Muluzi Should Watch Out for Tembo Daily Times (Blantyre) November 12, 2001 Posted to the web November 12, 2001 Mabvuto Banda Blantyre Treasurer General forMessage 1 of 1046 , Nov 13, 2001View Source'Muluzi Should Watch Out for Tembo'
Daily Times (Blantyre)
November 12, 2001
Posted to the web November 12, 2001
Treasurer General for MCP Heatherwick Ntaba has warned President Bakili Muluzi to watch out for MCP Vice President John Tembo who he accused of having been behind tarnishing the image late President Dr Kamuzu Banda by committing atrocities in his name.
Ntaba said that Dr Banda apologised to the nation after he realised that some people used his name to commit atrocities on innocent Malawians.
"Since Muluzi acquired Tembo as his adviser we have seen the clergy and Moslem leaders being beaten, opposition harassed and no one arrested. These are the same things that happened during the Dr Banda's era because of Tembo. I hope Muluzi will not go to the radio to apologise like Dr Banda because of other people," Ntaba said.
Ntaba, whose seat has been declared vacant together with Chakuamba and NDA members, accused Tembo of confusing the UDF and President Muluzi and now planning to declare all seats for the MCP MPs who fail to attend his meetings vacant.
"He will be addressing a meeting in my constituency with the aim of decampiagning me and letters are being thrown around that those MPs who fail to attend the rally will be dismissed from parliament," Ntaba said.
Tembo yesterday could not comment saying that he was on his way to a rally in Kamphata. (Ntaba's constituency).
"We are now fearing for our lives because same people when you give them power all they know is how to abuse it," he said.
Tembo is widely accused of having ochestrated major atrocities committed during the one party regime. In the Mwanza trial in which he was in detention for nine months, he was accused of having plotted the death of the three ministers and one MP.
President Muluzi also in his book titled Democracy with a Price, published after the famous Mwanza trail made specific reference to Tembo's apparent involvement in the death of the ministers.
However, Tembo was acquitted by the High Court for lack of evidence after a marathon trail of what came to be known as the Mwanza murder trail.
President Muluzi has gone out to praise Tembo at government functions calling him a true opposition leader ready to work together with government.
Chihana, Muluzi in Secret Talks
Daily Times (Blantyre)
November 12, 2001
Posted to the web November 12, 2001
Aford President Chakufwa Chihana has held secret talks with President Bakili Muluzi and MCP Vice President John Tembo to discuss a government of national unity a move which has put the Aford/MCP alliance in dire straits and spared seats for Aford MPs.
Chihana, who in July 1995 formed a coalition government with the ruling party, met Muluzi on Sunday last week at Lilongwe State Lodge for five hours before Parliament invoked Section 65(1) dismissing MCP President Gwanda Chakuamba, Heatherwick Ntaba and NDA leader Brown Mpinganjira his members, sources said.
Daily Times learnt that meetings have been held on how the two partys can work together and reduce political tensions currently in the airs.
But Aford Publicity Secretary Dan Msowoya yesterday defended Chihana's meeting with Muluzi saying Chihana as leader of Aford has the power in his capacity to meet Muluzi and discuss anything in view of the developments in the country.
"The meeting was not about shifting support to UDF. Ofcourse as Aford we still have the same view like before that a government of national unity is the only answer to our political problems in Malawi but that was not discussed," he said.
Msowoya denied that Chihana met Tembo and accused MCP MPs of failing to protest the firing of Chakuamba and Ntaba.
"Ofcourse we understand that what has happened should have been a shared consequence between Aford and MCP. But Chakufwa should not be the one to do that just because he did that last time, this time there is a techcality and hwere is MCP," he asked.
Aford Chief Whip Greenwell Mwamondwe said the meeting on Sunday was about resolving the issue of judges. He however differed with Msowoya on Aford's position as regards the alliance.
"I have a clue that Chihana met Muluzi on Sunday to discuss the judges issue only. And our stand as regards the alliance is that the Speaker should fire all of us including Tembo because its not only Gwanda and Ntaba who were in the alliance," Mwamondwe said.
"Aford is writing letters to complain about the development and we are telling MCP in parliament to do the same."
UDF secretary general Katenga Kaunda said that he was not aware of the meeting but said if the two met, "then it was about mutual interest."
