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Volume 7 - January 2009

Volume 7 January 2009

Zambian Airways Faces Collapse


As ZSIC management withdraws recommendation to bail-out struggling Mmembe, Taskforce Prosecutor and Lusaka Lawyer Mutembo Nchito, Hotelier
airline Gaudensio Rossi and Passmore Hamukoma who is the chairman of the
Zambian Airways board. We hear three commercial banks are contemplating lifting
The amount of the debts, which Zambian Airways owes to various creditors, is the corporate veil on the airline so that directors and shareholders should be made
astronomical to say the least! The latest figure of the debt was slightly above personally accountable to pay the debts which have accumulated in recent years.
US$25 million and interest was accruing unabated. “The airline is bankrupt…,”
said a senior manager in one of the private commercial banks that loaned millions The shareholders of the airline are JCN holdings owned by Nchito and his elder
of dollars to Zambian Airlines. The board and management of the airline have brother Nchima Nchito, Seaboard, a US firm that owns and manages National
tried all sorts of rescue packages that appear to be falling apart. “Liquidation is Milling Corporation (NMC) and the Post Newspapers Limited. The Post
the only answer but even then, the creditors won’t recover their monies,” risk and Newspaper injected US$3 million in the airline using a loan facility from Investrust,
compliance manager of a commercial bank said. He said the US$25 million debt which is still outstanding even though the company has tried to be update by
is mainly from big creditors but if other smaller suppliers are added, the figure paying funds from the sales of the newspaper.
could go beyond US$30 million.”They will need a government bail-out for them
to survive,” he disclosed. But it is very unlikely that the ministry of finance will use Attempts have been made to woo investors to buy into the airline but most of
state resources to keep a private airline in the air in the midst of various national them have not been impressed with the financial position of the company, which
problems affecting the country, especially in the mining industry. was worsened when the global oil prices had terribly tumbled on the international
market and affected most airlines in the world.
The directors of the airline are Post Newspaper Editor and shareholder Fred
The biggest debt is with Finance

Taskforce – Chungu Deal Exposed


Bank Zambia Limited, which
has been proving funds to keep
the airline floating. But we hear
Finance Bank chairman Rajan
Chungu’s return raises questions on the taskforce put under some “sort of” house arrest while discussing the Mahtani‘s patience with the
agenda to fight corruption deal. Nkole initially met a close relative of Chungu in Zambia airline is running dry and may
where the plan was mooted and communicated to Chungu pull the plug. However, he is
Maxwell Nkole, the chairman of the Taskforce on Corruption, in Maputo before his lawyer Nicholas Chanda was drafted equally constrained to make any
was quick to dismiss the assertions that fugitive former into the whole plan. “It was the taskforce or Mr. Nkole to be moves without the consent of
intelligence chief Xavier Franklin Chungu alias ‘XF’ had specific who first made the contact for the meeting. It was other creditors who includes the
cut a deal to enable him return home after four years of unsolicited…,” the source said. Investrust Bank Plc, Intermarket
self-imposed exile. Chungu, who also carries the name of Banking Corporation and the state-
Franklin Kalinga Chungu, returned home on December 3, It was agreed, according to one of the insiders who were run Development Bank of Zambia
2008 from his ‘hiding’ base in neighbouring Mozambique (See part of the deal that Nkole should travel with Chanda to (DBZ), which by implications is
Executive Issues July Edition) where he was comfortably Mozambique to finalise the terms of the agreement with supposed to be a shareholder in
living on the sea side. It has emerged that Nkole was in the Chungu. “We were told that the arrangement began before the airline. Investrust Bank Plc,
forefront of trying to cut a deal with Chungu and he personally [President Levy Patrick] Mwanawasa died…,” the source Intermarket Banking Corporation
travelled to Maputo, with an officer from the taskforce, a said. and DBZ syndicated a loan of
few days before the October 30 Presidential elections to US$5.5 million to Zambian Airways
negotiate with Chungu to return home through an amicable However, Nkole travelled to Mozambique without the in 2007, which the airline used
settlement. We hear the government was not aware of these knowledge of Chungu’s lawyer – Chanda -who was supposed to purchase additional aircrafts
arrangements by the taskforce. to have accompanied him to finalise the agreement. We to add to the fleet. After failure
hear Chungu refused to meet with Nkole in the absence of to settle the loans on schedule,
Nkole, we have gathered, offered to renovate one of the his lawyer and other officials from government so that the DBZ made a decision to swap the
houses seized from Chungu situated in Kabulonga area arrangement could be finalized with a state consent. “They loan into equity even though most
so that the former director-general could have been quietly To pg 2

Contents
NAPSA Sacks Boss - Page 2 Budget 2009: Likely More of the Same - Page 7

Who’s who - Page 3 Zimbabwe: A Wooden Spoon for SADC - Page 8

Evaluating the Banda Presidency - Page 5 Energy: A New Idea (At Last) - Page 10

Maize: Export or Perish - Page 6 Orbituaries - Page 11


Executive Issues
News Volume 7 - January 2009

NAPSA ‘SACKS’ BOSS


As the company buys controversial Munali Coffee Farm for US$ 7.6 million Coppers to recover the loan.

Dr. Aubrey Chinyeke Chibumba, the recently “sacked” Director-General of NAPSA, Following the frequent newspaper advertisement of the sale of the farm, very few
had ignored a set of probing questions sent to him over a questionable investment credible investors showed interest owing to the complicated nature of coffee farming
he made using public funds. Chibumba decided to buy a failing and collapsing coffee and the collapse of the coffee prices on the international market. We hear the valuation
farm – Muyubu Farms in Receivership– at a cost of US$7.6 million at a time when of the farm was put at a lower price than what NAPSA paid, raising questions on the
coffee farming to collapsing in most parts of Africa. The transaction was concluded transaction. A set of questions set to the Receiver remains unanswered over the actual
on November 14, 2008 through the Receiver – Pricewatehouse Coppers. “This was value of the farm and the list of bidders who threw in their purchase intention. The
one of the worst investment for NAPSA, Someone must be made to pay for this waste deal was further suspicious when it was discovered that Chibumba decided to form
of public funds,” said one NAPSA manager who had opposed the deal. The board of a separate company, wholly owned by NAPSA, to be the purchaser of the farm. The
NAPSA announced the suspension of Chibumba recently and he has been replaced newly formed Munali Coffee Company Limited intends to continue with the growing
by Stanley Phiri who had been director of finance and investment at the state-run and processing of coffee despite the difficulties the farm was facing. “Buying such a
Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC). NAPSA board chairperson Professor farm is too risky an investment for NAPSA to make. It is not going to them a return…,”
John Lungu, who had defended another similar questionable NAPSA investment an agriculture economist said.
recently, announced the changes.
We hear NAPSA has approached Zambia’s agric-giant, ZAMBEEF, to manage the
Mubuyu Farms – otherwise known as Munali Coffee – is a classical failed project. The newly acquired farm on its behalf. It is not clear what terms will the management contract
farm, situated 1,600 hectares of land near Mazabuka has been slowly going down contain but Chibumba was recently nominated to sit on the board of ZAMBEEF.
following the capricious weather pattern in Southern Zambia as well as the lack of
capital injection. A US$10 million loan obtained from Barclays Bank Zambia by the NAPSA had also injected ZMK10 billion of pensioner’s funds into the gambling business,
owner Willem Lublinkhof failed to bring the farm to life despite sinking several bole Zambian Lotto, on the expense of credible projects in Zambia. The controversial lotto,
holes to mitigate the drought pattern on the farm. Barclays, the traditional lender to which is majority owned by Lebanese nationals, was launched barely few months without
the farm for several decades, appointed a receiver Nitesh Patel of Pricewaterhouse any track record but Chibumba pumped in the funds to acquire 10 percent of the stake.

