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  • Christine Chumbler
    Mbeki fingers CIA in Aids conspiracy HOWARD BARRELL, Cape Town | Friday PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki believes the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is
    Message 1 of 1046 , Oct 6, 2000
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      Mbeki fingers CIA in Aids

      HOWARD BARRELL, Cape Town | Friday

      PRESIDENT Thabo Mbeki believes the United States Central
      Intelligence Agency (CIA) is part of a conspiracy to promote the
      view that HIV causes Aids.
      Mbeki also thinks that the CIA is working covertly alongside the
      big US pharmaceutical manufacturers to undermine him
      because, by questioning the link between HIV and Aids, he is
      thought to pose a risk to the profits of drug companies making
      anti-retroviral treatments.
      Mbeki fingered the CIA in his address to African National
      Congress MPs at a caucus meeting in Parliament last
      Mbeki also told the ANC caucus that the fact that South Africa
      under him was emerging as a leader of attempts by the
      developing world to get a better deal in the international
      economic system was a threat to the US and other major
      Western powers.
      In what was described as a *rambling* address, Mbeki said that
      if one agreed that HIV caused Aids, it followed that the condition
      had to be treated by drugs and those drugs were produced by
      the big Western drug companies. The drug companies therefore
      needed HIV to cause Aids, so they promoted the thesis that
      HIV caused Aids, he said.
      Mbeki said his advisers were trying to find out who was
      spreading the idea that he was *deranged*. These reports were
      clearly part of a campaign against him and his government.
      He appealed to MPs to join him in fighting off this campaign.
      The struggle he and the government were waging for a better
      economic deal for developing countries and against the
      propaganda being put out by the drug companies and, covertly,
      the CIA were all linked, he said. MPs should not be afraid to
      take on these powerful international forces, he added.
      Mbeki*s remarks last Thursday disrupted desperate attempts by
      government spin doctors - both inside South African and abroad
      - to lay to rest the HIV/Aids controversy in which the president
      has embroiled himself and to repair the battering Mbeki*s image
      has taken.


      Zimbabwe radio row

      People in rural areas rely on radio for their information
      By Grant Ferret in Harare

      The legal row over Zimbabwe's first privately
      run radio station has deepened with the high
      court ordering the authorities to grant the new
      station a licence within 10 days.

      The court also ordered the police to return
      equipment seized from the company, Capital
      Radio, during raids on Wednesday night.

      The government described the ruling as not
      binding, saying it did not take into account
      new rules introduced on Wednesday by
      President Mugabe.

      Capital Radio was shut down by the
      government within a week of beginning to

      Courts 'losers'

      Once again the Zimbabwean government and
      police are in direct conflict with the courts.

      Once again it seems that the courts are
      emerging the losers.

      Capital Radio began
      broadcasting last week
      after the Supreme
      Court overturned the
      government monopoly.

      The judgement said the
      new station had the
      right to take to the

      Not so, said the
      Information Minister,
      Jonathan Moyo, who
      argued that no-one
      could broadcast without a licence.

      Sweeping powers

      At a news conference on Thursday the
      minister presented new regulations signed into
      law by Robert Mugabe, using presidential
      powers of legislation.

      He said would-be broadcasters could not
      allocate themselves a radio frequency in
      defiance of the government and expect to get
      away with it.

      The latest High Court decision contradicts the
      minister and says Capital Radio has not broken
      the law.

      What is more, the court orders the head of the
      police to appear before it to explain why he
      should not be jailed for contempt following an
      earlier judgement forbidding the police to seize
      the new station's equipment.

      Two of the directors of Capital Radio remains in

      Others have had their homes searched by
      armed police.

      Whatever the decisions of the courts, it seems
      highly unlikely that the new station will be
      allowed to resumed broadcasting.


      High Interest Rates May Hinder Malawi From
      US Initiative

      Panafrican News Agency
      October 4, 2000

      Raphael Tenthani

      The announcement by the US that President Bill Clinton has
      finally signed the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
      might not be good news as yet for Malawian manufacturers.