Ntaba refused to make any comments on the alliance yesterday when asked to.
DPP Appeals Against Mpinganjira
Daily Times (Blantyre)
November 12, 2001
Posted to the web November 12, 2001
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Fahad Assani has appealed against the release on bail of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leader Brown Mpinganjira and Chair James Makhumula.
Mpinganjira who was charged with treason was released on bail while Makhumula got bail in a case in which he was accused to have been in possession of a pistol charge of which his co-accused Samson Kaiti was acquitted of.
Lawyer for Mpinganjira and Makhumula, Arthur Makhalira yesterday said that grounds of appeal in the letters of notices are not provided.
"The letter are dated 6th November and 31st October. I'm will not comment now, I'll have to wait to see the grounds of appeal. I can't understand this because in Makhumula case, his co-accuse Kaiti was acquitted," said Makhalira.
When contacted to comment yesterday, Assani declined to comment saying that he will only do so when the cases go to court," Assani said.
Govt. Hires Private Lawyer
Daily Times (Blantyre)
November 12, 2001
Posted to the web November 12, 2001
Mc Donald Chapalapata
Government has hired a private lawyer and made an undertaking that the seven MPs who had their seats declared vacant last week enter parliament today following the injunction they obtained in the High Court on Thursday.
The lawyer, Meyer Chisanga from Sidik & Company told the High Court in Blantyre yesterday that the Attonery General and Minister of Justice Peter Fachi has engaged him to represent him (Fachi) and Speaker of the National Assembly Sam Mpasu in the case.
Presiding Judge Frank Kapanda adjourned the case to this morning to allow Chisanga bring to the court a letter of appointment from Fachi and prepare some affidavits in relation to the case.
Lawyer Ralph Kasambara from Lawson & Company representing the seven MPs asked Chisanga to make an undertaking on whether Parliament will respect an injunction restraining the Speaker from enforcing the decision to fire the MPs.
"The injunction was served on the Solicitor General at 10.15 am on Friday and by that time the Attorney General was already in the National Assembly and he and the Speaker had not been served with the injunction."
"If the documents were properly served, I don't think there will be any problem for the MPs to be in parliament tomorrow (today)," said Chisanga.
One of the seven MPs James Makhumula Nkhoma was booted out of parliament by Mpasu on Friday, a day after the injunction was issued by the High Court while MCP President Gwanda Chakuamba and his Treasurer General Hetherwick Ntaba were barred from entering parliament.
The other MPs who had their seats declared vacant include National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leader Brown Mpinganjira, his wife Lizzie, Mpinganjira's right hand man Peter Chupa and Phalombe North East MP Gresham Naura.
Mpasu fired the seven MPs in view of the recent amended Section 65 (1) of the constitution which restricts MPs from associating with organisations or institutions with political activities other than political parties that sponsored them into the National Assembly.
Churches Continue Their War Against Condom Use
African Church Information Service
November 9, 2001
Posted to the web November 9, 2001
There are no signs the disagreement between church leaders and the government, which is aided by non-governmental organisations in the fight against HIV/Aids, will be resolved in the near future regarding condom use.
The Malawi government, through posters, radio advertisements and other modes of publicity, preaches the need for the youth to adhere to protected sex to avoid contracting the virus which causes HIV/Aids.
The churches preach fidelity and abstinence as the best way to protect the youth from the killer disease.
Over one million Malawians are infected with the virus, according to official statistics, while up to 400,000 children have been orphaned by the scourge.
"Only fidelity and abstinence can control Aids. Unmarried people should abstain and couples should remain faithful to one another"
Recently, the German government started a U$500,000 "youth alert" Aids programme administered by Population Services International (PSI), an NGO, to spread messages to secondary school pupils.
The programme will be extended to primary shools and university colleges.
Among others, the programme emphasises condom use to combat Aids and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
But all this has received no kind words from the churches, who recently attacked a radio advert which says, "No condom, no way."
Previosuly, the advert explictly read, "No condom no sex", which provoked anger from the messengers of God.
Church leaders have always argued that wholesale distribution of condoms promotes promiscuity among the youth, who take advantage of the condom option.
A Christian movement within the Catholic Church has condemned the radio advert, saying it misguides the youth and promotes the spread of HIV/Aids.
