Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue


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IS he the Raila Odinga of Zambia? Wait until kulibonesha-ta assumes Kikuyu type of domination.

Say whatever you want to say, Michael Chilufya Sata is part of Zambia’s political menu. No, in fact, he is the staple of the Zambian political diet.

Of humble education, Sata’s message resonates with the pain and suffering of the masses. Little wonder his party organises well among the urban-poor. Cadres love him; he even walks with them in flooded shanty streets strewn with garbage. He has traversed some of the most inhospitable terrains in Zambia where other politicians have not. He is the man of the people, their last action hero – mwine filimu.

But on introspection, the ascendancy to opposition politics by Sata is democracy’s best victory and worst mockery.

In a country where the current president is not quite blessed with speechifying flair, Sata’s fluency has become the inspirational heartbeat of Zambia’s politics. But it’s not just his charisma; you will not be wrong if you substituted his middle name for this word- action.

His close aides say his former policeman and railway man does not listen to advice. He does not even listen to himself. His voice is his own master. Publicly though, Sata claims he does listen to advice.

During television and radio interviews, Sata always tries to dominate. His party is believed to be infiltrated by MMD and the intelligence. And he too has done the same with the MMD and the intelligence. He has sympathisers at almost all the levels. See how be blew up the recent RTSA fees last week!

Born in 1937, age is just a number when you appreciate Sata’s sense of urgency to work Zambia’s dilapidated hospitals, roads, bridges and shanty towns. His résumé as Lusaka governor and Minister of Health speaks to the kind of pragmatism he exudes when faced with a crisis.

Many of his critics do not like his campaign tactics, maybe even his smoking habits.

In Zambia’s kind of politics, the old man is seen as a very good politician. And that’s because people live in a numerical universe, where politics is about numbers – and who can doubt that Sata is a crowd-puller? But people live in a moral universe as well, and if you look at the voter turnout during the recent Kanyama by-election, Sata comes at you as part of the reason people may have lost faith in the power of politics to change their lives.

But faith in Zambia’s politics melts away at the altar of Sata’s impressive rhetoric. And for many years to come, Sata will always have an attentive audience in the ‘hood’. Yet, there are many that doubt he possesses enough truth-power upon which his state presidency can advance the lofty ideals of democracy and political decency.

Observers say Sata’s political mill is filled with the mangled yarn it has always been, a web of good and ill together. Having served in the Kaunda and Chiluba regimes, many contend that Sata is part of the good, the bad and the ugly of yesteryears.

On the contrary, others say the new Sata is kind of cool. The man has laundered his image to become the political institution whose polemics are fodder for the headlines Zambians hate to miss.

Yet, to the skilled observer, he is no more than a Mwanawasa non-conformist and combatant. Many still fear that if Chiluba anointed him successor, he would have been more of the same.
Attack is the best defence, and so it seems in Sata’s political football.

In his game plan, weakness is not an adequate currency in the marketplace of power. So, he has fashioned himself as a relentless pain in the flesh of Mwanawasa’s presidency. Since 2001, Sata has become the embodiment of people’s resentment to bad governance and injustice.

Its this native intelligence of chachacha – the will to fight authority, the BOMA – that sets Sata apart from other opposition politicians. Indeed, Sata the PF president is a much more effective workhorse than the sum of several underlings that own other opposition political parties.

Many people admire the way Sata stands up for Zambia in the face of the Chinese trading juggernaut, which threatens to eclipse the local manufacturing industry. Although he raises genuine concerns about Africa’s look east policy to China, eyebrows have been raised about his engagement of Taiwan.

This does not negate the fact that China must come right on human rights at home and Darfur in Sudan. In Zambia, it has been Sata’s contention that the Chinese should venture into production rather than become petty traders in markets, that they should not casualise our workers, if they are not yet ignited by their explosives. These are patriotic demands indeed.

Yet again, his past is still very much a part of his political future. In this limelight, many Zambians are still bewildered: Is Sata’s politics driven by selfish ambitions or a genuine passion to serve the poor, unite the nation, and dismantle the family tree of nepotism nascent in our foreign service? History will be the best judge.

What matters, though, is that he has been consistent with his inconsistencies. And that’s where some feel Sata would make a better president for contemporary Zambia, because he does not mince his words. His blunt approach to issues is his greatest strength, and unfortunately, his greatest weakness.