      Kantilal Desai, who chairs the Garment and Textile
      Manufacturers Association of Malawi, told journalists in
      Blantyre Wednesday that Malawian textile manufacturers are
      unable to satisfy US demand for textiles because high
      interest rates on loans has made most of them to shy away
      from getting substantial bank loans.

      The AGOA initiative emphasises on textiles.

      "Since the US market opened up for us, we have been in
      touch with potential American buyers, some of whom even
      came here," he said.

      Desai, however, said no Malawian company was yet to start
      exporting because with bank loans at 45 percent, Malawian
      companies may not be able to compete favourably with other
      companies from countries with lower interest rates.

      He said Malawian textile companies were willing to take up
      the AGOA initiative if government offered a special financing
      scheme or if commercial banks consider competitive interest

      "Our association intends to write the IMF and the World Bank
      to ask them to consider extending to us a special loan
      scheme so that Malawi can take maximum advantage of the
      AGOA scheme," he said.

      Desai also said the recent agreement by Malawi and
      Mozambique to rehabilitate the Nacala Corridor to the Indian
      Ocean was a welcome development. He said exports to
      America would be cheaper via Nacala than Durban in South
      Africa, which is longer and transits a number of countries.

      The Malawi Export Promotion Council has meanwhile said
      Malawi was working on modalities to sell the AGOA initiative
      to the private sector.


      Cannibalism, Police Torture Revealed At
      Serial Killer Trial

      Panafrican News Agency
      October 5, 2000

      Raphael Tenthani

      More harrowing revelations emerged Thursday at the
      on-going trial of three men accused of being behind the
      killing spree that has left at least 20 women dead in the
      southern Malawi district of Chiradzulu, some 40km from

      One of the accused persons in the trial ate some of the
      human parts and sold the rest to a businessman, according
      to a police detective.

      Detective Sergeant Kaipa, testifying in the highly emotional
      trial, told the 12-member jury that the principal accused,
      Thomas Bokhobokho, admitted that he ate some of the
      human parts while he sold the rest to a Blantyre
      businessman, Liviel Jonathan, also a co-accused in the trial.

      "The first accused (Bokhobokho) told us he used some of the
      human parts as relish while he was selling the others," Kaipa
      the detective testified.

      Another police detective, sub-inspector Ekeniyo Mahela, told
      the jury that Bokhobokho admitted in his caution statement
      that he sold part of the human remains to Jonathan at 65,000
      Malawi Kwacha (about 1,000 US dollars).

      Bokhobokho, Jonathan and Samuel Mgole are being
      charged with the death of six women between January and
      May this year in a spate of serial killings that residents
      believe resulted in the death of at least 20 women.

      All the deaths bore hallmarks of the serial killing - breasts
      and private parts hacked off allegedly to be sold to business
      merchants for money-making rituals.

      But principal accused Bokhobokho, taking the stand for the
      first time in the trial, denied ever killing any woman. He said
      he admitted to taking part in the killings because the police
      were torturing him.

      He said police used all sorts of things anywhere on his body,
      adding that the pain was so excruciating that he had no
      choice but to admit to the crime in the hope that they relent.

      "At no time did I kill anybody nor sell any human parts, I
      admitted because the police were torturing me," he said.

      Bokhobokho said he had to spend one-and-a-half months in
      hospital after the ordeal.

      But Detective Mahele insisted Bokhobokho confessed to the
      crimes during normal police interrogation tactics. He said
      Bokhobokho even told the police that businessman Jonathan
      offered his car to collect intestines of the victims.

      The three detectives at the trial produced gruesome
      photographs of the mutilated bodies, weapons allegedly
      used by the accused and the scenes of the killings.

      The trial continues.


      Malawi Gets Tough On Illegal Immigrants

      Panafrican News Agency
      October 5, 2000

      Blantyre, Malawi

      The Malawi immigration department has threatened to take
      legal action against illegal immigrants who operate
      businesses using Malawian fronts.

      Chief Immigration Officer Hudson Mleme said that the
      department had learnt that some of such foreigners were
      conniving with indigenous Malawians to start businesses.