Instead of scaling down the spread of Aids, the advert promotes promiscuity, they argued.
Christian Family Movement's chairman, Fr Mike Moyo, says the youth can only use the condom for the first few occasions, but later discard them, and can, therefore, contract Aids.
"Only fidelity and abstinence can control Aids. Unmarried people should abstain and couples should remain faithful to one another," said Moyo.
Christian Family Movement is an affiliate of the International Confederation of Christian Movement, which started in 1960 in the United States of America.
Last year at an annual conference, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and the Malawi Council of Churches, church leaders condemned wholesale distribution of condoms, saying "Man was made in the image of God. Man is not a sex animal."
However, the Malawi government which organised a national conference with NGOs and church organisations, argued condoms are the only possible option for people who cannot abstain.
Minister for Health and Population Yusufu Mwawa said although churches have shown a negative stance against condom use, the government will continue to promote its use for the sake of the youth.
"Our aim is not to argue with church leaders, but so far the condom is the only option available," said Mwawa.
Don't demonise us, whines
Harare | Tuesday
THE Zimbabwean government has warned foreign correspondents
in the country against demonising it in the eyes of the world, or
face the consequences of the law.
In a statement issued late on Monday, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo said the "political band of Harare-based foreign
correspondents" must ready themselves "to be subjected to the
judicial process and the last to cry foul when the law is applied to
them or their political friends."
He was criticising a strong statement issued last week by press
watchdog the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) which
criticised the government's arrest of the editor and former
publisher of a local private daily newspaper.
Geoff Nyarota and Wilf Mbanga, editor and former chief executive
of the Daily News, were arrested last week on fraud charges. The
Misa statement dismissed the arrests as unjustified.
Moyo accused Misa and Harare-based foreign correspondents of
"criticising or demonising the people of Zimbabwe and their
Several foreign correspondents have this year been expelled from
In the meantime, Zimbabwe's government and Britain have agreed
to speed up the implementation of an agreement under which
Britain will fund land reforms in its former colony, the state-run
Herald newspaper said on Tuesday.
The Herald said Zimbabwe's foreign minister Stan Mudenge and
his British counterpart Jack Straw met on the sidelines of the
56th United Nations General Assembly in New York at the
weekend and agreed that land reform should be "speedily
Quoting Zimbabwe's permanent representative to the United
Nations, Tichaona Jokonya, the paper was told Mudenge also
met Mark Malloch Brown, the UN Development Programme
"It was technical really -- the meetings were all centred around
the resettlement and the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative
(ZJRI)," Jokonya told the newspaper.
Under the ZJRI, Zimbabwe's white farmers have agreed to hand
over a million hectares of land to the government for redistribution
to landless blacks. - Sapa
Zimbabwe Evicts 1,000 White Farmers
By Michael Hartnack
Associated Press Writer
Monday, November 12, 2001; 1:40 PM
HARARE, Zimbabwe ** The Zimbabwean government on Monday banned 1,000 white farmers from cultivating
their fields and gave them three months to vacate their homes as part of its "fast track" land redistribution plan.
The government has targeted 5,000 white-owned commercial farms, about 95 percent of all farms owned by
whites, for seizure and redistribution to landless blacks.
In a government gazette released Monday, President Robert Mugabe invoked special powers forcing the 1,000
farmers who had already received notification their land was being seized to stop all work on it, regardless of
whether they had crops waiting to be harvested or appeals of the seizures pending in court.
They were given three months to leave their houses.
Lands and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the government would begin allocating plots on the farms to
51,000 black families.
He said 201,000 black families had already been resettled as communal farmers on formerly white farms, a
number white farmers dispute as vastly exaggerated.
"This (plan) is now fundamentally complete and has been a major success," Made said.
White farmers say over 500 farms are lying idle as a result of political violence, while many others are in only
partial production, with militants occupying some of the fields.
Ruling party militants began occupying white-owned commercial farms in March 2000, soon after voters rejected
a constitutional referendum that would have further entrenched the powers of Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe
since independence in 1980. The government later announced its plans to seize the white farms.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change won 57 of the 120 elected seats in parliamentary elections in
June 2000, despite a campaign election monitors said was rife with violence, mainly caused by ruling party
Opposition officials accuse the government of using land seizures to garner support and further intimidate political
opponents ahead of what promises to be hard-fought presidential elections next year.
