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Re: [ujeni] Malawi news catch up

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  • Kenneth E. Shockley
    Anybody else find it perversely funny that the name of the World Bank director for our little corner of Africa is Kafka ? _________________________ Kenneth
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2000
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      Anybody else find it perversely funny that the name of the World Bank
      director for "our" little corner of Africa is "Kafka"?

      _________________________
      Kenneth Shockley
      Department of Philosophy
      Campus Box 1073
      Washington University
      St. Louis, MO 63130


      On Tue, 30 May 2000, Christine Chumbler wrote:

      > Briton Tumbles to Death Atop MALAWI'S Highest Peak
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, May 29, 2000) - A
      > 25-year-old British tourist over the weekend tumbled to his death from central
      > Africa's highest massif in the southern district of Mulanje, 50 km south of the
      > commercial city of Blantyre.
      >
      > Police spokesman Oliver Soko said Stuart Gambles went hiking with his New
      > Zealander friend, Davie Butcher. He said the two adventurous tourists wanted to
      > conquer Chambe Peak, the highest point on Mulanje Mountain, using ropes.
      >
      > But as they were battling with the treacherous cliffsand landscape, Gambles
      > tripped, lost his hold of the rope, and crashed hundreds of metres down the ragged
      > slope.
      >
      > "He died instantly upon hitting the bottom," he told PANA.
      >
      > Soko said the shocked Butcher rushed down to report the incident to police who
      > sought assistance from the army. The army despatched a helicopter to search for
      > the body.
      >
      > "The army responded very quickly when they heard of the tragedy," he added.
      >
      > Gracian Tukula, diplomatic officer at the British High Commission, said Gambles'
      > body would be transported to the UK.
      >
      > Mulanje Mountain, the highest mountain in central Africa, is renown for its
      > beautiful view and unspoilt natural beauty.
      >
      > People living around the mountain believe ancestral spirits still roam in it.
      >
      > Three years, ago a group of Western tourists lost their way in the mountain for
      > three days. People believe the group did something that annoyed the
      > sometimes-restive spirits.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Economic Growth Targets Insufficient to Alleviate Poverty
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, May 29, 2000) - The
      > Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said
      > government's economic growth targets of about 5 percent set for 2000-2002 will
      > not make any meaningful impact on the country's poverty.
      >
      > The president of the chambers, Mark Katsonga Phiri, said at the on-going 12th
      > Malawi International Trade Fair that the nation's GDP needs to grow to more than
      > the IMF minimum growth of 6 percent from the current 4 percent to make gains in
      > the fight against poverty.
      >
      > At least 80 percent of the country's 11 million people live below the World Bank's
      > poverty threshold of less than one US dollar a day.
      >
      > Katsonga Phiri said Malawi's economy needs to consistently grow in the excess of
      > 6 percent for government's policy of poverty alleviation to reach the majority poor.
      >
      > "The target of five percent shows that we may still fall short of goals, " he said.
      >
      > At the recent Consultative Group meeting when Malawi met 14 traditional donors,
      > World Bank country director for Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi, Barbara Kafka
      > said despite more than two decades of economic structural adjustment
      > programmes there seems to be no notable dent of the country's poverty.
      >
      > "It is high time we reviewed our plans," Kafka told a press conference in
      > Lilongwe.
      >
      > Meanwhile, this year's trade fair has attracted 10 countries from Africa, Asia and
      > Europe.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Malawi Loosing 50,000 Hectares Of Forests Annually
      >
      > Panafrican News Agency
      > May 29, 2000
      > by Raphael Tenthani
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) - Malawi loses at least 50,000 hectares of its
      > indigenous forests every year due to deforestation, a senior forestry official has
      > said.
      >
      > The deputy director of forestry, Langes Sitambi, also the government is losing
      > millions of dollars to reclaim the 750,000 hectares of forest land that is annually
      > going up in flames at the hands of charcoal sellers and brick burners.
      >
      > He said, originally 28 percent of the entire landmass in Malawi was supposed to be
      > covered by trees. But the wanton felling of trees and forest fires are costing the
      > treasury heavy losses
      >
      > "The damage caused by deforestation is enormous; imagine 50,000 hectares of
      > indigenous trees being lost each year thus making government lose not less than
      > 800,000 US dollars each year," he told PANA.