His people skills have often been questioned, mainly because of the stern manner in which he delivers instructions, in no uncertain terms. But Sata’s Jerry Rawlings no-nonsense leadership style would come handy in a country like Zambia, where infrastructure needs urgent attention, as much as those that deliver public services need frog jumping.

That’s not all. With Sata as president, the mines will not be playing games with government. They would have to pay the new taxes without negotiations and time wasting threats of litigation, or else soldiers will be at the mine gates. It will not be far-fetched if Sata would do with our copper what Hugo Chavez did with Venezuela’s oil.

That’s the first thing some people would love about sata-nomics, the knowledge that the government has the responsibility to safeguard Zambians’ copper for the benefit of our people. Although the new Sata is at war with the old policies he built while in the MMD, he at least for now acknowledges that foreign capital knows no all-weather friends, that foreign investors have no moral and social obligations to our people.

On the Copperbelt, Sata’s message has lacked diplomatic etiquette, but it has been unequivocal in denouncing the new mine owners as being motivated by profit, that their business is conducted for private gain, and not for our public benefit. His memo has been well received in the mine townships – that the primary responsibility of managements is to the owners of the mines – not to some nebulous entity called the public good.

Who can blame Sata if he wins votes by lambasting the new Oppenheimers refusing to pay new taxes? The man is alive to the harsh realities of an economy held hostage by the greed of foreign investors colluding with the myopia of government leaders.

Let’s give credit where it’s due. Sata’s Robin Hood heroics on the Copperbelt are well deserved. As long as the Copperbelt is still a case study of robber capitalism, Sata’s niche will continue to grow. Without meaningful monetary benefits from our copper, who will be surprised if citizens kidnap mine workers, like in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region?

As long as the government continues to perambulate on its knees – begging the mines to pay the revised taxes – Sata will be there to tell the story, as it is.

Yet, in an earnest political milieu, there would be no room for Sata, whose role as MMD national secretary, some people contend, was to organise youths into instruments of hooliganism during the MMD national convention and the Chawama by-election in 2001. Sata has denied links to violent cadres.

But maybe people should give the man a break. There is absolutely no need to blame Sata’s type of politics if there is no alternative leadership in Zambia.

With all due respect, where is Prof Clive Chirwa when Zambia needs him? There is no doubt that escalating poverty has made the urban poor to opt for the brave Cobra they know, rather than wait for the ever-calculating intelligentsia.

A combination of the late Daddy Zemus’ Tuzakaina Liti and Nathan Nyirenda’s Mwe Makufi has come back to haunt the government’s flimsy policies on poverty.

This is the wave that Sata continues to surf, the unmet socio-economic needs of a disenchanted electorate.
With a horde of UNZA academics on his side, Sata’s abilities to transform the country are now lionized by both professionals and the Eagle Eagles. Indeed, Sata has laundered his image to suit the times, or is it the times that suit his talents?

Although he has refused to pander to the hallucinations of the current MMD government, critics doubt Sata is blessed with enough nobility to guarantee political space in which the people can exercise their rights.

Still, his position on the NCC is laudable. And if his MPs were thinking from their bellies and not their heads, he would be right to fire them all. These MPs are on the wrong side of the people, they are on the wrong side of history. The NCC is nothing but a moneymaking kantemba.

The NCC is part of the government’s window-dressing of the constitution-making process. And if we all agree (to disagree?) that the constitution must be written in our people’s language, using their own alphabet, then all those PF MPs are part of the grand government deception.

Those PF MPs who went against party policy are now an accident about to happen. They can learn a lesson or two about towing the party line. And if there are by-elections, they will come as a referendum of Sata’s growing popularity.

The fact is, as long as MMD government policies continue to be flawed, Sata will always be an asset to opposition politics in Zambia. As long as Sata is back on the right side of the people, for whatever reasons, people have reasons to celebrate this prodigal son of Zambian politics. And hopefully, when his life story is written, it will not end like VJ’s wrong sunset.

Come 2011, if the other presidential candidates do not match up to Sata’s campaign: bakalalila. Watch this space.
Kazhila Chinsembu is a freethinker and public-read scholar at the University of Namibia.

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By Belliah K Theise

 b6_edited.jpegThis week ‘s memo is about  the next Zambian president. Who should take the Zambian presidential sit in 2011?

