Lozis reject new Constitution

The Lozis have started working on their own Constitution and will not contribute to the current Constitution debates because it is irrelevant.
Barotse Freedom Movement (BFM) national secretary Chazele Mulasikwanda has confirmed that Lozis will not submit their views to the Constitution Technical Committee (CTC) because the Lusaka document did not affect them in any way.
Some Lozi officials have since appealed to the people in Barotseland to exercise patience because ‘everything was in the process’.
In interview with the Nation, Mr Mulasikwanda said Lozis were currently working on their own Constitution that would stand the test of time and benefit the people of Western Province.
Mr Mulasikwanda explained that the silence over the secession bid did not mean that they were compromised, but was a sign that they were doing things peacefully.
He explained that issues concerning the Barotseland needed to be handled with care because it was sensitive.
“We have been saying that the people of Barotseland have got nothing to do with anything of the Zambian government. Time for discussion has elapsed. What we are working on is to see how we can develop our area so that our people benefit,” he said.
Mr Mulasikwanda maintained that the Lozis were no longer ready to participate in any Zambian programmes and that they disclose their scheduled arrangement before the end of this year.
And some residents in Mongu told the Nation that they were not ready to submit their views to the current Constitution making process because they were expecting their own document that would stand a test of time.
Victor Mutondo said it was not helpful to submit the comments on the Constitution because the document was not beneficial, adding that people of Western Province felt were being treated as second class citizens whose concerns and interests were not taken account of.
“People here are not participating in this ongoing constitution process because they feel their concerns and interests are not taken account of. The demand for secession is subject to any other arrangement because the Lozi’s had, had enough of promises, guarantees and undertakings which never materialized in redressing the grievances that the Barotseland citizens had.”

PF turns against Catholic Church

The PF government has turned against the Catholic Church whose support it solicited greatly before last year’s elections, MMD president Nevers Mumba has said,
Dr Mumba has also said state of the nation has reached a critical stage, and only the fearless and patriotic Zambians can help retrieve the country from its dangerous fall.
“Today PF has the audacity of deporting a priest who highlights the plight of the poor,” said Dr Mumba
Dr Mumba also claimed that the PF government has started to roll out a programme to deregister many Pentecostal Churches in Zambia and remove those who use government school facilities for their services.
“PF government is on record of supporting possible homosexual legislation going by the statement made by President Sata in March 2011 prior to the election. The PF government continues to distance itself from the “Declaration of Zambia as Christian Nation”.” said Dr Mumba
He also reiterated that the PF departure from the church was causing suspicious deaths in Zambia
He called on Zambians and the international community to respond to the PF’s government brutalization of the opposition, a situation he said was assault of democracy.
“The government has mounted a campaign to deregister, petition opposition seats, lure opposition Members of Parliament into government, arrest the leaders and create a one party state,” he said
He claimed President Sata’s love for dictators on the continent was an indication of where he intended to take Zambia.
In statement released yesterday Dr Mumba said there was nothing wrong if the Zambian people held President Sata and the PF accountable for all the false promises they made in order to win the elections.
He said harassment of UPND represented the harassment of all opposition parties and appealed to the Civil Society and all Zambians to rise and stand together to resist the assault on democracy.
“We condemn the PF government and call upon all Zambians who cherish democracy to speak out now. We urge the Church to stand up and defend the rights of Zambians, he said
Dr Mumba further said PF’s disregard for the Church would have far reaching implication on both the economy and social order of the nation
The PF government has no policy of working with the church as the President had no regard for the Evangelical Movement and called Pastors and Bishops as self ordained.
He accused the PF government of lacking a policy of working with the church, adding that such a move had resulted in unprecedented wave of ritual killings, accidents across the nation and heinous crimes that Zambia had not experienced before.
“There is no economic plan in place to provide hope for investors and ordinary Zambians, and the state of the nation has become critical and show no signs of healing,” he said.
“As PF approaches one year in office, unless a miracle happens between now and September 20th 2012 it will be fair to state that the PF government has failed to govern and has compromised the integrity of the nation before both Zambians and the international community.