Vice President Joseph Msika said Sunday the government supported arming the ruling party militants following the
abduction of one of their leaders.
"If they (the opposition) are looking for a blood bath, they will certainly get one," Msika told state radio and the
government-controlled Bulawayo Chronicle.
Police arrested Simon Spooner, a white member of the Movement for Democratic Change, on Monday in
connection with the abduction.
Also Monday, police tried to search the opposition party's offices in Harare, but were turned away when they
could not produce a warrant.
The government's announcement of farm seizures Monday would further damage agriculture in a country deeply
dependent on it, said Adrian de Bourbon, a lawyer for the Commercial Farmers Union, which represents most
"I believe this is yet another nail in the coffin of commercial farming in this country," he said.
Zimbabwe, which normally runs large food surpluses, is now facing serious food shortages.
The United Nations World Food Program announced last week plans to begin a large-scale aid program next
month to assist more than half a million hungry Zimbabweans.
De Bourbon said the 3,000 farmers who had received preliminary warnings the state intended to seize their farms
would likely begin receiving seizure notices next week.
The move basically signaled the death of an agreement the government signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in September
promising an orderly and legal land reform process and an end to political violence, de Bourbon said.
Zimbabwe police raid
Reports from Zimbabwe say police have
attempted to raid the headquarters of the
country's main opposition party the Movement
for Democratic Change or MDC in the capital,
Reuters news agency quotes the party's
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, as saying
officers from the Criminal Investigation
Department left after failing to produce a
They are thought to have been looking for
evidence of how the party is funded.
The abortive raid comes two days after
supporters of the governing Zanu-PF party
besieged the same offices over the
disappearance of Cain Nkala - the war
veterans' provincial leader in Bulawayo, the
country's second biggest city.
MDC leaders said police officers at the scene
failed to act on that occasion when about 100
Zanu-PF activists attacked opposition
members inside the building.
ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17 The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal byMessage 1046 of 1046 , May 22, 2006View Source
ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract
by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17
The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal by government to look for another contractor instead of China Hunan Construction to construct of the long awaited Karonga/Chitipa road.
China Hunan from Mainland China won the bid which was approved by the ADB but government later wanted to award the contract to a Portuguese firm, Mota Engil, the second lowest bidder, claiming China Hunan's bid was unrealistically low and that the company had very little experience in Africa.
Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe confirmed on Sunday the ADB rejected the proposal at a meeting held between the bank and Malawi government in Tunisia last week.
The Malawi government wanted the Tunisia meeting to authorise it to get another contractor for the road, said Gondwe.
"They did not allow us to look for another contractor because of their regulations. But we are about to get another alternative for Karonga/Chitipa and I would be surprised if it does not start before end June," said Gondwe.
The minister explained that the bank insisted that regardless of the unrealistic cost estimates, China Hunan should be allowed to go ahead with the construction.
But Gondwe could not give further details about the alternatives, arguing there are still a few loose ends to tighten up before disclosing it.
The problem with China Hunan, according to Gondwe, is that it would require more money to meet the total cost of the project.
This paper reported last week that government met Taiwanese representatives where they offered to fund the road if the ADB continued to reject its favoured contractor, Mota Engil.
Gondwe could neither confirm nor deny the reports on the Taiwanese offer, saying government was looking at a number of ways to handle the issue.
According to Gondwe, the China Hunan's bid was 24 percent lower than the consulting engineers' estimates of K7.9 billion and 34 percent below the second lowest bidder.
President Bingu wa Mutharika laid a foundation stone for the construction of the road this year ahead of a crucial byelection in Chitipa in December last year.
The President's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the Chitipa Wenya constituency by-election that fell vacant following the collapse and subsequent death of Speaker of Parliament Rodwell Munyenyembe who belonged to the UDF.
Last week, police and the District Commissioner (DC) for Chitipa stopped a rally that was aimed at soliciting people's views about development projects in the district.
The meeting, which was reportedly organised by Concerned Citizens of Chitipa, was among other things also supposed to tackle the controversial Karonga/Chitipa road.
