Caleb Fundanga


Choose Your Language Of Preference Below 

French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version 

Well, ladies and gentlemen; the numbers are in and our team has been working hard to be as accurate as possible. The verdict is clear, Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. has posthumously clearly won the Zambian Chronicle “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008.

 

Most people in our audience know that Zambian Chronicle was started last year as an alternative multi-media private enterprise committed to raising the standard, while increasing awareness not only in Africa but around the world and last year’s award went to Zine El Abidine Ben Ali president of Tunisia.

 

You can read more about last year’s award and conditions as well as modalities used to reach that consideration by clicking on this link; Zambian Chronicle’s African President of the Year (2007) Award Goes To President Ben Ali of Tunisia …

 

Last year Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. ended up in the top 7 presidents on the continent in critical areas but had a favorable rating ranking him in the overall top 5% percentile. We expanded this year’s recital parameters because we wanted rankings to include among other things performance based criterion during a president’s tenure apart from national indices only.

 

GDP per capita growth

Levy scored highest in the criteria because nominal GDP per capita growth is an important aspect of how well the general populace perform in a given economy. It has a direct bearing on how well the citizenry are benefiting from local economic growth.

 

Nominal GDP figures include less estimation and more accurately reflect the participation of the inhabitants of a country in the global economy as well. These figures are so important that each year three different organizations (IMF, World Bank and CIA) each come up with different ones.

 

In our analyses we used a grossing method that gave us weighted averages. So from the time he took over office to his death in 2008, LPM presided over a nominal GDP per capita growth that grew a staggering 300% from as low as $360 to $1,400.00. Of course the world best is over $44,000.00 but $1,400.00 was a great start for us.

 

This did not come by sheer luck, LPM and his team worked so hard that they negotiated outstanding public liabilities with donor nations and other ultra-vires creditors that they managed to wipe out our national debt from a staggering $7 billion to as low as $500 million.

 

Our own national reserves increased from zero at the time he took over to $1.4 billion. In fact as we report today, Zambia has FX reserves to protect against any outflows, says Central Bank Governor Dr. Caleb Fundanga …  In terms of percentage growth, the number is actually infinity because nothing can be divided into zero.

 

Gross official reserves include Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) holdings of foreign cash, foreign exchange and foreign securities, Zambia’s reserve position at the IMF, and SDR holdings. Gross reserves data is compiled on daily basis by adding/subtracting transactions for the day to/from the previous day’s position.

 

These transactions cover all purchases and sales of foreign exchange, donor inflows, debt service disbursements, government and BoZ uses of foreign exchange, interest receipts and payments, valuation gains and losses and any other inflows and outflows.

 

There simply is no comparison as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area at all.

 

Transparency Index

This was the hardest of all parameter for us because data complied by Transparency International from 2000 to 2008 was different in many aspects. This is because the organization changed their reporting structure and added more variables in their indices that make up what they call Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

 

While in 2000 they only reported on 90 nations, for instance; they increased that to almost 180 for 2008. In 2000 Zambia shared the 57th position with Latvia but in 2008 despite being low, some of the variables were due to lack of enough raw data.

 

So, in certain areas if we used the same string of data from 2000 to 2008 as complied by Transparent International, a lot of flaws would have been discovered because in some instances we would have been comparing apples to oranges and the resultant would not have been either logical or asymmetrical.

 

So for us at the Zambian Chronicle we looked more at how general business practices improved on the ground within the Zambian Enterprise. We looked at the unprecedented bold decisions LPM took on the continent to an extend of striping of his predecessor immunity due to alleged past corrupt practices.

 

Never before had this ever happened on the continent of Africa but it showed his commitment to building a different nation that did not do business as usual. This earned him a lot of sway among western nations and increased his capital as a steward of good governance.

 

We looked at how he let the law take its course without interfering in any way possible despite all kinds of pressure from all avenues and forums … I am proud to report even pressure from us at the Zambian Chronicle at times, for instance.

 

We looked at how level-headed he was about graft and its other derivatives and found no comparison as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

National GDP growth

This is not supposed to be confused with the nominal GDP per capita above. While the earlier has to do with individual(s) income and subsequent participation in a national economy the later has to do with the overall national economic growth.

 

GDP real growth has to do with the total goods and services produced and or consumed in a given year and it is the best measure of national wealth and a nation’s capacity to compete in terms of movement of goods and services.

