Levy’s Successor

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By Zamchro Correspondent,  

President Rupiah Banda has disclosed that government will turn Mbala Air Force Base into an international airport to increase passage of tourists to the area. Mbala Air Force Base is one of the most sophisticated air bases on the continent of Africa.It was built with the help of the Russians during the time when Zambian was strongly pro-former Soviet Union and was considered by the Russians as a strong ally. Its runway with capacity to handle any kind of fleet (commercial or military planes) can prove to be one of the best international gateways to Northern, Luapula and Eastern provinces of Zambia.


Commercial flights to and from Mbala International Airport could boost the region as a strategic hub not only for commercial purposes but also public ones as well. Mbala Air Force Base has some of the most modern air traffic control systems that can easily be converted into civilian international aviation use with great mig-35-1ease.


Its altitude would make it one of the highest points to take off from in Africa reminiscent of Johannesburg International Airport though not as quite.


The President said this during his tour of Kasaba Bay Lodge where he intimated that several investors have approached the Zambian government with a view to invest in there. 


President Banda has cited Matetsi Wildlife of Zimbabwe which is planning to invest an initial amount of $8 million in Kasaba Bay lodge once given the lease. The Zambian leader said government is working hard to ensure that investors set up businesses in the Northern circuit tourism sector which also includes Luapula province.


And Matetsi Wildlife Director, Charles Davy, who met the President, said he has been asked to push in a proposal which the Zambian government will look at. Mr. Davy said the development plan for the area is to turn it into an internationally competitive resort.  


The President said Northern Province has a lot of potential that government wants to turn into reality for the benefit of the people and the country. Speaking after touring Kasaba bay lodge, Thursday, the President said the lodge will play a big role in the promotion of the northern circuit to tourism. 


Katanga Province Governor, Moses Katumbi

Katanga Province Governor, Moses Katumbi

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has given Zambia the go ahead to tar the pedicle road. Katanga Province Governor, Moses Katumbi says Zambia can recover the money spent on the road by charging toll gate fees.


Mr. Katumbi says President Joseph Kabila has agreed to the plan by the Zambian Government to tar the road. He was speaking soon after meeting mines minister, Maxwell Mwale and Copperbelt minister Mwansa Mbulakulima in Ndola, Thursday.


Mr. Katumbi said the meeting discussed how best the Zambian government can access copper concentrates from the DRC. He said existing relations between Zambia and the DRC should be strengthened to ensure development in both countries.


And Mr. Mbulakulima said the ban on maize exports to the DRC by the Zambian Government is due to the shortage of maize in the country. Mr. Mbulakulima was answering questions from DRC journalists who wanted to know why the government has banned the export of maize to the former Zaire.


And Tourism Minister, Catherine Namugala disclosed to Zambian Chronicle that government has released K20 billion for the construction of a good road network to make Lake Tanganyika area more accessible.


Ms. Namugala said the best way to enhance tourism in the Northern circuit is to engage in private and public partnership. President Banda who was on a tour of development projects in Kasama has since returned to Lusaka.


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The old adage “practice makes perfect” holds true to every locale in the human enterprise  and or in everyone’s life. The upcoming presidential by-election will usher in a 4th president for the Zambian Enterprise, democratically elected in a peaceful transfer of power.


While others may want to just take this for granted, we at the Zambian Chronicle realize its importance and significance that we just had to write home about it. On a continent filled with rage and at best incumbents’ desire for lifelong presidencies, the Zambian Enterprise leads the pack in many ways.


In fact, other than ours in the Sub-Saharan region, Botswana is the only country that boosts of holding the longest record in peaceful transfer of power with democratically elected presidents and its economic stability speaks volumes of its own.


All things being equal, democracies have the ability to bring out the best among the collective; the people and not the system(s) become the means through which society chooses for itself what its desired posterity should be.


No one single person becomes more powerful than the sum of the all and by so doing it (a democratic system) creates checks and balances for the mutual benefit(s) of both the system and its peoples. Of all other latent issues, democracy tends to create a system of correcting wrongs with the greatest of ease.


Take the emergence of multiple party politics in 1991, for instance. The Kaunda era though vibrant at first could not stand the test of time. This is because it was built on flawed communistic policies and no amount of humanism preaching by KK or even Archangel Gabriel could improve anything otherwise at all.


The fact is simply that communism does not work, however perfectly envisioned even in a perfect world. Man is impenitently self-interested and when there is nothing for him/her but for the collective he/she tends to be ineffective at best.


It is no wonder every body during the latter Kaunda era developed a “Niva Boma” attitude. One was not obligated to anything and “Waco ni waco” (nepotism) swelled and huge misappropriation of all resources led to corruption and other graft devices.


