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  • Christine Chumbler
    Britain warns Malawi against corrupt government The British High Commissioner to Malawi has warned ministers in the capital, Lilongwe, that Britain will not
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 12, 2000
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      Britain warns Malawi
      against corrupt

      The British High Commissioner to Malawi has
      warned ministers in the capital, Lilongwe, that
      Britain will not support corrupt governments.

      Speaking at a seminar on good governance
      attended by government secretaries and
      ministers, the High Commissioner, George
      Finlayson, said Britain would not subsidise
      economic mismanagement -- and nor would it
      give backing to leaders who were unwilling to
      take tough decisions.

      Mr Finlayson's comments come after a series of
      corruption allegations against members of the
      administration of President Bakili Muluzi.

      The President has said he will not dismiss any
      ministers until they are formally accused of a
    • Paul DEVER
      How ironic that the British government is no longer tolerating corrupt governments...after how many years of not only supporting, but propping them up... ...
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 12, 2000
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        How ironic that the British government is no longer tolerating corrupt
        governments...after how many years of not only supporting, but propping them

        ----Original Message Follows----
        From: "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@...>
        Reply-To: ujeni@egroups.com
        To: shelley.milstein@...,ujeni@egroups.com, seanconchar@...
        Subject: [ujeni] short news
        Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 10:24:50 -0400

        Britain warns Malawi
        against corrupt

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      • Christine Chumbler
        Opposition challenge Mugabe law The opposition in urban areas were less intimidated by election violence By Grant Ferrett in Harare The Supreme Court in
        Message 3 of 26 , Jan 19, 2001
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          Opposition challenge
          Mugabe law

          The opposition in urban areas were less intimidated by
          election violence
          By Grant Ferrett in Harare

          The Supreme Court in Zimbabwe has begun
          hearing a challenge by the main opposition
          party against President Mugabe's decision last
          month to amend the electoral law.

          The amendment prevents the courts from
          overturning any of the results of last year's
          parliamentary elections, even if there is
          evidence of corrupt or illegal practices.

          Riot police surrounded the Supreme Court as
          the hearing was due to begin, providing an
          indication of the depth of the controversy still
          surrounding the poll last June.

          The opposition Movement for Democratic
          Change had planned to challenge the results of
          40 constituencies, a third of the total number
          of contested seats, largely on the grounds of
          violence in the run-up to voting.


          Sitting members of parliament say the
          amendment cannot now be removed.

          But the opposition
          Movement for
          Democratic Change
          says it is

          Its lawyer told the
          Supreme Court that
          the decision to prevent
          any legal challenge
          amounted to a denial
          of the constitutional
          right to the protection
          of the law.

          The government, which has hired a South
          African lawyer to present its case, argues that
          invalidating results from last year's poll could
          threaten democracy and stability in Zimbabwe.

          Whatever the outcome, the prospects are

          If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the
          opposition it would mark an important step
          towards the holding of a series of by-elections.

          Given the example of recent months, that
          would probably result in renewed violence and
          intimidation - most of it carried out by
          supporters of the ruling party.

          Another possibility is that the government will
          once again simply ignore the Supreme Court,
          further undermining the rule of law.
        • Christine Chumbler
          More Rains, Renewed Problems UN Integrated Regional Information Network (Nairobi) March 21, 2001 Posted to the web March 21, 2001 Heavy rains have continued
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 22, 2001
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            More Rains, Renewed Problems

            UN Integrated Regional Information
            Network (Nairobi)
            March 21, 2001
            Posted to the web March 21, 2001

            Heavy rains have continued throughout Malawi, worsening the
            flooding in the south of the country and threatening new areas
            that were initially unaffected, an OCHA situation report released
            on Tuesday said. Some 335,000 people have been affected by
            the floods that have so far inundated 13 out of Malawi's 27
            districts, killing 14 people and causing widespread damage.

            In Nsanje and Chikwawa districts in the south, 125,000 and
            62,500 people have been affected respectively. "Parts of these
            districts are not yet accessible due to poor conditions of roads
            and bridges, hindering delivery of relief items," OCHA said.

            While the Department of Disaster Preparedness, Rehabilitation
            and Relief (DDPRR) has distributed maize, beans and salts as
            well as blankets in Nsanje, Mangochi, Zomba and Chikwawa,
            those items were "distributed only to people within the reach of
            public authorities, namely people accommodated in public
            buildings, schools and churches." In the Central region, heavy
            rainfall has affected more farms, especially in Salima district. "The
            situation in Nkhotakota district, the worst affected in the Central
            region, remains critical," warned OCHA.

            DDPRR had provided food assistance to the affected, until the
            depletion of stocks on 6 March. The government has appealed for US $6.7 million in assistance. Together with DDPRR, UNDP is
            coordinating donor and the UN's efforts in response to the
            emergency. UNDP, UNICEF and WHO have deployed assessment teams in the field. The government and UNDP finalised arrangements for the procurement of blankets, iodised salt and plastic sheets with funding from the government of Norway and OCHA, the report said.

            Meanwhile, WFP has commenced food distribution for 58,900
            "most affected persons" in six districts, aiming at providing 690 mt.
            WFP has worked out a logistics plan in collaboration with district
            officials and other partners to ensure efficient delivery of
            assistance. The possibility of using small canoes and army
            helicopters for areas that cannot be reached by road or rail is
            under consideration, OCHA noted. The International Federation
            of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Malawi Red Cross have also been active in relief distribution.
          • Christine Chumbler
            Church ultimatum to Malawi president By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre Malawi s second largest church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian or CCAP, has
            Message 5 of 26 , May 16, 2001
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              Church ultimatum to
              Malawi president

              By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

              Malawi's second largest church, the Church of
              Central Africa Presbyterian or CCAP, has asked
              President Bakili Muluzi to come out in the open
              on whether he will or will not stand for an
              unconstitutional third term of office.

              Last month the CCAP issued a pastoral letter
              cautioning the ruling United Democratic Front
              (UDF) against moves to change the
              constitution to allow Mr. Muluzi to stand again
              when his second term comes up in 2004.

              Reacting to the pastoral letter, Information
              Minister Clement Stambuli said it was
              premature to discuss the issue of the third
              term because the ruling party politiburo or the
              cabinet are yet to discuss it.

              But the General Synod of the CCAP - the
              church's highest authority - says that is not
              good enough.

              In a letter to the president and Mr Stambuli
              the church says the debate could have been
              curtailed had the president himself came out
              clean on the issue.

              The church says: "Our humble request is that
              you, Mr President, simply declare your decision
              not to seek a third term and we believe this
              matter will be put to rest."

              'Democratic values'

              The church says its opposition to Mr Muluzi's
              third term bid is not a judgment on his
              effectiveness as president. It says the reason
              for its opposition to the third term is to ensure
              that democratic values that Malawians sought
              in 1994 are upheld.

              But despite the general opposition to the third
              term issue, UDF leaders have stepped up the
              unofficial campaign for the bid. Special songs
              beseaching Mr Muluzi to stay put have been

              Mr Muluzi himself, although he has not openly
              made his stand clear on the issue, has never
              cautioned his cadres, heightening speculation
              that this is a calculated move to make it seem
              as if it has come from the grassroots.

              However, the recent capitulation of his
              Zambian counterpart Frederick Chiluba on the
              third term issue and Mozambican President
              Joachim Chissano's announcement that he
              would not seek another term could leave Mr
              Muluzi isolated under pressure to discard the
              third term idea.
            • Christine Chumbler
              Malawi s treason trial judge resigns By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre A high-profile treason trial in Malawi, in which four people are being accused of plotting
              Message 6 of 26 , Nov 6, 2001
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                Malawi's treason trial
                judge resigns

                By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

                A high-profile treason trial in Malawi, in which
                four people are being accused of plotting to
                overthrow the government of President Bakili
                Muluzi, will have to start again following the
                sudden withdrawal of presiding judge, Justice
                Anaclet Chipeta.

                Mr Chipeta is himself facing court proceedings
                on charges of issuing judgements favourable to
                opposition parties.

                With two other judges, Justices Dunstain
                Mwaungulu and George Chimasula Phiri, Mr
                Chipeta is scheduled to appear before
                parliament in Lilongwe on Tuesday at the start
                of their impeachment proceedings.

                The impeachment
                follows complaints by
                the ruling United
                Democratic Front, UDF,
                that the three senior
                judges were working in
                cahoots with the

                New trial

                There were emotional scenes and a near
                fracas in the High Court in Blantyre on Monday
                as the judge announced his withdrawal from
                the case.

                He told the shocked courtroom that he could
                not continue with the treason case when he
                himself was on trial.

                "I can't put everybody on hold as I am
                preparing my own defence before parliament,"
                he said.

                Mr Chipeta also said that however he directed
                the jury in the case, both parties would be

                He therefore said the safest way forward was
                to withdraw from the case and hand it over to
                another judge.

                Everybody in the packed courtroom held their
                breath as the judge went on to explain that
                this means the case should start afresh with a
                new jury and a new judge and that the state
                should recall all the 15 witnesses.

                Shocked indignation

                Soon after the judge made his ruling, all the
                four suspected coup-plotters and their lawyers
                reacted with shocked indignation.

                Alleged coup leader Sudi Adak Sulaimana told
                journalists he would rather rot in jail than come
                back to court after another judge is appointed.

                "We are being
                persecuted," he said.
                "How can we endure all
                that once more
                because parliament
                wants to interfere with
                the judiciary?"

                Mr Sulaimana has said
                that the treason trial
                itself was a plot to
                discredit Malawi's
                opposition leader.

                He claims the
                government had offered him money and his
                freedom if he promised to say National
                Democratic Alliance leader Brown Mpinganjira
                was behind the attempted coup.

                Near tears

                Mr Sulaimana's co-accused, soldier Moses
                Bwanali, in near tears, said his wife had given
                birth to his baby while he was in prison.

                He said since the case was nearing its end, he
                thought he would be able to see his baby since
                he said he was convinced he was innocent.

                Defence lawyer Fabiano
                Mzumara told BBC News
                Online he would apply
                for bail because the
                latest developments
                were not his clients'

                "The court might take a
                long time to appoint a
                new judge so my
                clients, if they will be kept in prison, will suffer
                for no reason of their own making," he said.


                Director of Public Prosecution Fahad Assani
                said he was totally taken by surprise with
                Justice Chipeta's ruling.

                "I need more time to find out the way
                forward," he told BBC News Online.

                Meanwhile another High Court judge, Bathiel
                Chiudza Banda, slapped Parliament with an
                injunction, restraining MPs from summoning the
                three judges.

                In a strongly-worded ruling, Justice Banda
                asked where Malawi's young democracy was
                going when even judges could be threatened in
                their job.

                "I am granting the injunction in the national
                interest," he said.

                In yet another twist, Speaker of Parliament
                Sam Mpasu told Monday's sitting of parliament
                that the three judges would no longer be
                summoned because the Judicial Service
                Commission had appeal to him not to call the
                judges until the Commission investigates the
                three judges' alleged misconduct.

                It is not clear what this means for Justice
                Chipeta's resignation.
              • Christine Chumbler
                Zimbabwe cracks down on illegal journalists Harare | Thursday ZIMBABWEAN authorities are searching for several foreign journalists who entered the country as
                Message 7 of 26 , Jan 24, 2002
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                  Zimbabwe cracks down on
                  'illegal' journalists

                  Harare | Thursday

                  ZIMBABWEAN authorities are searching for several foreign
                  journalists who entered the country as tourists in defiance of a
                  ban on most visiting correspondents, a senior government official
                  said on Thursday.
                  The state controlled daily Herald said that its "investigations"
                  established that reporters from Britain's Guardian and Telegraph
                  newspapers, the London-based Economist, South Africa's
                  Sunday Times "and a few other foreign scribes" had declared
                  themselves as holidaymakers on arrival here and were illegally
                  working as journalists.
                  Several of the "illegal" journalists have been covering the
                  worsening repression in the run-up to presidential elections in
                  March and their reports have been published under their names in
                  their newspapers.
                  "Our net is closing in on them and we should be able to account
                  for all of them by the end of the day," said George Charamba,
                  secretary for the department of information.
                  Visiting journalists have to obtain accreditation from the
                  information department before being allowed into the country.
                  Early last year, the regime ended its previously open policy and
                  only a handful of foreign correspondents have been granted
                  It says the BBC is "banned" from coming here.
                  "What makes the whole development quite sinister is the fact that
                  these journalists have got intelligence cover from a hostile state
                  because they are on assignment," Charamba said, without
                  The Herald claimed the journalists were staying in hotels and
                  "MDC safe houses."
                  The announcement came as deepening confusion surrounded
                  controversial information minister Jonathan Moyo's attempt to
                  introduce new press laws that will allow the regime to shut down
                  the country's independent press, stop its journalists working, and
                  cut off reporting to the outside world of the escalating crisis in the
                  Wednesday's debate on the bill was delayed for the fourth time in
                  just over a week, amid signs of angry opposition to the bill from
                  MPs of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
                  Meanwhile, a journalist from Madagascar who had planned to
                  spend her vacation with friends in Zimbabwe was turned away
                  when she arrived at the airport in Harare, she said from
                  Nivo Sahondra Randriamasimanana, a journalist for a French
                  magazine, Capricorne, was allowed to stay at the airport only a
                  few minutes before being put on the first plane leaving for
                  Passports from Madagascar state the holder's profession, and
                  when immigration authorities saw the word "journalist" they did
                  not even ask whether she had come to Zimbabwe for work or for
                  tourism, she said.
                  "They really treated me like a criminal," Randriamasimanana
                  said. Tourists to Zimbabwe can normally pay for a visa at the
                  airport in Harare, but journalists coming to report on the country
                  must apply one month in advance from their home country for a
                  special visa. - Sapa, AFP


                  And in South Africa, safety issues in schools are finally getting attention...

