- Jan 10, 2003Vampire fever sweeps Malawi
Raphael Tenthani | Blantyre
January 2003 09:12
A senior ruling party official was recovering in a
hospital on Thursday after
being stoned by an angry mob who believed rumours
he was harbouring
Malawi's government has been campaigning to quell
vampire rumours that
have spread throughout the impoverished southern
African country, saying
opposition elements were using the rumours to
discredit the ruling party.
Eric Chiwaya, a senior official with the United
Democratic Front party was
badly beaten in the attack on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of people from a township south of
Blantyre stoned his house and
when he tried to escape by car, they stoned him
inside the vehicle, he said.
Police had to fire shots to disperse the crowd.
Rumours had spread through
the township that Chiwaya was harbouring vampires
and had approached
community leaders asking them to let them into the
Police said three people had been arrested for
inciting violence in the
incident. Horrifying stories of vampires attacking
villagers in the dead of night
and sucking their blood began circulating last
month in Malawi.
Frightened villagers have beaten to death a man
suspected of being a
vampire, attacked and nearly lynched three visiting
priests and destroyed an
aid group's encampment they feared was the
President Bakili Muluzi called the rumours
unfounded and malicious, and
accused unnamed opposition groups of trying to
undermine him by saying
his government gave aid agencies human blood in
exchange for food aid. -
White Farmer: Judge Seized Zimbabwe Farm
By Angus Shaw
Associated Press Writer
Friday, January 10, 2003; 9:10 AM
HARARE, Zimbabwe – A High Court judge ignored an
order by his own court barring him from moving onto
confiscated from a white family, the owner of the
land said Friday.
According to the white farmer, Vernon Nicolle, Judge
Hlatshwayo told him he was allocated the land by
government under its land reform program
commercial farming by blacks.
The controversial land reform program, which the
government says is a tool to correct colonial era
giving farms to poor, landless blacks, has come
under fire for
giving many of the prime farms instead to
longtime President Robert Mugabe.
Nicolle obtained a High Court order in September
freezing a government eviction notice on his property
in Banket, 60 miles northwest of Harare on grounds
there were errors in the notice.
That order suspended Nicolle's eviction until the
government revised the notice. It has not been
Accompanied by a police escort, Hlatshwayo moved
onto the 900-acre farm last month. He also
moved equipment and workers there, according to
correspondence to the judge by Nicolle's lawyers.
Nicolle, one of the biggest grain producers in the
district, is living in his farmhouse on an adjacent 192
"This has seriously affected my operations. The
eviction was declared invalid and as a judge he should
know how the legal system in Zimbabwe works,"
Nicolle said Friday.
"I'm going to take him to the High Court. We won't
stop until we reach the end," he said.
Hlatshwayo was not immediately available for
comment. Nicolle said when he confronted Hlatshwayo,
the judge said he had been allocated the land by the
The government has confiscated more than 90 percent
of land owned by about 4,000 white farmers
under a plans to redistribute it to blacks to farm.
At least 6.7 million people, more than half the
population, face starvation blamed on erratic rainfall and
agricultural disruptions caused by the chaotic land
Zimbabwe has been wracked by political and economic
turmoil for nearly three years that began with
violent farm seizures by ruling party militants.
The country is suffering its worst ever economic
crisis. Hard currency shortages have caused gas
stations to run dry. Corn meal, the staple food,
bread, milk, sugar and other commodities are scarce
and long lines have become commonplace.
Justice for Agriculture reported violent incidents
and intimidation have continued against white farmers
still on their land or visiting abandoned properties
to collect belongings and equipment.
It said a woman and her two children were assaulted
in northwestern Zimbabwe on Thursday at their
Her husband, Alan Parsons, reported to police the
identity of the assailant as Themba Mliswa, a ruling
party activist and prominent soccer coach who
apparently took over the family's farmhouse after they
left last year, fearing for their safety.
The farm, in the troubled Karoi district 120 miles
northwest of Harare, had not been targeted for
"When I arrived at the farm, I was approached by
Mliswa, who had changed the locks to the house. ...
He asked what I was doing on the farm," Parsons
China donates 4 500 tons of maize to
January 2003 10:58
China has donated 4 500 tons of maize to famine-hit
state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on
The donation of the southern African country's
staple food, which was
handed over on Thursday, comes at a time the
country face a shortfall of
well over 300 000 tons of maize between now and
March, when the next
harvest is due.
Around eight-million out of Zimbabwe's 11,6-million
people are threatened
It is the hardest-hit out of six southern African
countries affected by food
shortages caused by drought and unsound government
policies. - Sapa-AFP
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