April 2009


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Jacob Zuma swept into power as South Africa’s fourth post-apartheid president last night, but was facing a formidable challenge of uniting his country behind him.With around 12.2m votes counted, the African National Congress (ANC) was narrowly ahead of the two-thirds majority it needs for the parliamentary freedom to rule unrestrained, and a celebratory rally thronged the streets of Johannesburg last night.

 

“The people have spoken with their vote,” Zuma told the crowds, switching from English to Zulu to Sotho. “We are not reading newspapers. We are talking to the people. We are not yet celebrating victory. The counting is still going on. The real celebration is on its way.”

 

But then a bottle of champagne, and a giant replica bottle, were produced on stage and a blizzard of confetti unleashed, as the man treated the crowd to another rendition of his signature tune, “Umshini Wam”, meaning “Bring me my machine gun”.

 

Yet the impression of Zuma as a polarizing figure has been reinforced by an unexpectedly strong showing by the Democratic Alliance (DA), whose voters are largely white or of mixed race. Zuma, 67, who will be South Africa’s first Zulu president, scored heavily in the tribe’s traditional heartland of KwaZulu-Natal. But the ANC looked likely to lose control of the Western Cape to the DA.

 

“I think a lot of people have voted for the ANC reluctantly,” Steven Friedman, a political academic, said. “Zuma will take office having to deal with a skeptical electorate and will be judged on how far he goes to allay skepticism and show that politicians care more about the people than looking after themselves.”

 

The ANC had accumulated 8.2m votes by last night compared with 1.9m for the DA (16%), and 939,000 (7.7%) for the ANC splinter group the Congress of the People (Cope). It was a bad day for one of the veterans of South African politics, 80-year-old Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, whose Inkatha Freedom party was marooned on 4%.

 

The ANC, which has governed South Africa since the first post-apartheid election in 1994, was down from its 69.69% share five years ago to 66.4%.

 

Zuma will be sworn in as president in Pretoria on 9 May and can expect close scrutiny of his inauguration speech. Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP turned critic of the party, said: “What he will do is make overtures to minority groups who didn’t vote for the ANC.”

 

Experts predict that Zuma will tread carefully in his first 100 days, seeking to reassure the financial markets and show continuity in policy.

 

Among his first tasks will be to select a cabinet. There is speculation that he will reward those who helped him win the presidency, including communists and trade unionists. Feinstein said: “He’ll use his cabinet announcement to send a message. I think it’s going to be a mixed cabinet, rewarding some close confidants with jobs and including some competent people as well.”

 

Feinstein said in his opinion it was a “worrying sign” that those in contention include Zuma allies Blade Nzimande, the general secretary of the Communist party, and General Siphiwe Nyanda, former chief of the national defense force.

 

Other contenders for cabinet posts include Zweli Mkhize, the ANC chairman in Zuma’s home province, Lindiwe Sisulu, touted as a possible foreign minister, and Jeremy Cronin, a member of the Communist party. There is speculation about whether Trevor Manuel will remain in his post as finance minister, providing stability in the face of global recession and a conservative voice in the cabinet.

 

Zuma has attempted to soothe investor concerns by promising that he will not veer to the left. But fears persist that, with a two-thirds majority, he might be tempted to amend the constitution, despite his assurances to the contrary.

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

The Zambian Chronicle has learned that the first phase of investigations into the Zambian Airways saga has been completed and the docket has been forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

 

Inspector General of Police, Francis Kabonde, revealed that the probe looked into the alleged failure by Zambian Airways to remit passenger service charges to government as agents of the National Airports Corporation.

 

za1He also disclosed that a warn and caution statement has been taken from all directors of Zambian Airways.

 

They include the two Nchito brothers and Post Newspapers Editor, Fred Mmembe.

 

He said investigations into other areas of operations by the airline are continuing.

 

The investigations are being carried out by the police, the Anti Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission.

 

And Mr. Kabonde has reiterated that the investigations are not targeting any individual and appealed to the public to be patient. He also said the investigations have nothing to do with politics.

 

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya and ally of the president quit on Tuesday over a graft scandal, a sign that Rupiah Banda’s government is stepping up its fight against corruption in Africa’s biggest copper producer.

 

The tribunal appointed to probe her found that the minister breached the constitution by not complying with the legal advice of the Attorney General when she awarded a tender to RP Capital Partners Limited to valuate the assets of the state-run Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel). 