When FTJ came on the scene, he really did not have any message at all but the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise gave him a chance all because they were ready for change. They were promised privatization, and without asking for accountability they went along because they had hope the time for “Niva Boma and Waco in Waco” had come to an end.When they matched through the streets chanting “The Hour, The Hour, The Hour Has Come”, to many others it did not matter whether or not that hour had come for them to be unemployed, that hour had come for them to be without medical coverage, free hospitals and free education; it mattered dimly squat what that “hour that had come” meant.


Most smarts even mistook democracy for privatization I often remark … but the system worked. This is not to say, there was no corruption, this is not to say peoples’ perception about “Niva Boma and Waco ni Waco” changed, in most cases these were actually amplified.


The Chiluba regime proved that too much power bestowed in the presidency was erroneous and corrective measures were taken, it also proved that zeal without knowledge is murderously dangerous for any enterprise and we started replacing rhetoric with execution starting with Levy P Mwanawasa, SC.


We learnt that government works better when it is accountable to the electorate and not the other way round. We learnt that there is still a lot of international goodwill out there as long as a nation is willing to do the right things, by taking the right steps, every time, all the time …


And overall, as every one adhered to good governance, bad apples were being identified and exposed, culprits brought to book including FTJ himself and the system got perfected day by day, thanks a trillion in great part to Levism (MHSRIP).


Levy had his share of mistakes too but we will leave those for others to comment at the present moment. But we know that he did his best to turn the economy, the work culture and posterity around; at each and every stage, he had the best interest of our Enterprise at heart …


After next week, the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are heading to the polls again, in part to prove the system works but overall, to perfect it even further.


Oh yes, practice makes perfect and we encourage all the eligible smart people of the Zambian Enterprise to go the polls en masse, it’s our God given right, make use of it …


We once said here that not much would be expected out of this by-election because it is more of a care-taker presidency until the Tripartite General Election in 2011.


But we encourage even losers to understand that there is a lot of winning in losing and moving the nation forward after conceding – there can only be one president at a time.


Whoever becomes the next CEO of our Enterprise, we at the Zambian Chronicle will render our full moral support just like we did for Levy.


We will criticize him when we see mistakes made not because we want to be vocal for nothing by using our bully pulpit but because Zambia is greater than any single one of us.


Whatever the outcome, the real winner will be Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. who proved the system works and practice makes perfect, Long Live Levism!!!


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












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05 September 2008

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Two days after the late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa was laid to rest, the National Executive Committee of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) meets Friday to choose its candidate in the forth-coming presidential by-election. The two top contenders are Vice President Rupiah Banda who is acting head of state and Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande.

Friday’s meeting also follows comments by former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa suggesting that her late husband preferred Magande as his successor. But Mwanawasa’s will, which was broadcast Thursday night on state radio and television made no reference to succession.

Mbita Chitala is a senior member of the ruling MMD. He told VOA that Zambia is a democracy and not a monarchy and the party will most likely choose Vice President Banda.

“I have been tapped by my party to advise as to who in my view should be a better candidate to represent us and let us win to retain the leadership of the country. And we have suggested that the current president Rupiah Banda who was the vice president for the last two years would be our best candidate,” he said.

Chitala said Vice President Banda, who is now acting president deserves to lead the party because of his many qualities.

“One of them is that we have the vice president of the country who is also senior trustee in our party and most qualified in terms of education and otherwise. We feel that he is truly would be the most representative of the country as well as the most experienced among those who may wish to vie,” Chitala said.

Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa reportedly told a local newspaper last week that her late husband preferred Magande as his successor.

But Mwanawasa’s Will, which was broadcast Thursday night on state television and radio made no reference to succession. In stead the late president said he did his best to improve the standards of living for Zambians.

He talked about his strong belief in national development, good governance, the rule of law and democracy and his fight against corruption.

Mwanawasa expressed regrets in his will that in the process of fighting for the good of his country he may have forsaken himself.

“I regret that in my zeal to facilitate this fight, I lost friendship with a number of some of my best friends and at many times my own life and those of my family members were threatened,” Mwanawasa said in his will.

Chitala said the late Mwanawasa could not have mentioned succession in his will because Zambia is a democracy and not a monarchy.

“As regards the alleged will of our former president, unfortunately our country is not a monarchy. We are a democracy, and the way the founders of our party enshrined the democratic principles of succession, there has to be election among the contending members. And President Mwanawasa was a very good friend of mine, and we used to discuss these matters and as far as I knew him, he could never depart from the doctrine of democracy and become the monarchy behavior person,” Chitala said.

He accused former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa of once having an interest in succeeding her husband.

“To the contrary, I think that has just been unfortunate politics by the former first lady who herself had shown interest of wanting to succeed her late husband. But of course our custom doesn’t allow such kind of behavior, and we advised her that if she wants she can go out for a while may be mourn the late husband for at least year before getting back in politics,” Chitala said.