I hate to admit this, the truth is, our leaders are always voted by villagers, marketeers and street boys who have no clue about education and foreign policies. 

 According to our observation, most politicians have a way to get into a mind of a person with little knowledge or no knowledge at all.  This includes developed countries. If you take a close look on politics, you will find that people end up voting for a candidates who keeps preaching what voters want to hear. People will go out to vote just because of a hear say,  without assessing a candidate  in practical terms.

In most cases, political Candidates have a tendency to study what the audience want to hear. Any one can stand and say I will give you jobs, bring rich breakfast, lunch and dinner in your home. Zambian Voters will listen because there are no jobs and are in poverty. As a candidate, you are happy when people vote for you. Are you going to keep your promise once you are voted in office?

 Practically, things always turns out to be different from all the promises that politicians make.

it’s time for candidates who are aspiring, to start preaching on practical issues and not to give fake hopes to people. Talk about real things that affects the economy of every country, and explain, to voters that it is not an easy path to bring stability to the country, it takes hard work and devotion to make things happen.

Disappointments, comes out when a candidate makes fake promises, do something else after being voted into office. We ask all the aspiring candidates to be more practical in the way they make promises to people, to avoid early disappointments.

It is not fair for voters  who have no clue on “Inflation” or economics, who listens innocently and line up to vote for a candidate who later does something contrary to his/her promise.

Zambia has highly experienced ,knowledgeable, and educated people.  Why is it that Zambians ends up voting for wrong leaders?

Could it be that all the educated Zambians, are too frustrated with the system, and has opted to sit back and watch, while the poor Zambian villagers , marketeers and street boys take their stand to vote for what they hear from those who can read their minds and give them fake promises? or could it be that qualified leaders and educated Zambians are  too busy with other duties and other personal stuff, or they are not brave enough to fight for their people or  is it lack of bringing themselves out with a positive approach to their fellow Zambians?

 If you are candidate or a voter. It is time to revisit your weaknesses and try to improve on them.

Our advice is:

Avoid:  Hate, tribal, gossip, and malicious rumors. By all means, should not be used as a tool to pick a right candidate for president. Validate each rumor, use your own discretion and common sense. Avoid operating like robots that are programed to perform certain functions.  Operating like a robot, makes both leaders and their voters look like idiots, when things go sour.

Remember:

Not every rumor or gossip is true. Yes there is no smoke without fire, but you have to remember that humans always enjoy negatives that appear on a candidate without using their good sense of judgement or common sense, they vote basing on those facts. If a negative outweighs a positive side of a candidate, it takes away all the good work he/she has done.

Remember, Media and campaigns are there to help voters to pick the best candidate, but at the same time, uses that as a tool to bring down a candidate, if the opponent has strong links to the media.  Many great leaders are brought down in no seconds, and voters end up voting for useless candidates.

Again… use your common sense and your good judgement, when you read negatives that comes flying on potential candidates.

On that note, we decided to re-visit Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s profile, as she seem to be carrying all the package of what makes a great president.

We at Zambian Chronicle, would like to see Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, contest for president in 2011. We have well rounded Zambian candidates like, HH and Many more, Inonge adds to the package.

For years, Zambians have had a problem when it comes to picking a president. It’s time to check where Zambians go wrong when it comes to voting?

Weakness:

We Vote with emotions, tribal, rumors and hate, Worse more when it comes to gender. 

In the end we get disappointed with our own voting when things go in a different direction. 

May be it is time to turn around, and look seriously inside lives and works of the aspiring candidates, without looking at a tribe, relations, cheap gossips or malicious rumors.

It is even more difficult to convince a Zambian mind, when it comes to women leadership.

When we look at Zambians, we see a lot of potential candidates men and women, that can lead us in 2011, and bring light to Zambia. 

I am not here advocating for Inonge because I am a woman.

Here at Zambian Chronicle, we are looking at the credentials, Education and experience.

Zambia needs a candidate for president, that has both local and foreign policy experience. As an African country we can not rule out education. It should be very cardinal  in this aspect.

 Therefore when it comes to choosing a president, let us open our eyes and pick quality and not quantity.

Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika and Hakainde Hichilema are both quality.

Having said that, Zambian Chronicles will continue to bring out candidates, that we think can make great president for Zambia in the future.

As we pointed out, in our earlier debates, Hakainde Hichilema and Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, have the real package.