 

Former Minister of Communications and Transport, Dora Siliya

Former Minister of Communications and Transport, Dora Siliya

The tribunal that was investigating three allegations of abuse of office against Siliya, however, found that the minister did not breach the ministerial and parliamentary code of conduct in relation to the other allegations brought by the petitioners.

 

Siliya is alleged to have awarded a contract to RP Capital Partners of Cayman Is land to value Zamtel at a contract sum of US$ 2 million with total disregard of advice from the Attorney General’s office.

 

In the second allegation, Siliya is said to have overruled the Zambia National Tenders Board and cancelled a duly awarded contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of a Zambia Air Traffic management Surveillance Radar System at Lusaka and Livingstone international airports.

 

And in the last allegation, Siliya was alleged to have claimed K12.5 million refund from Petauke District Council Committee in Eastern province where she is a member of parliament, for two hand pumps for two boreholes in one of the wards called Nyika, when in fact the hand pumps were procured at K5 million. (1USD=K5,700).

 

“After considering all the evidence, we have found that allegations number two and three have not been proved against Hon Dora Siliya.

 

“But we have found that the first allegation relating to the failure to comply with the legal advice of the Attorney General and failure to observe tender procedures has been proved,” the tribunal stated in its recommendations obtained by PANA on Friday.

 

“In the present case, we leave Hon Dora Siliya’s breaches to his Excellency the president to deal with,” the tribunal recommended.

 

And President Rupiah Banda, who received the tribunal’s report on Thursday, said he would immediately study the report and make his reaction known to the nation.

 

The petition was filed by former Minister of Communications and Transport William Harrington who urged the Supreme Court to set up a tribunal to probe the alleged breach of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act by Siliya.

 

Consequently, Banda’s spokesman Dickson Jere said Transport and Communications Minister Dora Siliya had resigned after a tribunal found she breached the constitution over a $2 million contract she awarded to a foreign firm.

 

Siliya is the first minister to resign from Banda’s six-month-old government, which has faced several accusations of corruption from the opposition and privately owned media.

 

Banda has vowed to continue a crackdown against graft begun by his predecessor Levy Mwanawasa, who won plaudits from western donors and international agencies for his tough stance.

 

Siliya was investigated over a contract she awarded to a Cayman Islands firm to evaluate assets of the state telecoms firm, Zamtel Ltd., which is due for partial privatization.

 

A tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge Dennis Chirwa said in a report to Banda that she had breached the constitution.

 

It was not immediately clear whether Siliya would face prosecution.

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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By ZamChro Correspondent

Lumwana Copper Mine in Solwezi, in Northwestern Province of Zambia, which is the largest open pit copper mine in Africa, went into operation on Friday.

 

Zambian President Rupiah Banda, when commissioning the copper mine, called for more investments in the local metal processing industry to make copper exports more profitable.

 

Banda said metal processing would add value to the minerals out of Zambia for export.

 

He said the government is ready to cooperate with partners including Equinox Minerals, which has long exhibited desire to invest in the country’s mining sector.

 

“What government expects is for investors in the mining sector to consider investing in metal processing facilities that add value to your metal,” the president was quoted as saying by Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS).

 

The government strongly believes that time is ripe for investors like you to consider processing the copper you mine and add more value by selling finished products made in Zambia to the same international market,” Banda said

 

He said the government was proud with the perseverance exhibited by Equinox Minerals in fully developing the Lumwana mine project, which started 12 years ago.

 

Banda has since assured the investor that government would partner with the company to further develop the project for the economic benefit of the local people, according to ZANIS.

 

The president said the government will ensure that it only allows serious investors to set up businesses in the mining sector and not those who only declare interest when the sector is performing well.

 

He said the government was indebted to Equinox Minerals for sacrificing to pump in one billion U.S. dollars in the mining development project regardless of the set-backs that the copper mining industry was suffering in the recent past.

 

“We are proud and feel indebted that during the twelve years of the project development, you sacrificed to pump in one billion US dollars which includes the development of modern Lumwana town. This shows the trust you have in our mining industry regardless of the ups and downs,” he said.

 

The government will consider Lumwana mine project, which is Africa’s biggest open pit copper mine, as Zambia’s ambassador in efforts to promote investment, according to the president.