Zambia Airways Taskforce – Chungu


Faces Collapse Deal Exposed
From page 1
minority shareholders objected to the deal. Financial analysts have questioned the From page 1
Central Bank role in these transactions saying the whole loan facility to Zambian stayed there for a few days and returned without meeting Chungu…,” a source
Airways was done without much supervision from the Bank of Zambia. “The close to the former spymaster disclosed. Nkole confirmed on state television
liquidation of the Airline will badly affect the financial position of smaller banks – ZNBC – that the taskforce officers had followed Chungu to Maputo prior to his
like Intermarket. BOZ should have taken a much stronger role in these matters return but could not give details on the agenda of their trip. Chungu, we are told
especially that huge funds were moving into a non-viable venture,” he added. As communicated with his lawyers saying he could not have met Nkole because his
the drama was playing out, the state-owned Zambia State Insurance Company tenure at taskforce, including its legal authority, was not recognized by him and
(ZSIC), which had initially expressed an interest to inject US$4 million in the airline, his colleagues facing corruption charges.
withdrew its earlier position. The board meeting of December 16, 2008, the ZSIC
management informed the board members that they had decided to withdraw the Following the protracted negotiations, which could not materialize, Chungu, on
recommendation to inject funds in the airline on account of debts. his own volition, decided to return home so that he could “clear himself” of the
several criminal charges against him in the subordinate courts. He travelled
The management informed the meeting that ZSIC could not proceed with the from to Lusaka via Johannesburg in a business class using South African
proposed investment because Zambian Airways owed another state-run firm Airways ‘Airlink’ passenger plane. Contrary to stories that he was spotted by the
– National Airports Corporation (NAC) over US$2 million and also raised issues of immigration officers upon entry, Chungu presented himself to the immigration
corporate governance within the airline. The airline is also believed to owe around officers and was ushered into the VIP lounge before he was whisked to the office
US$2 million to another state-owned National Pensions Authority (NAPSA), which of the Inspector-General of the Police Francis Kabonde.
it has failed to service. We gather the deal to pump funds into Zambian Airways
using pensioner’s funds was made under the leadership of suspended NAPSA Chungu later explained to Jones Chinyama, sitting as trial magistrate for most
boss, Dr. Aubrey Chinyeke Chibumba. corruption cases, that he had fled the country after receiving credible information
that he was about to be assassinated by people he did not disclose. He said
The airline also tried to get funds from another state-run Zambia Consolidated he was now sure that his life was no longer in danger and decided to return
Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) but the board rejected to the home. Chinyama ordered Chungu to pay ZMK500 million for breaching the bail
investment after doing a due-diligence study which showed that the airline was conditions imposed on him by the court or face six months imprisonment for
bankrupt. The detailed report, compiled by Gershom Mumba, a former DBZ contempt of court. On arrival, Chungu presented a passport bearing his other
managing director and an ex-International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive director names Franklin Kalinga Chungu, a document which is believed to have been
who categorically stated that the airline was not a profitable venture that would issued for operational purposes when he was head of the Zambian intelligence
require any prudent investor to put funds in it. However, almost at the same or infamously called ‘Red Brick”. People close to Chungu confirms that the
period, the ZSIC investment committee did a report, which stated that the airline ex-spymaster has often used the names of Franklin Kalinga even in his youth
was a viable business venture until the board refused to bulge in order to support days.
management.
The taskforce has since slapped Chungu with charges of using forged documents
There are credible speculations that the airline has not been servicing the taxes arising from the use of the said passport and will soon appear in court for trial.
with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), which complicates the Questions have also been raised on how Chungu managed to obtain Visas to
creditor’s positions. Legally, the payment of taxes will take precedence enter European Cities at will if his passport was a forged document as alleged by
of any creditor if the airline wounds up even though jurists still differ on the taskforce. Time will certainly tell on this episode!
this position in Zambia.

Executive Issues
Executive Issues
Volume 7 - January 2009 News

Barclays Bank Fingered in


Who’s who Suspicious Deals
Judge Lombe Chibesakunda Barclays await court outcome but accusations persist nonetheless

– The Iron Lady


Barclays Bank Zambia Managing Director Zafar Masud is known for being a
media friendly boss but this time around, he could not answer simple and clear
questions put to him. His bank is being accused of serious allegations, which
needed his response.
The National Women’s Lobby Group has called for wider national support for the
candidacy of Madam Justice Phyllis Lombe Chibesakunda who is vying for a The controversial Mubuyu Farms was put in liquidation by Barclays Bank after
seat on the International Court of Justice domiciled at The Hague, Netherlands. the shareholders defaulted on a loan repayment as a result of the fall in coffee
prices on the foreign market as well as the drought that engulfed the southern
“We need to support Justice Chibesakunda. If she is nominated, the Zambian flag part of Zambia.
will be put on the world map,” the Lobby has said, adding that her success would
motivate young Zambian girls to aim higher. Judge Chibesakunda is seeking a The farm was sold to Munali Coffee Limited, a company specifically formed by
seat on the international court. National Pensions Authority’s (NAPSA) suspended boss Dr. Aubrey Chinyeke
Chibumba on behalf of his corporation.
The candidacy however goes beyond mere gender considerations. Judge
Chibesakunda, one of three female judges of the Zambian Supreme Court of Note that at the time of sale, the company had not been incorporated and queries
Appeal is in many respects a credible and worthy candidate with a rich, well sent to the Receiver at Pricewaterhouse concerning the same remain unanswered
rounded background that goes well beyond service in the judiciary. as well! Now, here is the allegation against Barclays; NAPSA bought the Mubuyu
Farm at a cost of US$7.6 million and appointed ZAMBEEF Plc as managers of
Positions Held; the same entity.
• Head of the pioneering urban social project, Social Action in Lusaka
(SAIL), Barclays Bank through its nominees own a substantial shares in ZAMBEEF and
• Member of Parliament for Matero industry experts have raised alarm on this scenario.
• Minister of State for Legal Affairs
• Solicitor-General of Zambia. “Is Barclays, in cohorts with others too quick to pull the plug on financially troubled
• Zambia’s Ambassador to Japan, companies so that it can quickly sell them to big corporations where it has an
• High Commissioner of Zambia to the United Kingdom interest?” the question still begs! “We wish to advise that the matter is currently in
• Judge in charge at the Industrial Relations Court. court. We shall allow the due process of the law to run its course, whose outcome
• Judge in charge of the Ndola High Court. we shall abide by,” said Webster Malido, spokesman of the bank who replied on
• Chairperson – Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Zambia behalf of Masud after a protracted enquiry over the answered press query.
• Judge – Supreme Court of Zambia
And as if to add salt to the injury, ZAMBEEF went ahead and appointed Dr.
Nominations to the International Court of Justice should be finalized soon. What Chibumba as a board member of ZAMBEEF barely weeks after appointing them
Zambia has in Judge Chibesakunda, is a good candidate with a background that managers of the controversial Mubuyu Farms. Was he appointed to sit on the
qualifies her for a seat on the court. What was not made clear was how Zambians board in his individual capacity or what? We hear NAPSA has also shares in
could advance her cause. ZAMBEEF under the public and institutional investors.

Zambia Qualifies for US Grant Aid…


…Could draw up to $700 million for poverty reduction and infra-structure for support on account of her performance in fighting corruption and in other
developmental areas.
Zambia will be looking for grant aid in the range of US$ 6-700 million from the US
Government’s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). The door is open and the “Zambia passed 18 MCA eligibility indicators, including the crucial corruption-
way, clear. Zambia was among three countries, worldwide and the only African related one and this will reinforce the strength of our partnership,” said a senior
one to qualify for grant aid under this scheme this year. Colombia and Indonesia project official.
were the other two.
A two- year US$20 million MCA threshold programme that focused on facilitating
The MCA is a US project aimed at reducing poverty through income generation business registration, countering corruption and improving border management
and promotes economic growth in the eligible countries. Zambia qualified To page 4

Dickson Jere is Presidential Aide


Founder and until now Managing Editor of Executive Issues Dickson Jere has been publication for the duration of his State House appointment. In his absence, associate
appointed Chief Analyst(Press and Public Relations) at State House by the new editor Arthur Simuchoba will take up the role of managing editor of the Executive
President Rupiah Bwezani Banda as such Jere will be among the top aides to the Issues.
new President. Jere formally took up his new appointment December 12 after having
been sworn-in the previous afternoon. Jere joins a team of other new aides who include veteran politician and academician
Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika who is special assistant to the President for
He was the Lusaka Correspondent of the French news agency, Agence France Presse Political Affairs, former Agriculture Minister Ben Kapita who is presidential aide for
(AFP). He has worked for The Post in Lusaka and is past President of the Zambian Special Projects and Dr. Richard Chembe, formerly Director at Central Bank, who
Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). In 2003, he was appointed is a special aide for Economic Affairs. Others include Principal Private
by late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa as Commissioner on the Mungo’mba Secretary to the President, Dr. Austin Sichinga, who was permanent
Constitution Review Commission (CRC). He will be on a sabbatical leave from the secretary in the office of the Vice President.

