- Jan 31 9:31 AMMalawi students riot
over 'third term'
Students in Malawi have set fire to the ruling
party offices over President Bakili Muluzi's
attempt to alter the constitution to stay in
The students took to
the streets after
thousands of Mr Muluzi's
supporters marched in
the commercial capital,
Blantyre, to back the
Police dispersed the students after firing tear
Mr Muluzi's attempt to run for a third term has
divided Malawians, and a parliamentary bill to
this effect was shelved earlier this week.
But this has angered members of his United
Democratic Front (UDF) who have intimidated
Hundreds of students hurled stones at Mr
Muluzi's sympathisers, who themselves carried
stones, machetes and knives.
"We got furious about
this because the
police were protecting
the UDF supporters
and we rushed to
torch their regional
office," a student
UDF supporters waving
banners reading "He
will stand again" had
broken all the windows
of the university
After the students were dispersed by police,
the Muluzi supporters marched back through
the city under police escort.
There were no reports of injuries or arrests.
Feelings have been running high in Malawi over
the third term issue, and when a parliamentary
started on Monday, police had to fire tear gas
to disperse some 4,000 people protesting
against the bill.
Police also had to intervene in parliament to
prevent fights breaking out between rival MPs
after the bill was withdrawn.
On Tuesday, Mr Muluzi sacked Commerce and
Industry Minister Peter Kaleso because of his
opposition to the 'third term' bill.
A similar bill was narrowly defeated in July last
Unless the constitution is changed, Mr Muluzi is
due to step down in 2004, when he is due to
finish his second term in office.
Malawi MPs flee over
third term row
By Raphael Tenthani
Two opposition Members of Parliament from the
central tobacco heartland of Kasungu are in
hiding after angry militant youths of the ruling
United Democratic Front (UDF) terrorised their
Gwanda Chakuamba, leader of the opposition
Malawi Congress Party (MCP), told BBC News
Online that Sailes Gulule and Carrington Jimu
had fled their homes after the youths invaded
their compounds Wednesday night, threatening
to kill them.
The youths were angered by
the government's failure to
change the constitution to
enable President Bakili
Muluzi to stand for a third
term in office.
A parliamentary bill to this effect was shelved
earlier this week after widespread opposition.
The issue has divided Malawians and when the
debate started on Monday, police had to fire
tear gas to disperse some 4,000 people
protesting against the bill.
Unless the constitution is changed, Mr Muluzi is
due to step down in 2004.
Knives and stones
"It's shameful that the ruling party wants to
take us back to the dark days," Mr Chakuamba
Mr Gulule said he was
trying to plead with
Inspector General of
Police Joseph Aironi to
provide protection for
Speaking from his
place, Mr Gulule said
the militant youths
came to the MPs'
houses in an open van
in the dead of night.
He said sympathisers warned him to flee his
house because the vehicle was full of people
armed with machetes and stones.
"I was really scared," he said. "I am in hiding
but I am worried about my family."
Both Mr Gulule and Mr Jimu were reported in
the local media as having rejected UDF
attempts to persuade them to vote for the bill.
The two are the latest victims of the fall-out
following the shelving of the controversial third
Sacked Commerce and Industry Minister Peter
Kaleso and outspoken MP Green Lulilo
Mwamondwe, from the opposition Alliance for
Democracy (Aford) had to seek refuge at the
British High Commission after being roughed up
by UDF activists.
Two other dissident ruling UDF MPs, Joe
Manduwa and Jan Jaap Sonke, had to be
rescued by police after openly saying they
would thwart the bill.
Meanwhile, the British High Commission has
expressed disquiet over the holding of the
extraordinary parliament session.
In a press release, the UK said it was sad that
at a time Malawi was reeling from severe food
shortages and the impact of HIV/Aids,
government saw it wise to spend 7 million
Malawi kwacha ($80, 000) to hold the special
Zim admits to "admin errors" in land reform
January 2003 07:58
The Zimbabwean government has admitted that some
had occurred during its land reform process, South
African Agriculture and
Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza said on
These included that some commercial farmers whose
land was seized for
redistribution, were left without any land, despite
the government's policy
that they should be allowed to keep one farm, she
told reporters at the
Johannesburg International Airport after returning
from a two-day visit to
"There are some instances where a person who had
two farms were left with
none at all."
Other examples of administrative errors included
that two prospective new
land owners were allocated the same farm, and that
applicants for land were
allowed to settle on that land, only to find out
later that the farm had been
allocated to someone else.
"The government and the commercial farmers have
started discussions to
correct the administrative irregularities."
