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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


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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For all qualified Zambians in the Houston area, new job opportunities coming …

Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top ranking positions in all three of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete & Gypsum.  

Whilst operating in 76 countries and employing 80,000 employees, Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 “100 Global Most Sustainable Corporation in the world”. 

9% of the total Lafarge workforce is employed across Africa. Lafarge is committed to attract, develop and retain the best people to achieve a major step change in results as well as to promote international career opportunities for high potential African employees throughout the Lafarge Group. 

Lafarge will be attending the Careers in Africa Recruitment Summit scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas on 16-18 November 2007 where they will be interviewing for the following roles in Zambia:

1. Chemist  

2. Works Chemist   

3. Mining Engineer  

4. Mechanical Execution Engineer

5. Process Engineer

6. Projects Engineer (Civil/Electrical)

7. Mechanical Engineer

8. Electrical Engineer

Interested candidates are invited to apply online before October 5th 2007.  

We would be very grateful if you could forward this email to your Zambian contacts who may be interested in interviewing with Lafarge at the Summit and/or provide us with contact details of people who could help us communicate about the Lafarge career opportunities to interested Zambian parties.  

Best regards,

Njambi   – – – – – –

Njambi Ngunjiri
Sourcing Manager
 Global Career Company Ltd
LG17 Shepherds Studios
Rockley Road
London W14 0DA

Tel: +44 (0) 207 348 9097
Fax: +44 (0) 207 348 9192

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Beneath the bustling “infinite corridor” linking buildings at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, just past a boiler room, an assemblage of tinkerers from 16 countries welded, stitched and hammered, working on rough-hewn inventions aimed at saving the world, one village at a time.

Allister Cook of Scotland dealing with the aftermath of a storm on a greenhouse, one of several prototypes developed at the International Development Design Summit at M.I.T.

M.I.T. has nurtured dozens of Nobel Prize winners in cerebral realms like astrophysics, economics and genetics. But lately, the institute has turned its attention toward concrete thinking to improve the lives of the world’s bottom billion, those who live on a dollar a day or less and who often die young.

This summer, it played host to a four-week International Development Design Summit to identify problems, cobble together prototype solutions and winnow the results to see which might work in the real world.

Mohamed Mashaal, a young British engineer headed for a job with BP on the North Sea this fall, poured water into a handcrafted plastic backpack worn by a design partner, Bernard Kiwia, who teaches bicycle repair in rural Tanzania and hopes to offer women there an easier way to tote the precious liquid for long distances.

Sham Tembo, an electrical engineer from Zambia, and Jessica Vechakul, an engineering graduate student at M.I.T., slowly added a cow manure puree to a five-gallon bucket holding charcoal made from corncobs. In the right configuration, the mix might generate enough electricity to charge a cellphone battery or a small flashlight for a year or more.

The summit ( was the brainchild mainly of Amy Smith, a lecturer at M.I.T. who received her master’s there in 1995 and in 2004 won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, and Kenneth Pickar, an engineering professor at the California Institute of Technology. Faculty and students from Olin College, an engineering school near Boston, were also involved.

The flurry of activity was taking place at D-Lab, a research center and set of courses at M.I.T. devoted to devising cheap technologies that could have a big effect in impoverished communities. In homage to Ms. Smith’s passion for attacking poverty from the ground up, the lab is nicknamed “Amy’s World.”

Typically, D-Lab sends students abroad in midwinter breaks to work with people who are struggling with a lack of clean water, electricity, cooking fuels or mechanical power to turn crops into products. For four weeks, though, the real world had come to M.I.T.

Throughout the workshop, Ms. Smith served as scoutmaster, cheerleader, cook and personal shopper (when work flowed deep into the night), and she provided periodic reality checks.

She seemed dazed at times, but never fazed. “Everyone calls this an experiment,” Ms. Smith said of the workshop, the first of its kind. “I call it the realization of a vision.”

The work itself was often two steps back, not one step forward. As Lhamotso, a young woman from Tibet, and Laura Stupin, who just graduated from Olin, wrestled with a whirring Rube Goldberg mash-up of bicycle and grain mill, the chain slipped with a loud clang.

“We have a real friction problem,” Ms. Stupin yelled.

The workshop was developed over the last year by Ms. Smith, Dr. Pickar and others after a meeting to discuss a “design revolution” — a shift in focus among companies, universities, investors and scientists toward attacking problems that hamper development in the world’s poorest places.

“Nearly 90 percent of research and development dollars are spent on creating technologies that serve the wealthiest 10 percent of the world’s population,” Ms. Smith said. “The point of the design revolution is to switch that.”

She added: “There are several different places where that revolution has to take place. We started thinking, ‘How do we train engineers so they might start thinking of this as a field of engineering they’d want to pursue?’ ”

Developing a pedal-powered grain mill or a backpack for water, as workshop participants did, was only a first step. The teams also had to be sure that their creations could be built of local materials cheaply enough to be bought by the world’s poorest people, that they could be fixed easily and fit ways of living that have deep-rooted rhythms.