Executive Issues
Executive Issues
News Volume 7 - January 2009

Evaluating the Banda Presidency –


Two Months On!
Two months into his tenure, the new president is quietly beginning to leave his Nigeria was in any case not as bad a destination as it was made out to be. Though, it tends
imprint but the national focus has been on his negatives to be seen through the prism of some of its more unscrupulous citizens, it is an African
country with a formidable and well established indigenous entrepreneurial class. It is in
“All politics is local,” so some observers of the political scene have concluded and two its own right an economic powerhouse and Nigerian investment in Africa has tended to
months into his tenure, Zambia’s fourth President Rupiah Bwezani Banda may not introduce a new dynamic. Nigerian banks for instance are a hit and are much appreciated
disagree. His preoccupation this far has been a crowded and pressing domestic agenda. in most of West Africa because the range of their products is more accurately informed by
The imperative is no less than to position the country to wither the effects of the global objective African conditions.
economic downturn. Its effects are real, are beginning to filter through and must be kept
at bay.
Zimbabwe is of course a burning issue and has to be taken on board. However, the
Tackling the escalating food prices, the effects of reduced revenue resulting from the results of the March 2008 elections which were internationally accepted reflected largely
abrupt end of the copper boom, actual and threatened job losses on the mines and other an internal political stalemate and certainly were not reflective of any real consensus for
sectors and the reorganization of the administration are issues that have and continue to change. Even if the opposition had won the run-off, they would have had a hard time of
demand urgent attention. Without some movement in these areas, the country would be it because they commanded no real majority in parliament. Against this background, only
in a perilous situation. To the extent that he has not so far moved to shake up or change a considered response from Zambia will do and it necessarily shouldn’t be of the “follow-
the administrative structure of his predecessor, he would appear to be something of a the- leader “type.
gradualist.
Normalizing the supply and escalating cost of the staple food, maize -meal has clearly been
Except for what was a limited reshuffle, the cabinet and the upper echelons of the civil the top priority. Of the newly appointed ministers, Agriculture and Cooperatives minister
service remain as before. That has not of course met with universal applause and has Dr. Brian Chituwo was the first off the mark. Barely a few days into his new post he
continued to be the source of nagging questions of whether or not a new sense of urgency announced that Zambia would import white non-GMO maize and that the Food Reserve
or momentum can be injected without surgical changes in this parameter. President Agency (FRA) would have to release maize for sale to millers from the strategic reserve.
Banda’s first foray into international relations-an official visit to Nigeria- was been derided It was the beginning of a concerted push which continues. The matter of increased maize
by some as a waste of time. It raised questions and criticism largely on the premise that availability on the market to lower mealie-meal prices that had by the time of the October 30
the most pressing item on Zambia’s foreign policy agenda has to be Africa’s festering sore, by-election surpassed the K50, 000 mark was the most pressing issue from the outset.
Zimbabwe next door.
The opposition Patriotic Front (PF) kept up the pressure and announced it would mount
There could well be something to that. But as expressed, this position does not seem to a country-wide campaign to protest the high prices. Government called for dialogue
take sufficient notice of the fact that the Nigerian President Musa Yara’adua had been among all stakeholders instead of demonstrations and President Banda was the fore most
formally invited and had accepted to be the guest of honour at Zambia’s 44th anniversary advocate of dialogue and not confrontation over the issue which had global connotations.
of independence on October 24, 2008. There are suggestions that this visit would have “It is necessary that we work together. My doors are always open. I have never closed
doubled as state visit as well-the first ever to Zambia by the new Nigerian leader. In the my doors to any opposition leader. It is so necessary to talk to each other,” said President
event, the anniversary was a low key affair. It was overtaken by the death of President Banda speaking at Chongwe, outside Lusaka.
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and events had moved so far that by the time of the anniversary,
Zambia was only six days away from the first ever and hotly contested presidential by- That paid off.
election. Cooler heads prevailed. The PF President Michael Chilufya Sata called off the street
campaign, opting instead to table proposals on how best to achieve a reduction in prices

Zambia Qualifies for US


and safeguard jobs on the mines. He said the PF would give chance to government to
implement the proposals it would submit and demonstrations would only be the last resort.
Subsequently, the president of the opposition United Party for National Development

Grant Aid…
(UPND) Hakainde Hichilema was to submit his party’s suggestions and ideas on how
best to respond to the global economic downturn. The opposition seemed persuaded to
give dialogue a chance and not least by the President’s earnestness. How government will
From page 3 build on that new willingness to talk remains to be seen but it seems to have a achieved a
was successfully concluded in June 2008 which how Zambia won eligibility for thaw and to have won for itself “a decent interval.”
more aid. Top MCA officials were expansive and congratulatory. More poignantly, mealie-meal prices have began to reduce as a result of measures
implemented by government, among them increased monthly supply of maize to millers
by the FRA and at a lower price. The FRA now supplies 60,000 tonnes a month up from
The CEO John Damilovich described Zambia’s winning of eligibility as “a huge 20,000 and has pledged a further increase should need arise.
milestone in assisting to improve economic development and reducing poverty.
The MCA has formally recognized the Zambian government’s commitment to “ Since the millers will now be accessing the maize from FRA, there is no reason why they
invest in its people through education, health care, its commitment to the free should not respond by reducing the prices of mealie-meal as well since their concern was
market, facilitating business, governance and fighting corruption,” said the official the cost of maize,” said Dr. Chituwo. Prices are now falling gradually and the supply side
is being taken care of by imports from South Africa and there is reason to believe that the
statement. situation will remain stable until the next harvest. These measures were corollary to the
earlier decision to increase the subsidy to small-scale farmers under the Fertilizer Support
Secretary to the Treasury Likolo Ndalamei has recently indicated that Zambia Programme (FSP). The IMF is known to have been non too pleased but as things are
has already initiated consultation on drawing up a work plan for the integrated turning out, the decision from the government’s point of view is apt. For, it is the small-scale
national five-year MCA programme. It is the government of Zambia that has farmer who is more likely to sell his crop to the domestic market without contemplating
exports which would appear to be new swan song of the “private sector.”
to drive the application process which has to involve public consultations and
the funds will be accessed only after detailed negotiations and signing of the Escalating food prices are however merely one strand of the effects of the global financial
necessary agreements. downturn. The meltdown has seen to a rapid collapse in commodity prices. Metal prices too
and copper, Zambia’s main export has been no exception. The copper mines scrambled to
The funds can be used for infra-structure development and improvement and adjust and in short order, the copper processing plant at Bwana Mkubwa, Ndola was shut
down. Next, the Luanshya mine-a low grade, ill-fated from the start operation also shut
poverty reduction in line with the goals of the Fifth National Development Plan down and the mine was rapidly put on a care and maintenance basis to prevent flooding.
(FNDP) and other areas. Upwards of 2000 workers were left high and dry.

Zambia joins 18 other countries around the world that have completed MCA The situation was particularly dire in Luanshya, a town that revolves around the mine.
compacts and a half dozen more that are in the process of negotiations. So far, Closure of the mine meant the virtual death of the town itself after a period of hope that it
would survive. President Banda traveled there to meet with management and the unions
Tanzania has qualified to access US700 million while Madagascar got US$100 for a brainstorming session on the way forward. In addition a cabinet level monitoring
million and Namibia, US$300 million. The MCA is one of the US team that includes Labour and Social Security Minister Austin Liato was constituted to
Government’s innovative foreign assistance programmes aimed watch the situation on the mines. But there are no easy answers. There are all manner of
poverty reduction. What remains to be seen is how much and how suggestions including the ‘heretical” one of nationalization like western governments have
soon Zambia will draw from the facility. To page 5

Executive
Executive Issues
Issues
Volume 7 - January 2009 News

Maize: Export or Perish?


Government needs to ensure stable supply for the domestic market and not The impression created is of some actors in the “maize field” who were so intent
by administrative instruments. on exporting maize that they held on to it, waiting for an opportunity to export.