                • Christine Chumbler
                  EU poised for action on Zimbabwe Mugabe: Invited observers but excluded Britain European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are discussing new UK
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jan 28, 2002
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                    EU poised for action on

                    Mugabe: Invited observers but excluded Britain
                    European Union foreign ministers meeting in
                    Brussels are discussing new UK proposals on
                    possible sanctions against Zimbabwe.

                    Britain was expected to press its EU partners
                    to impose limited sanctions if Harare does not
                    meet demands for monitors for the 9-10 March
                    presidential elections.

                    Reports suggest several
                    EU members are
                    reluctant to impose
                    sanctions, such as the
                    freezing of assets
                    abroad, arguing it would
                    give Mr Mugabe's
                    government an excuse
                    to exclude international

                    But state media in Zimbabwe said Mr Mugabe
                    had invited foreign observers to the elections,
                    including observers from the EU, but would not
                    allow observers from Britain, whom he accused
                    of backing the opposition.

                    UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said ahead of
                    Monday's meeting that it was time to put
                    President Mugabe "on the spot" amid mounting
                    violence ahead of the election.

                    "The tragedy unfolding in Zimbabwe is driven
                    by one man's ruthless campaign to hang on to
                    power whatever the cost," Mr Straw told the
                    Guardian newspaper.

                    EU foreign ministers are
                    considering four
                    options, ranging from no
                    change in policy at all
                    to an immediate
                    imposition of sanctions.

                    Correspondents say the
                    most likely outcome will
                    be somewhere between
                    these two extremes.

                    In a letter sent to Brussels a week ago,
                    Zimbabwe committed itself to inviting

                    And Mr Mugabe was quoted as saying in a
                    meeting on Monday with state media reporters
                    that Nigeria and the South African
                    Development Community could send observers

                    Observers from the Commonwealth, the EU -
                    excluding Britain - and other regional and
                    international organisations could go at a later,
                    unspecified date, he said.


                    Over the past few days the British Government
                    has backed away from the idea of trying to get
                    EU sanctions imposed at once.

                    But Mr Straw said on
                    Sunday that Mr
                    Mugabe's actions had
                    sullied the reputation
                    of the whole of
                    southern Africa.

                    "Clearly what has been
                    happening in Zimbabwe
                    is totally
                    unacceptable," he said.

                    "And I think the word
                    the Prime Minister
                    [Tony Blair] used last
                    Wednesday was that
                    Mugabe's actions were a disgrace to his own

                    EU foreign ministers are expected to debate
                    cutting aid to the troubled country and may
                    ban Zimbabwean governmental figures from

                    The EU has repeatedly urged Mr Mugabe to
                    end political violence.

                    It wants him to organise fair presidential
                    elections, ensure freedom of the press and to
                    end the continued illegal occupations of
                    white-owned farms by so-called war veterans.

                    It is also concerned about new proposed
                    legislation that would severely censor the
                    country's media and restrict foreign reporting
                    in the country.

                    The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group
                    could decide to recommend Zimbabwe's
                    suspension when it meets on Wednesday.

                    But BBC diplomatic correspondent Barnaby
                    Mason says a full decision cannot be made
                    until the Commonwealth heads of state summit
                    at the beginning of March.


                    Mt Kilimanjaro Is Melting To Its Death

                    The East African Standard (Nairobi)
                    January 27, 2002
                    Posted to the web January 27, 2002
                    An astonishing development is changing one of Africa's most remarkable land marks beyond recognition. The ice cap on Mt Kilimanjaro, one of the few places in the world where ice and snow can be seen on the Equator, is expected to disappear in the next 12 years. Staff writer Mildred Ngesa and photographer Blasto Ogindo recently visited the mountain on a fact finding mission.
                    Guide: "Leo mlima umenuna (Today the mountain is annoyed)!"
                    Writer: "Mlima umenuna? (The mountain annoyed?)"
                    Guide: "Ndio, mlima umekasirika, kwa maana umejificha nyuma ya mawingu, hautaki kuonekana! (Yes the mountain is annoyed and that is why it is hiding behind the clouds, refusing to be seen)"
                    It was a warm and cloudy morning in the serenity of Moshi town. The beauty of Moshi, accentuated by the domineering presence of Mt Kilimanjaro, is an enduring joy to the visitor.
                    No matter which side of Moshi you may be, waking up to the view of the magnificent mountain recalls a popular refrain in these parts: I woke up and kissed the Kilimanjaro good morning.
                    Today, however, on the first morning of our assignment, there was no visible Kilimanjaro to kiss. Thick clouds had assembled above and around the giant mountain, forming a protective cover.
                    "As the day unfolds, the mountain may be kind enough to peek through the clouds, a very beautiful sight," Nechi Limo, our guide, told us.
                    True to his word, the mountain broke into view as dawn gave way to a bright new day. A few hours towards midday, Africa's highest mountain stood tall and proud in all its glory, with the twin peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi filling up the view.
                    Sheets of snow from one of the peaks roll down the mountainside but soon disappear into crevices before reaching the base of the mountain.
                    Unknown to many, the popular shiny ice cap on Kilimanjaro is actually on Kibo peak. Mawenzi peak does not have any snow or ice left, although years back it too wore a shiny ice cap.
                    "Believe it or not, Mawenzi is now bare without any snow or ice on it. About 15 years ago, the ice cap was there. The same case applies to Mount Meru in Arusha which also had an ice cap once upon a time. Now, Mount Meru has no evidence of ice on it," says Philemon Ndesamburo, Moshi's Member of Parliament.
                    Ndesamburo, who is also the shadow Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources in the opposition CHADEMA party, is one of the few Tanzanian leaders who can authoritatively talk about Mount Kilimanjaro's melting ice cap.
                    A native of the old Moshi District located directly at the foot of the mountain, Ndesamburo says a lot of changes have taken place on the mountain since his childhood.
                    "When I was a young boy in the village, we seldom saw the whole of Mt Kilimanjaro throughout the year. Most of the time, the whole mountain was covered in snow and the ice cap was so thick that the whole mountain would be engulfed in dense clouds for months," he says.
                    Today, it is possible to view the whole mountain on a daily basis. Because of the reduction of the ice and snow on the mountain, the cloud cover around it is not as thick and persistent as before.
                    "Our government dismisses the melting of the ice cap as propaganda by the western media. If this is so, why can't the government do its own research then come up with a report on the exact situation at the mountain?" he challenges.
                    Last year, American Professor Lonnie Thompson from Ohio State University went with a group of scientists to Moshi to find out more on the melting ice cap. The group intended to fly a balloon atop the mountain so as to acquire a least 50 tonnes of ice from the mountain to facilitate their research.
                    "Surprisingly, the government stopped the researchers saying that the balloon flights would scare away animals. That was a petty excuse," Ndesamburo says. Thompson and his colleagues, however, carried on with their research and established that the ice cap was melting fast. It is estimated that the whole cap will be completely gone in 12 years.
                    "We have the results of Prof Thompson research. Eighty years ago, there was about 12.2 square kilometres of ice cap. By the year 2,000, there was only 2.2 square kilometres of ice cap left," the legislator says.
                    These are the findings that prompted Prof Thompson to lead an international campaign in an effort to make scientists as well as environmentalists aware of this turn of events.
                    Thompson research also confirms that Peru's Quelccaya's ice cap in the Southern Andes mountains has also shrunk by at least 20 per cent since 1963. More troubling, however, is Thompson observation that the rate of retreat for one of the main glaciers flowing out of the ice cap Qori Kalis has been 32 times greater in the last three years than it was in the period between 1963 and 1978.
                    In his report, Thompson states: "Officials worry that the loss of the ice cap atop Kilimanjaro will be devastating to the thriving trade that brings people to the mountain each year and fuels the country's economy."
                    Ndesamburo concurs with these findings and adds that a number of seasonal rivers that used to flow from atop the mountain to the surrounding areas have dried up.
                    "Moshi has a population of over 200,000 people most of whom are farmers. This is the area where the bulk of Tanzania's coffee is produced. Banana farming is also vibrant. However, with these rivers drying up, there is a big disaster waiting to happen," he says.
                    A spot check around Marangu, Himo and various villages at the foot of the Kilimanjaro reveals a number of rivers have dried up. From the Mawenzi peak, rivers Una, Monjo and Ona are no longer reliable to the villages around it while rivers Karanga, Weruweru and Kikafau, flowing from the Kibo peak, have also dried up.
                    Going further east towards the Rombo side of the mountain, the ice cap is completely gone. Gone too is the giant river Ungwasi, a main source of water for the people of Rombo.
                    Even more disturbing is the gradual disappearance of rain forests that are crucial to agriculture.
                    "We have a major problem of de-forestation here. All the saw mills operating in this area should be closed down. The government knows about the destruction of forests. Sadly, those doing this are destroying rain forests which are crucial to our survival," Ndesamburo argues.
                    We established that tree felling around Mount Kilimanjaro is rife. Also contributing to the degradation of the mountain are fires that ravage the place during the dry season. Some of these fires are accidentally started while others are arson attacks for various reasons. Global warming is also blamed for the melting of the ice cap.
                    Ndesamburo says the warming is "due to excessive carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere from factories that use gas, oil and coal."
                    The tragedy is that few Tanzanians truly understand what is happening to the ice cap and how it could affect their lives.
                  • Christine Chumbler
                    MDC details fraud claims in presidential poll Stuffed ballots, missing ballots, attacks on polling agents ¯ it s all in the opposition s report on how the
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 26, 2002
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                      MDC details fraud claims in presidential poll

                      Stuffed ballots, missing ballots, attacks on polling agents ― it's all in the
                      opposition's report on how the party says President Robert Mugabe's government
                      "manipulated the electoral process"


                      Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
                      (MDC), rejected the results of the March 9-11 poll shortly after Mugabe was
                      declared the winner.

                      But the inch-thick report released on Tuesday provides the most detailed analysis
                      yet aiming to support Tsvangirai's claim that the election was "stolen" and
                      "massively rigged".

                      The party found large differences between the number of ballots tallied at polling
                      centres and the number of votes cast according to the official results.

                      According to the party's count, 185 961 ballots went missing in 48 constituencies.
                      The number of ballots recorded at polling stations in those areas was higher than the
                      number announced when the registrar-general gave the results, the report said.

                      The opposite happened in 72 other constituencies. The number of votes announced
                      by the registrar general was as much as 246 445 votes higher than the figures
                      announced at the counting centres, according to MDC.

                      Official results gave Mugabe 426 454 more votes than Tsvangirai, extending his
                      22-year grip on power by a further six years.

                      The party said it had still been unable to
                      compile a complete national report on the
                      election because pro-Mugabe militants
                      had blocked their polling agents from
                      monitoring 40% of rural voting stations.

                      "The report covers only the initial phases
                      of information gathering because many of
                      the polling agents are still detained by
                      the police or their whereabouts unknown
                      as a result of intimidation or related
                      reasons," the party said.

                      Mugabe's government has not responded
                      to most of the allegations made by the
                      MDC and has rejected reports from
                      observer missions ― including local
                      independent observers, regional
                      parliamentarians, the Commonwealth and
                      most western nations ― which found the
                      polls were neither free nor fair.

                      At least 42 people have died since the
                      start of this year in political violence,
                      most of them MDC supporters.

                      The MDC has reported two of its polling
                      agents killed either by soldiers or
                      pro-Mugabe militia.

                      Thousands more have suffered beatings
                      or other intimidation, according to rights

                      In its report, the MDC said 83 of its
                      campaign rallies were disrupted or cancelled by police or the militias, who have set
                      up bases around the country during the last two years.

                      Among the other irregularities cited by the party were:

                      no opposition access to state media, which operate the only radio and
                      television networks in Zimbabwe;
                      a 40%- reduction of polling stations in urban areas, where the MDC enjoys
                      most of its support;
                      reduced numbers of independent observers, with only 430 domestic observers
                      granted accreditation, of the 12 000 who applied;
                      Mugabe's issuing of new electoral regulations right up to the day before the
                      voting began;
                      new laws that curtailed freedoms of expression and association;
                      and a delay in opening polling stations on a court-ordered third day of voting in

                      Some African nations have backed the results, including South Africa, Kenya,
                      Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia, even though South Africa and Nigeria were
                      part of a three-nation team that subsequently suspended Zimbabwe from the
                      54-nation Commonwealth for a year.

                      Other African nations, including Ghana and Senegal, have joined Western capitals in
                      criticizing the polls, saying they failed to meet democratic standards.


                      African leaders seek aid

                      Leaders of 21 African states have gathered in
                      Abuja in Nigeria to fine-tune a plan to finance
                      economic development in the continent, ahead
                      at a meeting of the world's biggest
                      industrialised countries.

                      The plan, dubbed the New Partnership for
                      African Development (Nepad), is the brainchild
                      of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and
                      Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

                      The BBC's Elizabeth
                      Blunt says African
                      countries are counting
                      on the plan to
                      re-engage potential
                      donors and investors.

                      It is to be discussed by
                      G8 leaders, who will lay
                      out their response -
                      including financing to
                      tackle the Aids crisis
                      which affects tens of millions of Africans - in

                      South Africa has requested that the Western
                      countries, on whose money the plan depends,
                      should not victimise the whole continent
                      following the election in Zimbabwe.