Although the uptake of land among small-scale
farmers was between 80 and
90%, that of commercial farmers was only about 30%,
"That indicates to you that there are indeed
She said the price of seed, fertiliser and farming
implements was too
expensive because due to the foreign exchange
"Indications are that all is not hunky-dory. There
are successes, but there
are also challenges."
The Zimbabwean government estimated that the maize
that had been
planted, would yield a crop of 1,1-million tons, if
the season went well, the
"The challenges are there, but you are beginning to
see some process of
Foot-and-mouth disease broke out in Zimbabwe two
years ago and has still
not been brought under control.
Didiza said the South African Cabinet would discuss
the possibility of
helping its neighbour with the vaccine it needed to
fight the disease. - Sapa
Official Seeks Closure of Zimbabwe Paper
By Angus Shaw
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, January 30, 2003; 11:01 PM
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- The information
minister told Zimbabwe's Supreme Court that
the country's only independent daily newspaper
is illegal and should be punished for flouting
stringent media laws, court officials said
The Daily News has refused to register with the
government as required by the laws, the
minister, Jonathan Moyo, said in a sworn
statement to the court, the officials said.
Moyo is the architect of the media laws, which
critics say are aimed at stifling criticism of the
The Daily News admits refusing to register and
has asked the court to strike down the law,
saying it violates rights to free expression and
association. The court has not scheduled a
Moyo said until courts or Parliament repealed
the media act it should be obeyed. He asked
the Supreme Court to dismiss the newspaper's
application and force it to comply or shut down, the
Authorities have cracked down on independent
journalists in recent months.
Police have arrested 14 local independent
journalists, including several from The Daily News, mainly on
charges of publishing "falsehoods" that carry a
penalty of up to two years in jail. The only journalist to
be tried so far was acquitted.
The new laws also require foreign journalists to
apply for government approval before coming to
Zimbabwe. The government routinely denies the
No action has been taken against journalists working
for state-controlled media.
On Monday, Japanese Ambassador Tsuneshige Iiyama
said he had not made remarks attributed to him
in the state Herald newspaper criticizing the leader
of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. The paper is closely controlled by Moyo.
Parts of the article were "totally fabricated," the
ambassador said in a letter to Herald editor Pikirayi
Deketeke. Iiyama also said Moyo had raised
"Zimbabwe's bad image."
And last week James Morris, the U.N. special envoy
to the southern African hunger crisis, complained
the Herald fabricated a remark attributed to him
praising Zimbabwe's often-violent seizures of
white-owned commercial farms.
Morris protested a second time after claiming his
first protest letter was published in the paper with key
words edited out to change the meaning.
Three journalists, two of them Americans with
government press accreditation, were detained by police
for seven hours Tuesday and denied telephone calls
and access to a lawyer.
On Wednesday, five foreign Lutheran church workers
were deported after being accused of being
undercover journalists trying to gather information
on aid projects to help the Lutheran World
Federation raise funds.
Heavy jail terms for
Six men found guilty of killing an investigative
journalist in Mozambique have been given jail
sentences of up to 29 years.
The mastermind of the
plot to kill Carlos
Cardoso in November
2000, Anibal dos Santos,
was tried in his absence
after escaping from
prison in September.
Mr dos Santos, known as Anibalzinho was
arrested in South Africa on Thursday, and
police there say he will be extradited to
Some of the other five defendants have
implicated the son of President Joaquim
Chissano in what the judge called
Mozambique's "worst-ever crime".
The murder and subsequent trial gripped
Mozambique and the streets of the capital,
Maputo, were deserted as the sentences were
Mr Cardoso was investigating a prominent
family's role in the nation's largest banking
Anibalzinho, 31, was sentenced to 28 years
and six months in jail by a Maputo court for
murder, illegal possession of firearms and
making false statements to state authorities.
His five accomplices received jail terms of 23
years and six months each after changing their
pleas to guilty.
They were also
orderered to pay
restitution of 4 billion
to Mr Cardoso's family.
"The six committed a
serious crime," said
Judge Augusto Paulino.
"I think the
correct. I am happy,"
said Mr Cardoso's
widow, Nina Berg.
Anibalzinho told a Pretoria court on Friday he
would return to Mozambique voluntarily.
"I just want to finish this matter," he said.
The court proceedings - described by some as
the trial of the century - have been broadcast
live on national television.
Last month, attention in the trial shifted to the
president's son, Nyimpine Chissano.
The suspects showed
a cheque signed by Mr
Chissano to the court,
saying he had used it
to pay for Mr
Nyimpine Chissano has
denied this, saying the
cheque may have
come from a business
contact to whom he
had given signed
cheques as a
He has not been charged with any crime.
Correspondents say that a court decision to
launch a formal investigation into the
allegations against Mr Chissano will prove
crucial in persuading the people of Mozambique
whether their judiciary is above political
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