 

Even more what we were interested in was not just GDP real growth but GDP (real) growth rate which shows the increase in value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. It does not take into account purchasing power parity neither does it account for inflation. It is a measure of economic development.

 

That real growth rate is extremely important because it is the one that eventually gives a nation the ability to surpass another or be replaced by another in terms of economic development and or ranking. For example, 100 years ago the economy of the United State of America and that of Mexico were the same size numerically.

 

However, the US economy grew by one more percentage point rate higher than that of Mexico each year for those 100 years and today America has the world’s largest economy while Mexico ranks as the 52nd.

 

Furthermore, China had been lagging behind most economies all the way through the 90’s until it turned its economic engines to supercharged status. Within 10 years, it surpassed the Italian, French, British and German economies because of having a reasonable real GDP real growth rate. Today it is the world third largest economy.

 

On the African continent, Angola has enjoyed the status of one of the fastest growing economies not only in Africa but in the world. For instance its growth rate in 2005 was over 19% making it the world’s second fastest growing economy. In 2007 its rate was over 16.30% making it the world’s third fastest growing economy.

 

But what makes the Zambian Chronicle vouch for Levy (LPM) was the fact that when he inherited the economy of the Zambian Enterprise we were actually experiencing negative growth rates more like Zimbabwe (-6%) this year.

 

What LPM did was to reverse the trend from such negatives to the extend of almost -7% in the late 90’s to a positive 8% last year. This means that LPM tenure presided over a turn around of almost 15% into positive territory. It is so much easier to keep an economy in positive territory as opposed to moving it from a negative to a positive one but Levy did it.

 

Somehow he turned non performing assets such as mines, some that were almost flooded because they had been inoperable for a long time into profit making enterprises for the benefit of all within the Zambian Enterprise.

 

He commissioned new ones such as Lumwana that spurred new economic activities even in forgotten places like North Western Province turning the area in a new Copperbelt with new discoveries ranging from Oil and Gas to Gold and new Uranium deposits.

 

We began to be a premier tourist attraction again like there was something wrong with us in the first place. He created a conducive environment for commerce to thrive by and for all and all of a sudden commercial flights were being diverted to Lusaka instead of Gaborone, Lubito and Harare.

 

All of a sudden Lusaka was were it was all at, as we saw Bill Clinton Jets Into Zambia while the Best Ever US Ambassador To Zambia – Carmen M Martinez was busy cozying our relations and Mrs Bush With Zambian Kids – PlayPump™ having fun.

 

We looked, compared and contrasted with any other president on the continent who turned economic activities around within such a short period and we found none. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Food security

With Levy at the helm, the Zambian Enterprise moved from being a donor recipient to a donor. Our enterprise moved from food shortages to Zambia to export 150,000 T white maize … as late as December 15, 2007 but today we will need to import a million tones.

 

Using government subsidies and proper farm produce marking strategies, Levy working in concert with his Minister of Agriculture then Mundia Sikatana created incentives within the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) that spurred agricultural production to unprecedented level on the continent of Africa.

 

Within his first term we had attained food security as well as sufficiency, were looking at donations and export for white maize a thing that had never happened in Zambian history. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Peace Index Analysis

For this analysis we used a qualitative assessment of the level of distrust in other citizens, ranked from 1-5 (very low to very high) by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Analysis team.

 

The lowest score (1) records that the majority of other people can be trusted and that there is an overall positive climate of trust in the country. The highest score (5) indicates that people are extremely cautious in dealing with others.

 

We found this unit of measure to be the most accurate and espoused it in totality and we were impressed to find that Zambia actually beat a lot of major western nations even when it comes to being a peaceful nation.

 

For instance, when Levy noticed injustices and what impact they had on peace in neighboring Zimbabwe, he was first to condemn Robert Mugabe calling the situation a “Sinking Titanic”. Never before had this ever happened in Africa where a sitting president openly rebuked another for the sake of world peace.

 

While Levy may not personally claim that big prize nationally as it had been passed on to him from his two predecessors, the very fact that he kept Zambia even more safe and improved on earlier released figures combined with other factors such as above is reason to give him first place on our continent by Zambian Chronicle.

 

We looked, compared and contrasted with any other president on the continent who turned economic activities around within such a short period and we found none. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Other World Social, Economic & Political Indicators

While different social, economic and political contexts were used in comparing crime data from societies that are fundamentally different and may ignore key issues present within the Zambian Enterprise that impact upon levels of reporting some similarities were drawn.

