Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The State v Ian Manning

Dear Adela,

Brendan and I appeared before a High Court judge today, who gave 14 days for more submissions supporting the affidavits of ours and Immigration's - judgement to be made on the affidavits, with a promise of a judgement in March. The affidavit produced by Immigration was ...interesting. However, the case rests on Section 30 of the Investment Act which clearly states that if investors obtain investment certificates they must be issued with self-employed or resident permits. What we got, as you know, were one year residence permits, which they then refused to extend on the supposed grounds that our business was not 'viable'. He also instructed Immigration to issue us with permits which will carry us through March. Power, I am reminded, is not what you are given but what you assume. However, we do wonder what happened to the Zambia Development Agency in all this. They were paid to facilitate our investment status and have left us high and dry. And the Zambia Business Forum? And I wonder if Business Action for Africa, of which we are corporate members, will do something. I still await confirmation of their anti-corruption programme in Zambia - touted at the recent G8 meeting in Germany.

Meanwhile legal warnings have been issued to the DG of ZAWA and Senior Chief Luembe to halt all moves by them to part Mbeza Safaris and its hunting concession, or to be in contempt of court. The DG was going around Safari Club International (SCI) in Reno last week, telling people that we had been 'terminated': not true, as our Community Resource Boards thwarted the move. He also told a meeting of Community Resource Board representatives - gathered illegally and without the support of their full Boards in order to terminate three hunting concessions from their lawful concessionaires (Nyampala, West Petauke and Msoro), that he had been told by government that I would not be issued with a work permit. Of course, behind all this are crooks and corrupt officials who object to my whistleblowing on illegal land alienations and who slaver after the land which our Luembe Conservancy Trust has legally under its control for 60 years. And the crooks want the concession. But at least the OP (the Shushu) no longer park outside my gate, the eight black shirted men with Dracula written on their back have not come back after the suburbs wild dogs chased them off, and my phone can no longer be tapped, and the fact that my emails were intercepted and our agents got to and warned not to send us business, may yet be overcome.

We have had Transparency International Zambia's full support, for which we are most grateful. And our attorney, Wynter Kabimba, is fearless and highly competent. Without TIZ and our attorney, and a still free judiciary, we would have been long gone, our $1.7 million yet another tombstone to the idealist investor, our communities, our schoolteachers, our little foster home, wondering what the hell happened to us.

A sympathetic Immigration officer told me recently during my recent two hour ordeal at the airport when coming back into the country, that a number of investors are being similarly treated; but they accept their deportations, never to be seen again.

And a word of congratulations to my friend Roy Clarke (Kalaki), and to Sara, who were reprieved from deportation by the Supreme Court, the latter observing that freedom of expression was one of the strong attributes of a democratic society. Let us hope whistleblowing is as well.

Many thanks for all your support. La lutra continua, and FAGA MOTO!
Yours aye

I. P. A. Manning
Co-Director: Luembe Conservancy Trust
Director: Gamefields Ltd
M.D. Mbeza Safaris
Corporate Member: Business Action for Africa (Anti-corruption programme)
Mobile Lusaka: 260 977 618246

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Zambia Wildlife Authority official, Andrew Nkhoma, continues to sabotage community development.

A report just received from the Chairman of the Luembe Community Resource Board in the Luangwa Valley, is that the Nyimba ZAWA Community Liaison Officer, Andrew Nkhoma - who recently was party to the illegal arrest and abuse of a foreign hunting client - see and his seriously ill professional hunter, used undue pressure on Board members at a meeting on 28 December (convened to workshop finance management) and obtained a statement of condemnation of Mbeza Safaris operations and its delivery of community assistance. The Chairman has written a letter of objection to ZAWA.