                      The summit aims to develop in more detail the
                      ideas drawn up by the 16 member states of
                      Nepad before a visit to Nigeria by Canadian
                      Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is due to
                      host the next G8 meeting.

                      It hopes to persuade Western countries and
                      companies to invest $64bn (£45bn) a year in
                      Africa, targeting economic growth of 7%, in
                      exchange for promises that good governance
                      and transparency will be encouraged.

                      On the agenda are
                      subjects including
                      peace and security,
                      agriculture and market
                      access, capital flows,
                      economic and
                      corporate governance,
                      infrastructure and
                      human development.

                      But some fear that the
                      recent election in
                      Zimbabwe has put
                      that investment at

                      Western governments,
                      together with a clutch
                      of non-governmental
                      organisations including
                      the Commonwealth,
                      cast doubt on the
                      legitimacy of the
                      President Robert Mugabe's victory.

                      Zimbabwe's neighbours, however, were broadly
                      in agreement that Mr Mugabe won fairly.

                      Punish one, punish all

                      Jacob Zuma, the South African deputy
                      president, warned against "collective

                      "There is a tendency to
                      look at one country and
                      say that it is every
                      country in Africa... to
                      almost want to punish
                      all countries in Africa
                      collectively," Mr Zuma
                      told reporters in South

                      "Zimbabwe was such an
                      example. If one country
                      has done certain
                      things... you must not
                      try to also punish other

                      African leaders should
                      not be expected to be
                      held responsible for
                      bringing Zimbabwe into
                      line, he warned.

                      "If a country like France
                      misbehaved, no-one
                      would say that
                      everything is in the
                      hands of (British prime
                      minister) Tony Blair," he
                    • Christine Chumbler
                      Malawi food crisis plan to cost $150-million Malawi wants to spend 6,8 billion kwacha ($150-million) to combat its devastating hunger crisis, a statement from
                      Message 10 of 26 , Apr 3, 2002
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                        Malawi food crisis plan to cost $150-million

                        Malawi wants to spend 6,8 billion kwacha ($150-million) to combat its devastating
                        hunger crisis, a statement from Vice President Justin Malewezi's office said on


                        The statement, issued after Malewezi held discussions with donors in the
                        administrative capital Lilongwe this week, said half the amount would address
                        medium-term food security issues.

                        Assistance to flood victims and cholera control will each cost five million dollars, the
                        statement added, without saying how the programs would be funded.

                        The food crisis began in part last year, when the worst floods in living memory struck
                        the nation. Drought this year has caused crops to fail, leaving the nation with severe
                        food shortages.

                        Malnutrition has left the population more
                        vulnerable to disease, including cholera,
                        which has claimed 503 lives since the
                        outbreak began in November.

                        More than 300 people starved to death in
                        January and February alone, according to
                        civic and church groups.

                        Malawi also needs to replenish its
                        strategic grain reserves, after 60 000 tons
                        of the staple maize were sold to Kenya last year in a corruption scandal.

                        Spending will also include a supplementary feeding program for the chronically ill, the
                        elderly and other vulnerable groups. Agriculture secretary Anddrina Mchiela was
                        quoted by the media on Saturday as saying that the government has responded to
                        the worst hunger in living memory by supporting supplementary feeding programs for
                        pregnant women and children under five.

                        Up to 76% of the country's 11-million people have no food, according to official
                        figures. - Sapa-AFP


                        Zimbabwe media chief

                        Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief
                        executive Alum Mpofu has resigned amid a
                        government inquiry into his sexuality.

                        The state-run corporation said Mr Mpofu was
                        leaving for personal reasons and his resignation
                        would take effect immediately.

                        He was quoted by state-run media as saying
                        his decision followed reports of impropriety on
                        his part.

                        The government launched an inquiry after
                        allegations that Mr Mpofu was caught "in a
                        compromising situation" with another man at a
                        night club.

                        President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly
                        denounced homosexuals, describing them as
                        "worse than pigs and dogs".

                        Mr Mpofu, who is 43 and married with three
                        children, was recruited to the ZBC from the
                        South African Broadcasting Corporation last

                        Last month, Zimbabwe enacted a new law
                        curbing the activities of independent and
                        foreign news media.
                      • Christine Chumbler
                        Blantyre Embarks On US $14m Power Line Project African Eye News Service (Nelspruit) April 10, 2002 Posted to the web April 10, 2002 Raphael Mweninguwe
                        Message 11 of 26 , Apr 11, 2002
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                          Blantyre Embarks On US $14m Power Line Project
                          African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)
                          April 10, 2002
                          Posted to the web April 10, 2002
                          Raphael Mweninguwe
                          Malawians won't be left in the dark much longer once the country's electricity supply company completes a US$14 million project on its power lines.
                          The country's political capital Lilongwe and commercial capital Blantyre have been particularly plagued by frequent power blackouts mainly because of silt build up at the Nkula and Tedzani hydro-electric power stations.
                          "Tedzani power station has been out since November last year," said chief executive of the Electricity Corporation of Malawi, Douw van Wyk.
                          He said a British based company had been contracted to rehabilitate transmission power lines at a cost of US$6 million and US$8 million in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively.
                          "Work has already begun in Lilongwe and is expected to be finished sometime this year," he said.
                          About two years ago Malawi and Mozambique entered an agreement to share power. Nothing has come of the agreement as yet but Van Wyk said the two sides were still negotiating.
                          He said that both countries were keen to implement the project because it would boost power supply in the region but that it was expensive.
                          "It is expected to cost over US$40 million and is expected to be finalised in November 2004," he said.


                          Officials Adjourn Talks in Zimbabwe

                          By Angus Shaw
                          Associated Press Writer
                          Wednesday, April 10, 2002; 7:24 PM

                          HARARE, Zimbabwe ** Ruling party and opposition officials adjourned talks Wednesday with an
                          agreement to reconvene next month, despite gaping differences over how to resolve their dispute over
                          last month's elections.

                          In a brief statement, the two sides said they adopted a set of procedural rules and "an agenda for
                          dialogue" for the talks scheduled to resume May 13.

                          The rules said an objective of the talks was to achieve tolerance of divergent views, and the top agenda
                          item was a discussion on the legitimacy of the March 9-11 polls, an apparent concession by the ruling
                          party to keep the talks alive.

                          The government has dismissed opposition calls for a rerun of the presidential balloting, which the
                          government said President Robert Mugabe won.

                          The opposition Movement for Democratic Change insisted at the opening of talks Monday that the
                          nation's political stalemate could only be resolved by new elections.

                          Several independent observer groups have said the elections were deeply flawed. The United States
                          condemned the vote and the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies suspended Zimbabwe for
                          a year.

                          The state Herald newspaper, a government publication, accused the opposition Wednesday of
                          "blackmail" for refusing to accept the poll results and forcing a standoff that jeopardized trade and
                          investment in Africa.

                          "The MDC should be told in no uncertain terms that it should accept its defeat and settle for its role as an
                          opposition party," it said.

                          Official results showed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai losing with 1,258,401 votes to Mugabe's

                          Tsvangirai condemned the tally as rigged and tainted by political violence and demanded an immediate
                          end to state-orchestrated reprisals against his supporters.

                          Officials from Nigeria and South Africa were mediating the talks.

                          The opposition argued Monday the ruling party's participation in the talks was tacit admittance the rigged
                          elections had plunged the country into a deep crisis.

                          Mugabe, 78, has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and vowed to crush any protests against his
                          election victory.

                          Police and troops blocked protests in major cities organized Saturday by a reform alliance and arrested
                          64 demonstrators.

                          Since the beginning of the year, political violence has claimed 48 lives, 31 of them opposition supporters,
                          according to local human rights groups. Hundreds more people suffered assaults, death threats, torture
                          and evictions from their homes, mostly at the hands of ruling party militants, since the poll.
                        • Christine Chumbler
                          Journalist Killed in Troubling Circumstances Reporters sans frontières (Paris) PRESS RELEASE August 12, 2002 Posted to the web August 12, 2002 Paris Reporters
                          Message 12 of 26 , Aug 13, 2002
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                            Journalist Killed in Troubling

                            Reporters sans frontières
                            PRESS RELEASE
                            August 12, 2002
                            Posted to the web August 12, 2002


                            Reporters Without Borders today expressed its concern
                            about the death of freelance journalist Don Kulapani on 8
                            August during the hold-up of a bar in the capital, and called
                            on the authorities to conduct a full investigation into this
                            killing, which has coincided with attacks on journalists by
                            the ruling party.

                            "We ask you to fully clarify the circumstances of the
                            journalist's death and to establish that it was not linked to
                            the exercise of his profession", Reporters Without Borders
                            secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Interior
                            Minister Monjeza Maluza. "The fact that it coincides with
                            recent attacks on journalists by the UDF's youth league is
                            troubling, to say the least", Ménard said in the letter, which
                            requested that Reporters Without Borders be kept
                            informed about the investigation's progress.

                            A freelancer who used to work for The Chronicle
                            newspaper, Kulapani was in a bar in the capital, Lilongwe,
                            on 8 August when four armed men entered and opened
                            fire, hitting the journalist. They then stabbed him many
                            times. The assailants took cases of beer, musical
                            equipment and cash from the till before making off.
                            Kulapani died as a result of these injuries.

                            The journalist's death comes soon after the release of a
                            statement by the ruling UDF denying news media claims
                            that it had a unit tasked with silencing investigative
                            journalists who "embarrass" the government. In early
                            August, the National Media Institute of South Africa
                            claimed to have discovered a UDF plot to attack
                            journalists of the Daily Times, Weekly Chronicle, Pride
                            and BBC for having accused the UDF of intending to
                            change the constitution to allow President Bakili Muluzi to
                            run for a third term in 2004.

                            Young activists have been implicated in beatings of
                            journalists who support the opposition party, especially
                            journalists working for the Chronicle, Kulapani's former
                            employer. The Daily Times had already alleged in
                            November 2001 that the UDF had complied a list of
                            journalists who "discredit the party" and that it intended to
                            use its youth wing to attack them.


                            Tension Rises on Zimbabwe Farms

                            By Angus Shaw
                            Associated Press Writer
                            Tuesday, August 13, 2002; 8:56 AM

                            HARARE, Zimbabwe ** White
                            farmers facing eviction reported
                            Tuesday a wave of threats and
                            intimidation by government officials
                            and ruling party militants trying to
                            force them off their land.

                            Farmers leaders said five farmers in
                            southeastern Zimbabwe left their
                            land early Tuesday after local
                            officials, armed police and soldiers visited their
                            farms and told them they were
                            violating the eviction laws.

                            No physical action was taken, but five farmers went
                            to stay with neighbors
                            not affected by eviction orders, the Commercial
                            Farmers Union, representing
                            4,000 white farmers, said.

                            In other incidents in the north of the country,
                            militants threatened violence if
                            farmers did not abandon their properties, said
                            Justice for Agriculture, a group
                            calling for the evictions to be challenged in

                            A black settler on one of the farms in the Banket
                            tobacco and corn district
                            fired a pistol in the air in an effort to drive the
                            owner and his black workers
                            away Monday, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for
                            the group.

                            In other incidents near Harare, a black manager
                            employed by a white farmer
                            was assaulted by militants Monday and three other
                            farmers were under
                            pressure from black settlers to leave, she said.

                            A deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave
                            their land expired last
                            week as part of the government's often violent land
                            reform program. But the
                            government has taken no direct action to enforce the
                            eviction order.

                            The government says its program was a final effort
                            to correct colonial era
                            imbalances in land ownership. Critics say it is part
                            of the increasingly
                            authoritarian government's effort to maintain power
                            amid more than two years
                            of economic chaos and political violence mainly
                            blamed on the ruling party.

                            The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
                            Association, which has led
                            the often violent occupation of white-owned farms
                            over the past two years,
                            said its members would not take the law into their
                            own hands to remove
                            defiant farmers.

                            "It is now the responsibility of the government of
                            Zimbabwe to make sure the
                            laws of Zimbabwe are obeyed in all respects,"
                            chairman Patrick Nyaruwata

                            President Robert Mugabe said Monday he would not
                            tolerate opposition to
                            his plans to redistribute white-owned farms to
                            blacks. He said he would not
                            allow whites to retain massive farms, though he said
                            he was willing to let
                            "loyal" farmers keep some land.

                            Mugabe did not refer to evictions in a second speech
                            marking a Defense
                            Forces Day holiday Tuesday.

                            He said the land redistribution program was "being
                            finalized." Military
                            personnel had been given farms and more would
                            continue to get land.
                          • Christine Chumbler
                            Malawi floods kill four, over 15 000 homeless Blantyre 06 January 2003 11:50 Floods in Malawi have left four people dead and more than 15 000 people homeless
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jan 7, 2003
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                              Malawi floods kill four, over 15 000

                              January 2003 11:50

                              Floods in Malawi have left four people dead and
                              more than 15 000 people
                              homeless while causing extensive damage to
                              desperately-needed maize
                              crops, relief officials said on Sunday.

                              "The situation is very bad. Extensive flooding has
                              taken place," said Lucius
                              Chikni, commissioner of disaster and relief.

                              "Thousands of people are homeless and there has
                              been extensive crop
                              damage," he added.

                              Two people died when heavy rains hit the south of
                              the country on Thursday,
                              caused four big rivers to burst their banks. Two
                              others died last week when
                              flooding occurred in the north of the country,
                              leaving 290 families homeless.

