Thursday, 15 December 2011
By Chola Mukanga
Improved detection must be accompanied by rapid improvement in prosecution. The current approach to prosecution is costly to the tax payer because cases take a long time. We need a new judicial process for convicting corrupt criminals that is swift and definite. No point of having long prison sentences and good detection, if you cannot actually convict people efficiently and at minimal cost to the tax payer. A corruption fight without an efficient court system has little deterrent effect on corruption and is therefore a pure social cost.
The Government should seriously consider setting up Special Corruption Courts, if necessary on a pilot basis. These would constitute specially selected judges and dedicated courts to exclusively handle corruption and economic crimes related cases. The experiences of establishing special corruption courts can be seen in Pakistan, Philippines and Kenya. There’s no reason why Zambia cannot be learn from such countries on pitfalls to avoid. Many international organisations support such initiatives and indeed recently Nigeria has initiated[v] a similar pilot for two years. The approach is to use a unified general system with judges who have already acquired expertise in handling corruption cases. These could be restricted to look at cases involving more than K100m.
Chola Mukanga is an economist and founder of the Zambian Economist which provides independent economic perspectives on Zambia's progress towards meaningful development for her people
Copyright: Zambian Economist, 2013
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Debt Watch (China), 3rd Edition
Debt Watch (China), 2nd Edition
Debt Watch (China)
Monday, 12 December 2011
"For now (the royalties) will stay, but if it becomes a crisis, if prices crash, we might have to review the regime... not in 2012 but for 2013, in the next budget..."
First, it shows the current mining regime is not well conceived. A good mining taxation regime does not constant adjustment. We were told by the Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda that the new regime is sufficient to capture appropriate revenue. If that indeed is the case, why would the Government already be talking about possible scenarios that would require reversals? Isn't it better to design a tax regime that automatically adjusts in the low revenue years?
Saturday, 10 December 2011
As we edge closer to the end of 2011, and our impending annual blogging break (due 15 December), I thought it was prudent to share our customary look at the top books released in 2011. Once again a difficult choice. As always the list reflects what I found interesting, fresh, challenging and inspiring. The list of course reflects my broader reading of new books. You will naturally have read other interesting new releases. Would be interested to see what you found eye catching.
(5) Dancing In The Glory of Monsters by Jason Sterns seeks to offer a narrative of the wars that have been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is particularly useful in terms of drawing out the various roles played by its neighbours, especially the Rwandan government. It is naturally graphic and certainly not for the faint hearted. I suppose if there's a downside is that it is often unbalanced and could have done with better polishing or story telling. But certainly one of the most important books released this year and a must read for students of African affairs. You can't understand Africa until you understand the Congo. The book offers a great start in that area.
Friday, 9 December 2011
Parastatal Madness, 14th Edition
Thursday, 8 December 2011
The past two years are a tribute to Zambian farmers: they have responded admirably to government efforts to promote maize production. Being the most important staple food in Zambia, maize surpluses contribute to food security and benefit the nation. But the smallest farmers in Zambia— those cultivating less than 2 hectares who account for over 70% of all the smallholder farms in the country —participated only marginally in the maize production expansion of 2010/11. These farmers received relatively little FISP fertiliser and sold very little maize, hence they were unable to benefit from the FRA producer price of 65,000 kwacha per bag. The farmers benefiting the most from the government’s expenditures on supporting maize prices were clearly those selling the most maize.
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Msanzala independent member of parliament Colonel Joseph Lungu has allegedly resigned and has immediately joined the ruling Patriotic Front. Col Lungu said he had decided to join the ruling party in order to ensure development of Msanzala which had lagged behind for some time. Col Lungu said he felt he could not take development to the area as an independent parliamentarian. He hoped to be adopted by the PF and promised that he would continue with development projects for the area.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Konkola Copper Mines has announced plans to resume output at the Mimbula open pit mine as part of Vedanta'ss strategy to extend mine life at its operations. KCM plans to carry out activities at Mimbula including extension of the power line to the site as well as pit de-watering and de-silting as mining has not taken place there since the 1970s. The opening of the Mimbula mine, located on the Copperbelt, is still under evaluation with further details forthcoming.