Listen to advice Sata told

An opposition leader has charged the people surrounding President Michael Sata were responsible for the tension and uncertainty in the country.
UPND special assistant to the president Edward Mumbi said that the people surrounding the President were not providing the requisite counsel to enable appreciate the conditions and circumstances prevailing in the country.
He has appealed to President Sata to work with mature and seasoned opposition leaders to develop a cohesive and all inclusive development vision.
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr Mumbi noted the current tension as a result of pronouncements and events were very worrisome. They were not contributing to the nurturing of a peaceful and prosperous Zambia.
Mr Mumbi reiterated that the Nation would not worry if the PF government fulfilled its campaign promises, but instead the unfolding events were a threat to democracy and contrary to the promises made to the electorate.
He said it was disappointing that the President lacked people who would advise the President about the frustration and daily inconveniences people were facing.
There was need, he said, for the Government to respond to the needs and expectation of the people who voted the Government into power, “They must realise that most of their followers that put them into power were youths.”
“Very few people in offices supported them because they knew what to expect.” He said.
“It is unfortunate that President Sata’s followers during the campaign race were youths that is why it has become difficult for him to find good people that can advise him.”
He warned President Sata against following the example set by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe “It will be unfortunate because Mugabe is followed by people who liberated that country, who were mature adult who understood the intricacies of leadership unlike the youths in Zambia who were more interested in their own situations and needs.” He said.
Mr Mumbi said people will not stop talking about the PF government for as long as their expectations were not met.
He noted that it would be helpful if the PF government implemented strategies with the help of other leaders who also had visions to develop the country.

Fire GBM, Sata told

The Minister of Defence Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba should be fired.

Former lecturer at Lilayi Police College Gideon Kamponge in the UNIP government has alleged that the defence minister is reckless and an alarmist.

Mr Kamponge was reacting to Mr Mwamba’s media statement that the plot to kill republican President Michael Sata was under probe.

He said Mr Mwamba’s statement was unfounded and that it was not proper for a Defence minister to make such alarming statements just to attract the attention of the people.

“Mr Mwamba’s statement that the plot to kill Mr Sata was under probe was unfounded and I don’t think it is proper for a Minister of Defence to issue such a statement, If he was aware about such kind of plot, he would have just provided security measures, instead of alarming the nation.

“For me, I think Mr Mwamba or GBM is not the right person to in that office and so he should be fired or taken to another ministry. Defence ministry is one of the important ministries and so we can’t have such a reckless person in that office,” Mr Kamponge said.

Mr Kamponge said Zambia was not at war with any neighbouring country for Mr Mwamba to just come out casually and issue a statement that the plot to kill Mr Sata was under probe.

He said matters of internal security should be left to the ministry of home affairs which has wings that deal effectively with issues regarding the security of the republican president.

“Mr Mwamba is a minister of Defence and so he should not talk to the media about the security of the president, but he should quietly work with his counterpart at home affairs when he thinks the security of the president is at risk, instead of just shouting for people to hear that GBM has spoken,” he said.

Mr Kamponge said the PF government and its ministers should be sensitive and diplomatic, instead of issuing statements without thinking what impact the statement would make.

He said the PF government and its ministers should not issue statements just to make people laugh or clap for them, but should make statements that would provide direction and leadership to the people and its nation.

He said issues of security especially the security of the Republican President should not be made casually by the Minister of Defence, but there should be a way of handling them without the entire country knowing about it.

MMD courting Dr Fundanga?

Some MMD members are reportedly courting former central bank governor Caleb Fundanga to fill up the party’s’ position of vice president in charge of administration.

The Members have insisted that with the coming of Dr Fundanga on board the party would be more efficient.

The cadres who went to seek Dr Fundanga’s hand in the running of the party said that they were interested in him because they felt he would take the former ruling party to greater heights and that his leadership qualities were desirable.

They argued that at the moment there was no one they felt would handle the position as there were a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with.

The members said Dr Fundanga had the calibre to run the party in the absence of the party president Dr Mumba and that among other candidates for the post, there was no one who would question the integrity of the former central bank chief.

Other contenders for the MMD vice president post include Dr. Brian Chituwo, Mr Mike Kaingu, Mr Kabinga Pande, Mr Muhabi Lungu and Mr Lucky Mulusa.

And other party sources said Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane had been approached to be in charge of politics while Lungu is earmarked for the post of chairman economics.

The members said this decision was realised after the MMD retreat in Chilanga by cadres who felt that the two if brought on board, the party would achieve its vision of rebranding.

“We have decided to invite Dr Fundanga on the management team of the party and if he agrees then he will come and fill the nomination papers.