                              The main highway connecting the commercial centre
                              Blantyre to Lilongwe
                              the administrative capital, was reported to have
                              been heavily damaged in
                              some sections.
                              High tension power lines were brought down by the
                              storm, disrupting power
                              supply in Blantyre on Sunday for several hours.

                              Chikuni said he and Poverty and Disaster Management
                              Minister Lee Mlanga
                              on Sunday flew by helicopter to the affected
                              lakeshore districts of Ntcheu
                              and Dedza, to conduct an assessment of the

                              He said most of the flooding had been caused by
                              tropical cyclone Delfina
                              which hit the country last week, and was aggravated
                              by environmental

                              The floods are likely to increase hardship in a
                              country where some three
                              million people are threatened by famine.

                              Floods last year were partly responsible for
                              causing the current food
                              shortages in the southern African country. Malawi
                              needs 600 000 tons of
                              maize, its national staple, to stave off famine. -


                              Finance Minister Probed Over Sale of Maize

                              UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
                              January 6, 2003
                              Posted to the web January 6, 2003


                              Malawi's finance minister is expected to come under investigation for
                              involvement in the controversial sale of the country's strategic maize
                              reserves just months before widespread crop failure, officials told
                              IRIN on

                              With 3.3 million Malawians facing hunger, President Bakili Muluzi last
                              appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged
                              mismanagement of the state-run Agriculture Development and Marketing
                              Corporation (ADMARC).

                              The commission is expected to investigate whether Finance Minister
                              Friday Jumbe, who was then head of ADMARC, had "unduly" benefited
                              from the sale of the maize.

                              "Minister Jumbe is just one of the officials who will be investigated.
                              There is
                              to date no evidence of guilt or innocence. The commission is merely a
                              fact-finding commission. It is our mandate to find out if Jumbe
                              benefited personally from his involvement in the management or sale of
                              the said maize," commission chairman Khuze Kapeta told IRIN.

                              Almost 160,000 mt of grain was sold from the strategic grain reserves
                              August 2000, of which 60,000 mt was exported to Kenya.

                              This was after unprecedented floods earlier in the year had ravaged
                              production. The floods, followed by drought, left Malawi with a
                              shortfall of
                              about 480,000 mt and made it one of the hardest hit of the six
                              African countries - along with Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland
                              and Lesotho - that are struggling to cope with their worst food
                              in recent years.

                              The government has blamed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for
                              forcing it to sell at least part of the reserve in 2000 to reduce debt,
                              accusation denied by the IMF.

                              The IMF's countered that Malawi sold the maize after advice from a
                              consultant, hired by the government in a European Union-funded

                              In August last year, former Poverty Alleviation Minister Leonard
                              was sacked by Muluzi for alleged corruption in the sale of the

                              Magulama was named in an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report into the
                              matter which accused him of acquiring 300 mt of maize without paying

                              It also named several parliamentarians, from both the opposition and
                              ruling party, who bought maize from the strategic grain reserves for
                              in different markets.

                              ACB Deputy Director, Alex Nampota, told IRIN: "We conducted our
                              investigations in the most transparent way and our final report
                              reflected our
                              findings. But the fact that a commission of inquiry has been set up to
                              further investigate the sale of the maize suggests that there are

                              "The commission will hopefully satisfy those who are still worried
                              about the
                              sale of the reserves. It goes toward showing ordinary Malawians who
                              suffering that the government is doing something to be rid of
                              Nampota said.


                              Zimbabwe food riots

                              Four police officers have been injured in a
                              dormitory town near Harare, when youths
                              attacked people queuing for food on Sunday,
                              police have said.

                              In the second city of Bulawayo, there is tight
                              security around the courthouse, where 39
                              people are appearing in connection with food
                              riots on Friday, reports the French news
                              agency, AFP.

                              Up to six million
                              people, half of the
                              population, are
                              suffering from food
                              shortages according to
                              aid agencies.

                              Meanwhile, President
                              Robert Mugabe has
                              moved to tighten his
                              control of the main
                              cities, which are
                              opposition strongholds,
                              by announcing that he will appoint governors
                              for both Harare and Bulawayo.

                              Correspondents say that governors enjoy
                              considerable power and they are likely to be
                              used to sideline opposition mayors in both

                              'Green Bombers'

                              Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said that
                              about 200 people were queuing up for
                              mealie-meal, the scare staple food, when a
                              group of youths attacked the police who were
                              controlling the crowd.

                              "In the process of controlling the crowd, some
                              youths came and disrupted the queue resulting
                              in four police officers being injured," Mr
                              Bvudzijena told AFP.

                              Opposition supporters
                              have been prevented
                              from receiving food aid
                              and even from buying
                              food in urban areas,
                              says the Movement for
                              Democratic Change
                              (MDC) and donor

                              But it is reported that
                              activists from Mr
                              Mugabe's Zanu-PF
                              party were behind the
                              disturbances in both
                              the town of Chitungwiza, 23km south of
                              Harare, and Bulawayo.

                              The privately owned Daily News reports that
                              "Green Bombers", graduates of a
                              government-run youth training scheme, were
                              involved in the Chitungwiza riots.

                              The police said they had not identified the

                              In Bulawayo, a group of "war veterans" was
                              dispersed by riot police when they tried to
                              protest outside the courthouse on Monday.

                              State media have accused the "war veterans",
                              who have been used to intimidate opposition
                              supporters, of organising Friday's food riots.

                              They were apparently unhappy at the unfair
                              distribution of food.

                              The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
                              Corporation reported that residents had
                              accused grain board officials of corruptly
                              supplying maize to unscrupulous millers, who
                              then sold it on at exorbitant prices.


                              Zimbabwe's eight largely rural provinces
                              already have governors, who also sit in

                              Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
                              denied that the new governors would make the
                              opposition mayors redundant and said they
                              would coordinate development.

                              Opposition parties point the finger of blame at
                              Mr Mugabe and his government for the food
                              shortages because of disruption caused by his
                              controversial programme of land reform.

                              The president says the cause of the crisis is a
                              combination of a drought and a Western
                              imperialistic plot aimed at keeping power in the
                              hands of Zimbabwe's whites.
                            • Christine Chumbler
                              Vampire fever sweeps Malawi Raphael Tenthani | Blantyre 10 January 2003 09:12 A senior ruling party official was recovering in a hospital on Thursday after
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                Vampire fever sweeps Malawi
                                Raphael Tenthani | Blantyre

                                January 2003 09:12

                                A senior ruling party official was recovering in a
                                hospital on Thursday after
                                being stoned by an angry mob who believed rumours
                                he was harbouring

                                Malawi's government has been campaigning to quell
                                vampire rumours that
                                have spread throughout the impoverished southern
                                African country, saying
                                opposition elements were using the rumours to
                                discredit the ruling party.

                                Eric Chiwaya, a senior official with the United
                                Democratic Front party was
                                badly beaten in the attack on Wednesday night.

                                Hundreds of people from a township south of
                                Blantyre stoned his house and
                                when he tried to escape by car, they stoned him
                                inside the vehicle, he said.

                                Police had to fire shots to disperse the crowd.
                                Rumours had spread through
                                the township that Chiwaya was harbouring vampires
                                and had approached
                                community leaders asking them to let them into the

                                Police said three people had been arrested for
                                inciting violence in the
                                incident. Horrifying stories of vampires attacking
                                villagers in the dead of night
                                and sucking their blood began circulating last
                                month in Malawi.

                                Frightened villagers have beaten to death a man
                                suspected of being a
                                vampire, attacked and nearly lynched three visiting
                                priests and destroyed an
                                aid group's encampment they feared was the
                                vampires' headquarters.

                                President Bakili Muluzi called the rumours
                                unfounded and malicious, and
                                accused unnamed opposition groups of trying to
                                undermine him by saying
                                his government gave aid agencies human blood in
                                exchange for food aid. -


                                White Farmer: Judge Seized Zimbabwe Farm

                                By Angus Shaw
                                Associated Press Writer
                                Friday, January 10, 2003; 9:10 AM

                                HARARE, Zimbabwe – A High Court judge ignored an
                                order by his own court barring him from moving onto
                                a farm
                                confiscated from a white family, the owner of the
                                land said Friday.

                                According to the white farmer, Vernon Nicolle, Judge
                                Hlatshwayo told him he was allocated the land by
                                government under its land reform program
                                commercial farming by blacks.

                                The controversial land reform program, which the
                                government says is a tool to correct colonial era
                                injustices by
                                giving farms to poor, landless blacks, has come
                                under fire for
                                giving many of the prime farms instead to
                                confidantes of
                                longtime President Robert Mugabe.

                                Nicolle obtained a High Court order in September
                                freezing a government eviction notice on his property
                                in Banket, 60 miles northwest of Harare on grounds
                                there were errors in the notice.

                                That order suspended Nicolle's eviction until the
                                government revised the notice. It has not been

                                Accompanied by a police escort, Hlatshwayo moved
                                onto the 900-acre farm last month. He also
                                moved equipment and workers there, according to
                                correspondence to the judge by Nicolle's lawyers.

                                Nicolle, one of the biggest grain producers in the
                                district, is living in his farmhouse on an adjacent 192

                                "This has seriously affected my operations. The
                                eviction was declared invalid and as a judge he should
                                know how the legal system in Zimbabwe works,"
                                Nicolle said Friday.

                                "I'm going to take him to the High Court. We won't
                                stop until we reach the end," he said.

                                Hlatshwayo was not immediately available for
                                comment. Nicolle said when he confronted Hlatshwayo,
                                the judge said he had been allocated the land by the

                                The government has confiscated more than 90 percent
                                of land owned by about 4,000 white farmers
                                under a plans to redistribute it to blacks to farm.

                                At least 6.7 million people, more than half the
                                population, face starvation blamed on erratic rainfall and
                                agricultural disruptions caused by the chaotic land

                                Zimbabwe has been wracked by political and economic
                                turmoil for nearly three years that began with
                                violent farm seizures by ruling party militants.

                                The country is suffering its worst ever economic
                                crisis. Hard currency shortages have caused gas
                                stations to run dry. Corn meal, the staple food,
                                bread, milk, sugar and other commodities are scarce
                                and long lines have become commonplace.

                                Justice for Agriculture reported violent incidents
                                and intimidation have continued against white farmers
                                still on their land or visiting abandoned properties
                                to collect belongings and equipment.

                                It said a woman and her two children were assaulted
                                in northwestern Zimbabwe on Thursday at their

                                Her husband, Alan Parsons, reported to police the
                                identity of the assailant as Themba Mliswa, a ruling
                                party activist and prominent soccer coach who
                                apparently took over the family's farmhouse after they
                                left last year, fearing for their safety.

                                The farm, in the troubled Karoi district 120 miles
                                northwest of Harare, had not been targeted for

                                "When I arrived at the farm, I was approached by
                                Mliswa, who had changed the locks to the house. ...
                                He asked what I was doing on the farm," Parsons


                                China donates 4 500 tons of maize to

                                January 2003 10:58

                                China has donated 4 500 tons of maize to famine-hit
                                Zimbabwe, the
                                state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on

                                The donation of the southern African country's
                                staple food, which was
                                handed over on Thursday, comes at a time the
                                country face a shortfall of
                                well over 300 000 tons of maize between now and
                                March, when the next
                                harvest is due.

                                Around eight-million out of Zimbabwe's 11,6-million
                                people are threatened
                                with famine.

                                It is the hardest-hit out of six southern African
                                countries affected by food
                                shortages caused by drought and unsound government
                                policies. - Sapa-AFP
                              • Christine Chumbler
                                Reporter arrested for interview with a vampire 21 January 2003 09:33 Police in Malawi arrested a radio journalist yesterday for broadcasting an interview with
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                  Reporter arrested for interview with a

                                  January 2003 09:33

                                  Police in Malawi arrested a radio journalist
                                  yesterday for broadcasting an
                                  interview with a man who claimed to have been
                                  attacked by a vampire.

                                  Southern Malawi has been rife with rumours of
                                  blood-sucking vampires,
                                  fuelled by the popular belief that the government
                                  is colluding with vampires
                                  to collect blood for international aid agencies.

                                  A judge later dismissed charges against Maganizo
                                  Mazeze of broadcasting
                                  false information likely to cause public alarm,
                                  after an interview on a local
                                  radio station with a tea-planter from the southern
                                  province of Thyolo.

                                  "I am not bitter with anyone," Mazeze said after
                                  his court appearance. "In
                                  fact, my sojourn in jail has reinforced my resolve
                                  to unearth issues
                                  authorities would otherwise prefer buried."

                                  The police said there was no evidence to support
                                  the interviewee's claims.

                                  A man was recently stoned to death by villagers in
                                  Thyolo after being
                                  suspected of working with vampires. - Guardian


                                  Mugabe party office

                                  Attackers have thrown petrol bombs at a ruling
                                  party office in a suburb of the Zimbabwean
                                  capital, Harare.

                                  One person died and seven people were hurt,
                                  several seriously, say police.

                                  Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said
                                  about 50 young men drove into Harare's
                                  western Kuwadzana township on Monday
                                  night, smashing property and assaulting
                                  pedestrians before throwing petrol bombs at
                                  the offices.

                                  "It's a political attack.
                                  We suspect that it is
                                  related to the
                                  by-election to be held
                                  in the suburb," Mr
                                  Bvudzijena said.

                                  A parliamentary
                                  by-election is
                                  expected to take
                                  place soon, following
                                  the death in police
                                  custody last year of
                                  an opposition
                                  Movement for
                                  Democratic Change (MDC) MP, Learnmore


                                  Police are blaming the attack on opposition
                                  supporters and have made 16 arrests.