Friday, 2 December 2011
The ACF / IAPRI policy presentation on the Budget - 2012 Zambian Agriculture Budget Analysis. As the selected graphics below show (click to enlarge), there has been such deviation from actual allocations in previous budgets, that the word "budget" does not carry much meaning. We hope this will change under the new government.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
“Do you feel it trickle down?” ask the protesters occupying Wall Street and parts of financial districts from London to San Francisco. They are not alone in their anxiety. Income inequality is a top concern not only in tent cities across the United States, but also among street protesters in Taipei, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Athens, Madrid, Santiago, and elsewhere.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
A good starting point is to develop better labor statistics, which would help policymakers get a firmer grip on the scale and scope of the unemployment problem and, in turn, help them formulate policies to tackle it.On a basic level, governments in the region could do more to nurture private-sector development, particularly in sectors outside of mining, oil, and gas. Countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia have made important strides in improving the business environment, but many still lag behind on several indicators, especially the ease of trading across borders—in such areas as the number of documents, procedures, and days needed to export and import. And the region’s low scores on several widely cited governance indicators show that these governments still have work to do on eliminating corruption.All of these policies could form part of a longer-term strategy for attracting investment and creating jobs in the region. Such a plan is vital, because growth alone is not enough.It is also important to focus on delivering appropriate education to fit the needs of the economy. To that end, improving education systems to better equip young people with the skills demanded by the marketplace would help solve the skills mismatch problem, where it exists.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
In a letter signed on December 21, 2010 to the Director of Mines and the Director of Geological Survey, Mr Mwale ordered the two officials to give Gabriel Namulambe, the then Minister of Works and Supply, mining rights for areas in Luapula and North/Western Provinces. In June 29, 2011, Mr Mwale instructed the two officials to favour Mr Kabonde, Dr Kwendakwema and others with mining rights in Mumbwa District, west of Lusaka, in Central Province. More detail via the Post.
"Our main interest is the children who are in prison because their mothers have been incarcerated. We will sit down with the Ministry of Home Affairs and come up with lasting solutions....the Department of Social Welfare is mandated to look after children who are in prison with their incarcerated mothers and any other vulnerable ones, hence our stake in the prisons".
Saturday, 26 November 2011
No! They should not be banned. The problem is not the quality of the content but rather the packaging. Naturally, liquor should be packaged in big bottles that command a higher price. If anything becomes too affordable, it becomes a problem. Johnnies is as good or bad a Brandy as any other. I have tried it. Problem is it is affordable to all and it is therefore abuses. Consider the company that makes these Tujilijili pays taxes, employes people that have families to feed and educate. What becomes of them?
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are entering the Zambia - Europe market, is move that signals greater competition to British Airways dominance. It announced this week that it will make its first flight to Lusaka from Amsterdam on May 15, 2012, using the Airbus A330-200. It will be departing from Schiphol (Airport) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:30 hours, arriving in Lusaka the same day at 22:10 hours. The return fligh will depart Lusaka at 23:55 hours on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights and arrive in Amsterdam at 09:55 hours the next morning. The new route creates a direct link between Zambia’s flourishing flower industry and the Netherlands, which is the largest junction in the worldwide flower industry. It will also boost the growth of Zambia’s tourism as it offers a wide variety of tourist attractions.
The potential for Zambia to emerge as a credible second aviation hub for the SADC behind South Africa cannot be underestimated. Zambia has a unique geographical advantage that should be harnessed by an effective aviation policy. A key challenge is to ensure that safety remains paramount. Which is why this latest pronouncement by Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga is much needed. The lack of radar equipment for airports in the country is not a way to encourage an emerging hub. Similarly, as the Minister has noted in the past, having a stronger domestic carrier is also vital. The best way to do that of course is to follow the models elsewhere in emerging economies where public and private partnerships have ensured a strong aviation industry.
Friday, 25 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
"On RP Capital, the recommendation of the commission of inquiry was that a civil lawsuit be immediately instituted to recover the excess fees paid to RP Capital. It also recommended that RP Capital, its affiliates and employees must be immediately barred from conducting business in Zambia. It was also recommended that a civil lawsuit be immediately instituted against RP Capital and Simmons and Simmons for professional misconduct and negligence in qualifying LAP Green despite LAP Green's failing of all the three mandatory prequalification criteria."
