- Nov 4, 2004Malawi: Project Encourages Female Condom Use
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
November 2, 2004
Posted to the web November 2, 2004
In a move considered to be a breakthrough for the conservative culture
of Malawi, a local NGO has been distributing female condoms to
schoolgirls in the southern districts - the region worst affected by
Hunger Project Malawi began providing female condoms to young women in
Zomba and Blantyre district in September last year. Since then about
9,000 condoms had been distributed by specially trained people in four
areas. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) had donated US $4,800 to
"kick-start the project," country director Rowlands Kaotcha noted.
"There are many various NGOs in Malawi and most of them focus on male
condoms. We have never seen the distribution of female condoms, and we
have brought up this issue because we know female condoms are not
generally accepted in Malawi and we want to break this attitude,"
Kaotcha told PlusNews.
Although the female-controlled prevention method was available, people
remained sceptical of using it, as they found it uncomfortable.
"Before any distribution is done we sensitise the communities on how
they could use and dispose of the condoms. The majority of our women in
Malawi are illiterate and need a lot of sensitisation," he said.
In Malawi's patriarchal society, young women are expected to marry as
early as 14 years of age, particularly in rural areas, and most school
dropouts in the country are girls.
Cultural practices such as "chinamwali", a form of initiation in which
young girls are advised by their elders to marry early, have also been
criticised by health experts as encouraging the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Hunger Project has been working on food distribution initiatives for
the past three years. "We are going into condom distribution because
women are the most vulnerable and the most affected in Malawi. When some
members of the family are sick at home, women shoulder the
responsibility and even farming stops," Kaotcha said. "We want to
protect them, so that they find time to farm."
Mugabe tests the waters ahead of 2005 poll
03 November 2004 09:01
advertisementZimbabwe's ruling party has launched new membership cards
as a way of testing its popularity ahead of next year's polls, state
television reported on Tuesday.
Members and senior party officials will now have to pay monthly
subscription fees to belong to President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the party's finance
"Any serious political party, as Zanu-PF is, needs to know its
membership strength," David Karimanzira said in comments broadcast on
the main television news.
"What would be the best way to determine the membership strength
besides through payment of membership fees and subscriptions?"
Ordinary membership cards, which are valid from now until 2009, will
cost Z$5 000 (80 US cents) per card, the report said.
Meanwhile, monthly subscriptions would also need to be paid by members,
with officials in the decision-making politburo paying the highest
amount of Z$42 000 dollars ($6,70) per month the report said.
The announcement comes as the country prepares for polls next March.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is lobbying other
countries in the southern African region to pressure Harare for a
postponement of these.
The MDC has said it would participate only if the Mugabe government
stuck to electoral reforms. - Sapa-AFP
Zanu-PF party official re-arrested
04 November 2004 11:31
Zimbabwe police re-arrested on Thursday Zanu-PF businessman James
Makamba along with two senior executives from his cellular network
The company's managing director Anthony Carter and company secretary
Edward Mutsvairo are currently in custody with Makamba, with all three
being accused of "externalising foreign currency".
Police claim Telecel sold 40% of its shares, worth about $70-million,
outside Zimbabwe without permission from the central bank.
Under Zimbabwean law, no dealings involving foreign currency can be
made without permission from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said: "Telecel received
money through its roaming service, but only $200 000 was remitted to
In April this year, Telecel was fined Z$374,2-million on similar
Makamba, who earlier this year spent seven months in prison before
being acquitted, was arrested at Harare International Airport while
allegedly on his way to South Africa.
He is now being accused of buying a house and three motor vehicles with
foreign currency without permission.
In a related event, police have also arrested the owner of Zimbabwe's
luxury Malilangwe Lodge, near the south-eastern town of Chiredzi.
Anthony De La Harpe is accused of exporting over $4-million, almost
R7-million and 33 600 euro. - Sapa
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