- Nov 27, 2002EU 7m aid money still missing in Malawi
The Malawi government has yet to repay seven-million
dollars to the
European Union after the funds, intended for the
health budget, went
missing last August, a news report said on
The government failed to account for the money, part
of a $52-million EU aid
package under a three-year accord.
The EU accuses Malawi of diverting the funds from
their intended use in the
health ministry budget. Wiepke van der Goot, head of
the EU delegation in
Malawi, told the Nation newspaper that the EU would
not release $15-million
remaining in the aid package until the issue is
"That will be sad because Malawi needs the money
now, especially with the
hunger situation," Van der Goot said.
The impoverished southern African is currently
facing its worst food crisis,
and needs 600 000 tons of maize, the staple food
here, to stave off famine
threatening up to 3,2-million people of a total
population of 11-million.
Van der Goot said an International Monetary Fund
(IMF) mission that was in
Malawi this month had advised the government to
borrow money from the
central bank to repay the seven million dollars. -
Government Dismisses Charges of Food
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
November 26, 2002
Posted to the web November 26, 2002
The Malawian government on Tuesday dismissed allegations that it was
using emergency food aid to gain political leverage in the country's
Some 3.2 million Malawians face acute food shortages due to drought
what some observers call "government mismanagement".
Presidential aide Willie Zingani told IRIN that recent reports
government had politicised food distribution was "unfounded" and the
of minor opposition parties "aiming to undermine the efforts to deal
"The distribution of food is not the sole responsibility of the
Several parties including aid agencies, traditional chiefs and members
parliament are involved in registering potential beneficiaries. So to
that the government somehow has a stranglehold on who gets food and
who doesn't is absurd," Zingani added.
Last week the Pan African news agency (PANA) reported on accusations
by opposition parties that the government had manipulated food
"to make it seem like it is coming from the [ruling] party".
But Zingani refuted this, saying at no point had the government of
President Bakili Muluzi inferred that the emergency food aid was
from the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF).
In a related development, the government has denied a report in the
Chronicle newspaper on Tuesday that it would confiscate maize from
NGOs suspected of using food aid to undermine the government.
"I will not hesitate to snatch all the maize from those NGOs whom I
politicising the whole process," the newspaper quoted Muluzi as
Zingani said the president had received a complaint from an MP in
Kafukule in the northern Mzimba district that some NGOs had failed to
include government officials in the food distribution process.
"The president welcomes the assistance of NGOs and implores all of
them to work together with local chiefs and officials to make sure that
most vulnerable are fed. There are no plans to take food aid away from
NGOs," Zingani said.
Meanwhile, CARE International said that it had not received any reports
people being denied food aid because of political affiliation.
Programme Director Nicholas Osbourne told IRIN: "We are keeping an eye
on reports in the media but we [CARE] have not received any reports of
beneficiaries being turned away from feeding points. As far as
CARE, like other NGOs, are working very closely with local community
structures to ensure that the feeding process is fair and above
Zambian minister fired
By Penny Dale
Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa has
sacked his sports minister, replacing Levison
Mumba with a woman who has also courted
No reason has been given but the dismissal
follows Mr Mumba's testimony last week
against the president in a court case in which
the opposition is asking the Supreme Court to
nullify last December's election.
Mr Mumba told the
court that in
November last year,
when he was health
minister, he authorised
the use of a
government vehicle for
Mr Mwanawasa in his
The foundation for Mr
Mumba's dismissal had
been laid in the past
few days: on Friday,
Kavindele reportedly asked him to resign; on
Sunday Mr Mwanawasa told a delegation of
women ruling party activists demanding Mr
Mumba's expulsion from the MMD that Mr
Mumba had "disappointed" him and on Tuesday
the deed was done.
Mr Mumba was not available for comment. He
is believed to be out of town, perhaps in his
Petauke constituency in Eastern Province.
This is not the first time Mr Mumba has been
at the centre of controversy: his own election
as MP is being challenged in the courts by the
opposition, and during his short stay at the
tourism ministry earlier this year, he was
accused of corruption when he tried to issue
safari concessions outside the tender process.
The judge said that Mr
Mumba's move was
illegal and blocked the
that he would fire any
of his ministers as
soon as there was
even a whiff of
corruption, Mr Mumba
was merely moved
He has been replaced at the sports ministry by
Gladys Nyirongo, her reward, say political
commentators, for defecting from the Heritage
Party to the MMD during the crucial vote
earlier in the year to elect the Speaker of the
Zimbabwe boots AFP chief out of the
The Zimbabwe government on Tuesday refused to renew
the work permit of
the AFP bureau chief in Harare, who must now leave
the country by the end
of the week.
AFP's chairman and chief executive officer Bertrand
Eveno expressed the
international news agency's "deep regret" at the
decision in a letter to the
Stephane Barbier (43) who has been the bureau chief
in the five-country
regional office in Harare since July 2001, must
leave by Saturday when his
current work permit expires.
Eveno said in the letter that AFP has maintained a
regional office in
Zimbabwe for 22 years "acting always in good faith
and strict compliance
with all laws and regulations of your country."
"I am obliged to register Agence France-Presse's
sincere disappointment in
this matter," Eveno said.
In September the Zimbabwe authorities refused to
renew the work permit of
Griffin Shea, a US national working for AFP.
Barbier's initial one-year permit
had been extended by six months in June this year.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo in July indicated
to AFP that under the
country's new press law, only Zimbabwean journalists
would be allowed to
work in the country.
President Robert Mugabe enacted a law in March that
limits on press freedoms for independent and foreign
journalists working in
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act allows only
permanent residents or Zimbabwean nationals to
operate as journalists on a
long-term basis. Foreign journalists may work only
for an unspecified
"limited period" or cover specific events.
The Supreme Court is due to make a ruling in a
lawsuit filed by Zimbabwean
journalists challenging the constitutionality of the
Subject to registration under the new law, AFP plans
to keep its Harare
office manned by Zimbabwean journalists but the
regional office will move to
Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Harare bureau covers Angola, Malawi, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe. - Sapa-AFP
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>