Mbeza, which is funded by its holding company, Gamefields, the latter investing to the tune of $1.6 million in Mbeza and in the Luembe Conservancy Trust since 2003, was bought to assist in the development of the area. However, officials such as Nkhoma, doubtless upset by our revelations on the Nyimba ZAWA office's operation of a bushmeat and ivory poaching operation, would wish to have us removed, joining those with similar sentiments at ZAWA HQ and in some political circles. The only reason that Gamefields and Mbeza continue investing in Zambia is precisely because we have overwhelming community support. Should that not be forthcoming, we would be the first to accept that we were not wanted, and pack our bags. Mr Nkhoma has not heard the last of this.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Today Brendan Manning, shareholder and manager of a company holding an investment certificate under the Investment Act, with an investment in rural Zambia over four years of $1.6 million, received a temporary permit extension at a cost of K2.5 million (kwacha @ 3850 to the $ dollar) or $649 - although the TP only admits to the payment of K2 million. This permit - supposedly issued on 24 October and valid to 24 January 2008, despite Immigration receiving a lawyers letter and a personal visit to ensure that the TP be valid up to the holding of the court case, is but six days short of the High Court case, one in which he and his father and mother have their judicial review hearing against the Minister of Home Affairs and the Chief Immigration Officer on the matter of the latter's refusal to extend the Mannings self-employed permits. Judge Musonda, having on 30 November admonished the Immigration Department for arrogance and disrespect of the High Court in that they have been issuing short-stay permits despite a judicial stay being in place, something which supersedes any action, may now wish to deal with a state body which ignores him.

The matter is not simply that Immigration require money to pay the Chinese contractor for his attempted repairs to the notorious Kent House, but that the executive and the civil service - paid for by tax payers and the ubiquitous donors - including my own fatherland, not least all the IT equipment supplied by USAID, appear to hold the High Court in contempt. I think, however, that in Judge Musonda they may have found their match.

Today came news of a divorcee on a work permit with a young child of 4, who, enrolled at a private school, and has been told that she should pay K500,000 for a study permit for the child.

NGOs in Zambia...

The Zambian State and civil society do not very often sing from the same hymn sheet - and increasingly so in Zambia. But this is not a particularly Zambian malady: government everywhere always grows increasingly intolerant of criticism, be it from the media or from that product of western pluralism, the non-government organization. And one cannot cavil at the man who is the citizen's protector - the Minister of Justice, saying that there needs to be a legal framework in place for the protection of society from unregulated NGOs - some of them undoubtedly not of charitable intent. The Charities Commission in England oversee many thousands of NGOs, making sure that they serve society. It is a difficult job, and they have a legal framework, based - as is ours, on English Common Law. But they also protect NGOs from the Government.

Zambian NGOs clearly see the NGO Bill as a move by Government to stifle opposition to government policies and their implementation through Acts and Statutory Instruments, and as an instrument to divide and conquer the myriad groupings of charitable intent which might coalesce into hard political opposition. The Bill does of course not much consider the protection of the NGO from a Government, one that does not hesitate to order the OP surveillance team to keep a close watch on it. As Joyce MacMillan remarks, the restrictive definition of an NGO would pose a threat to those of us working in human rights, social and economic justice - if you are trying to do charitable works in a rural area, something impossible to avoid.

What this bill would deliver is the establishment of a Government controlled quango , yet another one, to oversee the common herd. By all means let us have a commission, but one appointed - unlike the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission, by civil society.

All free men and women need to restrict the powers of the elected government over them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Justice being done in Zambia…

Today, I and my son, Brendan, attended a judicial review in a Lusaka High Court judge’s chambers, together with our attorney, Wynter Kabimba and a legal officer from the Attorney-General’s office. The matter of course has to do with the refusal of the Minister of Home Affairs to renew our self-employed permits - as is our right as holders of investment certificates under the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2006, giving as his reason that “Your business is not viable”, even though we are only into our third year and have already invested $1.6 million in our Luembe Conservancy – a partnership with our Luembe community, which includes the purchase of the hunting concessionaire in our conservancy, Mbeza Safaris.

The judge showed some irritation at a move by the Government who today presented an affidavit to have the review cancelled, having had time since we last appeared before the same judge on 4 September to present it. Our attorney then, given the fact that he had had no time to consult us, requested an adjournment. This was granted, the date being set for 30 January, 2008.