 

For example, different social norms in some countries may make it difficult for women to report cases of rape or sexual abuse, while in others; women are encouraged to come forward. The level of insurance coverage in a community is also a key indicator of the likelihood of citizens approaching the police as their claim for compensation may require such notification.

 

In addition, in societies where the police are or have been mistrusted by the population, most specifically during periods of authoritarian rule, reporting levels are likely to be lower than in cases where the police are regarded as important members of the community.

 

The International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) is perhaps a more sensitive and accurate measure of crime – and arguably offers a picture of how the public views the criminal justice system – but is currently limited to a few, mainly industrialized, countries so these data are not included.

 

But what we found was rather shocking for a developing nation that the Zambian Enterprise actually ranked above average on the continent during Levy’s tenure. There simply were no comparisons as to another president’s achievement on the continent of Africa either in terms of tenure or simply duration that even came close to that of LPM in this area as well.

 

Overall, for us it was not just a question of bias, it was more of logic, data analysis and factual that we were able to crown levy P Mwanawasa, SC with the honorable title of “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008 posthumously.

 

Long Live Levism, Long Live Levism, May Your Soul Rest In God’s Eternal Peace and congratulations for scooping this year’s Zambian Chronicle “Africa’s President of the Year Award” for 2008.

 

Compliments of the Season, Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 

 

Copyrights © 2008 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. 

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

Choose Your Language Of Preference Below

French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Lusaka. — The ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) is headed for a major split following the death of Mwanawasa and the forth coming presidential by-elections. So far, it is unclear as to who the party will nominate for the presidency but opposition political parties have already announced their candidates. 

The MMD held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on August 21. The NEC resolved that since the nation will be holding presidential elections soon, it’s imperative that a presidential candidate be immediately picked without necessarily going to the national convention, the body mandated to elect party office bearers, including the president who in turn stands on its ticket. Suffice to say that even President Mwanawasa was not chosen through the laid down MMD electoral process but was merely chosen by the NEC when he contested the 2001 general elections.

The party has found itself in unfortunate circumstances where both the position of MMD President and Vice-President is vacant. These positions, in accordance with MMD constitution, can only be filled by its convention. The NEC has opted to pick only a presidential candidate for the November elections. The position of president and vice will remain vacant.By September 5, 2008, the party would have chosen a person who they think would carry on Levy Mwanawasa’s legacy. Several statements, arguments and suggestions are being made throughout the country and so far, Finance Minister Ngandu Magande, former Works and Supply Minister Ludwig Sondashi, Health Minister Brian Chituwo, Constitution Review Commision (CRC) former chairman, Willa Mungomba, and former Vice-President Enock Kavindele have filed in their documents for consideration. Others being speculated include the Acting President Rupiah Banda and the former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa.

Former minister in Mwanawasa’s cabinet, Dipak Patel, told the media recently that Magande was more capable to carry on Mwanawasa’s vision and this seemed to swing the balance of power with more voices coming in to his support.

In the midst of this uncertainty, who has a greater chance of being the MMD presidential candidates?

Rupiah Banda, 70, Acting President.

RB, as he is fondly called, was called out of retirement by Mwanawasa. Banda is said to have delivered an electoral bequest of Eastern Province for Mwanawasa and the MMD. He was rewarded with the position of Vice-President after the 2006 elections. He has wide influence among chiefs in eastern province although he still has some connection with the United National Independence Party of the Kaunda era.

An experienced diplomat and businessman, time has found him where he ought to be. He has guided the nation during the illness and death of Mwanawasa and remains instrumental during the transitional period.

If he won the MMD presidency, he could be a strong candidate against PF leader Michael Sata. He is courting a seemingly political lightweight Bwalya Chiti, a royal from the Bemba Royal Establishment to be his vice.

Bwalya Chiti is said to be a vicious backroom that has resources at his disposal from ICT companies that he recently sold.

The combination is already being referred to as The Dream ticket. This ticket is aimed at creating a formidable force against the resilient Patriotic Front (PF) leader, Michael Sata who commands wide political support in Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt and Lusaka based on the 2006 general elections.

If selected by the NEC, Rupiah Banda can legally use extensive state resources such as ZAF helicopters, media coverage and government motor vehicles in the campaign, without repercussion, since he is Acting President.