                                  Mr Bvudzijena said the
                                  attack appeared aimed
                                  at "provoking political
                                  violence on a wider

                                  MDC officials say it is
                                  the work of militant
                                  supporters of
                                  President Robert

                                  They say Zanu-PF is
                                  waging a violent
                                  campaign to win the
                                  seat in the Kuwadzana constituency by trying
                                  to intimidate voters. The MDC won almost all
                                  urban seats in parliamentary elections in June

                                  Widespread political intimidation and
                                  persecution of opposition supporters has been
                                  reported in recent months.


                                  Last week, MDC MP Job Sikhala and human
                                  rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba said they were
                                  tortured by police while being held in police

                                  Both appeared in court over the weekend and
                                  were then released on bail.

                                  At a news conference in Harare, Mr Sikhala
                                  said he was severely tortured all over his body
                                  "for a solid eight hours" including having
                                  electrodes attached to his genitals.

                                  "They also used planks to beat under my feet
                                  and over the entirity of my body... I am still in

                                  He said he was then forced to drink poison
                                  which they said was urine.

                                  Zimbabwe is in the grip of a major food crisis
                                  affecting more than half of the country's

                                  President Mugabe's government is accused of
                                  withholding food aid from opposition


                                  Zimbabwe distances itself from Moyo's
                                  Richard Thompson

                                  January 2003 12:40

                                  The South African government has "noted and
                                  accepted" the Zimbabwean
                                  government's explanation of remarks by its
                                  information minister -- who
                                  described South Africans as "filthy, recklessly
                                  uncouth and barbaric".

                                  Foreign Affairs representative Ronnie Mamoepa said
                                  on Sunday the South
                                  African government had requested an explanation
                                  from Zimbabwean
                                  authorities regarding Jonathan Moyo's remarks.

                                  Moyo's outburst followed a story in the Sunday
                                  Times of January 12 about
                                  his shopping trip to South Africa, when he spent
                                  large sums on luxury items
                                  while millions of his compatriots face starvation.

                                  In his response to that story, Moyo criticised the
                                  South African media and
                                  South Africans in general, and clearly implied that
                                  President Thabo Mbeki
                                  was not fit to lead the African Renaissance.

                                  "If these people believe they can lead an African
                                  renaissance, then God help
                                  them," Moyo said.

                                  Pretoria's request -- on Tuesday -- for an
                                  explanation from Harare can be
                                  seen as a demarche, in diplomatic terms an extreme
                                  form of criticism.

                                  Harare's reply to that demarche criticises the
                                  Sunday Times for its
                                  "invasion" of Moyo's privacy and "disregard" for
                                  his status as a cabinet

                                  However, it goes on to distance itself from
                                  "inferences" that "cast
                                  aspersions on President Thabo Mbeki's impeccable
                                  credentials as a Pan

                                  "Nothing could be further from the truth," the
                                  Zimbabwean government says
                                  in the statement.

                                  "The Zimbabwe government respects and supports the
                                  role and efforts of His
                                  Excellency President Thabo Mbeki to bring about the
                                  dawn of a new

                                  Mamoepa said the South African government accepted
                                  the reassurance "in
                                  as far as it pertains to the government and people
                                  of South Africa."

                                  Zimbabwe was suspended from the councils of the
                                  Commonwealth -- a
                                  lesser penalty than outright suspension -- after
                                  President Robert Mugabe
                                  was returned to office in 2002 in elections marred
                                  by violence and widely
                                  regarded as rigged.

                                  Mbeki is a member of the "troika" delegated by the
                                  Commonwealth heads of
                                  Government Meeting to consider whether that
                                  suspension should be
                                  continued is to meet again in March.

                                  Mbeki's representative Bheki Khumalo said on
                                  Sunday Moyo's remarks
                                  "would have no bearing on that meeting."

                                  He emphasised that Mbeki would approach the
                                  question with an open mind.

                                  Meanwhile, Moyo blamed the opposition and
                                  disgruntled civil servants on
                                  Sunday for spreading reports of a retirement plan
                                  for Mugabe, accusing
                                  them of treason and agitating for a coup.

                                  "If there is anyone who has hatched a plot to
                                  force the president to step
                                  down they should face the full wrath of the law,"
                                  Moyo told the state Sunday
                                  Mail newspaper.

                                  Moyo said the debate on Mugabe's future was,
                                  "tantamount to plotting a
                                  coup in the glare of the media."

                                  He blamed the economic crisis gripping the southern
                                  African country
                                  marked by massive shortages of food, fuel and hard
                                  currency, on
                                  government bureaucrats fumbling what he termed
                                  "technical" economic
                                  factors, and not ruling party policies.

                                  "There is a lot of inefficiency, let alone
                                  corruption," he said.

                                  "Our greatest challenge at the moment is that we
                                  have a civil service that is
                                  not performing."

                                  Moyo suggested some members of the civil service
                                  may be serving "hostile
                                  political interests."

                                  The economic disruptions in the country --
                                  partially blamed on the
                                  government's often violent seizure of thousands of
                                  white-owned commercial
                                  farms -- and erratic rains have caused the
                                  unprecedented shortages and
                                  spurred record inflation and unemployment.

                                  An estimated 6,7-million people face starvation in
                                  coming months. Analysts
                                  say the unravelling of the economy is likely to
                                  intensify demands for
                                  Mugabe's departure.

                                  In his comments, Moyo made no mention of two of the
                                  most powerful figures
                                  in the ruling party, Parliament speaker Emmerson
                                  Mnangagwa and military
                                  commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe, who have been
                                  cited in reports as
                                  favouring Mugabe's retirement.

                                  Moyo also denied any rifts in the ruling party.

                                  "You will not find in the party any significant
                                  elements that want to act
                                  unconstitutionally and undemocratically in favour
                                  of coup plotters and
                                  electoral cowards," said Moyo.

                                  The South African government, meanwhile, faced
                                  criticism on its Zimbabwe
                                  policy from another quarter on Sunday. Zimbabwe's
                                  main opposition the
                                  Movement for Democratic Change accused Mbeki of
                                  "hypocrisy" and
                                  "dishonesty" in his approach to the situation in

                                  "The South African government frankly, is
                                  dishonest," MDC
                                  secretary-general Welshman Ncube was reported as
                                  saying, in the Sunday

                                  "It is not surprising, really, because it is the
                                  same SA government which is
                                  saying to the rest of the world: 'Don't do anything
                                  about Zimbabwe. Let
                                  (Mugabe) go on with his torture and abuse. Let
                                  bygones be bygones'," he
                                  said. - Sapa
                                • Christine Chumbler
                                  Authorities Take Stock Of Damage Caused By Floods African Church Information Service January 27, 2003 Posted to the web January 29, 2003 Reported By Hamilton
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 30, 2003
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                                    Authorities Take Stock Of Damage Caused By

                                    African Church Information Service
                                    January 27, 2003
                                    Posted to the web January 29, 2003

                                    Reported By Hamilton Vokhiwa

                                    Authorities in Malawi are taking stock of damage caused by floods,
                                    following heavy rains that pounded the country recently.

                                    The extraordinarily heavy rains occasioned by a cyclone named Defina,
                                    caused widespread damage to infrastructure and agricultural land. A
                                    number of roads, bridges and railway lines were damaged. Large areas
                                    crop fields were washed away, killing at least 10 people and
                                    tens of thousands of people, now in need of relief aid.

                                    A wash-away of a bridge along Zalewa highway caused a major disruption
                                    of traffic between Blantyre and Lilongwe, but has since been partly
                                    repaired to allow traffic to pass.

                                    Road traffic authorities said three people went missing when the
                                    across Rivi-rivi river was swept away, following two days of incessant

                                    More bridges were washed away throughout the country, rendering a
                                    number of areas inaccessible to motor vehicles.

                                    This caused President Bakili Muluzi to declare a state of emergency.
                                    was the second time the president was making such a declaration in a
                                    span of less than one year.

                                    In February last year, President Muluzi declared a state of emergency
                                    following widespread food shortages that led to deaths of hundreds of
                                    people, especially children.

                                    The Commission for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Rehabilitation,
                                    said in total, up to 15, 000 people have been displaced by the current

                                    Lucius Chikuni is the head of the Commission. He said work had started
                                    bring food and tents to the displaced people, who had sought refuge in
                                    schools and churches in affected regions.

                                    The most affected areas include Karonga and Rumphi in the northern
                                    region, Lilongwe, Salima and Ntcheu in central part of the country,
                                    Machinga and Balaka in the south.

                                    In Ntcheu district, the Malawi Television featured a cemetery where
                                    raging flood waters washed away coffins, leaving the graves open. Some
                                    bodies were recovered several kilometers away.

                                    Western aid agencies have promised to step up relief assistance,
                                    following the declaration of a state of emergency by President Muluzi.

                                    A representative of a western diplomatic mission based in Lilongwe,
                                    that the declaration would pave way for a suitable response by western

                                    World Food Programme (WFP) information officer, Abbelgadir Musallam,
                                    said his organisation was at pains to try to reach some areas in the
                                    districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in lower Shire Valley. He said they
                                    forced to divert relief food items to other accessible sites more than
                                    kilometers away from the strategic distribution centres.

                                    "We have no money to airlift the relief items. Our movements have been
                                    delayed and we don't know what is happening to those people."

                                    When making the declaration, President Muluzi said the costs of
                                    could be expected to run into millions of Kwachas.

                                    District officials and representatives of non-governmental
                                    have issued urgent appeals for food, medicines, blankets, tents and
                                    sheets for the displaced people.

                                    Over the past few weeks, teams of field workers from non-governmental
                                    organisations, the department of disaster preparedness and relief
                                    rehabilitation, as well as the international organisation of doctors
                                    borders have been forcing their way across washed out roads to reach
                                    displaced people.

                                    District Commissioner for Salima, Gift Rapozo, said about 2,300 people
                                    18 villages were isolated and that government officials including those
                                    his office were failing to reach the displaced people.

                                    "We have come up with the number after estimating the village
                                    but we don't really know how many more people are isolated. It might
                                    possible that others left the areas when they sensed the dangerous
                                    situation," he said.

                                    Shadrick Matsimbe, who is the chairman of the Road Users Association,
                                    said his organisation had difficulties to reach an isolated area
                                    because a
                                    bridge had been swept away.

                                    "People are starving in the villages as we are failing to supply them
                                    relief items because of the poor condition of the roads and bridges
                                    to those areas," he pointed out.

                                    Religious organisations were mobilising relief aid to the affected
                                    One of them, the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), donated
                                    flour and cow peas to 1000 households displaced by floods in Salima.

                                    Ironically, the floods have come after governments in the southern
                                    region were advised to plan for another season of little rainfall, and
                                    possibly, a terrible drought.


                                    Harare police break up
                                    mayor's meeting

                                    Zimbabwean police have fired tear gas at
                                    hundreds of residents of the capital, Harare, as
                                    they entered the office of the mayor.

                                    Mayor Elias Mudzuri, who is from the opposition
                                    Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says
                                    he was trying to inform his constituents about
                                    water shortages.

                                    He told the BBC's Focus
                                    on Africa programme
                                    that this was the only
                                    way he could
                                    communicate with
                                    rate-payers because state-owned media
                                    refuse to interview him or even carry his

                                    Mr Mudzuri was arrested two weeks ago for
                                    holding an illegal meeting.

                                    Earlier this month, the government announced
                                    that it would introduce governors to run Harare
                                    and the second city of Bulawayo, which both
                                    have MDC mayors.

                                    'Police state'

                                    Under tough new security laws, the police
                                    have wide powers to break up meetings of
                                    more than five people.

                                    But Mr Mudzuri said the meeting was going to
                                    be held in his office and so he did not need
                                    police authorisation.

                                    "I hold meetings every five minutes with more
                                    than five people," he said.

                                    "It's becoming a police

                                    He also said that the
                                    police were invited to
                                    the meeting and had
                                    originally given their
                                  • Christine Chumbler
                                    Ghost Employees Deplete Govt Coffers African Church Information Service February 24, 2003 Posted to the web February 25, 2003 Hobbs Gama Blantyre Things have
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Feb 26 6:52 AM
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                                      'Ghost Employees Deplete Govt Coffers'

                                      African Church Information Service
                                      February 24, 2003
                                      Posted to the web February 25, 2003

                                      Hobbs Gama

                                      Things have turned sour in several government departments in Malawi,
                                      where civil servants have not been paid salaries on time. A situation
                                      of ghost
                                      workers created by senior government officials, is depleting the

                                      Teachers in primary and secondary schools, being the most affected,
                                      abandoned classes in a number of schools in several districts around
                                      country, including Blantyre.

                                      The issue of ghost workers came out strongly following an audit
                                      instituted by
                                      International Monetary Fund (IMF) late last year. It was discovered
                                      that the
                                      government's inflated wage bill was a result of huge numbers of
                                      workers created by officials in six ministries.

                                      Names of deceased staff, retired workers, and of fake individuals were
                                      noticed on payrolls. The education ministry was the most affected.

                                      The Teachers Association of Malawi (TUM) has since taken the treasury
                                      task, accusing it of being insensitive to the plight of teachers, who
                                      the largest part of public workers. Out of a total 120,000 workforce in
                                      public sector, 60,000 are teachers.

                                      TUM General Secretary, Lucien Chikadza, said morale was low in all
                                      education divisions around the country. He blamed the ministry of
                                      headquarters for the mess.

                                      Towards the end of last year, workers in education, agriculture and
                                      ministries went for Christmas and New Year holidays without pay.