The workshop began in mid-July, with the arrival of nearly 50 visitors from Brazil, Ghana, Guatemala, Tanzania, Tibet and other countries.

Most of the $200,000 budget was provided by donations from individuals and private groups, including the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, which supports university programs to develop commercially viable products that advance society.

The workshop began with a lecture by Paul Polak, a psychiatrist turned entrepreneur, who develops simple solutions for the problems of the poor. Dr. Polak, who has become something of a guru to the design revolution movement, railed against conventional charity and insisted that the route to prosperity lies in inventions that improve lives but mesh with existing lifestyles.

He laid out the principles of development from the bottom up, including the importance of first listening and watching, then following the old dictum “small is beautiful” with another, equally important one: “cheap is beautiful.”

The goal, he said, should be to improve a million lives, and to make technologies that can be sold and bought in increments — like a drip-irrigating system that can expand as a farmer’s income rises. Dr. Polak said in an interview that at least in the classroom, the push for such initiatives was coming from young people.

Andrew C. Revkin/The New York Times

Mohamed Mashaal, right, a British engineer, testing a plastic backpack with his design partner, Bernard Kiwia, who hopes people in Tanzania can use it to haul water over long distances.

Ms. Smith said she wanted to avoid having the workshop end up as yet another academic exercise where the only outcome is often a set of paper proceedings or pledges. This time, she said, the goal was “no paper, just prototypes.”

In fact, in the first days of the workshop, it seemed that the only paper in evidence was an ever-spreading, flower-petal array of blue, green, pink and yellow sticky notes on walls and blackboards. The notes charted the progression from basic needs (water, food, energy, health) to specific issues (a three-mile hike to and from the nearest water supply in a Tanzanian village, the lack of a well-testing kit that a Bangladeshi village clinic could afford).

Ms. Smith placed participants in project teams. Then came round-table discussions, rough sketches, technical drawings and the first three-dimensional models.

Half a dozen volunteer mentors helped the participants make their ideas more concrete. Some were academics, like Ariel Phillips of Harvard, whose specialty is group dynamics. Others were drawn from Ms. Smith’s black book filled with an array of fixers and crafters — people whose careers have been spent solving problems by turning metal, plastic, wood, circuitry and motors into working devices. They included Dennis Nagle, a former weapons designer who abandoned the profession, he said, during the Summer of Love and turned to lighting design and other things, like the 24-ton array of speaker cabinets for a Guns N’ Roses concert.

The mentors’ task was making things work. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re on the verge of a Home Depot run,” announced Jock Brandis, who had driven to the workshop from Wilmington, N.C. After a career building contraptions on movie sets, Mr. Brandis now helps run the Full Belly Project, which develops machines to simplify village work.

Mr. Brandis noted that the budget for developing a peanut sheller for a Malian village was far different from that for building a camera-toting vehicle in rural Mexico to film Antonio Banderas galloping through the desert as Zorro. But the challenge of filling a niche with limited materials and tools is similar.

The other similarity is that both kinds of design begin with a blank slate. As Mr. Brandis put it: “It’s, ‘Here’s the model high-rise made of Styrofoam, and then the flying saucer has to fly into it, and we need to shoot it three times from three different angles, and next Tuesday it’s got to happen.’ ”

At the workshop, Mr. Brandis examined with approval one group’s design for an oven with three grates of progressively finer mesh to hold charcoal fuel, so that big pieces that have not burned down stay separate from more fully consumed fuel, limiting harmful smoke.

“What you try to do in virtually every situation is make their lives more efficient,” he said. “That’s what the big revolution in America was between 1860 and 1960 — that a person doing a day’s work can produce a lot more product. And that means time is more valuable and that means he has more time to do other things.”

Ashley Thomas, an entering senior at M.I.T., explained the appeal of such work while struggling with a teetering metal frame for a cooler that uses evaporation from wet fabric instead of electrical components to draw heat from its contents. The idea was conceived with participants from Tibet, where meat must be stored for weeks in isolated rural areas, and India, where heat can quickly ruin a vendor’s inventory.

“Imagine a fruit vendor in a rural area or the slums,” explained Deepa Dubey, a partner of Ms. Thomas, who studies product design as a graduate student in Kanpur, India. “He comes with all his fruit and vegetables. At the end of the day he makes one dollar, and whatever is left he has to throw it away because he can’t store it.”

Ms. Thomas said, “Amy’s class is about the hardest class to get into at M.I.T., including at the Sloan School, which is basically about how to make a million dollars after you graduate.”

She added: “It’s taking industrial design theory and applying it to where you can have the greatest impact. Here, $5 worth of angle iron and towels could mean a month’s supply of food. To me, that’s just worth so much more than spending that amount of time working on designing a slick new computer.”