      >
      > Sitambi said development activities, like the construction of new roads and schools
      > are also to blame. He also said clearing land for resettlement and income
      > generating activities like curio making and curving also contribute significantly to
      > these sad statistics.
      >
      > But he said unemployment, which force young men to start burning woodlands for
      > charcoal, is the chief culprit in this bleak picture.
      >
      > Sitambi said government is facing challenges to preserve forest reserves because
      > more land is also needed for development while the population, currently standing
      > at about 11 million, continues to boom.
      >
      > He said in order to check the continuing depletion of forest reserves, government
      > has devised a system where forestland is given to communities for them to
      > manage and use responsibly.
      >
      > Malawi currently has 95 forest reserves covering the 750,000 hectares.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Bogus Employers Enrich Themselves From Job
      > Seekers
      >
      > Panafrican News Agency
      > May 27, 2000
      > by Raphael Tenthani
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) - Thousands of desperate Malawi job seekers have
      > been swindled of cash by several bogus marketing firms claiming to be employing
      > agents for multinational firms.
      >
      > One such agency, Alli Mustafa Distributors, has just been uncovered but its
      > owners have disappeared in thin air.
      >
      > Alli Mustafa Distributors had advertised several lucrative job opportunities
      > purportedly in Egypt for fresh school leavers.
      >
      > One of the 700 respondents, Grace Jombo, told PANA Saturday that she was
      > attracted by the prospect because Egypt has always fascinated her because of its
      > history of pyramids and pharaohs.
      >
      > "Somebody called Isaah Ibrahim, who claimed to be an agent, responded quickly
      > and told me to come to Mbayani (one of the high-density suburbs of Blantyre) for
      > an interview," she said.
      >
      > According to Jombo, after he conducted a quick interview, Ibrahim told her she had
      > passed and should meet him in a building in Blantyre for a three-week training.
      >
      > "I started getting uncomfortable when he demanded 230 Malawi Kwacha (about 5
      > American dollars) to process my papers," she said.
      >
      > Jombo said though unemployed and short of cash, she managed to raise the sum
      > from friends and relatives and was given what looked like a genuine receipt for it.
      >
      > On going to the rendezvous, however, she found about 50 other job seekers but
      > there was no sign of Ibrahim.
      >
      > They alerted the police who did a quick check at the address and found from
      > neighbours that Ibrahim and his two friends vacated the house in a huff the previous
      > night.
      >
      > This was the latest incident under which tricksters taking advantage of the
      > country's high unemployment rate have fleeced Malawians.
      >
      > Two months ago a group of London-based Nigerians placed an advert in the
      > country's leading daily, The Nation, seeking for nurses, doctors and engineers
      > interested in international careers in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. They
      > demanded 20 British Pounds as processing fees.
      >
      > A physical check by a London-based relative of a nurse who was interested to take
      > up the offer discovered the address led to a residential house, and not an office.
      >
      > Police spokesman Oliver Soko said the police is intensfying investigations into the
      > ever-increasing rackets.
      >
      > He, however, said the scam would continue if Malawians continue seeking jobs the
      > easy way.
      >
      > *****
      >
      >
      >
      > Media Rights Activist Receives Death Threats
      >
      > Panafrican News Agency
      > May 25, 2000
      >
      > Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - Malawian media rights activist and publisher Robert
      > Jamieson is being threatened by numerous anonymous telephone calls warning
      > him of fatal consequences if he continues distribution of media coverage reports of
      > the June 1999 general elections.
      >
      > Jamieson has been distributing copies of the London-based anti-censorship body -
      > Article 19's - report on media coverage of the national elections.
      >
      > Entitled "At the Crossroads: Freedom of Expression in Malawi," the report was a
      > damning expose of the government of President Bakili Muluzi which allegedly
      > formed a ring of disinformers aimed at poisoning the voters in the run-up to the
      > elections.