The leverage of the advantage of incumbency can widely benefit him. He has shown ability to deal with issues in an independent manner. Many are saying that UNIP trained its leaders well and Banda is such an example who promotes good, over blind loyalty and private agendas. Government spokesperson Mike Mulongoti, Mbita Chitala, former Zambian ambassodor to Libya and MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba have since openly supported Banda and are said to have influence in the party.The First Republican Dr Kenneth Kaunda (KK) has allegedly been paying Banda regular “visits”. So are Banda’s former colleagues from UNIP. It is said that in the event that the MMD does not pick Banda as a candidate, UNIP or a new party will adopt him to ensure that Eastern province’s realistic chance at the presidency is sustained.

The MMD on the other hand regards RB as an outsider. He is yet to renounce his UNIP membership and some argue that he does not qualify to be an MMD presidential candidate.

He is termed as a UNIP member. He has no constituency since he was only nominated and his popularity remain untested. He was born in Gwanda, southern Zimbabwe , where his Zambian parents were migrant workers.

In one of his last meetings, Mwanawasa stated that he wanted a younger leader than himself to succeed him. This “disqualifies” Banda and 61-year old Magande against Mwanawasa’s wishes. Mwanawasa was 59 years.

Banda is a mere trustee in the party and his juniors in government are his party seniors. He seems to be reacting terribly slowly by remaining mute to events happening around the campaign from his opposing camps such as the First Lady, Maureen Mwanawasa, Magande and others.

Maureen Mwanawasa

Despite the odds pitted against her, Maureen seems resolute to contest the position though party spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba argues that the First Lady will not rescind her earlier position that she would not contest the elections. She seemingly wants to use a sympathy vote by claiming that she is best suited to take-over from her husband and complete the vision she shared with her husband. She is most likely going to put together Mwanawasa’s vision as “theirs”. A privately owned newspaper, The Post of 24 August, 2008 carried an editorial praising her and urging her

to respond to the call to honour her husband’s legacy by sharing what the late president envisaged for Zambia.

”If for a moment, she thinks that she is going to mourn, weep and cry like the rest of us and then attend to her husband’s legacy later, there will be no legacy…Maureen has no choice but to make herself available, whenever needed, to make clear what her husband’s legacy is,” The Post said.

Despite the tradition and culture sensitivity surrounding Maureen as widow, there is an attempt by some sections of the MMD to continue “milking” the Mwanawasa family, a common practice among cadres who do not believe that there is an end to everything. They see the First Lady as a saviour — nothing else.

Ngandu Peter Magande

He is seen as an establishment candidate with support from a wider section of the society especially the business sector. The finance minister and former Africa Carribean and Pacific countries (ACP) economist is credited with stabilising the exchange rate, bringing down inflation rate and has helped bring in foreign direct investments and shore up donor support to Zambia.

He has aligned well with his long-time colleague and friend from the UNIP government, Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr Caleb Fundanga, to manage the economy. Magande’s deputy and Mwanawasa’s nephew, Jonas Shakafuswa has publicly supported him.

Magande joined Mwanawasa as his Finance Minister, when Emmanuel Kasonde was fired. Magande was the late United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Anderson Mazoka’s economic advisor and has suffered the tag of “outsider”.

His constituency seat is in Chilanga, Lusaka , and it is doubted if he can bring an electoral win even to his area of origin– Southern Province.

His past attempts to stand as an MP in the Southern Province failed but his win of Chilanga seat in 2006 was strongly disputed by his opponents. Evidence of serious and glaring acts of rigging and fraud were cited. The Supreme Court has, however, recently ruled that Magande was duly elected.

It is feared that the support he received from Dipak Patel, a non-MMD member, but a very influential person especially among the business elite, merely represents a powerful but unelected clique known to control and shape policies of this country in the Mwanawasa presidency.

The other presidential aspirants will certainly contest but it would be a difficult decision by the MMD to choose either of them other than the above.

The opposition

Michael Chilufya Sata

He remains the clear front-runner to win this election although his age, health and his foreign policy will deter him from winning the presidency.

His decision to reconcile with Mwanawasa, when he returned from South Africa from his medical treatment, has put him in good stead and as a leader with far sights.

