dog for ousted white commercial farmers and for Western capital.

“We can’t build an economy that survives on peasants. Having everyone going into farming is not sustainable. We have to remove people from the farms to the industries than removing people from the industries to the farms because I don’t see that working,” ranted Morgan Tsvangirai at a political rally three days ago.

“In order to develop an economy, there is a need to have most people employed while a few who want to get into farming can go there,” he continued.

On Zanu-PF’s popular indigenisation and economic empowerment policies that have so far resulted in the establishment of 59 community share ownership schemes brokered between multinational corporations and the communities in which they are exploiting natural resources Morgan Tsvangirai had this to say:

“We can’t talk of indigenisation without empowerment, indigenisation without empowering the broad majority is selfish and only meant for a few. I want to assure you we will review that indigenisation law so that we create an empowerment law for the majority of the people of Zimbabwe.”

The on record understanding of the concept of majority empowerment by Morgan Tsvangirai is an economic environment that absorbs most if not all Zimbabweans into an urban employment sector owned by “proven investors,” by which he refers to colonially privileged Western corporations dominating Africa’s extraction and processing industrial sector.

Describing the objective of US funding of international aid programs in a paper titled “Exercising US Leadership: Democracy Funding in a Time of Global Change,” Congressional Affairs Manager Sarah Trister recently wrote:

“The US Congress should fully fund the Administration’s request for US$56 billion to support international affairs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, a two percent increase over FY 2012. This budget is one of the primary tools the United States uses to maintain leadership abroad, pursue its international priorities and promote American values.”

It is people like Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that are targeted for this kind of funding — puppet leaders committed to compliance with this unmitigated and unbridled form of imperialism. One would have thought the blatant blundering of the MDC-T over the popular land reform program in 2000, coupled with the party’s acquired experience in governance through a five year coalition with Zanu-PF are enough factors to influence some level of maturity and policy depth on the party of Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues. But it looks like some people cannot learn.

It turns out that the only political script the MDC-T is alive to is the one provided by its Western funders, and the party is fool hardy fixed on this conviction to drag an entire Zimbabwean population into puppet subjugation to its Western financial masters; even trying to do so through an election that every political analyst worthy the name says the MDC-T is bound to lose.

Instead of mobilising people around their needs, the MDC is unambiguously and unequivocally trying to mobilise Zimbabweans around the needs of ousted white commercial farmers and Western investors. Selling white supremacy for votes sounds quite misplaced for a revolutionised society like Zimbabwe.

In explaining who is targeted by US imperialistic funding Sarah Trister wrote:

“As Americans display growing fatigue over costly military interventions abroad, the Obama Administration has appropriately placed greater emphasis on diplomacy and development to advance US foreign policy and national security objectives. In order to do so effectively, a robust foreign assistance budget is needed, along with carefully targeted use of available funds.”

Morgan Tsvangirai seeks to align Zimbabwe in the US grand plan of global domination (sanitised here as global leadership), and he has the unadulterated audacity to try his luck by doing so via a national election – hoping to win it in the process. The man has a knack for bravery, but this latest behaviour borders on indecent stupidity.

Tendai Biti has vowed to fight the return of the Zimbabwean dollar and the man has no plan whatsoever to work towards the restoration of a local currency. While it is given that a return of the Zimbabwe dollar must be economically strategic in its timing, it is quite another thing to adopt a policy that “unambiguously and unequivocally” fights the return of the Zimbabwe dollar. This seems to be the position of Biti, as shown by his unguided overzealousness and his notoriously loud mouth.

The current ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo has publicly rebuked Biti over his reckless and ill-measured utterances that are fast becoming habitual.

Biti also says his party seeks to “democratise” the popular land reform program by “slashing farm sizes and ending multiple farm ownership.” Meanwhile his leader Morgan Tsvangirai is vowing to return the “peasants” on the farms to the cities where he wants them to be employed by white investors from the West.

The man has this inexplicable moral supremacy to publicly proclaim that in fact the resettled Zimbabwean farmers prefer employment under white investors to farming.
Africans belong to the jobs by definition. This is the colonial legacy Tsvangirai cannot grow out of.