"To improve access to economic opportunities and achieve more inclusive growth, policy makers will need to reduce the costs and burdens of entering the formal economy. Changing labor regulations can make it less expensive for employers to hire workers formally. More straightforward rules for establishing and operating a business will encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses on a formal basis. Enforcing the rules fairly and consistently means that firms share not only the responsibilities but also the benefits of operating formally. Simpler tax regulations and stronger administration will complement these reforms. At the same time, workers in the informal sector will need help in acquiring the skills demanded by the formal sector".
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Tujilijili (or Tujiri jiri) is apparently becoming a Zambian obsession especially among youths who use them as a tranquillising drug to "keep their demons at bay". Tujilijili is a strong alcohol sold in a sachet for about K1, 000 per sachet. The alcoholic content is over 40 per cent, equivalent to whiskey and other known spirit brands like vodka and brandy.
There has been some calls for this drink to be banned. This week we are asking - should it be banned? What are the costs and benefits of doing so? How would such a ban be enforced?
A sample of responses from "properly identified persons" will be published under the Readers Weekly column.
Those on Facebook can leave their comments here.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Inspired by Anna Hazare’s hunger strike, thousands of people gathered at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi to protest governmental corruption. Protesters here and around the country pressed for a specific political change – a new institution to combat corruption– and, in principle, they won. Parliament passed a resolution accepting their demands and is now drafting a bill accordingly.
Monday, 21 November 2011
Many people were demanding that the Zambian people should benefit from the country’s mineral wealth. They were expecting the PF Government to adequately tax the Mining Sector to generate financial resources in order to provide better roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. The people were calling for the re-introduction of windfall tax on copper revenue. With copper prices remaining above US$7,000 per tonne, the mines are still gaining unexpected income which is above the planned threshold of US$2,500 to US$3,000 per tonne to make profit. The PF campaigned on the platform of re-introducing the windfall tax. What has changed?
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Promoting the right to freedom of expression is another way of preventing corruption. This right facilitates participation and it is significant to all the efforts we enlist in our fight against corruption. Government can then make certain that free flow of information is allowed. This would encourage us to denounce corruption cases. Yet since most of the information we may receive is transmitted through reporters and editors, who can be bribed, it may not be enough that we simply advocate for the protection of these rights. Information is vital to preventing corruption. If the people have a right and access to public information, then they can know what is going on in their society and hence be able to freely and actively participate in the fight against corruption. It is for this reason that the Freedom of Information Bill becomes law and be enshrined in the constitution.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
On July 8 2011 a Hewa Bora Airways aircraft, operated by a private Congolese company, crashed in bad weather after missing the runway at Kisangani airport, killing 127 people. Although blacklisted by the EU and the US, Hewa Bora had long been considered the best of the DRC’s airlines, but this means little in a country which holds the world record for aircraft crashes.
As sub-Saharan Africa grapples with high food prices in some regions and famine in others, many experts argue that increasing food production through a programme of hybrid seeds and chemical inputs is the way to go.This approach, marketed as a "New Green Revolution" for Africa, is increasingly supported by a triumphant telling of China's history with this method in the 1970s and 1980s. This Chinese success story is not only distorted, but it is being misapplied in Africa.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
It's become commonplace to criticize the “Occupy” movement for failing to offer an alternative vision. But the thousands of activists in the streets of New York and London aren’t the only ones lacking perspective: economists, to whom we might expect to turn for such vision, have long since given up thinking in terms of economic systems — and we are all the worse for it.
Monday, 14 November 2011
"I asked, “What have I done wrong?” and [the supervisor] replied, “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to talk, you’re a slave.” [My boss] and his supervisor spoke in Chinese for several minutes, and then he said I was fired. After being fired, I went to the safety officer and took him to the workplace. Then I went to see the HR [human resources] officer, who confirmed that he had been to the site where the problem started. He was very defensive of the Chinese, he didn't even address the issue of working near the fire without fire safety equipment. HR told me to go home, that they would finish their investigations. I have taken the case to court..."