The project failed to start off in 2000 when a contract for an initial loan of US$17 million and US$15 million from the Taiwanese government was signed, with some quarters claiming the Bakili Muluzi administration diverted the money to another road.
Chihana operated on
by Edwin Nyirongo, 22 May 2006 - 06:32:31
Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Chakufwa Chihana, who is in South Africa receiving treatment, had a brain operation on Friday at Garden City Clinic, family and party officials confirmed on Sunday.
Aford national chairman Chipimpha Mughogho said he was told by the family members that Chihana had a successful operation on Friday and was put in an intensive care unit.
Mughogho said Chihana, who initially complained of headache, was found with a brain tumour which South African doctors removed.
Mzimba West MP Loveness Gondwe said Aford boss condition was stable.
"Hon. Chihana had a major operation and after that he was put in the intensive care unit but his condition is stable. I do not know where he was operated on but it had something to do with the skull," she said.
Deputy Information Minister John Bande referred the matter to the Health Minister Hetherwick Ntaba who was reported to be in Geneva, Switzerland.
Aford publicity secretary Norman Nyirenda said when Chihana's situation got worse, the family alerted the Office of the President and Cabinet who took him to Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.
"The doctors at Mwaiwathu advised that he should be sent to South Africa and they even identified the doctor for him," he said.
He said the costs are being met by the Malawi government, contradicting his earlier statement that his boss covered the cost.
Mughogho is now in charge of the party.
Gondwe will be a busy person when Parliament starts meeting on June 6 as she is the only Aford MP remaining.
Pillane proposes presidential age limit
by Emmanuel Muwamba , 22 May 2006 - 06:34:13
A member of the DPP National Governing Council Abdul Pillane on Saturday urged members of political parties and the civil society to put an upper age limit in the Constitution for presidential candidates.
Pillane was addressing members of political parties and civil society in Liwonde during a two-day follow up workshop to the National Conference on the Review of Constitution held in March in Lilongwe.
"My view is that (an upper) age limit should be at 75. We have to give a chance to younger people to lead because in circumstance, when you age you become forgetful especially when sickly," said Pillane. "Overall, chances should be given to young people."
But UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala, whose party members agitated for the age limit during presentations, played the issue down.
"I feel there is no logic to have an upper age limit for presidential candidates. If someone is 90 or 80 I don't know how that can influence the electorate not to vote for someone who is younger, I don't see any logic behind that," said Makwangwala.
MCP participants at the workshop also vehemently objected to the proposal.
MCP vice president Nicholas Dausi in an interview said: "There is no constitution in Africa which stipulates an upper age limit. So it would be strange in Malawi to have an upper age limit for presidential candidates."
MDP President Kamlepo Kalua also opposed the need to have an upper age limit.
"If we have personalities in mind that we want to discriminate against then it is unfortunate. The constitution we want to build is a guiding document for future generations and it should not bar certain individuals on the basis of grudges," he said.
The Malawi Law Constitution Issues Paper of March 2006 says several submissions that were received put an upper presidential age limit in the Constitution.
"It is argued that it is common sense that mental knowledge faculties tend to fail with age. As regards what the actual age limit should be the submissions are far from being agreed. The range is from 60 years to 80 years," read submissions in the Issues Paper.
On whether MPs should double as ministers, Kalua said this should be the case.
Makwangwala also said it is not right for MPs to serve as ministers because the Legislature, another arm of government, is reduced while the Executive branch is beefed up from another arm of government.
"There is no separation of powers when MPs double as ministers," said Makwangwala.
But Pillane said there is no problem for MPs to work as ministers as well, saying MPs are elected by the President.
"One can serve both posts. There have been no problems before for people to double," said Pillane.
The Centre for Multiparty Democracy funded the workshop through the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.
The objective was to come up with a collective position on the Issues Paper which will be presented to the Special Law Commission that will be constituted soon.
Mussa hails new driving licence
by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:58:52
Transport and Public Works Minister Henry Mussa last week said the design of the Malawi-Sadc driving licence would guard against forgery and ensure that only skilled and legitimate drivers of particular vehicles are licensed.
Mussa was speaking at the official launch of the licences in Lilongwe where he announced that traffic police would from July enforce speed limits and sober driving using Breathalysers which his ministry is in the process of procuring.
The minister said financial constraints are the reason for the delay in procuring the equipment but assured that by July they would be available.