                                      In the past two years, salaries have been paid irregularly.

                                      Finance Minister, Friday Jumbe, has since apologised to teachers and
                                      promised speedy action, saying teachers were victims because the
                                      wage bill was plagued with a lot of problems.

                                      "The situation is regrettable because issues of salaries are not
                                      The wage bill in the ministry has been fluctuating when it is supposed
                                      remain constant," said Jumbe.

                                      Last month, an IMF team made its seventh visit to Malawi since 2002,
                                      accused the government of spending beyond budget passed by parliament.

                                      The Fund suspended a US$56 million aid until issues of financial
                                      mismanagement and poor governance were resolved, and presidential
                                      limited, among other conditions.

                                      Subsequently, Malawi's bilateral donors , the United States of
                                      Britain and the European Union, have also closed their aid taps.

                                      Angered by President Muluzi's reckless spending, the World Bank is
                                      pressing the government to refund US$1.5 million in aid of various
                                      uncompleted projects. The EU is also demanding that the administration
                                      gives back about US$7 million, for similar reasons.


                                      UN blames Mugabe for crisis

                                      The United Nations food agency
                                      has said that the Zimbabwe
                                      Government is largely
                                      responsible for the
                                      humanitarian crisis there.

                                      The Zimbabwe crisis was "almost
                                      beyond comprehension" and could
                                      easily have been avoided, said
                                      James Morris, head of the World
                                      Food Programme.

                                      He pointed to President Robert Mugabe's land
                                      redistribution programme,
                                      which has left thousands of normally productive farms
                                      lying idle.

                                      Up to seven million people - half the population -
                                      need food aid, donors

                                      This year's harvest is expected to be even lower than
                                      in 2002 - just
                                      40% of normal.

                                      The government has also been accused of diverting food
                                      aid away from
                                      opposition areas.


                                      Mr Mugabe blames the food shortages on failed rains.

                                      He also says that his land reform programme should
                                      increase food
                                      production, because white farmers generally grew cash
                                      crops such as
                                      tobacco and paprika, while small-scale black farmers
                                      generally grow the
                                      staple food, maize.

                                      But Mr Morris disagreed.

                                      "This scheme (land reform) along
                                      with restrictions on private sector
                                      food marketing and a monopoly on
                                      food imports... are turning a drought
                                      that might have been managed into
                                      a humanitarian nightmare," he told
                                      lawmakers in the United States.

                                      Mr Morris said that he had held six
                                      meetings with Mr Mugabe in the past
                                      six months but had failed to
                                      persuade him to alter his economic
                                      policies or remove bureaucratic
                                      obstacles to food production or aid

                                      The head of the US Agency for
                                      International Development, Andrew
                                      Natsios, agreed.

                                      Zimbabwe had become "a basket
                                      case rapidly sliding into a disastrous
                                      famine that is politically induced," he

                                      A government audit reportedly
                                      shows that many of the farms seized
                                      from white farmers have been allocated to government
                                      ministers and
                                      officials, rather than landless blacks.

                                      In neighbouring Malawi, which was worst hit by the
                                      food shortages last
                                      year, the government says that the situation is
                                      improving this year.
                                    • Christine Chumbler
                                      Just have to point out that on the BBC site today, quite a few hints of peace. Leaders in Sudan are predicting that war will be over by June; observers are
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Apr 3, 2003
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                                        Just have to point out that on the BBC site today, quite a few hints of
                                        peace. Leaders in Sudan are predicting that war will be over by June;
                                        observers are cautiously optimistic about the peace deal signed in the
                                        DRC yesterday; and rebels have ended their boycot of the transitional
                                        government in Cote d'Ivoire. Could it be that parts of Africa are
                                        examples of peace for the rest of the world?


                                        Malawi cabinet sacked
                                        Raphael Tenthani
                                        BBC, Blantyre

                                        President Bakili Muluzi has sacked his entire cabinet
                                        just two
                                        days after naming an outsider as his successor.

                                        A brief statement from the office of
                                        the president did not give any
                                        reason for the surprise decision but
                                        only said all matters requiring
                                        cabinet attention should be directed
                                        to his office until a new cabinet is

                                        The Secretary to the President and
                                        Cabinet Alfred Upindi told me this
                                        afternoon he too does not know why
                                        Mr Muluzi has sacked his cabinet.

                                        He said the president just called him
                                        into his office at State House on Wednesday morning
                                        where he was told
                                        to issue the statement.

                                        The decision to dissolve the cabinet comes only two
                                        days after President
                                        Muluzi announced that the cabinet and the ruling
                                        United Democratic
                                        Front politburo had anointed Bingu wa Mutharika to be
                                        his successor for
                                        the elections scheduled for 18 May 2004.

                                        President Muluzi had tried but failed both in court
                                        and in public opinion to
                                        change the constitution to allow him a third term in

                                        Resignation threats

                                        Several ministers and UDF leaders have accused
                                        President Muluzi of
                                        imposing the 69-year-old economist on the party.

                                        A senior UDF official told me that it
                                        had not been done according to the

                                        Several ministers, according to
                                        cabinet sources, threatened to quit
                                        soon after President Muluzi told both
                                        the cabinet and the UDF National
                                        Executive Committee that he wanted
                                        Mr wa Mutharika to be his chosen

                                        My cabinet source told me that ever
                                        since President Muluzi's first attempt
                                        to change the constitution to allow him to stay on in
                                        power flopped, he
                                        has been intimidating any senior minister he suspected
                                        was eyeing the
                                        top job.

                                        The source told me he settled for Mr wa Mutharika, a
                                        recent arrival to
                                        the cabinet, as a way of punishing the presidential

                                        He said the president's announcement that Mr wa
                                        Mutharika was elected
                                        by the joint cabinet and UDF National Executive
                                        Committee was a


                                        He said President Muluzi simply told everyone to
                                        endorse his anointed

                                        The speculation is that President Muluzi will now
                                        purge his cabinet of all
                                        ministers who are unhappy with the succession process.

                                        But analysts say it is only a matter of time before
                                        major splits start
                                        rocking the ruling party following President Muluzi's
                                        decision to impose a
                                        presidential candidate on the party.


                                        Zanu-PF is only five seats away from total

                                        03 April
                                        2003 12:42

                                        Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF is within sight of a
                                        two-thirds majority in
                                        parliament that would enable it to make
                                        constitutional amendments. This
                                        makes three upcoming by-elections all the more
                                        important for the opposition
                                        Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

                                        Zanu-PF holds 95 of the 150 seats in parliament.
                                        The 150 seats include 30
                                        that are appointed directly or indirectly by
                                        President Robert Mugabe -- eight
                                        provincial governors, 12 non-constituency MPs and
                                        ten chiefs appointed by
                                        their peers and given final approval by Mugabe.

                                        According to Zimbabwe's parliamentary records, the
                                        MDC holds 54 seats.
                                        The ZANU-Ndonga party of the late Ndabaningi
                                        Sithole, veteran nationalist
                                        and Mugabe critic, has one seat.

                                        Five of the 150 seats are currently vacant. Two of
                                        these -- the Mashonaland
                                        West governor's seat and a replacement for deceased
                                        chief Mukwananzi --
                                        will almost certainly be filled by Zanu-PF members,
                                        said Greg Linington,
                                        lecturer in constitutional law at the University of

                                        The others are the constituencies of Harare
                                        Central, following the resignation
                                        of MDC Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Auret due
                                        to ill health, and
                                        Makonde in the northwest of the country, vacant due
                                        to the recent death of
                                        Education Minister Swithun Mombeshora of Zanu-PF.
                                        Also up for grabs is
                                        Chiredzi South, in the northeast of the country,
                                        after the suspension of
                                        Zanu-PF MP Aaron Baloyi.

                                        It was recently reported that MDC MP Tafadzwa
                                        Musekiwa had fled to
                                        London to escape alleged intimidation and had
                                        resigned his Harare seat.
                                        But a parliamentary official as well as MDC
                                        representative Paul Themba
                                        Nyathi said they had not yet received official
                                        notification of this, so his
                                        Zengeza constituency is not considered vacant.

                                        According to the constitution, if the ruling party
                                        holds "two thirds of the full
                                        membership" of parliament, which is 100 of 150
                                        seats, then it is entitled to
                                        make constitutional amendments, Linington said.

                                        Zanu-PF are therefore five seats short of the 100
                                        seats required.

                                        Analyst Chris Maroleng of the Institute of Security
                                        Studies Africa said the
                                        issue of constitutional amendments becomes relevant
                                        in the context of
                                        recent reports, denied by the government, of the
                                        search for an exit strategy
                                        for Mugabe.

                                        "The constitution currently says that within 90
                                        days of the president's death
                                        or retirement, there has to be a presidential
                                        election to appoint a
                                        successor," Maroleng explained. "But a
                                        constitutional amendment could
                                        allow Mugabe to appoint a successor ahead of his
                                        departure and bypass an

                                        The upcoming by-elections therefore become all the
                                        more critical, with the
                                        attending risk of political violence and

                                        "During the presidential election the [Zanu-PF]
                                        strategy was to reduce the
                                        number of voters, as a high voter turnout benefited
                                        the MDC and low turnout
                                        benefited Zanu-PF," Maroleng said.

                                        Other influences include whether a constituency is
                                        urban or rural -- where
                                        traditionally it is more difficult for the
                                        opposition to campaign. Most rural
                                        seats are held by Zanu-PF, while the MDC tends to
                                        be urban-based.

                                        Maroleng said that of the three by-elections, the
                                        Makonde seat was likely to
                                        be a "borderline" MDC/Zanu-PF seat as it had been a
                                        close contest in the
                                        last election, with reported incidents of

                                        The Electoral Supervisory Commission has yet to set
                                        a date for the closely
                                        watched contests. - Irin
                                      • Christine Chumbler
                                        Upheaval in Ruling Party Continues UN Integrated Regional Information Networks May 2, 2003 Posted to the web May 2, 2003 Johannesburg Splits in Malawi s United
                                        Message 19 of 26 , May 5, 2003
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                                          Upheaval in Ruling Party Continues

                                          UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                          May 2, 2003
                                          Posted to the web May 2, 2003


                                          Splits in Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) began to emerge this
                                          week as another senior official announced his resignation from the
                                          ruling party.

                                          On Thursday, Jan Sonke, a UDF lawmaker for the commercial capital
                                          Blantyre, cited the party's failure to "reduce poverty, strengthen
                                          democracy and improve the economy" as reasons for his resignation.

                                          He is the third high-ranking UDF official to leave the party following
                                          a recent controversial decision by President Bakili Muluzi to dissolve
                                          his entire cabinet and name Bingu wa Mutharika - a political newcomer -
                                          as the UDF's candidate for the 2004 presidential elections.

                                          Soon after the political shake-up, Harry Thomson, (former environment
                                          minister) and Aleke Banda (former agriculture minister) quit the party.
                                          Both men had expressed an interest in the presidency, and Banda also
                                          objected to Muluzi's bid for a third term in office.

                                          But observers say the split in the ruling party could be an opportunity
                                          to entrench political pluralism in Malawi, where the UDF is seen to
                                          dominate the political stage.

                                          "Any kind of split in the UDF would be significant for the future of
                                          democracy in Malawi. Senior UDF members who are dissatisfied with Muluzi
                                          may decide to leave the party and form a new opposition. On the other
                                          hand, some may leave and join existing opposition groups," Ralph
                                          Kasambara, chairman of the NGO, the Civil Liberties Committee, told

                                          "This will in the long term encourage healthy debate and produce a
                                          vibrant opposition. Presently, the UDF has a stranglehold on politics in
                                          Malawi and by watering down some of that power, we will eventually
                                          escape the quagmire of a state dominated by just one party," he added.

                                          Meanwhile, John Tembo on Tuesday was elected president of the main
                                          opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The MCP convention was marred by
                                          violence after it emerged that Tembo, the deputy leader of the party,
                                          had won more votes than party leader Gwanda Chakuamba, and would
                                          therefore be the party's candidate in the 2004 presidential elections.

                                          Some 15 people were injured in the clashes.


                                          African Presidents Tackle Zimbabwe Chaos

                                          By ANGUS SHAW
                                          The Associated Press
                                          Monday, May 5, 2003; 6:32 AM

                                          HARARE, Zimbabwe - Three African presidents arrived in Zimbabwe Monday
                                          for talks aimed at ending the political chaos and violence that has
                                          crippled the nation for three years.

                                          South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun
                                          Obasanjo and Malawi President Bakili Muluzi went to a Harare hotel where
                                          they were scheduled to meet with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe,
                                          whose increasingly autocratic rule has been blamed for causing the

                                          They were also scheduled to hold a separate meeting with Morgan
                                          Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

                                          Zimbabwe officials said the main talks with Mugabe were to be held at
                                          his State House offices, where reporters for some foreign media
                                          organizations were refused entry.

                                          The new mediation efforts come ahead of a trip to southern Africa by
                                          Walter Kansteiner, the U.S. State Department's top Africa official.
                                          Kansteiner will visit South Africa and Botswana, and will try to win
                                          backing for calls for political reform in Zimbabwe.

                                          Mugabe, 79, who led the nation to independence in 1980, narrowly
                                          defeated Tsvangirai in presidential polls last year that independent
                                          observers said were deeply flawed.

                                          The opposition, along with Britain, the European Union and the United
                                          States, have refused to accept the results, saying voting was rigged and
                                          influenced by intimidation mainly against opposition supporters.