      >
      > Some of the people named in the disinformation campaign initially threatened to
      > sue any newspaper that published excerpts of the report but later withdrew their
      > plan.
      >
      > Meanwhile, Article 19 published a statement in London condemning the thinly
      > veiled death threats.
      >
      > The body quotes one anonymous caller who threatened Jamieson with the
      > notorious "Mwanza case", in which four prominent Malawian politicians died in
      > 1983 in mysterious circumstances.
      >
      > A court hearing later established that the four were murdered by the then
      > government.
      >
      > The caller allegedly stated that a similar "accident" could be arranged.
      >
      > Andrew Puddephatt, executive director of Article 19, said the body was calling on
      > the Malawi authorities to track down the anonymous callers and bring them to
      > justice.
      >
      > "Rob Jamieson was a leading figure in the Article 19 Malawi election media
      > monitoring project during the period February-June 1999. We believe that the report
      > that resulted from the project is an important contribution to the debate about how
      > to sustain and consolidate Malawi's democracy," he said.
      >
      > Puddephatt said the anonymous threats are "a serious attack on that democracy."
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Churches Appeal For Flood Relief
      >
      > UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)
      > May 23, 2000
      >
      > Johannesburg - A group of Malawian churches has launched an appeal for US
      > $248,788 to assist flood victims in the northern district of Karonga with relief food
      > and agricultural seeds, a church aid worker told IRIN on Tuesday.
      >
      > Melton Luhanga of Malawi's Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD)
      > told IRIN that no significant assistance has been given to Karonga villagers, the
      > region most affected by the floods earlier this year. "The situation is quite pathetic
      > in the villages around Karonga. About 13,223 families have lost their household
      > gardens on which they depend for food," Luhanga said.
      >
      > Luhanga said many of the planted crops, due for harvest this month, had been
      > destroyed in the floods. "The most critically affected families are in the low- lying
      > traditional authority of Kilipula. We need to help them to grow their own food and
      > tide them over in the meantime with relief food," he said.
      >
      > According to Luhanga, CARD plans to provide each of the affected farming families
      > with a one-off distribution of maize grain for food, and the provision of rice and
      > maize seeds to promote agricultural production. "This distribution will depend on
      > the response we receive to the appeal. If we don't get a positive response, these
      > families will starve."
      >
      > Luhanga added that the government lacks resources to assist the families to
      > provide for their needs. "The government did provide food and clothing donated by
      > concerned people. However, the food was sufficient only for a short period following
      > the flooding."
      >
      > CARD said it needs 66 mt of maize, 33 mt of rice seed and 661.15 mt of maize for
      > food. Luhanga added that CARD will procure all the relief items from Malawi's
      > Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) and other private
      > traders in the country. "CARD will transport the relief items from the point of
      > purchase to distribution points in Karonga," Luhanga said.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Donors Slam Malawi's High-Living Politicians
      >
      > African Eye News Service (South Africa)
      > May 22, 2000
      > by Hobbs Gama
      >
      > Nelspruit - International donors accused Malawi of wasteful expenditure, an
      > "unfocused" budgetary system and unreasonably large perks for top politicians and
      > officials at the weekend.
      >
      > The scathing criticism from Danish and other donors comes in the wake of
      > admissions that politicians are granted daily 'subsistence' allowances averaging
      > US$450 while their officials are granted up to US$350 per day while on foreign
      > trips.
      >
      > The allowances are larger than the entire annual income of a large portion of
      > Malawi's population.
      >
      > Danish embassy spokesman Bo Jensen said after a three day Consultative Group
      > (CG) meeting with 17 donor nations, international banks, the IMF and World Bank
      > in Malawi that the "unjustifiable" perks were proof of poor financial management.
      >
      > "Danish taxpayers would be very displeased if they knew their grants to Malawi
      > were being used to underwrite such large perks for politicians," said Jensen.
      >
      > "Malawi must respect the principle that allowances are compensation for actual,
      > necessary expenditure and are not just a salary supplement."
      >
      > Conference delegates agreed, advising Malawi's government to urgently cut its
      > 30% inflation rate by at least 10% by 2002 and boost GDP by 5% by immediately
      > cutting government expenditure, tightening fiscal controls and scrapping
      > "unnecessary" price levies on essential products.