Without addressing the how part of the policy, Biti says an MDC government would provide free education for the first 12 years of every Zimbabwean’s educational life – and that presumably includes those that prefer to have an education in private schools and colleges. The MDC-T’s approach to policy is so uncommitted and ill-thought that even dreaming works perfectly.

And the party hopes to win an election by announcing job cuts for civil servants and members of the Defence Forces in the unlikely event it wins this year’s election. Biti says his party will “rationalise” the size of the army, and downsize the civil service. The rationale for the latter is not provided, but we are told that the chance of Zimbabwe ever going to war are “nil”; so the army is a burdensome luxury that needs to be thoroughly trimmed and “confined to the barracks.”

Now Zanu-PF will simply need to scare the hell out of the soldiers and the civil servants, telling them in no uncertain terms that they risk being “rationalised” out of employment should the MDC-T ever come to power. It would be interesting to see which civil servant or soldier would prefer voting their job away.

There is a Dutch historian by the name Johan Huizinga who once wrote, “We live in a world possessed. And we know it.” This was just before Europe plunged into what history has termed World War II.

Just like the Nazis claimed to promote deep love of country and people, the MDC-T makes impressively passionate claims about democracy and people’s liberties as its core values.

Just like the patriotism of the Nazis turned demonic and destructive, the MDC-T’s path of democracy and personal liberties is becoming a haunting demon seeking to annihilate the popular needs of Zimbabweans, and quite dangerously too.

Just as Nazism accomplished the very opposite of what it sought, the MDC-T is increasingly facing a destiny of endless shame rather than national honour. It is very hard to marry a party of politicians who are corrupt by definition to any concept of democracy or personal liberty.

Just how the MDC-T continues to miss the global mood swing around Zimbabwe’s land reform program boggles the mind.

There is a serious problem that always comes with donor-funded thinking, and that is the major crisis at the MDC-T, apart from the legendary mediocrity.

Fighting for “liberty and equality,” French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre said the terror him and his colleagues were carrying out was “nothing other than prompt, severe, inflexible justice;” that is before Robespierre himself was made a victim of his own idea of justice.

It is important that our policy makers in politics abandon the path of vindictiveness when pursuing policy goals. We cannot assume an absolute love only for our people.

Absolute love for one’s own people easily turns into racism, and this is what gave this world slavery, colonialism and apartheid.

Love for equality is desirable and honourable, but when we turn it into the most supreme thing, we risk breeding violence and hatred against those we perceive as privileged. We have to take great care on how we wish to deal with the rough edges and the undesirables of the otherwise noble and fairly successful land reform program; otherwise we face a real prospect of becoming hate-driven in our own conduct. Such signs are clear in the utterances of MDC-T leadership.

For all its puppetry and hopeless insidiousness the MDC-T is still a Zimbabwean political party and it is important for every patriotic Zimbabwean to consider Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues as simply mistaken, not evil.

Those Zimbabweans who consider Zanu-PF policies unsound must of necessity consider the party perhaps mistaken, not evil. We as Zimbabweans must come to a time when after an election we accept whoever is elected as our president, not this “Tsvangirai is my president” hysteria we often hear in between elections.

Tsvangirai is concerned that in the unlikely event that he wins this or any other election to come, the Zimbabwean army may fail to endorse him as the Commander -in-Chief. From the look of things it appears the army will not allow any situation where it will report to any person of Morgan Tsvangirai’s insidious political inclinations.

Perhaps Morgan Tsvangirai should learn to abide by the letter and spirit of the constitution his party co-sponsored with Zanu-PF for endorsement by the people of Zimbabwe recently.

In its preamble the new constitution that was assented to by President Mugabe yesterday reads:

“Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/ Umvukela and national liberation struggles, Honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country.”

Just how does the army exalt and extol the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for Zimbabweans to have self-determination while saluting a politician whose thinking is funded and directed by the very people at whose brutal hands these departed ones lost their dear lives?