                                          Zimbabwe's opposition MDC has criticized African leaders for
                                          recognizing Mugabe's re-election amid state-sponsored political

                                          The Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said in an editorial
                                          Monday that Mugabe's foes hoped the talks would lead to Mugabe's
                                          retirement and implied the government feared a possible attack from U.S.
                                          and British forces, an implication both nations have repeatedly denied.

                                          "There is trepidation ... about the timing of the visit in view of the
                                          pronounced positions of the British and American governments over regime
                                          change in Zimbabwe following their successful invasion and occupation of
                                          Iraq," it said.

                                          Talks between the MDC and Mugabe's party, mediated by Nigeria and South
                                          Africa, ended in a stalemate last year.

                                          Mugabe said last month he would only meet with Tsvangirai if the
                                          opposition recognized his re-election and dropped a court case
                                          challenging the result, conditions the MDC has previously rejected.

                                          The opposition and the main labor federation have shut down most of the
                                          economy with two national anti-government strikes since mid-March.

                                          Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence.
                                          Inflation has soared to a record 228 percent, unemployment is nearly 70
                                          percent and Zimbabweans face shortages of hard currency, food, gasoline
                                          and medicine.

                                          More than 200 people have been killed in political violence since 2000
                                          and thousands of others, mostly opposition supporters, have been
                                          arrested and tortured, rights groups say.
                                        • Christine Chumbler
                                          Malawi bans Big Brother Africa Big Brother Africa has been taken off the air in Malawi after the country s parliament condemned it as immoral . It voted to
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Aug 6, 2003
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                                            Malawi bans Big Brother Africa

                                            Big Brother Africa has been taken off the air in Malawi after the
                                            country's parliament condemned it as "immoral".

                                            It voted to ban the pan-African reality series from its public TV
                                            station because of concerns about its sexual content.

                                            Taylor Nothale, chairman of the parliamentary committee on the media,
                                            said he had received a number of complaints, particularly from parents.

                                            He said most Malawians felt the show might encourage young people to
                                            engage in immoral behaviour.

                                            "People are subjected to horrible pictures which are corrupting the
                                            morals of our children," Mr Nothale said.

                                            Opposition leader Gwanda Chakuamba said: "We want the government to
                                            stop that nonsense on TV."

                                            Most of the southern African country's 10.6 million people are deeply
                                            conservative Christians. It also has a Muslim minority.

                                            Malawi has become the third African nation to condemn the series
                                            following concerns raised by religious and political leaders in Zambia
                                            and Namibia.

                                            They have complained that some of the footage broadcast is too

                                            State-run Television Malawi has been broadcasting highlights of the
                                            South Africa-based show every evening.

                                            It originally featured 12 contestants, each from a different African
                                            country, locked together inside the Big Brother house.

                                            As with the western-style format, they are voted off one by one.
                                            Malawi's representative, Zein Dudah, was removed a month ago.

                                            Apart from the condemnation over sexual content, the show has been
                                            praised for bridging cultural gaps and exploding some of the myths
                                            contestants share about fellow Africans.

                                            Show producer Carl Fischer said: "If (the show) didn't generate any
                                            controversy, the project would be a failure."

                                            Rich Malawians will still be able to watch the show on satellite


                                            Cheap malaria drug approved

                                            A cheap drug to combat malaria is to be launched by GlaxoSmithKline.
                                            The drug could help to save millions of lives each year in some of the
                                            world's poorest countries.

                                            According to GSK, a course of treatment with Lapdap will cost just 18
                                            pence (29 US cents) for an adult and 9 pence for a child.

                                            This is much cheaper than many existing drugs, some of which can cost
                                            as much as £33 per course.

                                            Major killer

                                            Malaria affects around 300 million people around the world each year.

                                            Nine out of 10 cases occur in Africa. The disease claims the lives of
                                            at least one million people annually, according to the World Health
                                            Organization (WHO).

                                            Many of these lives could be saved if more affordable drugs were

                                            This latest drug, which combines two existing anti-malaria compounds,
                                            has been developed by GSK in collaboration with the WHO and scientists
                                            in the UK.

                                            The $5m development costs were shared between GSK, the WHO and the UK
                                            Department for International Development.

                                            Trials have shown that it is more effective than some existing
                                            treatments and can also help people who are resistant to some older

                                            It has now been approved for use by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare
                                            products Regulatory Agency.

                                            GSK said the drug would be made available in sub-Saharan Africa as soon
                                            as possible.

                                            In a statement, the company said: "GlaxoSmithKline plans to make Lapdap
                                            available at preferential prices across sub-Saharan Africa as soon as
                                            local approval has been granted."

                                            Professor Peter Winstanley, director of the Wellcome Trust Tropical
                                            Centre at the University of Liverpool which led the development work,
                                            welcomed the drug's approval.

                                            "Lapdap can help us meet the urgent need for an affordable anti-malaria
                                            treatment for use in Africa," he said.
                                          • Christine Chumbler
                                            BBC has a photo gallery of a man living with AIDS in Malawi http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/africa_aids_in_malawi/html/1.stm *****
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jul 15, 2004
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                                              BBC has a photo gallery of a man living with AIDS in Malawi



                                              Sunshine City goes dark

                                              Ryan Truscott | Harare, Zimbabwe

                                              15 July 2004 12:59

                                              Living in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, is getting harder as weary
                                              residents battle with frequent power cuts, water shortages and the
                                              ever-rising prices of basic goods.

                                              Harare once boasted the nickname "Sunshine City" but in the depths of a
                                              Zimbabwean winter, it's looking less and less that way for all
                                              residents, regardless of their income levels.

                                              Last week the state-run power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
                                              Authority (Zesa), announced it is introducing power cuts at peak periods
                                              due to increased demand from the cold weather and Zimbabwe's inability
                                              to find additional sources for power imports from outside the country.

                                              Zimbabwe imports 30% of its power, much of it from neighbouring South
                                              Africa, but has in the recent past reportedly had problems settling its

                                              Coinciding with the power cuts, Zesa has started broadcasting
                                              advertisements every half hour on state radio, proclaiming "Zesa: Power
                                              to the people."

                                              "While we sit in the dark with candles waiting for the power to come
                                              back on and women stream out of the bush with firewood on their heads
                                              because they can't afford electricity, the jingles go on and on and on,"
                                              says Zimbabwe writer Cathy Buckle in her weekly commentary.

                                              In several suburbs of the capital, streetlamps and house lights flicker
                                              off at 6pm at night -- to be restored three hours later.

                                              There are also cuts scheduled for three hours in the mornings.

                                              "It's every night," moans one elderly resident of the relatively
                                              well-heeled Avondale suburb, near Harare's main hospital.

                                              "It was Thursday, Friday and then again at half-past six on Saturday,"
                                              she complains. She adds that she keeps her bath "half full" to be ready
                                              for water cuts -- usually advertised in the state-run Herald newspaper
                                              and on public radio.

                                              In June some suburbs had no water for almost three weeks. The
                                              authorities blamed pump failures at the ageing Morton Jaffray water
                                              plant, as well as a lack of crucial aluminium sulphate used to treat the

                                              A so-called "water demand management system" was brought in. This meant
                                              cutting off supplies to other suburbs for 24-hour periods.

                                              Harare's opposition-led city council says it does not have the funds to
                                              maintain infrastructure. But efforts to hike rates have been blocked by
                                              Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who has also dismissed
                                              Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) mayor Elias Mudzuri.

                                              A member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, Chombo last month
                                              declared previously approved increases "unjustified" and ordered a

                                              The Harare city council has only held two meetings in the past six
                                              months, says Jameson Gadzirai of the Combined Harare Residents'
                                              Association, leaving residents concerned that civic governance is being
                                              frustrated by party politics.

                                              "What the residents are feeling now is that council decisions are not
                                              being implemented because of a broader agenda being pushed by the [local
                                              government] ministry," Gadzirai says.

                                              There are other concerns. Public hospitals in the city are faring
                                              badly. The privately owned Standard reported this month that corpses at
                                              Harare's Central hospital are being rolled down the stairs from wards to
                                              the mortuary because there is no money to repair the lifts.

                                              Health delivery has been one of the biggest casualties of Zimbabwe's
                                              four-year old economic downturn. Cases of kwashiorkor -- a sometimes
                                              fatal illness usually associated with times of war and famine -- have

                                              At least 621 were treated last year in the city's clinics, according to
                                              a report by the council's director of health, Lovemore Mbengeranwa.

                                              Price hikes too are a worry. Although inflation rates have fallen, from
                                              more than 600% at the end of last year to just less than 400%, prices of
                                              foodstuffs and many basic goods continue to rise.

                                              Faced with an outcry, the country's energetic Reserve Bank Governor
                                              Gideon Gono last week said that "the thinking that prices ought to come
                                              down because inflation is coming down is fallacious", the state-run
                                              Ziana agency reported.

                                              Gono told the conference that prices should still be going up by about
                                              6%. But his figures do not square with prices on shop shelves: bread has
                                              more than doubled in two months from about Z$1 200 a loaf to Z$2 900.

                                              Meanwhile fuel queues resurfaced last week. A wearying fact of life for
                                              many Zimbabwean drivers over the past three years, the queues seemed to
                                              have disappeared after the authorities removed price controls.

                                              State radio said last week's queues were due to "logistical" problems
                                              in fuel distribution. -- Sapa-AFP
                                            • Christine Chumbler
                                              Malawian leader to boot out MPs Malawi s newly-elected president has ordered parliament to move to a bombed-out sports complex so he can make it his official
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jul 22, 2004
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                                                Malawian leader to boot out MPs

                                                Malawi's newly-elected president has ordered parliament to move to a
                                                bombed-out sports complex so he can make it his official residence.
                                                Bingu wa Mutharika said he wanted to move from his Blantyre residence
                                                to the capital, Lilongwe, as part of attempts to streamline government

                                                But the opposition said the decision ran against his promises to cut
                                                government expenditure.

                                                Parliament has 300 rooms and its own school and supermarket.

                                                New State House was originally built as a presidential palace at a cost
                                                of $100m by a former president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, but he only
                                                stayed in the house for 90 days.

                                                Parliament moved into the site in 1995.

                                                "The president needs enough room," said Ken Zikhale Ng'oma the
                                                president's chief of staff.


                                                But Catherine Chisala, spokesperson for the Peoples Progressive
                                                Movement, said they were unimpressed.

                                                "It will be very expensive to renovate the Kamuzi Institute for Sports
                                                into a habitable place and the New State House into a presidential
                                                palace," she said.

                                                The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Malawi says that President Mutharika's
                                                predecessor, Bakili Muluzi, who was criticised for excessive
                                                over-expenditure, refused to occupy New State House, calling it an
                                                "obscene extravagance".

                                                The site of the proposed parliament was bombed by the army when it was
                                                occupied by paramilitaries loyal to President Banda when he lost power
                                                in 1993.

                                                The Malawi Young Pioneers, as they were called, were suspected of
                                                storing their arms in the building.

                                                The sports complex remains in disrepair.


                                                Malawi: Media Involved in Aids Information Dissemination

                                                UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                                July 21, 2004
                                                Posted to the web July 21, 2004


                                                Malawi's National AIDS Commission (NAC) and local media houses are
                                                currently discussing how journalists can help implement the country's
                                                national HIV/AIDS policy.

                                                Launched earlier this year by former President Bakili Muluzi, the
                                                policy aims to engage key institutions, like the media, in planning,
                                                coordinating and ensuring common standards in response to the AIDS

                                                Rita Chilolgozi, resident advisor of the policy project, said the main
                                                aim of the NAC was to disseminate the HIV/AIDS policy.

                                                "We need to use the media as a tool to help the people of Malawi
                                                understand the issues. Writing documents that no one sees just isn't
                                                enough. The media must be used as a channel through which to pass on the
                                                message," a local newspaper, The Chronicle, quoted Chilolgozi as
                                              • Christine Chumbler
                                                Development-Malawi: Rapid Urbanisation Looks Irreversible Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) July 27, 2004 Posted to the web July 27, 2004 Frank Phiri Blantyre
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jul 29, 2004
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                                                  Development-Malawi: Rapid Urbanisation Looks Irreversible

                                                  Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

                                                  July 27, 2004
                                                  Posted to the web July 27, 2004

                                                  Frank Phiri

                                                  Every morning, residents of Malawi's sprawling commercial hub, Blantyre
                                                  wake up to deafening noises as hundreds of thousands of people pour into
                                                  the city to try to make a living.

                                                  During peak hours, roads from townships leading to the city's main
                                                  streets become clogged with traffic that range from minibuses, trucks,
                                                  bicycles and a sea of pedestrians.

                                                  Road accidents are common and vary from five to ten a day in the city,
                                                  according to the police.

                                                  Back in the 1980s, peak hours in Blantyre hardly resulted in traffic
                                                  jams unless, of course, if the convoy of the late dictator Hastings
                                                  Kamuzu Banda was passing-by and roads had to be cordoned off by order.

                                                  Now Blantyre's landscapes are changing. The latest United Nations
                                                  Centre for Human Settlement (UNCHS) study on urbanisation shows that the
                                                  city of Blantyre and other trading centres in the northern and central
                                                  regions of Malawi are becoming noisier, thanks to rapid urbanisation.

                                                  The study, which was released this month, says Malawi, a tiny,
                                                  landlocked and impoverished southern African nation of about 13 million
                                                  has emerged as the fastest urbanising country in the world with an urban
                                                  population growth of 6.3 percent, compared to 0.5 percent in rural

                                                  According to the study, three million people now live in urban areas
                                                  compared to 260,000 in 1966, something which represents a 25-percent

                                                  The study, which has tipped Malawi to score highly in urbanisation in
                                                  the next 15 years, concurs with an earlier study by the UK Department
                                                  for International Development (DFID) that 44 percent, or more than 5
                                                  million people would live in towns by 2015.