Therefore, without looking at the tribes and gender, we feel Inonge can make a great president for Zambia for 2011. This includes, the appointees of ministers and local government officials.

This forum may help the next Zambian President to pick right candidates for certain roles.

Below is Inonge ‘s profile and credentials:

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.

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Princess Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika (born 10 July 1943, Senanga) is a senior Zambian politician currently. For more about her check

http://www.inongelewanika.com/family.htm

   1.   Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika is currently Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to the United States of America . Before her appointment to Washington D.C.

 2. She was Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Zambian President during his term as Chairman of the African Union.

3. Dr. Lewanika served as a Member of Parliament in the Zambian Parliament from 1991 to 2001. She was the first Chairperson of the Zambia All Party Women Parliamentarians Caucus and also founding Vice-chairperson of the outhern, Eastern and Horn of Africa African Women Parliamentarian Caucus.

  

4. At a very critical time just before national elections in 2001, Dr. Lewanika chaired the National Crisis Committee of the Alliance of Opposition Political Parties.

5.  She is a former candidate for President of the Republic of Zambia in the December 2001 Elections.

6.  She is an Educator by profession and has worked in various levels of Education.

Prior to her involvement in politics, Dr. Lewanika worked with UNICEF in key leadership roles in Africa overseeing more than twenty countries at a time. Jim Grant, the former head of UNICEF once called her “the most knowledgeable person about the children of Africa .” Dr. Lewanika was among five women from various continents to brief members of the United Nations Security Council on the first and unprecedented debate that resulted in UN Resolution 13 on WOMEN, PEACE and SECURITY in the year 2000. She was among sixteen (16) eminent African Women Members of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) Committee on Peace and Development, an Advisory Group to the African Union.

She was President of Federation of African Women’s Peace Networks (FERFAP) from 1997 to 2002. As President of the Federation of African Women Peace Networks (FEFAP) she contributed to mobilization of peace activities. In that capacity, she was selected to be among ten prominent African Women Peace Workers that visited Rwanda soon after the genocide. She later led a United Nations delegation to Burundi and Rwanda to assess the effects of the genocide on women and children and recommend intervention strategies. She led the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) Observer Mission of 96 Southern African

Academicians, Researchers and Members of Civil Society to the Zimbabwean Presidential, Mayoral and Council Elections in 2002. She was one of the International Youth Foundation’s founding board members.

Dr. Lewanika holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood and Primary Education from New York University . She is a mother of two grown daughters, a grandmother to four boys and a grand daughter. She has lived in five countries and speaks eight languages.

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A look at more of  Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s work Below: 

After 30 years of promoting girls’ education in the less-developed world, aid workers are now realizing that it is not enough to simply open the school door to girls. Unemployment, clean water and HIV/AIDS are now also on their agenda.
Inonge Mbikusita-LewanikaWASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)–Like many aid workers and activists trying to improve the lives of women in developing countries, Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika has long viewed education as the key to solving many of her countrywomen’s problems.Mbikusita-Lewanika, a former member of Zambia’s parliament and now the country’s ambassador to the United States, says the benefits of educating girls are so numerous– from raising marrying ages and lowering birth rates to stemming health and economic problems–that she would like to install a plaque reading “Send the Girls to School” in every village.But 30 years after the U.S. government and other aid-givers began to promote gender equality in their programs, they, like Mbikusita-Lewanika, have learned that relieving the burdens of poor women is more complex than once thought. Foreign aid officials from the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations say that it is not enough to open the school door to girls if their families are besieged by unemployment, unclean water, labor-intensive household chores and, increasingly, debilitating health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Nor is it enough to get a few women elected to the parliament or congress while women in the countryside still suffer age-old discriminations.To succeed, say aid experts, gender-equality programs must be integrally incorporated into the aid process from top to bottom, beginning with constant attention to gender issues at the policy level and ending with a wide distribution of burden-relieving aid in the rural areas where discrimination is often most ingrained.In Africa, for instance, women perform about 75 percent of agricultural work, according to Mark Blackden, the lead economist in the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Management of Gender Equity Division. He estimates the continent’s per-capita income would have doubled over the last 30 years if women had been given more aid and education to help with crop production. But aid givers have only recently realized that “one does indeed need to talk about the African farmer and her husband,” Blackden said.Instead, because of cultural misunderstandings, they have often directed agricultural education and technology to men. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said, it is not uncommon to see men sitting on tractors as women and girls continue to cultivate with a hand hoe nearby.Clearing a small plot of land in this manner can involve 18-hour days, leaving women little time to raise their children, gather fire wood, walk long distances to find potable water and, increasingly, care for the sick. With such intensive household labor needs, Mbikusita-Lewanika said girls often have little time for school.”The average woman takes care of everyone else but herself,” Mbikusita-Lewanika said at a recent Capitol Hill briefing for legislative staff.In countries where economies have been destroyed by conflict or AIDS, another factor diminishes the rationale for education: The lack of jobs when a girl graduates. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said that, while education “may be the most important investment, it may not necessarily be the first investment” that donors should undertake. For instance, providing drinking water would save women in many Zambian villages 1 1/2 hours a day, she said.In 1973, the U.S. Congress passed the Percy Amendment requiring that the nation’s foreign aid help integrate women into the mainstream of developing countries’ societies. Since then, the U.S. Agency for International Development–the main administrator of U.S. development aid–and other organizations have progressed from conducting a few gender equality projects a year to considering gender issues as a part of nearly every decision. While women’s issues once were often segregated in a separate office or set of discussions, all programs are now expected to address their impact on women.”The progress can be summed up in one sentence: It is no longer a separate thing,” USAID administrator Andrew S. Natsios told a Washington foreign aid conference earlier this month.