Despite being popular in the urban setting of Lusaka and the Copperbelt, it remains unclear if he would win in Southern, Central, Western, Eastern and North-western provinces and for him to concentrate on the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Luapula and Northern provinces may not give him a clear victory.

On the foreign policy, after those alarming statements by his policies on China , Zimbabwe, Taiwan, and his other central policies seem to have received subtle revision. He has since dropped public rhetoric of “anti-Chinese and anti-Indian” approaches seemed to have gone under revision.

His harsh treatment of the 26 MPs that rebelled against him has earned wide criticism. Many wonder how he is capable of forgiving and reconciling with his arch-rival and arch-enemy, Mwanawasa and yet refuse to bring to the fold his own MPs, in the name of discipline. This has sent a chilling effect and reinforced the fear of dictatorial tendencies.

The 26 MPs have, however, no effect on the coming elections since no constituency is under election. This is a presidential election that can allow Sata to use party structures other than MPs.

His strong relationship with the Catholic is beneficial as he quickly picks the church social struggles and issues them as his. Sata, Mwanawasa and other leaders were the architects of the National Constitution Conference, but when the Catholic opposed it, he quickly joined in and rescinded his earlier position.

Zambia is currently in the process of enacting a new constitution that is expected to address important issues missing in the current document through a delegated body, acting through a piece of legslation, drawn from a wider selection of society.

With more than 400 members, the NCC will deliberate and formulate a draft constitution that will later be passed on to parliament for further debate and scrutiny before adoption.

Hakainde Hichilema

HH recently cooperated with Sata and held a joint and well attended public rally against salary increments for constitutional officers. They were joined by civil society groupings and trade unions. At this rally, Sata presented HH as his running mate and showed as though an electoral pact had been sealed. There was a wild cheer from the crowd. The alliance presented itself as sure winner with safe guards to beat and insulate against state riggings.

Many held their breath. Sata did not seem to treat HH as his colleague and partner. He kept on referring to HH as “calculator boy”, “computer boy”, “under five” combined with good praises for HH’s decision to join hands to defeat the MMD.

Many feared that the alliance would not hold. It wasn’t founded well like the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), UNIP, and UPND which formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the 2006 elections. It was preceded by shallow discussions without depth and wide consultation. The alliance that never was, quickly collapsed.Many saw that this was the quickest way for HH to raise his profile and have a fair chance to be president some day.

With the demise of Mwanawasa, the UPND quickly announced that HH would contest the elections and so far campaigns by his party cadres have started. Many people think that HH is a reasonable leader who at one time Mwanawasa had invited to run government together but he declined. He is seen as a potential young leader who may just surprise many if the MMD disintegrates. There is absolutely no reason why he can’t be a good president but the stigma that surrounded his coming into politics, when Mazoka died still haunts his party, which is sometimes referred to as tribal.

Godfrey Miyanda

He is respectable politician whom most people hold in high esteem. However, because he has failed to run the Heritage party and also has not opened up to work with other politicians, he is seen as a loner. He, however, has a great chance of becoming a president if he worked with parties like the MMD and the UPND. He also has a following among Christians and teachers whom he associates with at different levels. He is also seen as a Mr Clean.

Although it would be too early to predict the outcome of the presidential by-elections, history is being rewritten in the Zambian political scenario. There is likely to be a surprise but looking at the past, one of the above candidates may scoop the post. We just have to wait and see.

Source: Southern Times

Choose Your Language Of Preference Below

French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version

By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia has enough currency reserves to protect the economy in case the illness of President Levy Mwanawasa prompts some reduction in foreign investment, central bank Governor Caleb Fundanga said on Tuesday.

Fundanga said the only slight worry of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) was rising oil and food prices, which threatened its single digit inflation target. However, he remained optimistic of achieving 7.0 percent annual inflation in December this year.

Fundanga said it was evident the illness of Mwanawasa, who is in a French hospital after suffering a second stroke, had caused anxiety among some investors but that there was “no need for panic”.

“The investors in the mines will continue exporting copper. It is possible that … some investors may decide to pull out, but we have enough reserves, $1.4 billion held by the Bank of Zambia and another $1 billion by commercial banks,” Fundanga told a news conference, adding Zambia had 5.6 months of import cover.

Mwanawasa impressed the International Monetary Fund and other Western donors by cracking down on government spending and launching an anti-corruption drive.

