on Ethnic Relations / Rapports sur les relations
following section is mainly consisted of part, full or summaries
of articles taken from newspapers.
La section suivante est essentiellement constituée d'exraits,
de la totalité ou de résumés d'articles
issues de journaux .
/ 27 / 2004
leader asks Government to reveal its deals with IMF" (Webster
- Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata has challenged the government
to come out in the open and tell Zambians what agreements it has
entered into with the IMF and the World Bank.
Commenting on continued calls by government leaders that Zambians
should sacrifice for the economy to improve, Sata yesterday observed
that Zambia was now at a critical point more than it was in 1978
when the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and
other donors pulled out of the country.
Sata said it was unfair for the government to ask Zambians to
sacrifice this year without telling them what it is that it had
agreed upon with the donor community.
Sata said Dr. Kenneth Kaunda's government after the pull out of
donors in 1978 survived then because it had a large parastatal
support base, including the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines,
which provided the country with foreign exchange earnings.
He said it was strange that government leaders had turned themselves
into spokespersons for the donor community where they were even
threatening that the country could be liquidated by multilateral
institutions if Zambians were not ready to suffer a little more.
Vice-President Nevers Mumba on Monday warned that Zambia risked
being liquidated by the IMF and the World Bank if the nation did
not submit to their conditions.
But Sata said from 1978 to 1988, Zambia achieved more in terms
of development without the assistance of donors than from 1992
to 2004 with the interference of donors.
Sata noted that the donor community was asking Zambia to reduce
the civil service by 50 per cent because the government was spending
too much on workers' pay.
"If Zambia succumbs to demands of the donor community to
reduce the civil service by 50 per cent so that we can achieve
the HIPC completion point, who is going to enjoy the benefits
from HIPC and who will implement whatever benefits we will get
from HIPC?" he asked.
/ 17 / 2004
over irregularities in HIPC fund spending"
debt relief monitors have raised concerns over alleged irregularities
in spending on poverty relief under the donor-supported Highly-Indebted
Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
The independent HIPC Tracking and Monitoring External Team, investigating
the use of the funds saved under the debt relief programme, identified
alleged abuses involving top civil servants in a report released
The team was established by the Ministry of Finance in 2001 to
investigate the disbursement of funds in the Copperbelt and Northern
As a "least-developed" country, Zambia qualifies for
the HIPC debt-reduction programme of the International Monetary
Fund and World Bank. According to the Minister of Finance, Ng'andu
Magande, at the end of 2002 the country had around US $97 million
saved as a result of HIPC, of which about $21 million had been
spent as required on social welfare programmes.
But the team found that at least two road repair contracts were
awarded to companies in which senior civil servants had interests,
while another road repair contract in the Kalulushi district in
the Copperbelt province was apparently awarded to a company run
by the husband of a provincial procurement officer.
The monitoring team's report noted that "there was undue
influence from politicians on the appointment of some road contractors
... furthermore, some members of the tender committees took advantage
of their positions and got involved in 'insider dealings' and
thereby awarded themselves contracts through their 'fronts' -
companies owned by their relatives or friends".
The Northern Province had used more than $156,000 of the HIPC
funds on salaries and fuel, and for festivals and political celebrations.
A greater part of the social welfare grant allocations "had
not reached the intended beneficiaries, and the social welfare
officers either absented themselves or failed to provide records
Several million Zambian kwacha had been diverted to non-HIPC programmes
by the Copperbelt province.
Jack Jones Zulu of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
(JCTR), who sits on the eight-member monitoring team, pointed
out that the findings were not any different to their report for
last year on the disbursement of HIPC funds in the Central and
"This is the second time we have identified the abuse of
the HIPC funds by senior government officials," said Zulu.
According to him, no action was taken against the erring officials
identified last year.
"It is pointless identifying the problems, when nothing is
done to instil confidence in our donor organisations," he
commented, and suggested that the team should include cabinet
ministers and parliamentarians to enhance its powers to monitor
and take action.
The team, which included the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants,
the Zambia Institute of Marketing, the Economic Association of
Zambia, the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction and the JCTR,
among other civic bodies, was "toothless" at the moment,
Magande has responded to the findings with the assurance that
the government will not allow "the continued misuse and abuse
of the scarce resources by the very people who are paid to be
custodians ... my ministry will strictly supervise the various
projects and programmes, and any lapses will be dealt with sternly."
/ 16 / 2004
anti-corruption regulations 'unconstitutional'"
anti-corruption regulations allowing Zimbabwean police to hold
suspects accused of economic crimes for up to four weeks without
bail are "unconstitutional", a human rights body said
Presidential Powers were used on Friday to amend the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act, which now enables the police to detain
people suspected of committing economic crimes, including corruption,
money laundering and illegal dealing in foreign exchange and gold,
for up to a week.
The police can also hold suspects for a further 21 days if prima
facie evidence of their involvement is produced.
Noel Kututwa, deputy director of the Zimbabwe-based Human Rights
Trust of Southern Africa, pointed out that the amendments contravened
the constitutional right of citizens to be presumed innocent until
"The regulations, by denying bail for seven days, also contravene
the individual's right to a fair hearing, as prescribed in the
constitution," he told IRIN.
Kututwa said he "failed to understand the need for invoking
presidential powers when the parliament is in session - an issue
involving civil liberties should be debated in parliament".
The regulations were introduced as part of President Robert Mugabe's
attempts to clamp down on corruption, following the arrest of
a senior ZANU-PF central committee member, James Makamba, a week
ago. The official Herald newspaper said on Monday that figures
previously released by the police showed Makamba had allegedly
transferred several million Zimbabwean dollars as well as foreign
Telecel, the country's third-largest mobile phone company, of
which Makamba is a director, also allegedly "externalised"
foreign currency and Zimbawean dollars.
Mugabe last week also created a new Ministry of Anti-corruption
and an Anti-monopolies Programme, with ZANU-PF stalwart Didymus
Mutasa as the head.
/ 12 / 2004
demand access to information"
of the Zambian media are to march to the centre of the capital,
Lusaka, on Friday to demand enactment of the Freedom of Information
The march is part of a five-day campaign, running since Monday,
to lobby for the bill to be brought before the current session
of parliament, said Kellys Kaunda, chairman of the Zambian chapter
of the Media Institute of Southern Africa.
Kaunda said the bill was among three pieces of legislation which
were to have been approved by parliament last year. "The
other two - the now Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, and
an amendment to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Act,
to transform it into a public service broadcaster - went through
parliament. But the Freedom of Information Bill was withheld,"
he told IRIN.
The government withdrew the proposed legislation last year to
hold further consultations.
The aim of the bill was to provide for the right of access to
information; set out the scope of information to be made available
to the public; and promote transparency and accountability by
The Press Association of Zambia, the Zambia Media Women's Association,
the Zambia Union of Journalists and the Society for Senior Zambian
Journalists are all participating in the campaign. The organisations
say the bill could assist journalists attempting to uncover corruption