The recent statement of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Brian But there are other strands as well.
Chituwo on the “government decision to import 100,000 metric tonnes of non-
GMO white maize” made interesting reading: When the 2008 budget was unveiled one of the earliest complaints about
an insufficient allocation came from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the
… “[at meeting in June 2008] It was … agreed that the private sector, coordinated University of Zambia (UNZA). FRA chairman Costain Chilala said almost
by the Zambia National Farmers Union, prepares a draft Memorandum of immediately that the allocation of K80 billion for maize purchases was insufficient
Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the importation of maize stocks…However, and government had to give out more if the strategic national reserve was to
the preparation of the MOU did not go through as the private sector demanded exist.
for some clauses which the Government was not comfortable with. The most
contentious was to allow the private sector to export the maize in case there was There then ensued an exchange between the FRA and the Ministry of Finance. In
more maize by the time the imported maize landed in the country. The Government quite brusque terms, the Minister of Finance Ng’andu Magande said there would
was not comfortable with this clause as it could have given the private sector be no additional allocation and if the FRA needed more money it could borrow
express authority to export even the local maize without importing any.” from commercial banks. But Chilala in turn pointed out that this had been done
in the past but had only left the FRA with a debt that it was struggling to repay.
By then, the meeting that was chaired by former joint Minister of Agriculture, Sarah Unfazed, Magande stuck to his guns and invited the private sector to step into
Sayifwanda had arrived at the conclusion that “the country had no maize surplus any breach.
given the change in national consumption patterns” from 50,000 o 60,000 tonnes
and therefore that Zambia needed to take a precaution by allowing the private In the end, the FRA had to make do with the paltry allocation and the result was
sector to import maize preferably from South Africa to forestall a shortage. that it bought only 73,000 metric tonnes bringing the total in the national strategic
reserve to 150,000 metric tonnes.
The issue was clearly an imminent shortage and how to forestall it. The extent to which this inadequate national reserve influenced the price spiral
is an open question but could be a factor. The matter of maize exports cropped
But somehow and in the same breath, there was also this clear anticipation up again during the Euro-money conference held in Lusaka at which the export
of an export opportunity for Zambia for the same soon-to-run-out maize! This ban that was in force then was cast as a primary disincentive to production
ambivalence is hard to explain but there has to be an explanation. because it was an administrative instrument that ignored market fundamentals.
But crucially maize is the designated staple food of Zambia, though in practice
“The private sector was categorical that there was need to import maize because cassava seems to be more widespread and as a crop would appear to be less
they did not have enough maize of their own. How come six months later…there problematic than maize at least to grow.
is maize available on the local market. Where was this maize stock during
earlier discussions? Surely, Government cannot be held responsible for some For that reason Government is on guard twenty-four hours especially as the
stakeholders under declaring maize stocks in their possession.” reaction to any instability in the maize market tends to come from the politically
Reading through the Minister’s statement one is left to wonder what the real story organized urban elite. Thus government finds itself more readily impelled to
behind the high mealie-meal prices of the recent past is. Was it really a part of intervene on the side of consumption ignoring the blatant contradiction of that in
the global economic downturn or simply the result of the exigencies of the local the face of sermons about the need for a free market! At the same time, maize is
economy? grown by farmers looking to a return, preferably a good one on their investment
and they would for that reason sell it wherever it may attract that kind of return
Evaluating the Banda Presidency regardless of whether or not it is the domestic market.

– Two Months On! It is clearly the interaction between these two - the Government and the farmer-
that will decide whether or not the country will have a steady and stable maize
From page 4
supply or it will forever be fire fighting and on the tenterhooks as in the recent past.
done to most of the financial institutions! But there is as yet no decision on how to proceed
The matter goes beyond the private sector’s supposed perfidy or “hidden agenda”
and the stimulus and other relief measures for the mines may come via the budget.
There was this assurance from the President though: or for that matter government’s “high handedness.” It is economic.
“What we are considering is that if possible, we ensure that out workers do not remain
unemployed. How we are going to do it, we do not quite know yet, but we are definitely Clearly, if supply is to be stable and predictable in the main because Zambia still
making plans to enable our people in Luanshya continue with employment.” That effort relies on natural rainfall anyway for most of its core agriculture, the final price of
continues.
maize will have to reflect the cost of production and if those costs are high, maize
The larger picture is that there has been at least a partial review of expenditures leading to is unlikely to be cheap however hard the yearning for cheap maize even on the
a re-designation of priorities. part of government, may be. The official position at least when publicly stated is
that maize has to be “affordable” and that has policy implications that still have to
Zambia’s withdrawal from hosting the tenth all-Africa Games scheduled for Lusaka in be addressed. In a situation where compensation for the burden of production is
August 2011 has met with a mixed reaction but is connected to that process. There those
not enough, government’s intermittent interventions “to straighten up the market”
who argue that the country has lost a great opportunity to market and put itself on the world
map. That could well be so and the withdrawal cannot have enhanced Zambia’s credibility. will only add to unpredictability of the market and discourage production.
However, that decision does not appear to have been taken in isolation. Instead it came as
part of the re-ordering of priorities. “The combination of the recent presidential elections and Maize will progressively become a crop whose returns are uncertain and rather
the expected fall in revenue arising from the global financial crisis forcefully dictated that than spend sleepless nights calculating what they may be, farmers will simply skip
the Government chooses between the honour and pleasure of hosting the games and the
growing it and keep their sanity! So, while intermittent government interventions
duty to provide food and social service… Government has decided to shift resources for the
hosting of the games that would have been in excess of K800 billion to the identified priority may please everybody and lead to low retail prices in the short term, long-term they
areas such as food production, provision of social services, housing and infrastructure could be damaging leading to a situation where Zambia’s output will consistently
construction,” said Chief Government spokesman Ronnie Shikapwasha. be below national consumption. Zambia may in fact be at the crossroads on this
very fundamental issue and the primary role in resolving it, is government’s.
The first two months of President Banda’s stewardship present a mixed picture but one
characterized by moves to get to grips with a situation that is potentially a crisis. So far, that
has been averted. Whether the emerging approach will do for future crises which promise Agriculture has chronically under-performed since liberalization largely
to multiply as global downturn bites is at this stage an open question. because of so much “unfinished business” in the liberalization chain.

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News Volume 7 - January 2009

Budget 2009: Likely More of the Same


The broad objectives of the 2009 Budget will more likely be, as in all recent A higher deficit is projected this time because of a limited revenue base and
years, maintain macroeconomic stability. reduced revenues due to the depressed international commodities market. The
larger deficit that is almost a certainty by now is likely to be met by traditional
The call from Civil Society has been consistent and is again on the table. means: increased external and internal borrowing.
It is for a “pro-poor” budget-one that seeks to reverse the abject poverty that still
afflicts the majority. So, what the 2009 budget must do is already cut out for it. The travails of the mining industry in the light of reduced demand and therefore
The devil is of course in the detail. reduced prices of base metals will also certainly attract some re-think on taxes,
levies, tariffs and other costs that have made mining more precarious in the
There however promises to be no radical departure in the broad objectives of the present economic climate.
2009 budget due in February from those of the budgets in the past few years.
The macro economic objectives should remain broadly to sustain macroeconomic The overall objective is to keep Zambia still attractive to foreign investors even
stability; maintain government borrowing at sustainable levels; promote with the international economic chill. However, most Zambians have now come
economic diversification; increase investment in human capital and enhance the round to the view that contrary to the popular perception, mining is the curse and
competitiveness of the economy. not the engine of economic growth that it tends to lull the country into believing in

Kwacha Nose-dives
Strong demand for the dollar and copper price fall blamed The depreciation is blamed on massive buying of the dollar by offshore players to
fund their US dollar requirement and on the inevitable capital flight in conditions
Zambia’s currency, the Kwacha depreciated by 70% during 2008, Standard of the uncertainties triggered by the credit crunch. The fall in the price of copper
Chartered Bank sources have disclosed. Most of the decline occurred in the last from highs of US$8,000 per tonne to US$2,770 at the end of December 2008
half of the year. At its strongest, the Kwacha fetched K3, 100 per dollar but fell to is cited as the other factor. Pundits expect the Kwacha to be stable in 2009 at
as low as K5000 a dollar by the last half. around K4, 800-K5000.

Maize: Export or Perish?