How does the army honour our for-bearers and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country by saluting a Tsvangirai who thinks it is a brilliant idea to send land beneficiaries back to work for white capitalists in the cities? Morgan Tsvangirai’s handlers must hand him the book “Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land,” by Professor Scoones of Sussex University – hoping the man can read.

The army’s position is not about Tsvangirai the person, but more about the core principles upon which our nation is founded. The Americans are founded on their idea of the search for freedom and liberty, as well as the notorious doctrine of American exceptionalism. We have our own foundations based on our liberation struggle legacy, and on that we stand founded.

No single politician can succeed in trivialising or overriding these co-values, Tsvangirai included. The matter of the liberation legacy and its co-values is not an election matter. It is the mother of many children, elections included. As such it cannot be tempered with or modified by the diktats of imperialism, be these in the name of American global leadership or that of the overly glorified nobilities of Western democracy.

It is important that the MDC-T reads the co-values of our foundations when the leadership goes through such pro-people policies like the land reform program and the indigenisation of the Zimbabwean economy.

These are no policies to rubbish or ridicule – and certainly no policies to even dream of reversing. The issue of who controls our land and our economy cannot be put to vote. It is defined by the aspiration of those who lost their lives so that a country by the name Zimbabwe can be on the face of this planet.

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

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia

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(HERALD ZW) Agriculture policy draft out
Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
Agriculture Reporter

The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development has come up with a draft agriculture policy to improve the overall competitiveness of the sector, Minister Joseph Made has said.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Director, Livestock and Veterinary Services, Dr Unesu Obatolu Ushewokunze, at the Combined Livestock Symposium held recently, Minister Made said the policy document was focussed on raw material availability, productivity, animal health, marketing efficiency and trade facilitation among other things.

He said the draft policy promotes mutually beneficial contract farming arrangements to help farmers grow key food and feed crops such as maize and soyabeans.
“My ministry strives to continue improving the management of raw material imports by industry players to ensure efficient and cost-effective raw material acquisition,” he said. He added that the policy also supports improvement in training, research and extension through the Department of Research and Specialist Services, Pig Industry Board, agricultural colleges and universities among others.

Officers from the ministry are expected to collaborate with various private sector institutions to equip livestock farmers with knowledge and skills.
Minister Made said the draft policy proposes an active role by the ministry in ensuring surveillance, prevention and response to disease outbreaks.

This is aimed at strengthening the Veterinary Services Department in supporting production, productivity competitiveness and sustainable livestock production. Through its departments and parastatal, the ministry is aiming at improving efficiency of the agricultural market system.

“We would like to ensure an efficient and fairness under a liberalised marketing system and as part of the marketing policy, the ministry is committed to value addition of all primary produce to boost the impact of agriculture on the economy,” he said.

The draft policy also emphasises on improving trade in agricultural products through maintenance of liberal export and foreign exchange polices, simplified agricultural trade regulations and negotiation of favourable bilateral agricultural trade agreements.

Terms and Conditions


(HERALD ZW) ANC, US congratulate Zim on constitution
Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress

(ANC) and the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe have congratulated President Mugabe and the generality of Zimbabweans following the coming into law of a new Constitution for the country on Wednesday.

Zimbabweans from across the political divide also saluted the inclusive Government for successfully sealing the constitution deal without external meddling.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement the commitment shown by Zimbabweans in writing the new constitution showed it was possible for a country to find solutions to their challenges without external interference.

“The free, fair and peaceful nature of the referendum and the evidence of a mature democracy in Zimbabwe are a clear pointer to the free and fair elections we believe Zimbabwe shall hold in the near future.

“The recent events have demonstrated the commitment of all political parties and the people of Zimbabwe to ensure the realisation of this vision of free and fair elections that are not only in their interest but in the interest of the continent as a whole,” Mthembu said.

“Africa is indeed rising, marking an end to decades of underdevelopment, poverty and subjugation.

“The tenacity and resilience shown by the people and Government of Zimbabwe must serve as an inspiration to many of us on how a country`s people, when united, can seek and find their own solutions to challenges facing them.”