Fundanga said Zambia had investment pledges totalling $1.8 billion so far this year compared with just $1 billion in the first six months of 2007. The government has previously said a number of these investments have been fulfilled.

“Naturally, as a result of the illness of the captain, as some refer to the president, there are some people who might be feeling uncomfortable. Given this situation, are we vulnerable? Will all forex (foreign exchange) dry up? The answer is ‘no’,” Fundanga added.

He said mining and non-traditional sectors had continued to perform satisfactorily with copper export earnings for the three months to June just 0.1 percent lower than the previous quarter’s earnings, at $967.6 million.

Fundanga said non-traditional exports at $187.6 million at end-June were 12.3 percent above the $167.1 million recorded in the previous quarter ending in March.

“Favourable export earnings have led to the strengthening of the external sector reflected in the appreciation of the kwacha against major currencies and a 10 percent increase in international reserves to $1,338.4 billion in June 2008 from $1,216.3 billion in March 2008,” he said.

There were inflationary pressures from a 15 percent wage increase for civil servants from January and from higher global oil prices, which would put pressure on transport and commodity prices.

“However, these pressures may be mitigated by pass-through effects of the appreciation of the exchange rate of the (Zambian) kwacha against major currencies on account of external sector performance,” Fundanga said.

Fundanga said the kwacha appreciated 11.3 percent against the dollar in the three months to June to trade at an average of 3,259/dollar.

“We cannot give up on 7.0 percent inflation at the end of the year because we have enough food to feed ourselves and we will not necessarily be affected by global food prices,” he added.

(Lusaka newsroom + 260-977843609/260-955779523)

Choose Your Language Of Preference Below

French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version

Portuguese Version Chinese Version Arabic Version 

ü      Create A New People Driven Constitution

The greatest single most achievement the Zambian Enterprise can accomplish for 2008 as a milestone is to produce a new constitution using the National Constitution Conference (NCC) as a vehicle.  

If all stakeholders felt that their constitution provided for equal opportunities, guaranteed civil liberties and protection for all, the enterprise would have achieved strides worth thousands in light years.  

In that regard it is highly palatable that peace loving individuals will give the NCC delegates all the needed support to achieve this milestone. The October 6, 2001 issue of the Economist magazine carried a story about Turkey’s Constitutional Amendments.

“… MANY Turks have long thought of their parliament as a bunch of buffoons interested mainly in making money, not laws. That may change, as the 550-member chamber keeps up a marathon session to pass a set of reforms that are intended to clean the face of Turkey’s constitution and reinforce the country’s still rather wobbly democracy.”

At issue was the fact that both political philosophies represented in the Turkish parliament approved what seemed on paper as the best brand of policies any mid eastern nation would espouse but the ideas only looked great on paper.

We are hoping the great genius minds of the smart people of our enterprise respresenting us in NCC will come up with a document that can stand the test of time. These delegates are the framers; we are hopeful they will envision a Zambia that will be there for centuries to come because they framed the right manuscript on behalf of us all. 

ü      Deliberate Infra-Structure Investment

Infra-structural development is about capacity building and very critical to national development. Without capacity economies don’t grow with healthy veracities.

Capacity enables a country to handle tasks with great ease and lack thereof creates auxiliary derivatives such as development of shanty compounds in the middle of a metropolitan area.  

In this modern day and age infra-structure capacity does not refer to road, railways, subways, modern airports, etc. alone, it also refers communication apparatus such as turning Mwembeshi into a super information highway, for instance. 

It involves well stocked libraries in city centers, schools, colleges and universities with a deliberate attempt to have all these connected to the internet.  Tunisians did it and their population is one of the most literate on our continent, it is no wonder they have poverty levels at 4% of their population with nearly a tenth of natural resources when compared to us. 

It involves well planned town, cities and provinces with town planners whose eyes are on the ball. Japanese planners have 15 year projections with simulations accompanying … it is no wonder they enjoy one of the highest qualities of life in the entire world.  

With a billion dollars in reserves, the Zambian Enterprise has more than enough in it’s back pocket to invest into infra-structure that matters …

ü      Create Economic Zones In Each Province

One of the greatest achievements of the UNIP government was the creation of provincial economic zones deliberately planned to urbanize rural areas. They were not termed that way but their objectives met all the prerequisites of such.  