"With the new equipment, the days of those who believe in the thrill of drink and driving are numbered," warned Mussa.
Mussa added that with the new licence, government is optimistic that the country's roads would be safe.
Acting Director of Road Traffic James Chirwa said the features that distinguish the new from the old licences are the Malawi national flag and a ghost image of the driver's photograph, among others.
Those with old licences, according to Chirwa, are expected to get the new ones after the expiry of the former.
UDF demands investigation on Kasambara
by Rabecca Theu, 22 May 2006 - 06:30:46
The United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked government to investigate Ralph Kasambara on allegations of abuse of office while he was attorney general.
UDF publicity secretary Sam Mpasu told the press Sunday that the party is neither amused or saddened by the removal of the former AG but asked government to institute investigations on Kasambara.
"Beyond the removal of the Attorney General, we now urge President Mutharika to institute investigation against Mr Kasambara into allegations that have made rounds in the public domain during the recent past. These include: Mrs Helen Singh and SS Rent-a-Car; SGS and ITS saga; ...........the use of Malawi Police Service in the arrest of three Chronicle journalists and the handling of Mrs Rubina Kawonga," said Mpasu.
Mpasu also accused Kasambara of awarding government contracts to Lawson and Company where he was a senior partner.
"We urge government to thoroughly investigate the former AG. We also ask government to cautiously select the new AG ," said Mpasu, who was accompanied by the party's Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala, leader of the party in Parliament George Mtafu, chief whip Leonard Mangulama and a member of the executive Hophmally Makande.
But Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati said UDF should give offer its advice to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
"They should advise bodies like the Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct the investigations and why are they saying this now? Is it because Kasambara has been fired? This is not a personal issue. If they have other pressing issues they should just say so. These arguments should have come up earlier on when the said cases were happening," she said.
Kasambara asked UDF to proceed with the mission of urging government to investigate him.
"They can do their job. Everyone has a right to lobby for anything they want in the country. UDF has a right to do that, let them go ahead," he said.
Kasambara was relieved of his duties as AG by the President last week. Government has not given reasons behind the removal.
Zambia: Malawians Grab Zambian Land
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
May 18, 2006
Posted to the web May 19, 2006
MALAWIANS who have encroached on both the 'no-man's' and part of the Zambian land at the Mwami border in Eastern Province have plucked out some beacons that were used in the demarcation of the border.
The Malawians are now using the beacons as stools in their newly-established villages on Zambian land.
Eastern Province Minister, Boniface Nkhata, said in Chipata yesterday that if the situation was not controlled urgently, Zambia would lose huge tracts of land to Malawians migrating into Zambian in large numbers.
A check at the Zambia-Malawi border showed a number of beacons had been vandalised and new structures constructed on the 'no man's' land and a large portion of Zambian land.
Mr Nkhata said the trend extended to many parts of the province bordering the two countries.
"A large portion of Zambian land has been taken up by the Malawians starting from the Chama boundary up to the Mwami border.
"The weighbridge at the Mwami border was initially in Zambia from the time both countries gained independence from Britain, but now the bridge is on Malawian soil," Mr Nkhata said.
The minister, who is former Chama District Commissioner, said there was similar encroachment in Lundazi and Chama districts where Zambia shares a boundary with Malawi.
He said a Malawian farmer identified as Mr Mfune had cultivated 71.5 hectares on Zambian land and employed about 265 Malawian workers.
"Khombe Farm in Chama district in Kanyerere's area, along the Muyombe road which leads to Northern Province where this Malawian farmer has cultivated a vast land is on the Zambian territory," he said.
Workers on the farm admitted that they were farming on Zambian soil but could not go back to Malawi because the land in that country was inadequate for cultivation.
Mr Nkhata appealed to the ministry of Lands to urgently release money for the demarcation of the Zambia-Malawi border to avoid further land disputes between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the Immigration Department in Livingstone has arrested a couple and another man, all Zimbabweans, for working in Zambia without permits.
They were arrested at Gwembe village yesterday where they worked for Into Africa, a tour operating company that provides bush dinners and breakfast.
According to the Immigration Department in Livingstone, the trio entered Zambia through the Victoria Falls border as visitors but decided to work for the company illegally.