The late President Mwanawasa was revered for growing Zambia’s economy. But Chitala said Finance Minister Magande is not the architect of the economic success under late President Mwanawasa.

“Magande was never the architect. In fact that was the policy of former President Frederick Chiluba, and you know in economics the gestation period of programs takes many years. But one thing you cannot take away from Mr. Mwanawasa is that he was very dedicated to good governance,” he said.

Chitala dismissed suggestion that Vice President Banda, who is 71 years old, maybe too old compared to Magande.

“That is not correct. Mr. Banda was made vice president and senior trustee of the party and makes him qualified to be the candidate for president. In respect to age, yes he’s 71, but of course this is a transition period between now 2011, and we think that he is the best person to give us this transition. He is very energetic as far as we are concerned and we think he will be the best person to give this transition. Mr. Magande himself I think he’s 62 or 63,” Chitala said.

Source: Voice of America

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LUSAKA (AFP) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai put aside their rivalry Wednesday to join African heads of state at the funeral of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.

The bitter rivals mingled with more than a dozen African heads of state and government, as well as envoys from the United States and Britain, among 5,000 mourners around the Baptist church in Lusaka.

Zimbabwe President Robert Robert Mugabe offers his condolences to Zambia's First Lady Maureen MwanawasaMugabe paid tribute to Mwanawasa — who once referred to Zimbabwe as a “sinking Titanic” — when he arrived in the Zambian capital.

Mwanawasa died aged 59 in a Paris hospital on August 19 after suffering a stroke.

“Mwanawasa was a very courageous leader. He was very frank and wanted to change not only his country but the entire southern African region. We will greatly miss him,” state radio quoted Mugabe as saying.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), was to deliver a speech at the funeral.

The late Zambian president was SADC chairman before Mbeki took over last month at a summit in Johannesburg.

Among African leaders present were President Ian Khama of Botswana and Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi as well as Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Former colonial power Britain sent a delegation led by Foreign Office minister of state, Lord Malloch Brown, who has responsibility for African affairs. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer represented the United States.

The mourners were led by Mwanawasa’s wife Maureen and their six children.

Mwanawasa was to be buried at Embassy Park, near the presidential offices, following the service.

Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.

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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Southern African leaders gathered in Zambia on Wednesday at the funeral of President Levy Mwanawasa, who turned Africa’s biggest copper producer into a rare African success story.

Thousands of Zambians attended the funeral and were seated in tents erected at the parliamentary complex in the capital Lusaka. National flags flew at half-mast.

Mwanawasa, 59, died in a French military hospital last month after suffering a stroke in June. He had led Zambia since 2001 and was re-elected in 2006.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, Botswana’s leader Seretse Khama Ian Khama and the presidents of Namibia, Mozambique and Malawi also attended the funeral.

Mwanawasa’s copper-plated coffin was placed about five metres (yards) from the dais where leaders and officials were sitting.

Mwanawasa set himself apart from other regional leaders by speaking out about the political and economic crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe, and was one of the fiercest critics of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — who attended the funeral.

His tough stance against corruption in Zambia endeared him to donor countries and he was credited with turning the southern nation into one of Africa’s economic success stories.

Mwanawasa’s economic policies helped produce strong growth averaging 5 percent annually over the last six years, though many Zambians still live in poverty.

Vice President Rupiah Banda is acting president, and a presidential election is expected in November.

The ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) will choose its presidential candidate on Friday.

Mwanawasa’s widow Maureen told mourners at the funeral that she felt sorry most of all for the orphans Mwanawasa took care of through his local Baptist church.

“He was the father of all. It is the orphans he took care of that bring pain to my throat, they are orphaned again”.

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FORMER first lady, Maureen Mwanawasa is entitled to a salary equivalent to 50 per cent of that of a serving Head of State following her husband’s death, Attorney General Mumba Malila has said.

Mrs Mwanawasa is also entitled to a diplomatic passport and a fully paid foreign trip once in a year.

Mr Malila explained in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the former first lady was also entitled to a house to be constructed in an area of her choice by virtue of her being the widow of the former head of State.

“According to the Former Presidents Benefits Act, the widow is allowed to enjoy such benefits jointly with children below the age of 21 until she dies as long as she does not go into politics or joins the Government,” he said.

Mr Malila said the law also provides for a vehicle, a driver and a house servant and hoped that people would not trivialise the matter.

“While the former head of state is entitled to 80 per cent salary of the incumbent president, the widow is also entitled to 50 per cent salary of the serving president,” he said.

He said the entitlement of the first lady should not be politicised because it is just her entitlement as provided for by the law.

Mr Malila said the two former first ladies before Mrs Mwanawasa had not enjoyed this facility because their husbands were still alive and enjoying their benefits as provided for by the Act.

Source: Times of Zambia

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