- Legislator Thrown Out Of Parliament Over Prisoner's
Panafrican News Agency
July 11, 2000
Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - The speaker of Malawi's Parliament, Sam Mpasu,
Tuesday ordered out of the House an opposition parliamentarian who heckled his
colleagues from the government side.
The uproar began when opposition Alliance for Democracy member Sam Kandodo
Banda implored the speaker to open debate on the controversial death of Blantyre
millionaire businessman Kwacha Ghambi Friday.
Banda accused the police and prison services in Malawi of violating the country's
Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution.
He was in the process of giving a list of names of famous prisoners, like Lt. Col.
James Njoloma who was accused of inciting a mutiny, when lawmakers from the
ruling United Democratic Front started shouting him down.
To them, the issue of the dead prison did not warrant parliamentary debate.
In retaliation, Sailes Gulule of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party shouted
unpalatable statements during the free-for-all debate, accusing the ruling party of
This prompted Cassim Chilumpha, the education minister, to demand that Gulule
withdraw his statement.
Gulule at first refused to withdraw his statement, denying that he blended the ruling
party deputies thieves.
Mpasu then ordered the stenographer to rewind the tape where Gulule was clearly
heard shouting abuse on his colleagues.
Although Gulule apologised and withdrew the statement later, Chilumpha was
"The honourable member has shown great disrespect not only to us but the chair
as well," he said.
The speaker agreed with Chilumpha and evoked the Standing Order 103 and
suspended Gulule for the rest of the day's deliberations.
Livestock Production, Consumption Below Standards
Panafrican News Agency
July 11, 2000
By Raphael Tenthani, PANA Correspondent
Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - The production and consumption of livestock products
in Malawi is said to be far below international standards.
Secretary for agriculture Adrina Mchiela told a meeting of poultry farmers in
Lilongwe that production and consumption levels of livestock products have not
changed for the past four years.
"In fact, over the past four years, the trend in cattle population has been declining
while no significant change has been noted in poultry numbers," she said.
According to statistics from the agriculture and livestock development ministry,
Malawi has at least 679,518 cattle, 900,000 pigs, 1.5 million goats, and 120,000
Mchiela said these figures were insufficient to satisfy the country's protein needs.
"The current production and consumption levels are woefully insufficient by
international standards and are even below sub-Saharan Africa levels," she added.
Agriculture minister Leonard Mangulama said this was why government was trying
to salvage the poultry industry to slow down importation of poultry products from
South Africa and Zimbabwe.
"We are not happy with the influx of poultry imports since that depletes our foreign
exchange levels," he noted.
But poultry farmers complained to government at the meeting that they couldn't
keep up with Malawi's poultry needs because the country does not produce its
own chicken feeds and medication. This makes poultry farming very expensive and
Mchiela blamed the near-collapse of the poultry industry to the liberalisation of
Malawi's economy, which makes entrepreneurs import cheaper poultry from
Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Malawi's own poultry products are said to be expensive since poultry farmers have
to recover costs of production.
"It is pathetic that while the demand for meat and eggs has been increasing, a
number of hatcheries have closed down," Mchiela cried.
Malawi, which had over 30 hatcheries in the mid-80s, currently has only six, two of
which are state-run.
The Danish government is funding research in revitalising Malawi's fledgling poultry
industry and most poultry farmers agitate that government should remove surtax on
chicken feeds and medication to push down the production costs of poultry
- 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??KCOn 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 07:05Children 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