More Work to Be Done

Still, aid officials and activists say there is much more to do. According to the World Bank, more than 20 percent of the world’s population still lives on about $1 per day. The majority are women. And women’s burdens, especially in AIDS-stricken Africa, are growing as they bear bigger social and financial burdens.

One way donors can begin to lift that burden, Mbikusita-Lewanika told legislative staff, is to bypass governments and distribute aid money to local faith-based organizations and other groups that work at the local level and already know the intricate problems the women in their community face. Many central governments have not established effective ways to distribute help in the countryside, she said.

Other officials suggest increasing funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The $2 billion the Bush administration is prepared to spend in 2004 “is not enough,” said Kathryn Wolford, president of Lutheran World Relief, based in Baltimore.

Wolford also suggests an increased focus on debt relief for poor countries, which would free funds for social programs and infrastructure that could relieve women’s burdens.

Other activists say aid organizations need to collect and process more data showing the positive link between women’s participation and economic development. While many activists suggest that there is already too much talk about women’s problems and not enough action to solve them, economists say that more convincing evidence of the link between women’s progress and economic progress could be found.

At the foreign aid conference, Phil Evans, the senior social development adviser for the United Kingdom’s U.N. mission, said that statistical gender analyses are often riddled with “methodological problems,” in large part because researchers have focused on studying women instead of placing them in a societal context.

Some say the United States should signal its commitment to gender equality by ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international treaty that aims to outlaw discrimination against women and requires signatory countries to periodically report on their progress. President Carter signed the treaty in 1980 but the U.S. Senate has not ratified it as 174 nations have done.

Ratifying the treaty would send a powerful signal that the United States will join the world to “use the instruments available to us to hold countries accountable” for improving women’s lives, Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, told legislative staff.

New Solutions in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, USAID is attempting to deal with these challenges and its methods are not always very subtle. To encourage families to educate their daughters, USAID gives extra rations of vegetable oil to girls who attend school every day for a month, Natsios said. The number of girls attending school has increased overall from 6 percent to 35 percent, Natsios said, and is reaching 50 percent in some towns.

Not all of USAID’s work in Afghanistan is so targeted at women and girls but Natsios said he has found that nearly every project is having an impact on women’s status. For instance, the U.S. program that is building a 300-mile road from Kandahar to Kabul is unexpectedly improving women’s health in southern Afghanistan. Now mothers in childbirth and women in other forms of medical distress can be driven to medical facilities in Kabul in a matter of five to six hours. Before the road was built, the trip could take two days, Natsios said.

In addition, USAID has installed day-care centers in all Afghan government ministry buildings. Natsios said women who work for the ministries–many now widows with young children–said they would not return to their jobs unless their children had a safe place to go.

While many activists and government officials say gender issues are no longer seen as women’s alone, they hope the next 30 years will bring a greater resolution to age-old problems.