 

The Lumwana Mine is expected to produce 140,000 tons of copper concentrates every year.

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

Agriculture minister, Brian Chituwo, was quoted as saying that government will announce the floor price of maize for this years marketing season in the first week of May.   

 

Minister of Agriculture - Dr. Brian Chituwo

Minister of Agriculture - Dr. Brian Chituwo

The purpose of government is not to be involved in the free market by setting prices.

It is unfortunate that the Zambian government wants to perpetuate a nanny mentality and that’s not how markets develop.

 

In a free market economy, government always comes up with ways that enable the market to function and not vice versa.

 

The government needs to stay out of the way as much as possible so that they are not the match makers of any transactions. They have to legislate and come up with laws that encourage commerce and not encourage dependence.

 

There are thus a lot of things government needs to concentrate on other than fixing prices and or setting floor prices because by doing things like that they abrogate their fiduciary role in any enterprise.

 

Governments are usually bad for business because they are not best suited to create any wealth, neither are they best suited to be producers of any goods and services and as such the more they stay away the better it is for entrepreneurs.

 

It is the job of the entrepreneur to come up with what he/she thinks his/her labor is worth and that does not require government help. An entrepreneur surely requires help from government but not in line with what the Minister of Agriculture is suggesting.

 

Thus the role of government is such that they make themselves busy doing things that the common individual would not have the capacity to do. These among other things involve heavy investment of government resources in creating good roads, building bridges, creating new rail networks and other auxiliary functions needed to make the movement of goods and services feasible.

 

Therefore, Dr. Chituwo’s appeal to farmers to be patient as government worked out the floor price was so much out of line with what his main concerns should be as Minister of Agriculture in our opinion.

 

The minister said it was sad that some farmers in southern province were selling a 50 kilogram bag of maize at 25-thousand kwacha.  Dr. Chituwo was speaking in Lusaka when he opened a workshop on the crop forecasting survey.

 

This survey done by the Central Statistics Office in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture is another misappropriation of the meager resources. It is erroneously believed that the study is required to determine the floor price of maize.

 

Another missed opportunity for trying to do what is right; just more time wasted doing wrong things with the right attitude using misplaced goals. We thought our own economists at the Central Statistics Office would advise the Ministry of Agriculture according, but we counted wrong … thanks a trillion.

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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MUMBAI, April 17 (Reuters) – India-focused miner Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is leading the race to acquire Zambia’s Luanshya Copper Mines, the Economic Times said on Friday, without disclosing how it got the information.

 

London-listed Vedanta, which has a majority stake in Indian copper miner Sterlite Industries (STRL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), submitted its bid on Wednesday, and is pitted against China’s Non-Ferrous Copper Mine, the newspaper said.

 

A Vedanta spokesperson declined to comment, it said. The company already owns Zambia’s largest copper producer, Konkola Copper Mines.

 

Other contenders include the UK’s Lion Finance and South Africa’s Shanduka Group, the paper said.

 

The Zambian government, which has put the Luanshya mine on the block, expects an enterprise value of at least $230 million, it said, citing a person familiar with the development.

 

The government of Zambia had put the Luanshya mines up for sale last month after its former founders failed to pay off $200 million in liabilities, the paper said. (Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

 

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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By ZamChro Correspondent

This weekend, President Rupiah Banda is expected to commission the largest open pit copper mine in Africa owned by Australia’s Equinox Minerals Limited, according to a media statement Tuesday from state house press aide Dickson Jere. lumwana

 

The Lumwana Mine in Northwestern Province of Zambia, bordering Angola, has a total capital investment of 910 million dollars, which Equinox says is the largest single copper mine investment in Africa.

 

Officials say Lumwana is expected to produce an average of 172,000 tons of copper per year for the first six years of its 37-year mine life.

 

This is a boost to Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer. It has seen job losses in the mining sector because of the economic slowdown which has resulted in sharp fall in copper prices on the international market.

 

The situation has caused instability in the southern African country’s economy, which gets about 80 per cent of export earnings from copper.

 

Lumwana has started preliminary copper concentrate production and plans to reach full output in the second half of 2009.

 

To read more publications about Lumwana from Zambian Chronicle click on links below …

 

Lumwana In Sight – Slowly Taking Shape

 

Due To Popular Demand – Hidden Secrets Of Lumwana

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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