There is for instance, no financial institution devoted to lending to agriculture yet (FSP) has been increased. Not everybody is happy, the programme itself would
credit and especially seasonal loans are an imperative as is long term finance seem to have any number of teething problems and there may be real questions
specifically for agricultural projects. The country is also losing its ability to about it. Yet it is a step in the right direction because it attempts to address the
manage livestock because of declining and poor veterinary services. A clear policy matter from the cost of production angle and as the Farmers’ Union once rightly
framework, one that addresses the real issues of in this instance, the maize sub- pointed out, this kind of incentive should apply to every maize farmer, not just the
sector will end the need for the Ministry of Agriculture to be supervising millers peasant.
instead of mill foremen!
It is true indeed that government intervention must more directly address production
It is above all, an enabling environment for increased production of the staple bottlenecks and not just the cheap consumption of what may be inadequate. The
food that is absolutely required. Micro-management of chronic insufficient supply law of supply and demand will be on the side of government. It is simply that
cannot lead to self-sufficiency nor can it assure success even in that Endeavour. the more the production/supply, the more the price will fall-that is the solid state
But there is reason to hope because something of the required forward- within which Zambia must eternally perambulate. Outside it, the government will
looking approach is beginning to emerge as regards peasants and continue to suffer the indignity of supervising millers and the “private sector” in a
small-scale producers. Funding for the Fertilizer Support Programme supposedly liberalized, free-market economy. It doesn’t have to be that way.

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Volume 7 - January 2009 News

Swaziland: King and Country


The small Southern African Kingdom of Swaziland is not so far a fully- and hills interspersed with what are at this time of the year at least, lush rolling
fledged. Pariah yet if there is no dialogue soon towards fundamental valleys. Except for a border with Mozambique, it is completely surrounded by its
political reform, it would seem inexorably headed that direction. giant neighbour South Africa. With a population estimated at just over a million, it
is mostly neat, in repair and boasts an impressive road network.
Swaziland is mostly idyllic. For the most part, it sits atop a landscape of mountains
Mbabane, the capital is built on a series of hills. Stunning residences huddle the

Budget 2009: Likely More hillsides in its leafy suburbs and it has a modern and adequate shopping centre.
The nearby town of Manzini is the industrial hub. Its satellite town of Matsapha

of the Same
is the kingdom’s industrial centre. Sugar, pineapples and citrus fruits are among
its notable agricultural products. For its size, it has a vibrant economy with what
appears to be a growing middle-class. The kingdom is proud of its African heritage
times of metal price booms. and Swaziland is perhaps the closest one gets to an authentic African country
still run on ideas informed by the African heritage. It would have been a source of
This has reinforced the conventional wisdom that the sooner the country diversifies immense pride if it would work. But it doesn’t.
and moves away from dependence on mining, the better. That is of course as old
as Zambia itself. In fact, it is the system of government that is the source of growing internal
disaffection and now poses perhaps the single most potent threat to Swaziland’s
But there is now once more a renewed focus on diversification of the economy. continued stability. As an absolute monarchy, the last in the world, the King,
Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane’s, ministerial statement to Mswati III is the head of state and the kingdom’s chief executive officer.
the National Assembly on November 28, 2008 was explicit: “Government He is the absolute ruler of Swaziland by a traditional system that effectively
is considering measures in next year’s budget (2009) to enhance the defines the country as his fiefdom. He is above the law and the law is largely his
competitiveness of the economy and promote economic diversification” and that command!
infrastructure development would be given “high priority in the areas of agriculture
and tourism.” His dominant position derives largely from Swazi feudal tradition and increasingly
nowadays it can only be maintained by constantly stifling and outright warding off
Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Caleb Fundanga is on record on the need for a of “modernity” including universally adhered to tenets of government. Political
new push for economic diversification with agriculture as the centerpiece of it. parties are for instance, not allowed.
That again was more or less the theme of Chief Government Spokesman,
Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha’s press briefing on December 12, With a population that is increasingly eager to participate in governance, that sort
2008 when he said government had prioritized its expenditure to save money of posture by the king and can only come with a price and it a high price indeed that
and concentrate on selected areas “such as food production, provision of social the Swazi monarchy is having to pay for attempting to stem the movement of time.
services, housing and infra-structure construction.” All these are pointers to what In contrast to the exulted position and prestige that the king must have obviously
lies in store. enjoyed through most of history, the Swazi monarchy today is discredited and
damaged perhaps irretrievably.
How this increased shuffling of feet around diversification and poverty reduction
will in the long run differ from that of the past remains to be seen. However, As a result of being the country’s top politician, the King is in popular perception,
for the 2009 budget it is more likely to translate into increased allocations for the first and last villain. Even in matters where he may not have had a direct hand,
the agriculture sector and poverty reduction measures. Agriculture and social “the king is to blame.”
protection are expected to get some of the highest allocations in the 2009 budget
on account of the evident and pressing need to enhance food security and reduce Clearly, the king is sinking deeper into a quagmire from which he may not extricate
the effects of rising prices on the population. himself and could lose everything.

Curbing inflation which at around 15% has once more climbed to a double digit “…As long as political power remains in the hands of the king, you and I will never
figure will remain a key objective. Measures to reduce it to 10% during the year have a say on how the country’s resources should be allocated and utilized,” wrote
before further cutting it down to about 9% by 2010 are expected. No change a columnist in the Times of Swaziland who accurately reflected the frustration of
except more prudence and stabilization is expected in the management of the many in the country today. The growing frustration is over many issues but central
exchange rate. is the kingdom’s “African system” of government. It is loathed by many. It is seen
to interfere with and subtract from the rule of law and fundamentally to deny any
Sectors that will help improve the country’s food production and reduce poverty meaningful role or participation in the running of the country by anybody other
are set to receive priority in allocations. The 2009 budget is expected to more than the king and his placemen. The way the growing army of critics sees it, this
forthrightly put agriculture at the centre in line with the Fifth National Development system is nothing more than a corrupt dictatorship with the King and not some
Plan (2006-2010) than was the case with the 2008 budget. While that budget corrupt politician as the autocrat in-chief.
remained broadly within the set out framework of the FNDP and the Vision 2030,
fears were expressed by some that it did not put nearly enough emphasis on Under the system, effective planning is undermined. By tradition for instance, the
equity and poverty reduction-areas where agriculture is thought to be key. King has also to be the kingdom’s most married man and he can marry “as per
tradition,” which means in practice, at his and the royal establishment’s whim. He
Issues of equity and poverty reduction will undoubtedly have some play in the already has a seraglio of 14 wives, but against “tradition” he has of late neglected
2009 budget as will have the overall framework of the FNDP. There cannot be to take on more wives due apparently to international pressure to end these
too much of a departure especially as Zambia’s cooperating partners, the donors, repeated royal weddings!
have already pledged budget support for 2009 despite the effects of the global
slowdown on their own purses. Few however seemed to begrudge him his many royal wives as such. At issue was
the havoc that these marriages caused the kingdom’s capital budget. For sooner
For that reason, Zambia’s 2009 budget will have to be in line with mutually agreed or later, the new royal bride has to be ensconced in a brand new royal palace and
priorities and objectives. A broadly pro-poor budget would appear to be in the since there is no schedule, money has to be diverted, usually from the capital
offing. How far it will go in addressing the identified needs and the extent to which budget! The King has many residences and they can’t by definition be
it will pull Zambia away from the ravages of poverty is of course what will only be ramshackles. They must reflect his status and the Swazi monarchy has
clear come budget day. To page 8

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News Volume 7 - January 2009