Livingstone had ITT Supersonic and Livingstone Motor Assemblers, Mansa had Mansa batteries, lead and manganese mines, Chipata had Eastern Industries that made Eagle bicycles, Mongu had canneries and so did Mwinilunga; the copperbelt was an economic engine, the list is endless. 

When the MMD came into power they literately had no clue what they wanted to accomplish except privatization. In fact, they mistook democracy in many instances with privatization. They abolished the office of National Planning because they thought it advocated for a command economy. 

Using other forums at the time we advocated for national planning that had a neo-spin to it, laid down the benefits of such schemes but it wasn’t until the current president came into office that they reinitiated planning mostly tailored on proposal of this author. 

Well planned economic zones not only mitigate urban migration en masse, they also help accelerate national development at exponential rates well across the board.  Besides if you fail to plan, you are in an essence planning to fail …  

One reason, Malaysia stood out among the Asian tigers was because it deliberately initiated economic zones and today the world’s tallest buildings are not in Western Europe nor are they in the Americas but in Central Asia.  

ü      Continue Keeping Macro-Economic Factors Under Control

Macro-economic factors and dwindling investor confidence are always behind corporate underperformance.  Among the macro factors concerns over interest rates, high oil prices, staple commodity prices and jitters over the reserve currency weakness impact economic growth … 

These factors lead to markets savagely punishing companies thus failing to produce the goods and services at optimal capacity. Companies that record profits tend to be tarred with the same brush and their share price don’t respond to their profits.  

When the market starts to focus back on company-specific issues rather than the macro-economic picture and look at those that are turning themselves around, performance picks up. 

There is no doubt that Fundanga at BOZ and Mangande at Finance have been among the best choices our enterprise has picked for their respective jobs but short term gains can easily blur one’s focus. 

It is therefore extremely necessary that they keep their eyes on the ball with the big picture in mind because if we don’t continue keeping the macro-economic factors under check, the unprecedented 85% growth LuSE experienced last year might be lost … 

Strict investment philosophies in the market tend to sometimes make publicly traded companies to under perform but investor confidence makes people start looking at companies showing above average growth so long macro-economic factors are in favor.  

ü      Reform Tax Rules

The old adage of two things one should be sure of being taxes and death remains true to this day. So weaknesses in the institutional framework need to quickly be identified to make necessary adjustments. 

One of the most important factors in good policy-making is the strengthening of the institutions that contribute to it. The tax policy-making process should heavily rely on institutional strength to see it through periods of major transitions such as our Enterprise is going through right now … 

Dealing with enforcement and operational policies is not only a good initiative when it comes to strengthening the treasure, it also helps narrow the role of the other revenue  collecting units thereby reducing excesses while increasing proceeds. 

Parliamentary scrutiny of tax proposals tends to be increasingly ineffective as tax legislation becomes more complex. This is because our current Members of Parliament have no dedicated independent groups of economists and lawyers to support them on budgetary matters. 

Outside the framework of government,  institutions like the University of Zambia’s economic studies should provide virtually more and not just research-based independent economic analysis on taxation policy.  

Business leaders should also be encouraged in the systematic use of consultations, at least on business tax issues. Drawing business in to contribute to the refinement of ideas emerging from government helps fill the gap left by the broader weakness of institutions.  

But business should not be responsible for developing tax policy as this leads to signs of consultation-fatigue. Their role should be limited to consultancy and be used as a barometer that measures what impact tax proposals have on operational efficiencies. 

Given the importance of institutional strength to consistency and stability in policy-making and the classy-daddy-3.gifimportance of that consistency and stability in maintaining economic growth and development, there is a strong case for more comparative inter-jurisdictional work to be carried out on the institutional framework of tax policy-making.  

That’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2008 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.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.     

Choose Your Language Of Preference Below

French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version

Portuguese Version Chinese Version Arabic Version

The Zambian Enterprise is not only the largest producer of copper in Africa; it also has a perfect track record to enable it to vie for a “World Class Credit” rating.

Usually referred to as “first credit” in economic terms, the rating would enable Zambia to issue international bonds and enter the elite class with incentives similar to those in developed nations.

Should this take place, Zambia whose economy currently accounts for only 1 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s $544 billion economy, would be the third country on the continent to issue such bonds.