“It has taken a very long time to get as far as we are and (we) have a very long road to go,” said Julia Taft, assistant administrator and director of the United Nation’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

Lori Nitschke is a freelance journalist living in Washington, D.C. She was recently a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University in New York, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and business administration. Previously, she covered economic issues for Congressional Quarterly.

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   

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ABOUT 500 workers at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) have been issued with summary dismissal letters following their two-day riotous behaviour in protest against alleged poor conditions of service. And Police have apprehended seven CCS workers in relation to the riot that took place on Tuesday at the copper smelter company.Both CCS company secretary, Sun Chuanqi, and Copperbelt permanent secretary, Jennifer Musonda, confirmed the figure of the dismissed workers in separate interviews yesterday. Mr Chuanqi revealed that company property worth about US$200,000 was allegedly destroyed by the irate workers during the riot.He said management was saddened that the workers rioted before the conclusion of negotiations with union representatives.

Mr Chuanqi said the workers had been given a grace period of three days within which to exculpate themselves and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.

He complained that work had been adversely affected by the workers’ riotous behaviour.

Mr Chuanqi warned that all workers identified as ring leaders would be dismissed from employment to discourage others from behaving in a similar manner.

By press time yesterday more than 19 alleged ring leaders had been identified while more than 66 workers collected their summary dismissal letters.

Mr Chuanqi appealed to workers to exculpate themselves within the stipulated time so that the innocent ones could be reinstated.

“We’re appealing to the workers to respond quickly to the summary dismissal letters so that those that did not take part in the riotous behaviour could be reinstated because work has been grossly affected and we need local manpower,” he said.

Mr Chuanqi said CCS belonged to Zambians and wondered why the workers destroyed what belonged to them simply because of a dispute that could have been resolved amicably.

“What we are building here also belongs to Zambians, so people must desist from destroying this investment. For those who will not come to collect their letters, we will follow them until they get them so that they can exculpate themselves,” he said.

However, Mr Chuanqi paid tribute to government for its continued support to Chinese investment in Zambia.

He also said the Chinese worker only identified as a Mr Li who was injured during the riot on Tuesday was discharged from the hospital.

And Mrs Musonda also confirmed that workers were served with summary dismissal letters when they reported for work yesterday.

A check by the Zambia Daily Mail crew yesterday at the CCS premises found several riot police officers manning the company.

Some Zambian workers were found waiting to collect their summary dismissal letters while others were reluctant to collect them, claiming that they did not take part in the riot.

Those spoken to said they were ignorant about the whole thing and that they were just forced by some of their colleagues to riot.

Copperbelt Police commanding officer, Antonneil Mutentwa, revealed that six officials of the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and their member were apprehended by police in connection with the riot.

Mr Mutentwa said the union officials and their member were apprehended around 17: 45 hours on Tuesday.
NUMAW national secretary Albert Mando condemned the action by the workers to riot and damage company property.

“We are not in support of what the workers did. We are also disappointed with what happened on Tuesday because the negotiations have not yet collapsed, so why strike or riot?” Mr Mando said.

Zambia Daily Mail

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Times of Zambia reports…

Chambishi fires 500

 ALL the 500 striking workers at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) were yesterday fired while seven National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) branch officials were arrested and detained on Tuesday evening.

The workers were served with letters of summary dismissal by management in the morning.

The move by management was as a result of the riotous behaviour by the workers at the company premises on Tuesday morning.

Police said those arrested were detained at Kitwe Central Police Station to help with investigations.

The workers at the Chinese-owned company had been on strike since Monday, demanding improved conditions of service.

The situation worsened on Tuesday when the workers decided to become violent and damaged property worth millions of Kwacha.

Both CCS company secretary, Sun Chuanqi and NUMAW national secretary, Albert Mando, confirmed that all the 500 workers who took part in the work stoppage had been served with letters of summary dismissal and had been given three days in which to exculpate themselves.

But Mr Mando said it was unfortunate that management had decided to serve the workers with letters of summary dismissal, saying there was no reason to continue with negotiations when its members had been served with letters of dismissal.

He, however, said his union would work hard to ensure that the seven branch union officials, who had been arrested, were released so that negotiations could continue.

“Yes, I have been told that the management at the company has also served the workers with letters of summary dismissal, but it is unfortunate management has resolved to take this stance.

“This decision by management will affect our negotiations because how do we negotiate when our members have been given letters of summary dismissal,” Mr Mando said.