Zimbabwe: A Wooden Spoon for SADC


Neither the Zimbabwe Government nor the SADC mediator accepts a leader of Zimbabwe there could be no meaningful power-sharing. He had to go
political role for the UN. But what now SADC? first for it to have a chance at all. “We have lost confidence in legitimate power
sharing being viable with Mugabe as President. He has lost touch with reality,”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon would appear not persuaded that the said Frazer. She called on him to retire saying his “time was up.” The US move
Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is getting anywhere with its supported by Britain seemed aimed at Mugabe. But in fact as Herman Cohen,
initiative on Zimbabwe. Briefing the Security Council recently he said SADC had Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Bush
effectively taken responsibility for the whole power-sharing arrangement and senior told it, it was primarily aimed at stopping South Africa, the SADC mediator
must now deliver. The UN was being effectively locked out of efforts to resolve in its tracks. As he told it in a recent BBC television interview, South Africa had of
the Zimbabwean impasse as “neither the [Harare] Government nor the mediator late been leaning hard on Morgan Tsangirai, leader of the MDC to accede to all
welcomes a UN political role.” Now, with cholera sweeping through that country of Mugabe’s stratagems and move in with him in a government of national unity
leaving as many as over 1,000 dead and the power sharing deal between ZANU- on basically his terms!
PF and the MDC still bogged down in haggling for key cabinet portfolios, the
Security Council called for progress in the SADC initiative. The west is basically saying, now way to that. It is adamant that power must be
genuinely shared. Mugabe’s unbending posture and defiance has convinced major
The Security Council debate came as the Zimbabwean situation approached a western governments that any government led by him of whatever complexion is
new low. Apart from cholera, inflation is estimated to have risen to 230 million unlikely to work and that therefore any power sharing has to await a new leader.
percent, shortages are endemic and even basic food is scarce. But President SADC that has long cuddled Mugabe and has never so far talked of his departure
Robert Gabriel Mugabe remains “stoic” and even defiant. Opening the annual would appear to be in a crisis. Either it joins the chorus for his departure and
congress of his party in Harare recently he vowed to “never, never surrender.” pressures him to go or in the circumstances become irrelevant.
Insisting that “Zimbabwe is mine,” he made the astonishing assertion that “Robert
Gabriel Mugabe was elected by his people!” Outwardly at least, Mugabe is his usual unruffled and dismissive self. But
Zimbabwe will pay dearly for his non—chalance. In the short term, no
That alarmed western governments. Nordic countries called for progress in the improvement in the country’s political or economic situation will be possible. The
power-sharing deal. Britain and the US impatiently noted that Mugabe was in US is withdrawing support for rescheduling of the country’s US1.2 billion debts
total denial. But more was to come. As if suddenly, the US Assistant Secretary to the World Bank and the IMF and Zimbabwe ravaged as it already is will only
of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer announced December 21, from South sink deeper into debt and poverty. With the political impasse continuing in that
Africa that the US government would no longer support the SADC-brokered unhappy country, the question mark is on the direction that SADC will now take.
power sharing agreement in Zimbabwe. The US was withdrawing support Its sputtering negotiation has unraveled. What will be SADC’s response; will there
because Mugabe was an impossible obstacle and for as long as he remained the be a viable next step at all?

Squeezing Out Impunity


Convictions in Arusha as Kenya sets up a tribunal

December 2008, may well go down in continental history as marking the beginning of an end to impunity in Africa.

In rapid succession, the United Nations Tribunal on Rwanda sitting at Arusha in Tanzania sentenced to life imprisonment, Theoneste Bagosora one of the master
minds of the 1994 genocide in which up to 800,000 people were massacred, in a pogrom that outraged the world and has continued to gnaw at its conscience.
Bagosora, a Colonel in the old Rwandan Army was found to have been at the head of a committee that plotted the harrowing massacres of ethnic Tutsis and was given
the life sentence for genocide and crimes against humanity.

In the same month, both the Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime-Minister
Raila Odinga were left with no alternative but sign into law legislation to set up a
Swaziland: King and Country
tribunal to try identified perpetrators of post-election political violence which left From page 7
1,300 dead and 300,000 homeless following that country’s failed General election elements of duality with a strong role for the king mother for instance who must
in December 2007. In both these cases, the thrust is to bring to book, those who also be taken care of appropriately as have to be the numerous other members
were behind these events that not only sullied Africa’s reputation and image but of the royal family!
fell far below accepted civilized standards.
Ordinary Swazis have the vote.
Together with Bagasora, two other commanders in the old Rwandan army were
convicted on the same charges and were similarly sentenced to life terms. In They elect a National Assembly that meets at Lobamba. But it pales in significant
Kenya, under the new law perpetrators of the violence may in addition to lengthy before the king and cannot match his power. The royal budget for instance is
jail terms be barred from holding or seeking public office. Under agreements merely presented and not debated by the National Assembly and to be elected or
for the power-sharing government signed in February 2008, a commission led nominated one needs to have “caught the king’s eye ” one way or the other.
by Kenyan Judge Philip Waki was appointed to inquire into the violence and
recommended the setting up of a special tribunal with Kenyan and international Political parties are outlawed “for the time being” and election to the National
membership to try perpetrators of the violence. There was some dilly-dallying but Assembly is strictly not along party lines. A “traditional” system governs elections
pressure mounted on the Kenya Government for action on the legislation and it and it invariably leads up to the king! This system has its supporters, some of
was recently signed into law. them die-hards. But it is dissatisfaction and anger that predominates across
Swazi society. The King is increasingly in the firing line because as things stand
It is a tough one: there is no way of avoiding him. Voices are raised to the effect that the king must
relinquish power to an elected executive. Allow political parties and generally
“The special tribunal will look into the prosecution of people bearing usher in a system of government in consonant with the 21st century if stability is to
the greatest responsibility for genocide, gross violation of human rights
To page 9

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Volume 7 - January 2009 News

Editor’s Note - Parole System for Zambia


Parole will provide a window for those who would be victims to prolong their precious lives

Zambia has introduced the parole system to help decongest prisons and as part of a paradigm shift in its criminal justice system. Prison congestion had led to a progressive
deterioration in conditions leading to infection of inmates and poor and unhygienic living conditions generally. Many of those who have done time have been released only to die
shortly after. In these circumstances, custodial sentences were beginning to operate effectively as death sentences in a system that is supposed to help deviants reform.
Through the parole system, the country is opting for a more human rights based

Religion -
model away from a retributive one. There are about 15,000 prisoners today in
institutions built for a maximum holding capacity of 5000! Zambia is ranked to have
the third most congested prisons on the continent.

“The prisons in Zambia were built for a maximum capacity of 5,000 prisoners and
have not been expanded since, despite the prison population having increased to the
Pentecostals Mark
Declaration of Zambia as a
current 15, 000,” said Home Affairs Minister Dr Kalombo Mwansa when launching
the system. The minister said the congestion had greatly compromised human rights
in prisons. There was inadequate water, food, medicine and bed space. Classification
of prisoners according to age and type of crime had become impossible.
Christian Nation
“Those serving time for the worst crimes are mixed with new offenders or those
serving for minor offences, leading to a worsening of criminal behaviour and the The occasion was used by some to exalt former President Chiluba to Christ-
perpetuation of crime syndicates,” he observed. Now, under the Parole system, like status
prisoners serving custodial sentences will have the opportunity to appear before the
Parole Board for review and depending on the merits, the board will be in a position December 29, 2008 marked the 17th anniversary of the controversial declaration of
to commute some of the sentence to a non-custodial one. Zambia as a Christian nation. The occasion was used by some within the Christian
movement to exalt the former President Frederick Chiluba who as president made
There is a lot going for this system. Successive studies have established that non- the declaration to a Christ-like status. In reference to his cases in the courts, he was
custodial sentences offer better opportunities for rehabilitation and rehabilitation is likened to something of a Christ being persecuted and tormented presumably by the
what Zambian prisons are supposed to be all about. devil himself or his forces!

“It is the belief of this government that prisoners should be supported and given Some flyers distributed as part of the observance held at the Cathedral of the Holy
a chance to return to their communities in time to reconstruct their lives,” said Dr. Cross in Lusaka listed his achievements and called for a greater recognition of what
Mwansa. The parole system would also stabilize the family unit as often it is the he did for Zambia and to honour his memory! This was the closest Zambia came to a
bread-winner who goes to prison leaving the family in a precarious situation without celebration of the Chiluba years and rehabilitation of his legacy in recent years.
adequate support. “Adverse conditions of incarceration have the potential to reduce
one’s life due to disease. Parole in this regard will provide a window for those who The former President mostly cuts a lonely figure. His reputation and image severely
would be victims to prolong their precious lives once released,” the Minister said. dented by the criminal cases in which he is accused of primarily theft of public funds
To page 10

Swaziland: King and Country


It was time that Zambia reclaimed its able people from the prisons. With that, the
Parole System was officially launched and Frederick Chilukutu was named the
Parole Board Chairperson. Members of the board are drawn from civil society, the
From page 8
Police, Prison Service, and the Christian Council of Zambia among others. But even
with this growing official concern, few new prisons have been built and there is still reign in his ancient kingdom.
no talk of building at least one modern prison in line with the paradigm shift that the
government seeks. Prisons are not only congested but are outdated as well; virtually There are already up to five political parties in the kingdom. They are unregistered
all date back to the colonial era. If there has to be a real paradigm shift, it will need to and exist largely by default on account of the fact that the same constitution that
be reflected in the kind of prisons the country has as well. outlaws them confers on the Swazi people the fundamental constitutional right
to freely associate and a political party is by definition an association. Some of
these parties now talk of “armed struggle” to “liberate” the country. This agitation

Squeezing Out Impunity


is bound to grow, not diminish.