      He said the problem was most acute in Lilongwe, where
      illegal immigrants - especially West Africans, notably
      Nigerians - had set up and registered businesses under
      Malawian names. This makes it difficult to discover the illegal

      Mleme added that the department had discovered that
      migrants from Far and Middle Eastern countries like
      Lebanon, India and Pakistan entered Malawi, ostensibly to
      visit friends and relatives, but end up working in their
      kinsmen's businesses.

      "The problem of illegal immigrants is manifest here because
      the government does not have enough money to flush them
      out. Deporting immigrants is very costly," he told PANA.

      To avoid unplanned expenditure, Mleme said government
      now arrests the illegal immigrants and places them in
      remand centres and asks their relatives to buy air tickets for
      them to return to their respective countries.

      Over 30 illegal immigrants enter Malawi and assimilate
      among Malawians every month. Many more come under
      tourist visa and end up assimilating in their relatives'

      Mleme did not rule out the possibility of corruption in the
      department where officers allow in illegal aliens without
      proper papers.
    • Christine Chumbler
      ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17 The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal by
      Message 1046 of 1046 , May 22 8:06 AM
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        ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract

        by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17

        The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal by government to look for another contractor instead of China Hunan Construction to construct of the long awaited Karonga/Chitipa road.

        China Hunan from Mainland China won the bid which was approved by the ADB but government later wanted to award the contract to a Portuguese firm, Mota Engil, the second lowest bidder, claiming China Hunan's bid was unrealistically low and that the company had very little experience in Africa.

        Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe confirmed on Sunday the ADB rejected the proposal at a meeting held between the bank and Malawi government in Tunisia last week.

        The Malawi government wanted the Tunisia meeting to authorise it to get another contractor for the road, said Gondwe.

        "They did not allow us to look for another contractor because of their regulations. But we are about to get another alternative for Karonga/Chitipa and I would be surprised if it does not start before end June," said Gondwe.

        The minister explained that the bank insisted that regardless of the unrealistic cost estimates, China Hunan should be allowed to go ahead with the construction.

        But Gondwe could not give further details about the alternatives, arguing there are still a few loose ends to tighten up before disclosing it.

        The problem with China Hunan, according to Gondwe, is that it would require more money to meet the total cost of the project.

        This paper reported last week that government met Taiwanese representatives where they offered to fund the road if the ADB continued to reject its favoured contractor, Mota Engil.

        Gondwe could neither confirm nor deny the reports on the Taiwanese offer, saying government was looking at a number of ways to handle the issue.

        According to Gondwe, the China Hunan's bid was 24 percent lower than the consulting engineers' estimates of K7.9 billion and 34 percent below the second lowest bidder.

        President Bingu wa Mutharika laid a foundation stone for the construction of the road this year ahead of a crucial byelection in Chitipa in December last year.

        The President's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the Chitipa Wenya constituency by-election that fell vacant following the collapse and subsequent death of Speaker of Parliament Rodwell Munyenyembe who belonged to the UDF.

        Last week, police and the District Commissioner (DC) for Chitipa stopped a rally that was aimed at soliciting people's views about development projects in the district.

        The meeting, which was reportedly organised by Concerned Citizens of Chitipa, was among other things also supposed to tackle the controversial Karonga/Chitipa road.

        The project failed to start off in 2000 when a contract for an initial loan of US$17 million and US$15 million from the Taiwanese government was signed, with some quarters claiming the Bakili Muluzi administration diverted the money to another road.


        Chihana operated on

        by Edwin Nyirongo, 22 May 2006 - 06:32:31

        Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Chakufwa Chihana, who is in South Africa receiving treatment, had a brain operation on Friday at Garden City Clinic, family and party officials confirmed on Sunday.

        Aford national chairman Chipimpha Mughogho said he was told by the family members that Chihana had a successful operation on Friday and was put in an intensive care unit.

        Mughogho said Chihana, who initially complained of headache, was found with a brain tumour which South African doctors removed.

        Mzimba West MP Loveness Gondwe said Aford boss condition was stable.

        "Hon. Chihana had a major operation and after that he was put in the intensive care unit but his condition is stable. I do not know where he was operated on but it had something to do with the skull," she said.