Last week, immigration officers arrested 10 Zimbabwean traders and six Ethiopians for entering and staying in Zambia illegally.
The Zimbabwean traders were warned and cautioned and later released.
The Ethiopians were arrested at Konje Guest House when they ran out of money to proceed to Botswana.
Zim unions, MDC still plan anti-govt protests
22 May 2006 11:51
Zimbabwe's biggest labour federation on Saturday threatened to call massive demonstrations against the government over poor salaries and worsening living conditions for workers in the country.
The threats are ratcheting up pressure against President Robert Mugabe's government after similar threats by the biggest opposition party in the country, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), about two months ago.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) conference on Saturday, the labour body's president, Lovemore Matombo, said the powerful union wants the government to award workers salaries that match the country's ever-rising inflation.
"I can assure you we will stage massive demonstrations to force them [employers] to award workers minimum salaries that tally with the poverty datum line," said Matombo.
Matombo did not say when exactly the ZCTU would order workers to strike.
Meanwhile, the MDC on Sunday said it will push ahead with plans for anti-government protests, saying victory in a key by-election at the weekend was a "sign the electorate supported its policies", including democratic mass resistance.
A spokesperson of the main faction of the splintered MDC, Nelson Chamisa, said victory over Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF and a rival MDC faction in a Saturday by-election in Harare's Budiriro constituency is a sign Zimbabweans still have confidence in party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his policies.
Tsvangirai, the founding leader of the MDC, heads the main rump of the opposition party whose candidate, Emmanuel Chisvuure, polled 7 949 votes to win the Budiriro House of Assembly seat.
Gabriel Chaibva of the other faction of the MDC, led by prominent academic Arthur Mutambara, garnered 504 votes while Zanu-PF's Jeremiah Bvirindi polled 3 961 votes.
"This election showed that the electorate still has confidence in the MDC [Tsvangirai-led] leadership and its policies," Chamisa told independent news service ZimOnline.
He added: "We will now move to consolidate our position * we still believe in mass protests. Until we have attained our goals we see no reason why we should abandon [plans for protests]."
Tsvangirai has threatened to call mass protests this winter against Mugabe and his government. He says the mass protests, whose date he is still to name, are meant to force Mugabe to relinquish power to a government of national unity to be tasked to write a new and democratic Constitution that would ensure free and fair elections held under international supervision.
Mugabe and his government, who had hoped for victory in Budiriro to show they were recapturing urban support from a splintered MDC, have not taken idly the opposition's threats to call mass protests, with the veteran president warning Tsvangirai he would be "dicing with death" if he ever attempted to instigate a Ukraine-style popular revolt in Zimbabwe.
In a fresh crackdown against dissension, the police last week arrested several church and civic leaders for organising public prayers and marches to mark last year's controversial home-demolition exercise by the government.
The police also banned the marches and prayers, fearing they could easily turn into mass protests against Mugabe and his government.
However, the marches went ahead in the second-largest city of Bulawayo after organisers had obtained a court order barring the police from stopping the march.
Political analysts say although Zimbabweans have largely been cowed by Mugabe's tactics of routinely deploying riot police and the military to crush street protests, worsening hunger and poverty are fanning public anger that Tsvangirai -- with proper planning and organisation -- could easily manipulate.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe six-year old economic crisis that has seen inflation breaching the 1 000% barrier. Last year, the World Bank said Zimbabwe's economic crisis was unprecedented for a country not at war.
The MDC and major Western governments blame Mugabe for wrecking the country's economy, which was one of the strongest in Africa at independence from Britain 26 years ago.
Mugabe denies the charge blaming the crisis on sabotage by Britain and her allies after he seized white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks six years ago.
The Harare authorities recently hiked salaries for civil servants, with the lowest-paid soldier now earning about Z$27-million while the lowest-paid school teacher now takes home about Z$33-million.
But the salaries are still way below the poverty datum line, which the government's Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says now stands at a staggering Z$42-million a month for an average family of six.
The Zimbabwe government often accuses the ZCTU, a strong ally of the MDC, of pushing a political agenda to remove Mugabe from power.
Meanwhile, Matombo and Lucia Matibenga retained their posts as president and first vice-president respectively during the ZCTU congress that ended on Saturday. -- ZimOnline