But in the manner of most tragic figures in history, the King seems oblivious to
From page 8 the growing discontent within. Most Swazis seemed to have long forgotten any
and crimes against humanity. Persons convicted of crimes by the tribunal shall in positive aspects of his stewardship. He dutifully presides at traditional ceremonies
addition to the prison terms be barred from holding public or elective office in like the Inca’wala recently. Except for the recent suspension of royal weddings,
Kenya,” the new law states. By some accounts, a secret list of culprits which the there is little discernable movement from him. There have instead been recently
commission has refused to reveal already exists and is said to contain the names suggestions of a hardening stance on his part. A draconian anti-terrorism law
of a number of prominent politicians and businessmen. is in place and the leader of one of the opposition parties Mario Masuku of the
The catch was always that if the Kenya Government did not go ahead, the list Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) has recently been arraigned
would be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for action. under its provisions.
From page 8
The setting up of the tribunal had become a virtual condition for aid to Kenya and However, it is reliably learnt that the action has met with the disapproval of
performance on many bilateral and multilateral agreements came to be conditional powerful international circles and government may be hard-pressed to proceed.
on the setting up of the tribunal. Still, it is an indication of the sort of response that the ruling circles consider
appropriate to what are legitimate demands for change. There is so far no
The Kenya Government has finally taken the plunge and overall in the right indication of willingness on the part of the king and his apparatus for genuine
direction as well. The point has to be made that there will be no impunity for dialogue on the future of the country. They are simply sitting tight until it seems
anyone. That will perhaps promote responsible actions on a continent not time runs out on them. On the basis of the current state of play, there may
particularly noted for scruples. be no happy ending to the growing political impasse in that country.

Executive
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News Volume 7 - January 2009

From page 9
Energy: A New Idea (At Last)
discourage investment and lack of investment can affect the new power generation
The power debate must move on and focus on alternatives to hydro-power projects.” As a project, it has of course to be considered strictly on its merits but
is a refreshing proposal in any otherwise barren landscape and opens the way to
The debate on power triggered off by the necessity to ration electricity since the what should done more.
beginning of 2008 has singularly lacked in new or innovative ideas, going forward.
The damage to the economy and to Zambia as an investment destination has Not that HFO hasn’t got its down side.
continued unabated. Instead, the debate has largely been stuck at restating
and recycling the doubtful position that Zambia’s salvation lies in more hydro- It is a fossil fuel derivative. Its cost fluctuates with that of crude oil and there
power stations even though these have a long lead time, are expensive to build are suggestions that reliance on it was a factor in escalating production costs
and crucially are of no help in times of drought which is projected to recur under at defunct Kapiri Glass whose furnaces were fired by HFO. The proposal
conditions of climate change. More hydro power stations has been all the rage nevertheless opens the way to what ought to be done more-practical suggestions
and the sound approach of a mix of power sources that complement and on the way forward in order that there begins to emerge a blueprint on the way
supplement each other has received little play. Clearly, even if hydro-power is forward preferably based on alternatives to hydro-power.
to remain dominant it must progressively be supplemented and complemented
by a cocktail of other preferably renewable sources. There has been little said on Hydro power is of course the long term solution. But the short and mid terms
alternatives to hydro-power even though they do exist. The level of debate may remain un-provided for and the already fragile economy can only suffer as it
now be changing. already is as a result of this gap. Would for instance, the costs of “domesticating”
solar energy, a resource that is in abundance exceed the costs for the construction
A practical new idea from the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) for the construction of new hydro power stations? Properly harnessed, bio-gas for instance would
of a Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)-driven electricity generating plant in the vicinity of open the way to rural electrification of at least some areas without drawing on the
the country’s only petroleum refinery in Ndola has recently been floated. The main national electricity grid.
underlying rationale is that the plant is the nearest the country can get to a “quick
fix” to the current electricity rationing as it can feasibility be constructed within 12 It is in a mix of energy sources and there are several, where salvation lies. The
months. ERB Executive Director Sylvester Hibajene has pointed out that the policy framework and package of incentives should begin to more seriously
hydro-electricity power stations that we must all wait for will not be coming on reflect this strategic reality and also the urgency of the matter. The dearth of
stream until 2013 and the country cannot possibly afford to wait until then and new approaches and the clinging to hydro-power in the manner of one, who is
continue the unpopular load-shedding in the interim. drowning, won’t help. It will be interesting to see the kind of hearing that the ERB
proposal will receive. But whatever it will be, the crying need is for more “savvy”
“We are proposing this new generator because continued load-shedding will approaches to a shortage that can’t be wished away.

Religion - Pentecostals Mark Declaration of Zambia as


a Christian Nation
while in office. There were a reported three separate observance services in Lusaka constituted as a secular state. In time, the declaration assumed a life of its own as the
alone. The high level one was on the afternoon of December 29, in the Cathedral of “faithful’ mainly from the Pentecostal churches and the “Born Again’ Christians took
the Holy Cross attended by Chiluba himself. ownership of it. It became a prime cause with an ever growing calamour for it to be
properly enshrined in the constitution so that it had the force of law.
He made an emotional speech which probably sat well with his audience but was
distinctly disturbing to many rational people. He said he had made a covenant with There was no end to that call as the sort of “faithfuls” whose conduct has continued to
God when he made the declaration and that he was “the anointed of God.” More raise questions and change perceptions about organized religion in the country, rallied.
questionable still, he said Zambia had been “cursed” when it voted for the isolation of It was finally enshrined in the discredited constitution of 1996 which is largely still in
Israel after the 1973 Middle East war and that it was he who removed the curse when force and states that Zambia is a Christian country but which tolerates other religions.
he declared Zambia a Christian nation and renewed ties with Israel!
Many of the more mainstream and sober denominations notably, the influential
He had the direst of warnings for those who were “insulting” and “calling me names.” Catholics have maintained their distance and even criticized the declaration as
God, he warned would crush them because he being the anointed stood on rock that unnecessary. But other groups mainly within the Pentecostals remain adamant and
could never be broken. The rant went on. It came on the same day as the President the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) still has to decide whether or not it will
of the Patriotic Front (PF), one time staunch Chiluba ally, Michael Sata delivered be part of the next constitution.
perhaps his most direct and unambiguous public rebuke of the former president, as
the two men drifted further apart. But judging from the 17th anniversary observances, it would appear that some
Christian groups are still anxious to have the declaration retained and for Zambia to
He is reported to have described Chiluba as “disgraced,” “desperate” and “in a be transformed into some kind of theocracy. The main demand seemed to be that
weak position.” Subsequently, Sata was even more cutting t when he said the former December 29 should declared a public holiday in remembrance of the decision by the
president should “shut up. Chiluba would appear to have been anxious to put his own “man of God- Chiluba.”
case across. One of the other things that he said was that he was “still clean” and that
those who dared to touch him would be “crushed by the Lord.” But there is also the possibility of this movement turning into an out and out Chiluba
support and advocacy group. For, it is not without its fanatics and those who see things
It is hardly surprising that the anniversary saw such an outpouring of emotions. For, in broad black and white strokes.
the declaration itself was largely an expression of emotions when it was made. It
came at the end of an emotional séance at State House in December 1991 that was Obviously in reference to his court cases, a prayer during the observance cast Chiluba
attended by the new President as Frederick Chiluba was then and a coterie of born- as being “persecuted for making the declaration.” The former President and his legacy
again Christians in the new government and around Mr. Chiluba. are divisive nationally and will remain so the longer his cases remain undetermined.
They have been hanging around his and the country’s neck since 2002-long enough
At the time, it was a flagrant violation of the Constitution of Zambia or at best for many to now want them to go away so that there is more focus on the present and
a nullity because the constitution then clearly stated that the country was less on some of the emotional episodes from the past.