        Deputy Information Minister John Bande referred the matter to the Health Minister Hetherwick Ntaba who was reported to be in Geneva, Switzerland.

        Aford publicity secretary Norman Nyirenda said when Chihana's situation got worse, the family alerted the Office of the President and Cabinet who took him to Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.

        "The doctors at Mwaiwathu advised that he should be sent to South Africa and they even identified the doctor for him," he said.

        He said the costs are being met by the Malawi government, contradicting his earlier statement that his boss covered the cost.

        Mughogho is now in charge of the party.

        Gondwe will be a busy person when Parliament starts meeting on June 6 as she is the only Aford MP remaining.


        Pillane proposes presidential age limit

        by Emmanuel Muwamba , 22 May 2006 - 06:34:13

        A member of the DPP National Governing Council Abdul Pillane on Saturday urged members of political parties and the civil society to put an upper age limit in the Constitution for presidential candidates.

        Pillane was addressing members of political parties and civil society in Liwonde during a two-day follow up workshop to the National Conference on the Review of Constitution held in March in Lilongwe.

        "My view is that (an upper) age limit should be at 75. We have to give a chance to younger people to lead because in circumstance, when you age you become forgetful especially when sickly," said Pillane. "Overall, chances should be given to young people."

        But UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala, whose party members agitated for the age limit during presentations, played the issue down.

        "I feel there is no logic to have an upper age limit for presidential candidates. If someone is 90 or 80 I don't know how that can influence the electorate not to vote for someone who is younger, I don't see any logic behind that," said Makwangwala.

        MCP participants at the workshop also vehemently objected to the proposal.

        MCP vice president Nicholas Dausi in an interview said: "There is no constitution in Africa which stipulates an upper age limit. So it would be strange in Malawi to have an upper age limit for presidential candidates."

        MDP President Kamlepo Kalua also opposed the need to have an upper age limit.

        "If we have personalities in mind that we want to discriminate against then it is unfortunate. The constitution we want to build is a guiding document for future generations and it should not bar certain individuals on the basis of grudges," he said.

        The Malawi Law Constitution Issues Paper of March 2006 says several submissions that were received put an upper presidential age limit in the Constitution.

        "It is argued that it is common sense that mental knowledge faculties tend to fail with age. As regards what the actual age limit should be the submissions are far from being agreed. The range is from 60 years to 80 years," read submissions in the Issues Paper.

        On whether MPs should double as ministers, Kalua said this should be the case.

        Makwangwala also said it is not right for MPs to serve as ministers because the Legislature, another arm of government, is reduced while the Executive branch is beefed up from another arm of government.

        "There is no separation of powers when MPs double as ministers," said Makwangwala.

        But Pillane said there is no problem for MPs to work as ministers as well, saying MPs are elected by the President.

        "One can serve both posts. There have been no problems before for people to double," said Pillane.

        The Centre for Multiparty Democracy funded the workshop through the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.

        The objective was to come up with a collective position on the Issues Paper which will be presented to the Special Law Commission that will be constituted soon.


        Mussa hails new driving licence

        by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:58:52

        Transport and Public Works Minister Henry Mussa last week said the design of the Malawi-Sadc driving licence would guard against forgery and ensure that only skilled and legitimate drivers of particular vehicles are licensed.

        Mussa was speaking at the official launch of the licences in Lilongwe where he announced that traffic police would from July enforce speed limits and sober driving using Breathalysers which his ministry is in the process of procuring.

        The minister said financial constraints are the reason for the delay in procuring the equipment but assured that by July they would be available.

        "With the new equipment, the days of those who believe in the thrill of drink and driving are numbered," warned Mussa.

        Mussa added that with the new licence, government is optimistic that the country's roads would be safe.

        Acting Director of Road Traffic James Chirwa said the features that distinguish the new from the old licences are the Malawi national flag and a ghost image of the driver's photograph, among others.

        Those with old licences, according to Chirwa, are expected to get the new ones after the expiry of the former.


        UDF demands investigation on Kasambara

        by Rabecca Theu, 22 May 2006 - 06:30:46

        The United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked government to investigate Ralph Kasambara on allegations of abuse of office while he was attorney general.

