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Malawi news

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  • Christine Chumbler
    Suspended Chakuamba Looks for a Mole Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, June 21, 2000) - After his one-year suspension from parliament, the
    Message 1 of 102 , Jun 22, 2000
      Suspended Chakuamba Looks for a Mole

      Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, June 21, 2000) - After
      his one-year suspension from parliament, the embattled Malawi opposition
      leader Gwanda Chakuamba has started witch-hunting for political moles in his
      opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

      The name of John Tembo, Chakuamba's restive deputy, is increasingly coming
      up for blame for Chakuamba's wooes.

      Chakuamba loyalists in the MCP have said they intend to suspend Tembo from
      the party for his alleged role in the suspension of Chakuamba.

      James Chimera, the party's publicity secretary who addressed a rally in Blantyre
      Wednesday, claimed it was clear Tembo conspired with the ruling United
      Democratic Front (UDF) to have Chakuamba thrown out of Parliament to pave
      for Tembo's leadership.

      "We are trying to save our party from infiltration by the UDF that's why we think
      it proper to suspend Tembo," he said.

      Chimera said a letter on Tembo's suspension has already been drafted and only
      awaits Chakuamba's endorsement.

      Tembo, who has denied being a mole in the party, has of late been making
      conciliatory remarks towards the UDF, which is uncharacteristic for the
      MCP/AFORD alliance whose leadership are avowed enemies of the UDF.

      Tembo has also openly denied being part of the opposition alliance case in which
      Chakuamba is disputing last June's election results in court.

      His warming relations with the UDF, whose leader, President Bakili Muluzi told
      a political rally in the southern district of Mangochi last Saturday that his party
      prefers working with Tembo.

      "To say the truth if there is an opposition leader who is offering constructive
      criticism to government it is Mr. Tembo," he said.

      Asked whether he is a sell-out to the UDF, Tembo said he believes in making
      praises where it is due. He denied being paid to contradict his president, saying
      he has enough money of his own.

      "When the UDF does something right I will not hesitate to say so, likewise when
      it does something wrong I will criticise. That's the only way we can help this
      country develop," he said.

      If Tembo's suspension from the MCP occurs at the party convention scheduled
      for October, it will further split the party.

      Most of the MCP members who want Tembo out come from the south where
      the party has an insignificant following.

      Most party leaders from the MCP stronghold of central region, where Tembo
      comes from, support him.

      And in a dramatic turn of events, MCP supporters in the north have issued a
      statement endorsing Tembo for the leadership of the party which, until 1994,
      ruled Malawi for 30 years.

      Northern region MCP supporters accuse Chakuamba of dictatorship following a
      statement he made that he will make sure John Tembo does not have a position
      in the party at the party's convention scheduled for October.

      Meanwhile, opposition parliamentarians are expected to elect Tembo as leader
      of opposition in Parliament following Chakuamba's suspension from Parliament
      on Monday.

      Chakuamba, who was was suspended for one year for truancy and
      disrespecting Parliament, the president and the Constitution, has since appealed
      against the suspension.
    • kristen cheney
      But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out
      Message 102 of 102 , Aug 24 9:03 AM
        But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out hope...
        How's the home solar project??

        On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Christine Chumbler <wartpiggy@...> wrote:

        Nothing to be proud of here, I'm afraid.

        Malawi's child tobacco pickers 'poisoned by nicotine'

        Aug 24 2009 07:05

        Children in Malawi who are forced to work as tobacco pickers are exposed to nicotine poisoning equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day, an investigation has found.

        Child labourers as young as five are suffering severe health problems from a daily skin absorption of up to 54mg of dissolved nicotine, according to the international children's organisation Plan.

        Malawian tobacco is found in the blend of almost every cigarette smoked in the West. The low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco is often used as a filler by manufacturers, reflecting a long-term global shift in production.

        Tobacco farms in America declined by 89% between 1954 and 2002. Three-quarters of production has migrated to developing countries, with Malawi the world's fifth biggest producer.

        Seventy percent of its export income comes from tobacco and the country is economically dependent on it.

        Plan cites research showing that Malawi has the highest incidence of child labour in Southern Africa, with 88,9% of five to 14-year-olds working in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that more than 78 000 children work on tobacco estates -- some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1p an hour and without protective clothing.

        Plan's researchers invited 44 children from tobacco farms in three districts to take part in a series of workshops. They revealed a catalogue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and spoke about the need to work to support themselves and their families and pay school fees.

        The children reported common symptoms of green tobacco sickness (GTS), or nicotine poisoning, including severe headaches, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, coughing and breathlessness.

        "Sometimes it feels like you don't have enough breath, you don't have enough oxygen," one child said. "You reach a point where you cannot breathe because of the pain in your chest. Then the blood comes when you vomit. At the end, most of this dies and then you remain with a headache."

        GTS is a common hazard of workers coming into contact with tobacco leaves and absorbing nicotine through their skin, particularly when harvesting. It is made worse by humid and wet conditions, which are prevalent in Malawi, as residual moisture on the leaves helps nicotine to be absorbed quicker.

        Everyday symptoms of GTS are more severe in children than adults as they have not built up a tolerance to nicotine through smoking and because of their physical size. There is a lack of research into the long-term effects of GTS in children, but experts believe that it could seriously impair their development.

        Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at California University in San Francisco, said: "Numerous animal studies have shown that administration of nicotine during infancy and adolescence produces long-lasting changes in brain structure and function, as well as behavioural changes that are not seen when nicotine is administered to adults.

        "The brain of a child or adolescent is particularly vulnerable to adverse neurobehavioural effects of nicotine exposure."

        Plan called on Malawi's government to enforce existing child labour and protection laws and on plantations to provide safer, fairer working conditions for those children forced to work. It demanded that multinational tobacco companies scrutinise their suppliers far more closely and follow their own corporate responsibility guidelines.

        Macdonald Mumba, Plan Malawi's child rights adviser, said: "This research shows that tobacco estates are exploiting and abusing children who have a right to a safe working environment.

        "Plan is calling for better enforcement of child labour laws and harsher punishment for employers who break them. These children are risking their health for 11p a day." - guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2009

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        "...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try to help other people." –Junot Diaz
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