The constitution became the supreme law after President Mugabe appended his signature to the document at a ceremony held at State House on Wednesday.

“The signing of the constitution is a culmination of a process that started when the people committed themselves and participated in a free and fair referendum earlier this year.

“Parliament then passed the constitution unanimously, leading the way to the signing into law by the President today (Wednesday). The new constitution marks a significant milestone in the successful implementation of the Global Political Agreement and the democratic life of Zimbabwe.

“It is further a signal of a new beginning for that country premised on mutual co-operation and the need for further progress,” he said.
Cde Mthembu commended the facilitation role played by Sadc in ensuring that Zimbabwe had a new Constitution.

Zimbabweans welcomed the signing into law of the new constitution saying it showed that Zimbabwe was capable of conducting its internal activities without external influence.
Harare residents who spoke to The Herald yesterday commended the unity of purpose exhibited by Zimbabweans and parties in the inclusive Government for coming up with the constitution despite the sharp differences that existed when the process began.

Ms Wadzanai Dimingo, a resident of Tafara high-density suburb in Harare, said the new Constitution was a sign of political maturity by Zimbabweans.

“This is an example of the vibrant democracy and maturity in our country and I just hope that the same maturity will be exhibited during the forthcoming elections that we want held as soon as possible to ensure the country moves forward from the challenges we have faced in the past decade,” she said.

Another Harare resident, Lovemore Tembo, said the completion of the constitution-making exercise was a slap in the face of the country’s detractors and prophets of doom.

“There are so many people out there who have wished for the situation in the country to degenerate into chaos but the peaceful completion of this exercise shows that we can achieve a lot as a country if we have unity of purpose.

“We also do not want foreign meddling.

“We hope all other issues affecting the country at the moment can be resolved using the same commitment that was shown during the constitution making process,” he said.

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Targeted and selective corruption prosecutions
By Editor
Fri 24 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

Even if they are caught red handed, corrupt elements will not be without arguments to defend themselves.

Even if they are caught red handed, corrupt elements will still not plead guilty to corruption, or bring back what they have stolen and seek forgiveness. They will always find arguments to defend themselves and what they have done. If they cannot reasonably deny that they have stolen, they will resort to arguments like "selective prosecution", "targeted prosecution". But still, they will not admit or acknowledge that they are corrupt or that they stole.

The arguments we are hearing today about some people being targeted for corruption prosecution, being selectively prosecuted for corruption, are not new. These are the same arguments we used to hear when Levy Mwanawasa's government was prosecuting Frederick Chiluba and his tandem of thieves. Chiluba claimed to be a victim of malice and political persecution.

And Chiluba's supporters used to claim that the fight against corruption under which their boss and his associates were being prosecuted was selective and targeted. Chiluba was not a member of the opposition but a trustee of the MMD itself. The party that was in power was his own party. And the man who was president then was his own handpicked candidate. But still, Chiluba cried political persecution. It didn't matter to him and his supporters that the government that was prosecuting him was an MMD one and not one formed out of the opposition.

There was no emphasis being placed on their innocence. Actually, being innocent was not an argument they advanced to justify their claims of persecution. Almost all those who were prosecuted alongside Chiluba were all convicted by the magistrates' courts. And their appeals to the Supreme Court also failed. Some of these cases are still on appeal in the Supreme Court. But still more, they never admitted any wrongdoing and still blame everything on political persecution. Even elements like Richard Sakala, Chiluba's press aide, who was convicted and jailed for three years for corruption, still cries foul and harbours permanent hatred for those who prosecuted him. Today Sakala runs a newspaper whose only discernible preoccupation is to defend the corrupt, defame those who sent him to jail. Bitterness and failure to accept responsibility and the temerity of his actions is what seems to propel him. They are not accepting blame or responsibility for the wrong things they did. They blame everything on others and want to paint those who sent them to jail black.

This is the way corrupt elements conduct themselves and their affairs. They never take responsibility for their own wrongs. And this is why even today we still have arguments of targeted or selective corruption prosecution.