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Issues
Volume 7 - January 2009 News

Obituaries
Emmanuel Kasonde JAPHET AARON BANDA
[1935-2008] [1943-2008]
Twice Zambia’s Finance Minister, Emmanuel Kasonde was eleven days short He handled sensitive cases with precision, calmness and composure
of his 74th birthday when he died rather suddenly at the Trust Hospital in Lusaka
on December 12, 2008. He had been born at Malole; Kasama on December 23, High Court Judge Japhet Banda (65) was killed in a road accident on the
1935 and like many of the brightest of his generation was educated at Munali Great North Road on the night of December 18, 2008.
Secondary School and started his working life in the colonial administration as a
Labour Officer. He died on the spot from head injuries sustained in a head-on collision with
a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Four other people were reported
He was to rise to the top position of Labour Commissioner after independence killed in the same collision. He was judge in- charge at Ndola and was returning
before being appointed the first Zambian Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of to that city when the accident occurred between Kabwe and Kapiri-Mposhi.
Finance.
Mr. Justice Japhet Aaron Banda had worked for the judiciary since 1971
He left the public service to go into business in 1971 and built one of the earliest when he entered service as a “lay” magistrate following his completion of a
Zambian-owned business empires around his Century Holdings Ltd. He seemed one-year magistrates’ court at the National Institute of Public administration
to enjoy the challenges of business and was totally immersed. Unlike many with (NIPA) in Lusaka. Subsequently, he obtained a law degree from the University
his background he seemed genuinely apolitical and for many years kept whatever of Zambia (UNZA) in 1980.
political judgments and views he may have had to himself and rarely volunteered
a political opinion publicly. He was admitted to the bar 1981 before returning to judicial service as
Resident Magistrate. He served successively as Senior Resident Magistrate,
For the duration of his life he was more of a technocrat than a politician. A genial Principal Resident Magistrate and Deputy Registrar.
man with a kind disposition, he was well liked and respected by many who knew
or met him. For much of his time outside the public service, he alternated between He was Registrar of the High Court for three years up to 1991. He was
running his businesses and his farm in Malole. His joining what was then the Commissioner of the High court from1991 until his appointment as Judge of
newly formed Movement for Multi-party Democracy(MMD) gave the party a the High Court on January 13, 1994. He served for the most part in the Ndola
tremendous fillip and had the effect of confirming it as a serious and respectable High Court rising to Judge-in-charge before his untimely end.
national political movement. It was only after he had joined the MMD in 1990
that he ventured perhaps his first ever public political utterance and it was a He was a widely respected judge as eulogies from among others, the Law
passion plea to Zambians to “put a new man in State House.” It is a message Association of Zambia who said of him that “he had been on the bench for a
that readily and easily resonated throughout Zambia at the time. long time and was one of the most experienced Judges this country has ever
had.”
In the historic October 1991 general election that marked the end of the one
party state in Zambia he was elected Member of Parliament for his home It was he who presided over the last treason trial in which about 55 soldiers
constituency of Malole and was the natural choice for Finance Minister in the from the Zambia Army including the late Captain Steven Lungu, more
new MMD government. It was he who largely laid he groundwork for the changes popularly known as “Captain Solo” faced charges of unlawfully attempting to
in economic policy that were to follow and given his business background overthrow the Government of President Frederick Chiluba by a coup d’etat.
and his having served at the top administrator at the Finance Ministry, he was Most received the mandatory death sentence.
eminently suited for the role.
He served as chairman of the Law Development Commission and in 1997 as
For reasons that remain unclear but would seem connected to fear of his stature, chairman of the commission that inquired into Torture in Zambia. He had been
he unexpectedly lost his cabinet post in a reshuffle. For a time, he joined the a member of Administrative Inquiry into the Administration and Conditions of
new opposition party, the National Party. He did not however take too active a the Prison Service.
part in the affairs of that party and seemed to retire back to his businesses which
were now largely ravaged by the effects of the Structural Adjustment Programme He born in Chipata on September 15, 1943 and educated at Chizongwe
(SAP) that his successor at the Finance Ministry Ronald Damson Siame Penza Secondary School before enrolling in 1963 for a teachers’ course at Malcolm
was now prosecuting with religious fervour. He returned to the Finance Ministry Moffat Teachers’ College, Serenje.
as Minister in 2002 following the election of the late President Levy Patrick
Mwanawasa. The country still needed a man of his stature and background for Chief Justice Ernest Sakala told the Joint valedictory session of the Supreme
that position. Kasonde obliged. and High Courts held in Ndola that the late judge “handled cases despite
their sensitive nature with precision, calmness and composure of mind. In
It was a short-lived and it would seem unhappy stay for a variety of reasons. his life as a judge, he added great value to the bench, which only posterity
He departed not a particularly happy man at the turn of events. Only at this will judge.”
time was there a hint of bitterness from this man who seemed in control of his
emotions throughout his life. But typically, it did not last. He again retired to his President Rupiah Banda described him as “a fearless judge who spared no
own exertions away from the limelight. Except for his time in public office, he lived effort to defend the constitution and the rule of law,” he declared. At the time
a quiet private life, minding his business quietly. He was a devote Catholic and of his death he had attained the statutory retirement age but had been readily
for most of the later part of his life, a widower although he later remarried at a granted a three-year contract by the President on account of his record.
quiet ceremony. He was buried in Malole on December 16, 2008. In his passing,
Zambia has lost a gentle giant of a man-one who would have had it fallen to him He was buried in Ndola, December 23, 2008.
led this country with quiet competence.
MHSRIP
MHSRIP.

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News Volume 7 - January 2009

Throwing in the Towel - 2011 All-Africa Games


The decision left Zambia’s reputation, record and credibility very much in tatters and it will require plenty of time and skill to repair.

Until December 12, 2008, the mood was upbeat: effusive government assurances that Zambia would go ahead to host the 10th All-Africa Games in August 2011 came thick and
fast; there was much shuffling of feet and more assurances that a cabinet committee overseeing the preparations was hard at work.

At the close of a three day consultation on the games held in Lusaka’s Mulungushi Hall at the end of November 2008, Zambia was pronounced to have demonstrated the
requisite “political will” to host the games. But that is precisely what seemed to rapidly fizzle out leading to the surprise withdraw. It came completely against the run of events.
Zambia seemed to be warming up to the task and when the shock announcement came: “Government,” said the Chief Government Spokesman, Information Minister Ronnie
Shikapwasha, “has prioritized its spending plans for 2009 to 2011…to concentrate on a few important programmes. Unfortunately, the hosting of the 2011 All Africa Games
is one of the programmes that have been affected.” He said government had decided to shift resources for the hosting of the games to identified priority areas such as food
production, provision of social services, housing and construction of infra-structure.

With that, Zambia baulked.The decision sent many sports associations reeling, their
plans in disarray but more importantly the only sure means of leveraging public funds
even for what could be doubtful causes had been removed! But crucially the decision
left the country’s reputation, record and credibility as a potential host of a Pan-African
Arthur Simuchoba
sports event very much in tatters and it will require perhaps plenty of time and certainly
Managing Editor
a lot of skill to repair. Zambia was throwing in the towel for the second time making her
asimuchoba@yahoo.com
among the most unreliable of would-be hosts on the continent. She reneged again in
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1988 when her effort to stage the finals of the soccer Cup of African Nations, would not
go beyond the destruction of Dag Hammarskjold stadium in Ndola!
Robert M. Sichone
Associate Editor
This time at least, there has been an undertaking to continue construction work
robertmsichone@yahoo.com
associated with the games at the University of Zambia and other educational
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institutions around Lusaka for which contracts have already been entered into and if
its worth anything, it has also been said possibly for the 100th time that the rehabilitation
Luyando Yoyo
of Independence stadium in Lusaka will proceed. In justifying the pull-out, great play
Sales and Administration
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costs associated with the presidential by-election of October 2008, the K600 billion
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for government to reassess the situation in the light of changed global economic
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Most of it true of course. But it was also a convenient smokescreen. Zambia’s capacity
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to host the games even at the best times was near zero. She solely lacks the sports
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infra-structure to stage such a large and diverse event. Most facilities would have had
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The games were realistically always a bridge too far. The question is why anybody Executive Issues for Executive People
would have thought them possible. The cost would have been debilitating. It kept
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