        UDF publicity secretary Sam Mpasu told the press Sunday that the party is neither amused or saddened by the removal of the former AG but asked government to institute investigations on Kasambara.

        "Beyond the removal of the Attorney General, we now urge President Mutharika to institute investigation against Mr Kasambara into allegations that have made rounds in the public domain during the recent past. These include: Mrs Helen Singh and SS Rent-a-Car; SGS and ITS saga; ...........the use of Malawi Police Service in the arrest of three Chronicle journalists and the handling of Mrs Rubina Kawonga," said Mpasu.

        Mpasu also accused Kasambara of awarding government contracts to Lawson and Company where he was a senior partner.

        "We urge government to thoroughly investigate the former AG. We also ask government to cautiously select the new AG ," said Mpasu, who was accompanied by the party's Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala, leader of the party in Parliament George Mtafu, chief whip Leonard Mangulama and a member of the executive Hophmally Makande.

        But Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati said UDF should give offer its advice to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).

        "They should advise bodies like the Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct the investigations and why are they saying this now? Is it because Kasambara has been fired? This is not a personal issue. If they have other pressing issues they should just say so. These arguments should have come up earlier on when the said cases were happening," she said.

        Kasambara asked UDF to proceed with the mission of urging government to investigate him.

        "They can do their job. Everyone has a right to lobby for anything they want in the country. UDF has a right to do that, let them go ahead," he said.

        Kasambara was relieved of his duties as AG by the President last week. Government has not given reasons behind the removal.


        Zambia: Malawians Grab Zambian Land

        The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

        May 18, 2006

        Posted to the web May 19, 2006

        Andrew Lungu


        MALAWIANS who have encroached on both the 'no-man's' and part of the Zambian land at the Mwami border in Eastern Province have plucked out some beacons that were used in the demarcation of the border.

        The Malawians are now using the beacons as stools in their newly-established villages on Zambian land.

        Eastern Province Minister, Boniface Nkhata, said in Chipata yesterday that if the situation was not controlled urgently, Zambia would lose huge tracts of land to Malawians migrating into Zambian in large numbers.

        A check at the Zambia-Malawi border showed a number of beacons had been vandalised and new structures constructed on the 'no man's' land and a large portion of Zambian land.

        Mr Nkhata said the trend extended to many parts of the province bordering the two countries.

        "A large portion of Zambian land has been taken up by the Malawians starting from the Chama boundary up to the Mwami border.

        "The weighbridge at the Mwami border was initially in Zambia from the time both countries gained independence from Britain, but now the bridge is on Malawian soil," Mr Nkhata said.

        The minister, who is former Chama District Commissioner, said there was similar encroachment in Lundazi and Chama districts where Zambia shares a boundary with Malawi.

        He said a Malawian farmer identified as Mr Mfune had cultivated 71.5 hectares on Zambian land and employed about 265 Malawian workers.

        "Khombe Farm in Chama district in Kanyerere's area, along the Muyombe road which leads to Northern Province where this Malawian farmer has cultivated a vast land is on the Zambian territory," he said.

        Workers on the farm admitted that they were farming on Zambian soil but could not go back to Malawi because the land in that country was inadequate for cultivation.

        Mr Nkhata appealed to the ministry of Lands to urgently release money for the demarcation of the Zambia-Malawi border to avoid further land disputes between the two countries.

        Meanwhile, the Immigration Department in Livingstone has arrested a couple and another man, all Zimbabweans, for working in Zambia without permits.

        They were arrested at Gwembe village yesterday where they worked for Into Africa, a tour operating company that provides bush dinners and breakfast.

        According to the Immigration Department in Livingstone, the trio entered Zambia through the Victoria Falls border as visitors but decided to work for the company illegally.

        Last week, immigration officers arrested 10 Zimbabwean traders and six Ethiopians for entering and staying in Zambia illegally.

        The Zimbabwean traders were warned and cautioned and later released.

        The Ethiopians were arrested at Konje Guest House when they ran out of money to proceed to Botswana.