It’s not about a person’s name it’s about what that person can offer. We don’t want people who would be stuck when carrying out duties and fail to represent Zambians,” the sources said.

The two are internationally recognised and people would want to work with the MMD because of the type of leaders the party will have at the helm.

“We know people would be surprised by this move but we are sure Dr Fundanga’s presence in the party executive would be an added advantage apart from the rebranding.

They said Dr Fundanga worked tirelessly during the last election campaigns when his wife stood in Chilubi as an MP and was supportive to the party.

“We want new ideas in the party as well as new members that would replace members with questionable character,” one senior party official said.

Govt determined to ‘hang’ HH

GOVERNMENT is determined to slap treason charges against UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in a bid to take him out of the political circulation in the country, according to Douglas Syakalima.

Mr. Syakalima said attempts to slap Mr. Hichilema with treason offences proved futile after a heavy police search failed to fish out seditious materials allegedly kept at the party’s secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr. Syakalima who is UPND senior political advisor likened the attempt to slap treason charges on Mr. Hichilema to the zero option and black mamba era in the past.

This was after heavy police officers failed to find any materials implicating the opposition leader despite combing, sweeping and physically searching his entire office including the toilets at the premises in Rhodes Park.

And UPND Senior Political Advisor to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, Douglas Syakalima has said that the party will not be intimidated by empty threats coming from the PF government.

Over 100 heavily armed police officers from force headquarters stormed and took siege of the UPND secretariat around 04:00 hours in an effort to retrieve alleged seditious materials and equipment kept at the office but found nothing.

The officers who were led by Inspector Emmanuel Nkonde were refused entry into the UPND offices by cadres who kept vigil at the premises since the first attempt to search for materials on Monday failed.

Police were only allowed access into the premises upon the arrival of lawyers Martha Mushipe, Chad Muleza, Keith Mwemba and Mwanamuchende Dindi who arrived after 08:30.

The cadres demanded to search police officers before they entered the premises to conduct their business.

Police officers were made to remove their shoes and had all their pockets searched.

The cadres also demanded that only four officers should be allowed entry into the office while other armed police men remained outside the premises.

Three plain clothes police officers were forced out of the premises by a horde of cadres after masquerading as journalists when they were not.

After a three hour unsuccessful search inside the premises, the officers then went to the car park where broken down vehicles were parked for another search and that angered cadres.

The officers also searched the sewer systems on the premises in an attempt to find anything implicating the party leadership.

The officers later signed an affidavit in support of an application for the search warrant signed by Lusaka magistrate Walusiku that, “I have today the 28th August 2012 executed a warrant of search to the named UPND secretariat and did not find anything in connection to any seditious material or publication nor did I seize anything,” the affidavit by Inspector Nkonde read in part.

And Mr Syakalima said that there were many problems the nation was facing and it was therefore prudent for President Sata to divert his energies to address the challenges the nation was facing instead of harassing innocent Zambians.

He reminded President Sata that he had a huge task ahead of him which needed urgent reflection.

Mr. Syakalima said the PF government had promised many things during the campaigns which could not be fulfilled now and had instead vent their anger on Zambians.

And police sources said that an attempt was being made to have the opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema charged with treason.

The source revealed that police officers were instructed to search Mr. Hichilema’s residence and that of party deputy president Richard Kapita, William Banda and Edward Mumbi among other senior party leaders.

“As you may be aware Mr Hichilema is due to appear in court and there are issues to do with his claims about the military training in Sudan and now we have information that the Corruption Dossier was compiled but really we are just following instructions. We are just commanded on what to do and our seniors know exactly what they are looking for which does not exist.”

But lead lawyer for Mr Hichilema, Sakwiba Sikota said that police officers had embarked on a mission that was impossible.

Mr Sikota charged that the PF government was panicking for unknown reasons, adding that the seditious material in question was nothing but a ploy to divert people’s attention from real issues.

He described the move as sad and that Zambians were now being led by people with unclear mission on governance.

Tribunal hearing adjourned

The three suspended judges have applied for a full bench in order to ensure that a comprehensive decision is made as the appeal involves novel points of such difficulty and such importance to the general law in Zambia.

The letter of application is contained on of appeal before the courts.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has adjourned the case in which the State appealed against the stay of the Tribunal which was constituted by President Michael Sata to probe allegations of misconduct by the three judges to unknown date.

Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda adjourned the appeal hearing yesterday before a full packed court because one of the judges was unwell.

Supreme Court judge Philip Musonda, High Court Judge in Charge Charles Kajimanga and Judge Nigel Mutuna were suspended by Mr Sata and later a Tribunal was constituted.

Initially the case was supposed to be heard on July 14th but it was adjourned to August 28 2012 because the defendant needed sufficient time to go through the ‘heads of argument’ that were filed by the Attorney General Mumba Malila.

The suspended judges objected the courts decision that the case be heard by three judges and demanded to be heard by a full bench.

Judge Chibesakunda said Judge Hildah Chibomba was unwell and this made it impossible for bench to sit.

Other judges expected to preside over the hearing were deputy chief Justice Florence Mumba, Gregory Phiri, Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Elizabeth Muyovwe and Muyunda Wankie.

The acting chief justice could however not give an exact date for the hearing but advised that a new date would be communicated to later.

In their application the judges raised three preliminary objections which they felt must be dealt with before the matter could proceed.

In the first ground they felt that the appeal by the Attorney General was incompetent as it was being canvassed for the first time in the Supreme Court of Zambia which was an appellate forum and consequently the court was wanting in jurisdiction as the matter was not contested in the High Court for judicature for Zambia.

The Judges also observed that the grounds of appeal by Mr Malila had not been argued in the High Court where the matter was lodged, (the Supreme Court of Zambia is wanting in jurisdiction and can only entertain these arguments after the High Court of judicature for Zambia has conclusively adjudicated upon them).

Finally the Judges argued that the record of appeal has not been prepared in the manner prescribed by the Supreme Court rules statutory instrument No. 70 of 1975 therefore “the purported certification of the record of appeal is incompetent.”

The Tribunal was stayed by high Court judge Fulgence Chisanga after an observation that the decision by President Sata to suspend the three judges lacked merit and that it was an abuse of power by the president.

 

STATEMENT ISSUED BY SACCORD ON THE POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE IN ZAMBIA 28TH AUGUST 2012

The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) notes with sadness that Zambia risks losing its peaceful status if the current crop of political leaders does not stop acting and behaving irresponsibly just for the sake of maintaining political power. It is surprising that our political leaders especially those in government who should have attempted to be role models have equally fallen for divisive politics that have no place in a country like Zambia which has multiple ethnic groups.

While politicians must ensure that they do not lose power and support, their supreme responsibility is to ensure that while holding those privileged positions, they act to unite those they lead. There is no reason to continuously beat the drums of hate as we have seen from our politicians. Government needs to focus most of its energy in addressing the challenges faced by the country rather than ranting and reacting to every criticism from those who are opposed to their style of governance. Unfortunately we find statements by those in government calling opposition leaders and their supporters as being bitter and full of hate as in bad taste and lacking substance. These actions and statements from those in power are not any different from the ones they are accusing. The PF are failing to stick to policy issues and concentrating on political firefighting. We are being fed on too many irresponsible statements coming from the leaders in power which are embarrassing to say the least. There should be more appropriate ways in which government can engage with those it deems to be criticizing because in a democratic society there should be meaningful dialogue and tolerance by all even those who hold the whims of power.

As a government that was elected to bring change, the PF needs to realise that it is accountable to the people and the grounds on which these people voted for change need to be fulfilled. The PF should offer appropriate answers to what they are doing because the Zambians deserve an explanation and the people have the right to criticize if they think things are not going well. This is time to create a broad and strategic coalition with the people of Zambia in order to develop the country instead of engaging in actions that are scary to outsiders and potential investors. While politicians are fighting for political power, it is the ordinary Zambian out there who is suffering as a result of not receiving services from government because officials are too busy fighting political battles and failing to direct policy.

While Zambians under our current constitution are free to organize and belong to any association, it is slowly becoming evident that ethnic tension is growing. Ethnicity all over the world has acted as a safety net for various groups where people feel more secure to be among “their own”. When people begin organizing and associating on ethnic lines, it should send a worrying message to all as it is not a normal way of coexisting. The unity and peace the country has enjoyed over years is at risk going by what you hear on radio talk-shows as well as various comments on news websites. Our leaders in politics as well as in the church need to skillfully address this growing threat so we do not have our country going down the Zimbabwe or Kenya way.