      >
      > The conference was convened to allow Malawi to present wide-ranging economic
      > reforms to donors through its interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
      >
      > The reforms are expected help Malawi's case for urgent debt relief in terms of the
      > Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
      >
      > Malawi hopes to win U$1,1 billion debt relief from its 2000/2002 balance of
      > payment responsibilities.
      >
      > Jensen's warning comes days after Malawi's government told a national non-
      > government organisation (NGO) conference that new controls approved by the
      > President's Office to curb wasted or fruitless expenditure in government.
      >
      > "These measure should streamline the movement of civil servants and thereby
      > improve both efficiency and productivity," said youth, gender and community
      > service minister Mary Kaphwereza Banda at the Blantyre meeting.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Three Miners Crushed To Death In Malawi
      >
      > Panafrican News Agency
      > May 22, 2000
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) - One person is still battling with life in hospital
      > following a mining accident in the northern mountainous district of Rumphi in which
      > three other miners died on the spot.
      >
      > Police spokesman Oliver Soko Monday said the accident happened Tuesday at
      > Mchenga Coal Mine as the miners were trying to remove a huge rock in order to
      > gain access to coal deposits behind the rock.
      >
      > News of the accident is coming in trickles, as the area is remote with unreliable
      > telephone connection. But an official at the mines said the miners spent several
      > hours trying to remove the huge rock.
      >
      > Before anyone could notice, the rock finally gave in. The unsuspecting miners, still
      > physically struggling with it, were taken unawares by its sudden fall.
      >
      > They went helter-skelter but three of them got crushed to death, while two others
      > were injured, one seriously. The accident is the first in Malawi's fledgling mining
      > industry. The tragedy could not have come at a worse time. Currently, the
      > government is trying to invest in mining after Malawi's chief foreign exchange
      > earner - tobacco - is hitting rough time at the auction floors.
      >
      > Meanwhile, an official at the mines department in Lilongwe has denied suggestions
      > that Malawi's mining industry does not invest enough in workers' safety.
      >
      > "This was just an unfortunate industrial accident that should be expected from time
      > to time," he told PANA.
      >
      > *****
      >
      > Opposition To Challenge Muluzi's Victory In Supreme
      > Court
      >
      > Panafrican News Agency
      > May 22, 2000
      >
      > BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) - The opposition in Malawi has said Friday's landmark
      > High Court ruling in which Justice Isaac Mtambo dismissed the opposition
      > challenge to President Bakili Muluzi's June 1999 victory in the country's second
      > multiparty elections does not signal the end of its bid to overturn the poll results.
      >
      > Michael Bazuka Mhango, lawyer for the opposition, said the opposition will be
      > back in court within two weeks to give the court fresh instructions.
      >
      > Meanwhile, principal petitioner Gwanda Chakuamba, the joint candidate of the
      > opposition alliance of the Malawi Congress Party and the Alliance for Democracy,
      > has issued instructions to start processing the appeal.
      >
      > Alliance publicity secretary Dan Msowoya said the opposition has noted a number
      > of flaws in the Mtambo ruling and would seek redress from the country's highest
      > court.
      >
      > "We feel we will have a different chance at the Supreme Court of Appeal," he told
      > PANA.
      >
      > Msowoya said the opposition would also still pursue another case in which the
      > opposition is alleging that Muluzi and the ruling United Democratic Front rigged the
      > election.
      >
      > "We noted a number of fraudulent acts in the run up to the elections and during the
      > election as most people were disfranchised. The election could have been free of
      > violence but it was definitely not fair," he said.
      >
      > Msowoya cited, as an example, thousands of eligible voters in the opposition
      > stronghold of the north who were denied the right to vote because the Electoral
      > Commission ran out of materials to register them.
      >
      > But, in his first public remark on the Mtambo verdict, Muluzi said Chakuamba
      > should accept the court ruling or quit politics.
      >
      > "The best he can do is to quit politics. There was no way the court could have
      > ruled otherwise after both the local and international observers declared the
      > election free and fair," he added.
      >
      >
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