Then the matter of the Immigration Department’s refusal to understand that a stay of execution granted us on 4 September meant just that. But of course Immigration do not have much understanding or respect for the law, being filled with the hubris of their most powerful position to grant ‘life and death’ in Zambia to investors, be they illiterate Chinese labourers whom we encounter every time we attend Immigration, putting their crosses on the receipts for their entry permits, something denied most investors, even the husband of a chum of mine who has been on a work permit since 1975. There are four of us: my wife and son and I (all executive shareholders of the company holding an investment certificate), and my aged mother, so Immigration is quite happy to have us paying our $500 application fee for a temporary permit for a few weeks or months, even though they know the date of the judicial review and could easily issue us with a free report order. After all they should have some rudimentary understanding of the fact that a stay of execution granted by a High Court judge supercedes everything. I tried explaining this to the Immigration legal officer a few days ago. But he clearly thought he was an expert, denying that a stay meant any such thing, then turned on my wife who has been on a report order, saying that unless she paid for and received a temporary permit, he could arrest her for being in the country illegally. This was abuse in its most basic form, something you have to get used to when dealing with the Kent House brigade.

Our problems with Immigration were put to the judge, who stated that the Immigration legal officer was clearly being ‘disrespective to the court, and being arrogant…” With great restraint, he suggested that the Government legal officer have a word with the Immigration legal officer so that he would not be forced to come down on her with a court order!!

Today on the 31st October, we delivered a letter to The Chief Immigration Officer from our attorneys, which dealt with the question, writing as follows: "your (Immigration's) office has continued to act in disobedience of the judicial order granted to them (Mannings) by a competent court by issuing them at times with report orders for a period of 3 days or a Temporary permit for a period of a month. It was the view of the judge (Honourable Mr Justice Phillip Musonda) that your conduct constitutes an affront to the judicial order granted and M/s Mpamba as legal officer was expected to be well versed in court matters and advise your office accordingly. The judge directed that we implore you to obey the court order in order to facilitate a fair trial or in default to promptly report to the court for appropriate action. In this regard you may wish to refer to the case of Kabimba Vs the Attorney General and Lusaka City Council (1995/97) ZR, 152 for the definition of a stay and its effect in judicial review proceedings."

It was concluded by a receptive and polite senior hierarchy at Immigration - and by our attorney, that we should be issued Temporary Permits for three months - for which we would have to pay.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Foreigners flood Zambia reports ZNBC...

"The Immigrations Department says Zambia has recorded an unprecedented influx of foreign nationals due to investment prospects in the country. Chief Immigrations Officer, Ndiyoyi Mutiti said government's resolve to woo investment into the country has attracted many foreign nationals. Mrs. Mutiti also refuted allegations that more work permits are being issued to Chinese nationals than other foreigners. She said her department does not discriminate when issuing work permits. There has been reports that Chinese nationals are awarded more work permits than other foreigners."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Evidence of Zambia's Development and Immigration divide...

That Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Felix Mutati complains of an influx of Chinese labourers into Zambia - labourers almost daily to be found squatting on the pavement outside the Lusaka airport awaiting their buses, but further confirmation that the Ministry of Home Affairs and its Department of Immigration are implementing a plan which Commerce and Industry have no control over. As I have an Immigration Department official on record as saying that it is they who decide who comes to - or leaves, Zambia, clearly investors have a problem, being lead down the garden path by the Ministry of Commerce - through its Zambia Development Agency, and abandoned to the the vagaries of a heavily politicised Department of Emigration. Chinese and miners be welcome, others beware!

On Tuesday 30 October, the High Court of Zambia will decide on just such a case. Watch this blog... and as a reminder of the problem, here is repeated part of a blog of some months ago dealing with the 'Adequacy of Zambia's Legal and Policy Framework' which I contributed to the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour of the National Assembly, Zambia:

The Zambia Development Agency Act No. 11 of 2006 takes the place of the repealed Acts: Investment Act; Privatization Act; Small Enterprise Development Act; Export Processing Zones Act; and the Export Development Act, creating the quango: The Zambia Development Agency


i) The national investment objectives
These are articulated based on generally accepted international norms. However, it is clear that, in their making, they are not the result of true consultation with civil society conducted in a transparent and participatory manner as they do not address the cultural and socio-wellsprings of society, and therefore will remain an idealistic goal ever unattainable. In plain terms, the objectives are not the views of general society.
ii) Government responsibilities to foreign investors
These are poorly delineated, leaving the investor, should anything go wrong, at the mercy of the Arbitration Act, a process anyhow avoided by a Government Executive in which power remains highly centralized, where foreign investors are able to be deported under emergency powers introduced to deal with a state of emergency under a previous regime. There therefore needs to be introduced a special committee of the judiciary, set apart from the Executive, to deal with matters affecting investors who are targeted by corrupt elements.