“… if we went for a rating, we’d be able to issue a euro-kwacha bond for example … the country will probably seek its debut rating “shortly,” … there has never been a better time than this … with a buoyant economy and a good track record, I think it’s about the right time to subject ourselves to a rating,”… said the Manchester educated and one time professor of economics at the University of Zambia now Bank of Zambia Governor – Dr. Caleb Fundanga without being date specific.

The European Investment Bank, the finance arm of the European Union, in December 2006 sold 500 million pula of senior unsecured bonds, with settlement and payment in euros, the first-ever international issue in Botswana’s currency, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy and Botswana, the nation with the highest rated debt in the continent, are the only southern African nations with foreign currency denominated bonds.

Zambia has a lot of support and may need to fully capitalize on that support if reality has to come. Out-going World Bank country manager was one of Zambia’s strongest advocates to the same.

“… Zambia is clearly one of the countries where the impact of debt relief has been massive and could be very clear,” Ohene Nyanin, the former World Bank’s country manager based in Lusaka, said in an interview. “It is a very big fiscal space that has been opened up.”’

The country’s inflation rate dropped to single digits for the first time in 30 years in April 2006 as the government moved to control spending. Zambia has also benefited from a fivefold rise in the price of copper, which accounts for 53% of the enterprise’s income.

International bonds are a certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment of the original investment plus interest by a specified future date and have the ability to increase cash inflows at an accelerated rate thereby increasing a country’s liquidity.

classy-daddy-3.gifTwo to three years ago, I introduced a bond phenomenon on Zambia Online and even suggested the issuance of bonds as a debt instrument necessary for capitalizing the New Zambia Airways as a private enterprise.

It was to be privately driven and ran; some nay sayers rose up to short the idea down but yet even today more experts are vying for a bond rating that would elevate the country’s standing as well as help grow our economy above 7% come next year.

It is highly feasible that some critics were new to the subject and saw no benefit to the Zambian Franchise at all … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 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.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

Choose Your Language Of Preference Below 

French Version   German Version   Russian Version   Spanish Version 

Portuguese Version           Chinese Version            Arabic Version    

The Zambian Enterprise is not only the largest producer of copper in Africa; it also has a perfect track record to enable it to vie for a “World Class Credit” rating.  

Usually referred to as “first credit” in economic terms, the rating would enable Zambia to issue international bonds and enter the elite class with incentives similar to those in developed nations. 

Should this take place, Zambia whose economy currently accounts for only 1 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s $544 billion economy, would be the third country on the continent to issue such bonds.  

“… if we went for a rating, we’d be able to issue a euro-kwacha bond for example … the country will probably seek its debut rating “shortly,” … there has never been a better time than this … with a buoyant economy and a good track record, I think it’s about the right time to subject ourselves to a rating,”… said the Manchester educated and one time professor of economics at the University of Zambia now Bank of Zambia Governor – Dr. Caleb Fundanga without being date specific.

The European Investment Bank, the finance arm of the European Union, in December 2006 sold 500 million pula of senior unsecured bonds, with settlement and payment in euros, the first-ever international issue in Botswana’s currency, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy and Botswana, the nation with the highest rated debt in the continent, are the only southern African nations with foreign currency denominated bonds.

Zambia has a lot of support and may need to fully capitalize on that support if reality has to come. Out-going World Bank country manager was one of Zambia’s strongest advocates to the same.

“… Zambia is clearly one of the countries where the impact of debt relief has been massive and could be very clear,” Ohene Nyanin, the former World Bank’s country manager based in Lusaka, said in an interview. “It is a very big fiscal space that has been opened up.”’

The country’s inflation rate dropped to single digits for the first time in 30 years in April 2006 as the government moved to control spending. Zambia has also benefited from a fivefold rise in the price of copper, which accounts for 53% of the enterprise’s income.

International bonds are a certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment of the original investment plus interest by a specified future date and have the ability to increase cash inflows at an accelerated rate thereby increasing a country’s liquidity.

classy-daddy-3.gifTwo to three years ago, I introduced a bond phenomenon on Zambia Online and even suggested the issuance of bonds as a debt instrument necessary for capitalizing the New Zambia Airways as a private enterprise.

It was to be privately driven and ran; some nay sayers rose up to short the idea down but yet even today more experts are vying for a bond rating that would elevate the country’s standing as well as help grow our economy above 7% come next year. 

It is highly feasible that some critics were new to the subject and saw no benefit to the Zambian Franchise at all … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 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.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.