If people have committed crimes, what is it that should be done to them? Should they be allowed to go scot-free because prosecuting them will be selective or targeted prosecutions? It seems all that one needs to do is steal and steal while in government and get into the opposition later and when pursued, cover oneself with a blanket of opposition. And once one is in the opposition, whatever crimes they committed, if pursued, they will cry foul and claim political victimisation, persecution. If this is allowed to stand, then no one will be seen to be fairly prosecuted for corruption. And it doesn't matter whether at the end of the day they are found guilty. Sakala was found guilty and failed to successfully appeal but he still cries foul and political victimisation. Sakala went to jail for corruption but still wants to be treated as if he did nothing wrong.

This is what we see today with Rupiah Banda's team. All of them want to claim political victimisation; they are crying about targeted prosecutions, selective prosecutions.

But they have never come out to show who else is corrupt and is not being prosecuted. If they know someone else who is corrupt or whom they were stealing with who is not being prosecuted, they have a duty to ensure that those people are also arrested and prosecuted. Let them report those corrupt individuals to the police, Anti Corruption Commission or the Drug Enforcement Commission and be state witnesses in their prosecution. If this is not possible, and those involved are ministers or members of parliament, they can complain to the Chief Justice and ask for a tribunal to be set up to probe them under the parliamentary and ministerial code of conduct. But of course there has to be reasonable or prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. It shouldn't be just a mere and unsubstantiated allegation. To get someone convicted for corruption requires solid evidence of wrongdoing - mere suspicion of wrongdoing won't do.

And those claiming to be politically targeted for corruption prosecution shouldn't have much to worry about if there is no evidence of wrongdoing against them. It will be impossible to get them convicted without good evidence connecting them to corruption. If they are taken to court without credible evidence, the case of those prosecuting them will not go beyond the initial stage because they will be found with no case to answer. Judgment has to always be based on evidence. These are criminal cases and the burden of proof is much higher for one to be convicted. It has to be beyond any reasonable doubt that they committed the crime for which they are being prosecuted. If not, they will be found with no case to answer and will be set free.

But this doesn't seem to be what is occupying the minds of those being prosecuted for corruption and their supporters. The impression they are creating is one of being scared of court. They are not comfortable with being prosecuted. But we all know that if one truly believes that they are innocent, the court process gives them an opportunity to clear their names, to have their day in court and shame their prosecutors. So far, this doesn't seem to be the case. There is no case that has been dismissed for lack of merit.



REA plans to decentralise its operations countrywide
By Gift Chanda in Katete
Fri 24 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE Rural Electrification Authority plans to decentralise its operations countrywide in bid to efficiently improve access to electricity, says managing director Geoffrey Musonda.

And the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) says works on the Matunga electrification project in Katete, which would see over 3,000 households benefit once the four schools and two health centres in the area are connected to the national grid, are on schedule.

Speaking after touring the project, Musonda disclosed that the authority planned to open offices in all the provincial centres by next year.

He said the authority was targeting opennig at least three offices before the end of this year, of which one of them would be opened in Eastern Province, because of the many projects currently under way.
Musonda explained that having people at district level employed by the REA on a full-time basis would enhance the efficiency of the authority in monitoring construction works.

On the Matunga electrification project construction works, Musonda expressed happiness on what had been done so far, saying works should be completed in time by June.

The Matunga project involves construction of a 26.4-kilometre 33 kilovolts overhead power line from an existing line from Azele substation in a bid to electrify Walumbwe, Matunga, Gaveni, and Nyembe basic schools as well as Gaveni and Nyembe rural health centres.

"From what we have assessed, the project in terms of implementation is on schedule and we are very hopeful that the contractor will be able to complete the project on time. The rainy season had a toll on the rate of implementation but we are satisfied with the way they have moved," said Musonda. "We are also satisfied with the quality of the material being used. Some of the material has been purchased locally and the workmanship looks good so far."

The Matunga project, which is being undertaken at a total cost of KR9 million, is among the 21 grid extension projects REA signed off in November last year.

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