 

Those in power must also stop emulating Mugabe type of leadership which is aimed at harassing and intimidating political opponents. It is disheartening to slowly realize that those in power here now have taken up bad lessons from Mugabe’s leadership which took that country to near hell. Let them not use the police and other security wings to do their dirty political jobs. The heavy handedness which they want to employ of threat after threat was used by some leaders in MMD and did not work rather it only united people against the MMD then. We also know that our leaders of today have the potential to use the police to have their critics arrested as evidenced from what is currently pertaining. We last saw this poor leadership in the Kaunda and Chiluba days. While president Banda almost used it, he was not as ruthless as the PF are almost becoming where you have any minister ordering the police to arrest critics and the police undertake such instructions.

 

Obby Chibuluma

Information Officer

0976286522

 

Assassination gimmick

THE Minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba has been roundly condemned for issuing an assassination ploy statement calculated to alarm and frighten people of Zambia of a nonexistent threat against President Michael Sata.

MMD president Dr. Nevers Mumba says it is irresponsible for the Minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba to issue alarming statements of an assassination attempt that can create despondency and anarchy in the nation.

And former Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti says it is shocking for the Minister of Defence to continue issuing statements that had the capacity to cause alarm in the nation.

Meanwhile, Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Executive Director Mc Donald Chipenzi has urged President Sata to fire ministers who were plotting to secretly succeed him

Mr. Chipenzi said that President Sata should act on some of his Cabinet members who were secretly plotting to succeed him at the expense of service delivery.

Commenting on Mr. Mwamba’s statement that he had information of some people planning to kill President Michael Sata and that police were investigating the matter, Dr. Mumba said it was highly irresponsible for Defence Minister to create an atmosphere which was not conducive to peace.

He said that Mr Mwamba as minister was sending wrong and alarming signals to the nation that some people were planning to kill President Sata.

Dr. Mumba said it was irresponsible for Mr. Mwamba to issue statements which were above his jurisdiction and alarming.

He said Mr. Mwamba should be extremely cautious and not issue unsubstantiated statement.

“He must be extremely cautious and not slippery in the manner he is issuing such statements. This causes alarm in the nation and as a party we condemn that. We shall be issuing a statement soon,” he said.

And Mr. Mulongoti said it was surprising that such information was being issued by the Minister of Defence instead of the Minister of Home Affairs.

“He is responsible for the boundary of the nation and not the internal security of the nation. So it is a worrying it is sending alarm bells to the nation,” he said.

He urged the Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu to take up the matter than to allow the Minister of Defence frighten the people of Zambia by issuing alarming  statements which were difficult to substantiate.

“In the first place it is not correct for him to issue such statements. Even if the matter is true or not. It should be handled by the right authority which can issue such statemenst to the people of Zambia. There is need for decency in government. He should know that he presides over military people who are armed.”

 

FFTUZ tears PF apart for sloppy development policies

Zambia is groping in darkness because the Patriotic Front (PF) government has no policies and programmes to move the nation forward, Federation of Free Trade Union of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde Simukoko has said.

Ms Simukomo said it was sad that the PF which made a lot of promises during the 2011 election campaigns has kept Zambians in the dark for almost one year, instead of setting the stage for economic development by coming up with policies and putting them into action.

She said in an interview in Lusaka at the weekend that it was sad and disappointing that, instead of coming up with sound national development policies for the citizens, the PF government was busy appointing and, firing people and creating new districts and ministries

“To say the truth, as a country, we are in the dark because there are no policies to follow. All we are hearing is the appointments and disappointments of people and creation of new districts and ministries. The PF government should come up with policies and programmes for people to follow

“It is disappointing that after promising people a lot of things during the campaigns, the PF has failed to come up with policies and programmes for national development,” Ms Simukoko said

She advised the PF government to embrace criticism and stop over reacting whenever it was criticized either by the Church, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) or the Civil Society Organizations (CSO)

“People don’t just wake up and criticize something, when they criticize something it means there is something wrong and so the PF government should not over react to criticism, but should first analyze the criticisms before over reacting,

“It is sad that the PF is still behaving as if it is in the opposition. It should know that it is now in government and it will receive all sorts of criticisms which may be genuine, while others may be petty, but it should know how to handle criticisms,” she said

The FFTUZ Chief also advised the PF government to desist from victimizing people perceived to be holding different views from the ruling party.

He said politics of victimization were retrogressive and so the PF government should be seen to provide leadership by embracing divergent views especially on issues of national interest.