And speaking in an interview at CCS, Mr Chuanqi said the management at the company had decided to serve its workers with letters of summary dismissal as a way of disciplining them for their riotous behaviour, but that they were free to exculpate themselves.

He said management was eager to listen to the concerns of the workers, but was saddened that the workers quickly resolved to become riotous and damaged property at the company.

He said the Chinese investment in Zambia was there to benefit both Zambians and Chinese and there was no reason for Zambian workers to become violent and damage property.

“As management, we do not take pleasure in dismissing our employees, but we want them to know that violence does not pay and that they have to do things according to the law. Problems arise where there are people, but things must be done correctly,” Mr Chuanqi said.

And Mr Mando confirmed the detention of the seven union branch officials and that he was trying to secure their release.

Mr Mando, who was still at the Kitwe Central Police Station by Press time, said those arrested were branch chairman, Oswell Chibale Malume, vice-branch chairman, Christopher Yumba, branch secretary, Steven Kabwe, branch vice-secretary, Christopher Nkandu, treasurer, Kafwaya Ndombwani, vice-treasurer, Chanda Mhango and a shop steward, Kachinga Silungwe.

Mr Mando said the seven were picked up on Tuesday evening and had not been formally charged although they were still being interrogated.

“Yes I can confirm that seven of NUMAW branch officials at Chambishi Copper Smelter have been arrested and detained at Kitwe central police station. They were picked up around 18:00 hours on Tuesday.

“I am actually at the police station, but I have not talked to them because they are still being interrogated and have not been formally charged. As a union, we are trying to secure their release,” Mr Mando said.

The Times team which went to CCS found the place deserted with only armed police dotted all over to keep vigil.

End of report.

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h.jpegHakainde Hichilema (born June 4, 1962) is the President of Zambia’s United Party for National Development (UPND).  

He replaced Anderson Mazoka after an interparty election, organized by then functioning party president Sakwiba Sikota, which followed Mazoka’s death in May 2006.  

He is also President of the opposition alliance United Democratic Alliance (UDA) which comprises FDD, UPND and UNIP. 

Mr. Hichilema popularly known as Sammy by his close associates is married to Mutinta Hichilema and they have three children, daughter Miyanda (12), and sons Habwela (9) and Chikonka (6). 

He is a graduate of UNZA where he studied economics and business between 1981-1986 after which he went to the United Kingdom where he did his Masters in Business Administration – MBA.

His professional career includes positions such as assistant consultant at Equator Advisory Services. At Coopers & Lybrand he held various positions including that of director, corporate advisor and he also served as CEO from 1994-1998. When Coopers & Lybrand changed its name to Grant Thornton, he was named Managing Partner of the firm. 

Mr. Hichilema is Chairman of the board(s) for Sun International, Greenbelt Fertilizers Ltd, Media Trust Fund, Export Development Program and sits on various boards as director including the Zambia Investment Board, Seedco Zambia, African Financial Services Limited, Zambezi Nickel or Bermuda Limited (Bermuda) and West Lake Investments (Mauritius).  

He also sits on seven other boards in member capacity which include but not limited to the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Zambia Business Forum, etc.  

As a presidential candidate for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA)  he ran against incumbent president Levy Mwanawasa of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy and Patriotic Front candidate Michael Sata.  

Mr. Hichilema received the endorsement of former president Kenneth Kaunda. The elections were held on September 28, 2006, and Hichilema took third place with about 25% of the vote while other estimates say he actually come in second when the final tally is scrutinized. 

In this week’s memo, he is being contrasted with Mr. Michael C Sata whose profile was posted against Dr. Lewanika and we don’t see any sense in us reposting it.

classy-daddy-3.gifWe hope pundits will look at a veracity of issues pertaining to both qualities as well as qualification of who we should put forward as the nation’s chief executive officer for the Zambian Enterprise in these perilous times.

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.

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by Dickson Jere

Photoflag.gifMoves to finally provide Zambia with its first post-independence constitution have stirred up a political hornet’s nest, with President Levy Mwanawasa’s accusations of treason failing to silence dissent.

While there is a general acceptance that a written constitution for the former British colony is long overdue, the normally mild-mannered Mwanawasa’s involvement has led to another deep rift after last year’s divisive elections.

“The constitution should be the basis of unity in a nation (but) … the constitution debate has been very divisive,” said Lee Habasonda, executive director of the Southern Africa Centre for Conflict Resulotions and Disputes.