        Zim unions, MDC still plan anti-govt protests

        Harare, Zimbabwe

        22 May 2006 11:51

        Zimbabwe's biggest labour federation on Saturday threatened to call massive demonstrations against the government over poor salaries and worsening living conditions for workers in the country.

        The threats are ratcheting up pressure against President Robert Mugabe's government after similar threats by the biggest opposition party in the country, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), about two months ago.

        Speaking at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) conference on Saturday, the labour body's president, Lovemore Matombo, said the powerful union wants the government to award workers salaries that match the country's ever-rising inflation.

        "I can assure you we will stage massive demonstrations to force them [employers] to award workers minimum salaries that tally with the poverty datum line," said Matombo.

        Matombo did not say when exactly the ZCTU would order workers to strike.

        Opposition protests

        Meanwhile, the MDC on Sunday said it will push ahead with plans for anti-government protests, saying victory in a key by-election at the weekend was a "sign the electorate supported its policies", including democratic mass resistance.

        A spokesperson of the main faction of the splintered MDC, Nelson Chamisa, said victory over Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF and a rival MDC faction in a Saturday by-election in Harare's Budiriro constituency is a sign Zimbabweans still have confidence in party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his policies.

        Tsvangirai, the founding leader of the MDC, heads the main rump of the opposition party whose candidate, Emmanuel Chisvuure, polled 7 949 votes to win the Budiriro House of Assembly seat.

        Gabriel Chaibva of the other faction of the MDC, led by prominent academic Arthur Mutambara, garnered 504 votes while Zanu-PF's Jeremiah Bvirindi polled 3 961 votes.

        "This election showed that the electorate still has confidence in the MDC [Tsvangirai-led] leadership and its policies," Chamisa told independent news service ZimOnline.

        He added: "We will now move to consolidate our position * we still believe in mass protests. Until we have attained our goals we see no reason why we should abandon [plans for protests]."

        Tsvangirai has threatened to call mass protests this winter against Mugabe and his government. He says the mass protests, whose date he is still to name, are meant to force Mugabe to relinquish power to a government of national unity to be tasked to write a new and democratic Constitution that would ensure free and fair elections held under international supervision.

        Mugabe and his government, who had hoped for victory in Budiriro to show they were recapturing urban support from a splintered MDC, have not taken idly the opposition's threats to call mass protests, with the veteran president warning Tsvangirai he would be "dicing with death" if he ever attempted to instigate a Ukraine-style popular revolt in Zimbabwe.


        In a fresh crackdown against dissension, the police last week arrested several church and civic leaders for organising public prayers and marches to mark last year's controversial home-demolition exercise by the government.

        The police also banned the marches and prayers, fearing they could easily turn into mass protests against Mugabe and his government.

        However, the marches went ahead in the second-largest city of Bulawayo after organisers had obtained a court order barring the police from stopping the march.

        Political analysts say although Zimbabweans have largely been cowed by Mugabe's tactics of routinely deploying riot police and the military to crush street protests, worsening hunger and poverty are fanning public anger that Tsvangirai -- with proper planning and organisation -- could easily manipulate.

        Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe six-year old economic crisis that has seen inflation breaching the 1 000% barrier. Last year, the World Bank said Zimbabwe's economic crisis was unprecedented for a country not at war.

        The MDC and major Western governments blame Mugabe for wrecking the country's economy, which was one of the strongest in Africa at independence from Britain 26 years ago.

        Mugabe denies the charge blaming the crisis on sabotage by Britain and her allies after he seized white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks six years ago.

        The Harare authorities recently hiked salaries for civil servants, with the lowest-paid soldier now earning about Z$27-million while the lowest-paid school teacher now takes home about Z$33-million.

        But the salaries are still way below the poverty datum line, which the government's Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says now stands at a staggering Z$42-million a month for an average family of six.

        The Zimbabwe government often accuses the ZCTU, a strong ally of the MDC, of pushing a political agenda to remove Mugabe from power.

        Meanwhile, Matombo and Lucia Matibenga retained their posts as president and first vice-president respectively during the ZCTU congress that ended on Saturday. -- ZimOnline

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