                                                  It says three-quarters of Malawi's population lives in the main urban
                                                  centres of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba.

                                                  The findings of the two studies prompted Malawian authorities and civil
                                                  society Tuesday to convene a meeting in the administrative capital,
                                                  Lilongwe to debate how to meet the challenges of urbanisation in the
                                                  next 15 years.

                                                  The stakeholders, meeting under the theme "Malawi is World Champion in
                                                  Urban Population Growth", admitted that urbanisation was the main
                                                  contributing factor to land and housing shortages, congestion, squatter
                                                  settlements, crime, HIV/AIDS infection and unemployment.

                                                  Malawi's economy depends on agriculture and shortages of land have in
                                                  recent years contributed to perennial food shortages, which refuse to
                                                  ease. In 2002, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation
                                                  (FAO) and other aid agencies estimated that more than three million
                                                  Malawians needed emergency food. This year, the agencies have projected
                                                  that more than one million people will starve if food aid is not

                                                  Economists fear that the need to import the staple maize this year
                                                  could cause depreciation of kwacha as the country's foreign exchange
                                                  cover is low. Donors are withholding aid, citing fiscal indiscipline by

                                                  Apart from food insecurity, HIV/AIDS infection has emerged as the most
                                                  appalling crisis to hit the urban areas. Malawi's HIV infection
                                                  prevalence hovers at 14.7 percent, according to the latest UN Joint
                                                  Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report.

                                                  Of the one million people infected, the Malawi National AIDs Commission
                                                  (NAC) estimates that 25 percent, or 250,000, are in urban areas compared
                                                  to 13 percent in the rural areas.

                                                  The commission estimates that AIDS has created about 600,000 orphans.
                                                  As a result, orphanages are now overwhelmed.

                                                  "Most of the orphans end up on the streets as beggars and grow up into
                                                  thugs," says Bertha Bonongwe of Chisomo Care Group, an orphanage at
                                                  Ndala Village in the outskirts of Blantyre.

                                                  City officials say urbanisation is also leading to squatter
                                                  settlements, which cause congestion and sanitation breakdowns. According
                                                  to UNCHS, 71 percent of residents in Blantyre live in squalid and
                                                  unplanned settlements.

                                                  City officials blame utility companies for providing installations in
                                                  areas that are not fully developed.

                                                  "Installations such as water and electricity in underdeveloped places
                                                  attract people to go and settle in such areas," says Sophie Kalimba, the
                                                  chief executive of Blantyre City Assembly.

                                                  Masauko Ngwaluko, spokesperson for the Lilongwe Water Board, says
                                                  vandalism of plastic water pipes has been on a steady increase in recent
                                                  years. The pipes are used for making teapots and other domestic
                                                  appliances, which are on high demand in the city.

                                                  "We're losing about K650,000 (6,000 United States dollars) every month
                                                  to repair vandalised installations," he says, adding that such
                                                  disruptions were leading to failure by the board to provide
                                                  uninterrupted services to residents.

                                                  The country's sole power utility, the Electricity Supply Corporation of
                                                  Malawi (Escom), is also feeling the pinch of urbanization. Its
                                                  installations, such as transformers, are targeted by residents who
                                                  extract the oil for unknown use, it says.

                                                  Critics say Malawi has become poorer in the past 10 years of
                                                  re-introducing multiparty democracy. Before 1994, Malawi had been a
                                                  one-party state for more than 30 years under Banda. Over 65 percent of
                                                  the population now lives below the poverty line of one dollar a day,
                                                  according to the World Bank.

                                                  In April, a study by Khwima Nthara, an economist with Deloitte and
                                                  Touche firm revealed that Malawi's Gross National Income - that is
                                                  earned by individuals in a country - has fallen from 220 dollars in 1997
                                                  to 160 dollars now.

                                                  Economists and UN agencies believe poverty is the main driving force
                                                  behind the rural-urban migration in Malawi. "The influx of people from
                                                  rural areas is directly linked to increasingly harsh conditions many
                                                  families are facing in outlying areas of Malawi," says the UNCHS study.

                                                  To address the problems faced by the urban poor, the Secondary Centres
                                                  Development Project (SCDP) - a German funded project - is servicing
                                                  unplanned housing sites with access to clean water, drainages, roads and
                                                  processing land ownership certificates.

                                                  Charles Mkula, the projects' communication officer, says SCDP has
                                                  processed 8,900 title deeds for the poorest households in urban areas.

                                                  "Due to urbanisation, poverty is increasing in urban households with
                                                  homeless migrants living in slums not fit for human habitation," Mkula
                                                  told IPS.

                                                  Like it or hate it, rapid urbanisation looks irreversible in Malawi.

                                                  "Evidence shows urbanisation cannot be stopped whether by law, policy
                                                  or development projects targeting the poor. The best thing to do would
                                                  be to let public investment follow the people," argues Mtafu Zeleza
                                                  Manda of the Malawi Institute of Physical Planners (MIPP), which pools
                                                  the country's engineers, architects, and planners.


                                                  Malawi clerics caught canoodling

                                                  By Raphael Tenthani
                                                  BBC correspondent in Blantyre

                                                  A Catholic priest and nun have been arrested in Malawi for making love
                                                  in an airport car park.
                                                  The 43-year-old priest and 26-year-old nun were caught "in the act" in
                                                  a tinted saloon car parked at Lilongwe International Airport.

                                                  "It was a bizarre spectacle, the public alerted airport police after
                                                  noticing the car shaking in a funny way," police spokesman Kelvin Maigwa
                                                  told the BBC.

                                                  The pair is due before a magistrate in the capital, Lilongwe, on

                                                  Abandoning pastoral duties

                                                  When the police arrived, catching them in the act, the two were
                                                  promptly arrested and charged with indecent behaviour in a public place,
                                                  Mr Maigwa said.

                                                  They were detained overnight at a police station near the airport.

                                                  The charge is a misdemeanour and, if convicted, the pair may get away
                                                  with a small fine.

                                                  The two were first noticed by eye-witnesses as they parked the car and
                                                  wound up the tinted windows.

                                                  "We thought they could be rushing for a plane that was about to take
                                                  off but we were surprised that they never got out of the car," said a
                                                  taxi driver.

                                                  After being arrested, the nun was allowed to put on her habit, Mr
                                                  Maigwa said.

                                                  The priest was dressed in civilian clothes, he said.


                                                  Zambia cracks down on hackers

                                                  Dickson Jere | Lusaka, Zambia

                                                  29 July 2004 13:58

                                                  Zambia's government is to present a tough Bill on cyber crime to
                                                  Parliament on Friday that will see convicted hackers and other offenders
                                                  face harsh sentences ranging from 15 to 25 years in jail.

                                                  The Computer Misuse and Crimes Bill enjoys strong backing from bankers
                                                  and the Computer Society of Zambia, a group of professionals promoting
                                                  computer use, who say hacking into dormant accounts has become a problem
                                                  in this poor Southern African country.

                                                  "We feel this law will help to deal with the increasing number of
                                                  electronic frauds and hacking especially in the financial sector," said
                                                  Milner Makuni, president of the Computer Society of Zambia.

                                                  The most famous cyber offence in Zambia was committed by a young
                                                  computer wizard who hacked the State House website and replaced the
                                                  picture of then president Frederick Chiluba with a cartoon.

                                                  He was arrested and charged with defaming the head of state but the
                                                  case failed to succeed because there was no law in Zambia that deals
                                                  with cyber crimes.

                                                  "The Bill, once passed, will help to deal with high-tech cyber crimes
                                                  that our current legal system cannot address," said Bob Samakai, a
                                                  Ministry of Communication permanent secretary.

                                                  But some cyber experts worry that the measure is likely to be abused by
                                                  the authorities to curb access to the internet.

                                                  "It is difficult to regulate the use of computers and internet because
                                                  we are dealing with a world wide web," said Brenda Zulu, a renowned
                                                  cyber journalist who specialises in online reporting.

                                                  She said the country should first develop a policy on information
                                                  communication technology (ICT) before rushing to enact legislation on

                                                  Currently, the Zambian government is seeking public input in its draft
                                                  ICT policy, which is yet to be adopted.

                                                  "This law is very vague and not necessary for Zambia at the moment,"
                                                  said Lloyd Himambo, an editor of Zambia's online newspaper The

                                                  He said regulating the use of computers will be a difficult undertaking
                                                  and wondered how such a law will be enforced in Zambia, a country where
                                                  computers are a preserve of the rich.

                                                  About one in 1 000 Zambians owns a computer, according to unofficial

                                                  The Computer Society of Zambia agrees that enforcing such a law will be
                                                  difficult, but pledged to help train police officers to understand cyber

                                                  "I think what people should be fighting for is to upgrade their
                                                  security features on their websites to deal with hacking but not to
                                                  criminalise it," said Zulu, adding that hacking a site can be done
                                                  outside Zambia, making it difficult to track the offenders.

                                                  A senior Zambian lawyer who has studied the Bill said it is an "import
                                                  of the British Act" and lacks local input.

                                                  "I think this law is very advanced for the Zambian society and
                                                  government should not rush it through Parliament before reaching
                                                  consensus," he said, on condition of anonymity. -- Sapa-AFP
                                                • Christine Chumbler
                                                  Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt UN Integrated Regional Information Networks September 20, 2004 Posted to the web September 20, 2004 Johannesburg Malawi s
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Sep 21, 2004
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                                                    Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt

                                                    UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                                    September 20, 2004
                                                    Posted to the web September 20, 2004


                                                    Malawi's winter harvest should ordinarily ease the country's existing
                                                    food shortage, but there is concern that the new crop could be affected
                                                    by poor summer rains.

                                                    The cultivation of winter crops starts soon after the main summer crop
                                                    has been harvested, usually around July, and takes place in areas where
                                                    there is residual moisture after the end of the rainy season, or farmers
                                                    have access to irrigation facilities.

                                                    Due to a poor summer harvest it is estimated that up to 1.6 million
                                                    people will require food assistance up to March 2005, but aid agencies
                                                    have noted that a bumper winter harvest could narrow the existing food

                                                    "In the past few years, the government of Malawi has been encouraging
                                                    winter crop production through various means, and this has resulted in a
                                                    steady production increase," the Famine Early Warning Systems Network
                                                    (FEWS NET) said in its latest country report.

                                                    However, the 2003/04 rainfall "was significantly worse than that of
                                                    2002/03, especially in the winter maize producing areas", FEWS NET
                                                    noted. "This poor rainfall would have resulted in relatively less
                                                    residual moisture and water availability, necessary preconditions for
                                                    winter crop production. The general expectation is that winter crop
                                                    production should be lower than last season, especially in the southern
                                                    region, which was the most hit by the dry spells and shortness of the
                                                    rainfall season."

                                                    The National Statistics Office (NSO) has forecast a winter maize
                                                    harvest of around 225,000 mt, slightly higher than the previous year's
                                                    224,000 mt. However, FEWS NET said the NSO forecast was questionable,
                                                    given the poor rainfall this year.

                                                    "Although the coming winter harvest - around October to December -
                                                    would help improve the aggregate national food availability situation,
                                                    the improvements for smallholders in the southern region will be
                                                    short-lived, and a majority of the households will continue to rely on
                                                    the markets for food," FEWS NET commented.

                                                    But the rising cost of staples has limited household access to food.
                                                    "Prices have already started to rise, consistent with predictions of a
                                                    worse than normal [harvest] year ... continued prices increases will
                                                    adversely affect households' ability to purchase food," the report

                                                    It will take an estimated 56,000 mt to 83,000 mt of emergency food aid
                                                    to assist the rising number of households in need until the next
                                                    harvest, FEWS NET forecast.


                                                    Zimbabwe court drops paper case

                                                    A Zimbabwean court has dropped charges against four directors of the
                                                    banned Daily News newspaper.
                                                    The privately-owned paper was shut down a year ago by police under the
                                                    country's tough media laws.

                                                    The magistrate said there was insufficient evidence to show they had
                                                    published the paper illegally.

                                                    But the publication will stay off the news-stands pending a decision by
                                                    the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the media legislation.

                                                    Zimbabwean and international rights groups have condemned the law,
                                                    which compels all journalists and newspapers to be accredited by a
                                                    government-appointed media commission.

                                                    Magistrate Lillian Kudya said the state failed to prove the paper
                                                    intentionally violated the law, as the paper had won court cases
                                                    granting the paper a licence, AFP news agency reported.

                                                    "We are free. We knew justice was going to prevail," said Samuel Nkomo,
                                                    the paper's chief executive after the ruling.

                                                    Launched five years ago, the Daily News was the country's sole
                                                    privately-owned daily paper and was a persistent critic of President
                                                    Robert Mugabe's government.
                                                  • scottgeibel
                                                    Well that s not good news... let s hope that the colorful Autumn leaves and Spring flowers brighten the moods of Malawi s disappointed farmers. ... existing
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Sep 22, 2004
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Well that's not good news... let's hope that the colorful Autumn
                                                      leaves and Spring flowers brighten the moods of Malawi's disappointed

                                                      "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@d...> wrote:

                                                      > Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt
                                                      > UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
                                                      > September 20, 2004
                                                      > Posted to the web September 20, 2004
                                                      > Johannesburg
                                                      > Malawi's winter harvest should ordinarily ease the country's
                                                      > food shortage, but there is concern that the new crop could be
                                                      > by poor summer rains.
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