“Both sides must exercise a bit of restraint and engage in constructive dialogue.”

In a bid to reach a national consensus on the constitution, 43 years after the former northern Rhodesia gained its independence, a special conference is expected to be held later this year with participants from across the political spectrum invited to attend.

But analysts say the project is being seriously hampered by the involvement of Mwanawasa, with some key players vowing to boycott the conference as it has been tailored to produce a document that favours the president and his camp.

“The composition of the conference is biased towards government and politicians. We shall not go there,” said Marian Munyinda, spokeswoman of the Oasis Forum, a coalition of civic groups.

Such suggestions have particularly annoyed Mwanawasa who introduced a bill that means any new constitution has to be approved by a broad-based conference instead of parliament where his party has a comfortable majority.

On learning earlier this month that his opponents were planning to stage demonstrations against the conference he remarked that “should I hear any more nonsense … they will be arrested and charged with treason.”

Michael Sata, the populist opposition leader who lost last year’s general election to Mwanawasa, has refused to be silenced and argues that Mwanawasa is not interested in having a truly open debate about the constitution.

“The whole process is a fraud because Mwanawasa wants to use it for political expediency,” said Sata.

“My party is not going to take part in the fraud.”

The main disagreement revolves around whether the constitution should specifically entrench rights on social issues such as housing and education rather than solely concentrating on basic legal and human rights.

Mwanawasa is strongly opposed to the idea of specifically according such rights in a country where poverty is endemic.

“If these rights are enshrined in the new constitution, no government is going survive. Presidents will be impeached for failure to provide employment, education and food because that will be breaching the constitution,” he said.

Emily Sikazwe, a popular women rights activist, pointed out that other countries such as South Africa enshrined social rights even if she acknowledged they may not be attained overnight.

“We don’t understand why Mwanawasa is opposed to these progressive provisions in the draft constitution,” she said.

A draft constitution was written in 2005 by a commission appointed by Mwanawasa, which recommended a reduction in presidential powers and laying out detailed human rights.

But Mwanawasa and his government reacted coolly to the proposals and have since pushed for the conference in what opponents see as a diversionary tactic.

Justice Minister George Kunda said the process would continue, regardless of any boycotts.

“We have listened to their concerns and we have taken them on board,” said Kunda.

Diplomats have been largely sympathetic towards Mwanawasa, despite some of his more controversial rhetoric.

“I think he means well. We have met him several times on this issue and he comes out convincing to the extent that he wanted to resign,” said one senior European diplomat.

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse.

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It is rather shocking that the Justice Minister – George Kunda has been instructed by the President Levy P Mwanawasa, SC to present a new controversial bill to be enacted into law – The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) bill. 

It is aimed at tightening the operations of civil society groups at a time when the same NGOs have been very vocal against the recommended constitutional adoption review and dismissed the roadmap proposed by the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID), as a “body of politicians” with self-interested motives. 

The bill was introduced last evening (Tuesday) amid accusations that the legislation is aimed at stifling criticism. The minister is quoted as saying … “I am a bearer of the message from the president (Levy Mwanawasa) that this bill be enacted into law”.  

“Government has sneaked in the bill in parliament without consulting the stakeholders. The motive behind this bill is very suspicious,” said Rueben Lifuka, president of Transparency International Zambia. 

This also follows media reports that some members of the opposition parties are not willing to put a stamp on government’s plan while the Catholic Information Service for Africa issued a similar demand from Nairobi seeking a people-driven constitution. 

According to the Nairobi report, government’s proposed modus operandi is faulty; firstly because it is politician-driven, secondly because it insists on parliamentary supremacy, and thirdly because it proposes that government should prepare Constitutional Bills for amendments of the Constitution. 

The minister contended that the bill wanted to enhance transparency and accountability among civil society groups and also seeks to provide guidelines for the establishment, registration and coordination of NGOs, including international organizations that have offices in Zambia.  

While we at the Zambian Chronicle find some excellent provisions in it such as its ability to enable the government to suspend civil society groups that fail to submit quarterly or annual returns or when they misapply funds they receive from donors, we find the timing rather suspicious.

If enacted, all international and local NGOs have to abide by the new rules and in some cases be deregistered if found to be non-compliant. The bill comes to the floor for full debate on Friday and is most likely going to pass … 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.