Last week, a wall of silence over the constitution-making process and public media reforms was broken by two major official pronouncements from senior government officials. One was from Minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu who proffered that the constitution-making process will take more than ninety days, contrary to the PF slogan of completing the process within that period of coming to power.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Zambia 2012 Budget Highlights
Thursday, 10 November 2011
It is so refreshing to hear His Excellency Mr Michael Sata include Skills training and self employment for young Entrepreneurs, as primary tasks that will occupy the attention of his administration during his term of office.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
It is no exaggeration to State that the public media, which is expected to act as public watchdogs so as to strengthen checks and balances, has often been mocked by critics as Government lapdogs because of its servile attitude.In the recent past, the two State-owned dailies—the Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail-- became conduits of crude and grotesque propaganda emanating from the MMD and targeting the most popular opposition figure at the time, who triumphed in the presidential election. The litany of unethical and unprofessional practices that have been documented is long. Suffice it to say that the current ownership pattern of the public media has eroded professionalism and undermined the country’s democratic dispensation. This situation has to be reversed to restore credibility and lend credence to the whole concept of “public media.” If the concept of public media is to have real meaning, the ownership has to reflect the diversity of our country.Political pluralism would be rendered a farce without a media freed from the encumbrances of State ownership, and enjoying unfettered freedom to check the politicians’propensity to abuse power. Once the envisaged reforms are implemented, we believe the public media would be better positioned to play its role in a democratic political set-up such as the one which obtains in Zambia. In the broadcasting sector, we strongly believe that the national broadcaster, ZNBC, should similarly be transformed into a public broadcaster along the same lines as the BBC in the United Kingdom. Government monopoly in the media sector is a carry-over from the old political order during single party rule. This is incompatible with the current democratic dispensation and, therefore, untenable.
The impacts of education on crime, health and mortality, and civic participation, Lance Lochner, Project Syndicate, Commentary :Given recent budget problems around the world, many governments have proposed sharp cuts to education. What are the likely long-run costs of these cuts? Growing evidence suggests that the lasting impacts of reductions in early childhood investments, school quality, and educational attainment among today’s youth are likely to extend beyond declines in future productivity and earnings. Crime rates are likely to increase, health and mortality are likely to deteriorate, and political and social institutions may suffer.
Monday, 7 November 2011
Sunday, 6 November 2011
There was a time a few decades ago when some writers argued a case that corruption might actually bring benefits to society and for that reason tolerated, but these voices have since been silenced. What is less certain is which of the 'best practices' are commendable for its control and prevention in the developing world.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Changing the method of payment is not the solution to stop traffic corruption. It appears like the Inspector General does not know the problem at hand. He should first carry out a survey and ask motorists (especially bus drivers) what the problem really is. Then the police can design a mechanism to curb the problem. The traffic police are taking advantage of the high charges which most motorist would rather not pay and the ignorance of the traffic law. Traffic police make up silly cases to pin offenders for their gain. In my opinion, traffic police are just out to make money and have very little to do with police work. We know that high ranking officer in the police force even set target per week to the patrol officers. Where is the corruption? Right inside the police force not on the road. Will changing the method of payment change anything? it is a good step but maybe in conjunction with other measures.
"Business as usual is over, we all have to pull our socks and roll our sleeves to sustain our institutions. As ZWAMA, you will be entitled to settle all your costs and build a fund that will enable you buy the equipment you require to operate to full capacity...To survive, there is need to change…from 2012 we expect you to be independent and if you want salary increment, work for it. Every deductions taking place whether National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) or Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) should be remitted.."
Friday, 4 November 2011
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Many on the left are suspicious of the idea that economic growth helps to reduce poverty in developing countries. They argue that growth-oriented policies seek to increase gross national product, not to ameliorate poverty, and that redistribution is the key to poverty reduction. These assertions, however, are not borne out by the evidence.Since the 1950’s, developmental economists have understood that growth in GNP is not synonymous with increased welfare. But, even prior to independence, India’s leaders saw growth as essential for reducing poverty and increasing social welfare. In economic terms, growth was an instrument, not a target – the means by which the true targets, like poverty reduction and the social advancement of the masses, would be achieved.