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  • Christine Chumbler
    Violence Marks Opening of Parliament UN Integrated Regional Information Network June 7, 2001 Posted to the web June 7, 2001 A Muslim leader is in critical
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 7, 2001
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      Violence Marks Opening of Parliament

      UN Integrated Regional
      Information Network
      June 7, 2001
      Posted to the web June 7, 2001

      A Muslim leader is in critical condition after suffering
      injuries in clashes on Tuesday between supporters of
      Malawi's ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and
      supporters of the opposition National Democratic Alliance
      (NDA), news reports said. Reports said that several
      others were also seriously injured during the clashes
      which took place outside parliament on the body's
      opening day.

      Reports said that UDF supporters smashed a
      photo-journalist's camera, while several other journalists
      fled to safety after being threatened by the ruling party's
      supporters. They added that heavily armed police and
      other senior government officials showed reluctance to
      take action to stop the violence.

      Former minister Brown Mpinganjira, founding member of
      the NDA, told DPA that the violence had been
      "sanctioned" by Malawian President Bakili Muluzi to
      "intimidate people into accepting him to stand for a third
      term of office". Mpinganjira's claims were, however,
      brushed aside by the ruling party's campaign director,
      Dumbo Lemani, who distanced his party from the fracas,
      DPA said.
    • Christine Chumbler
      Malawi Doesn t Want Foreigners to Own Land African Eye News Service (Nelspruit) July 18, 2001 Posted to the web July 18, 2001 Blantyre, Malawi Brian Ligomeka A
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 19, 2001
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        Malawi Doesn't Want Foreigners to Own
        Land

        African Eye News Service
        (Nelspruit)
        July 18, 2001
        Posted to the web July 18, 2001

        Blantyre, Malawi
        Brian Ligomeka

        A proposed new land policy in Malawi stipulates that
        foreigners who own freehold land in the country have seven
        years to either become citizens, or forfeit their land to
        locals.

        Land minister Thengo Maloya explained that the proposed
        policy aimed to prevent land wars and instill investor
        confidence.

        "Land issues are extremely dangerous and have started
        wars elsewhere," he said. "Malawians are no longer
        sleeping. They suffered during colonialism and later
        continued to work for foreigners on their forefathers' land.

        "We don't want foreigners owning land." He said all
        foreigners currently owning freeholds would have to attain
        Malawi citizenship or leave the land to the locals and lease
        it from them.

        Maloya says the new national land policy would instill
        investor confidence. "Investors would be able to lease land
        up to when, they feel, they have recovered investment
        return and profits. And they would be assured of no
        encroachments on their land," Maloya explained.

        He said the word 'indigenous' had been removed from the
        policy to allay fears on non-black Malawians, who saw the
        document as discriminatory.

        "We all know that not all Malawians have a black skin,
        some are of mixed race, while others are white or of Asian
        origin. The indigenous group meant all these, including the
        locals, who can do well economically if just given a portion
        of land," he explained.

        Land ministry technical adviser Rexford Ahene said the
        proposed policy was instrumental to the future
        socio-economical development of the country as it would
        build both capacity and stabilise land administration.

        The policy would also clearly demarcate public and private
        land and institutionalise 6.8 million hectares of land under
        traditional authorities. It will prevent people losing land
        through trading.

        The policy is expected to be tabled in the next sitting of
        Parliament in September this year. Meanwhile thousands
        of people have encroached on tea estates in the populous
        Mulanje district, claiming that the land belonged to their
        ancestors.

        Mulanje district commissioner Hastings Bota says the
        development had forced the land ministry to send teams of
        surveyors to verify maps of the area to establish the
        villagers' claims. - African Eye News Service
      • Christine Chumbler
        [I ll be leaving tomorrow for a 2 week work trip, so this will be the last news email for a little while.] Malawi sacks top lawmaker probing maize scandal
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 25, 2002
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          [I'll be leaving tomorrow for a 2 week work trip, so this will be the
          last news email for a little while.]

          Malawi sacks top lawmaker probing maize
          scandal
          Blantyre
          25 September
          2002 15:06

          Malawi's ruling party has fired the outspoken
          chairman of a parliamentary
          committee who was investigating a maize scandal
          blamed for worsening
          severe food shortages here, an official said on
          Wednesday.

          Joe Manduwa of the United Democratic Front (UDF) was
          fired on Tuesday
          over his role in investigating the sale in the midst
          of a severe drought in
          southern Africa of more than 160 000 tons of maize
          from Malawi's strategic
          grain reserves, the official said.

          The sale has left the country with a 600 000 ton
          shortfall of maize, the
          country's staple food, and left 3,2 million
          Malawians threatened with
          starvation.

          No reason was given for Manduwa's dismissal, said
          the official, who spoke
          on condition of anonymity. Chief whip George Ntafu
          faxed a letter to
          parliamentarians informing them of Manduwa's
          removal, he said.

          "This is a move to block me from investigating some
          top people involved,
          which we have uncovered," told Manduwa.

          He said attempts to get details on politicians
          involved in the maize scandal
          were frustrated by the UDF.

          Manduwa, a former deputy agriculture minister,
          headed a 19-member
          committee that was due to present its report on the
          maize scam to
          parliament next month.

          The maize scandal has cost the cash-strapped
          government $40-million, and
          is blamed for worsening the nation's food
          shortages.

          The Anti-Corruption Bureau is set to prosecute
          several
          high-ranking officials allegedly involved in the
          sale of the maize reserves.

          Manduwa, who remains an MP for Mwanza East district
          in southern Malawi,
          stirred controversy in parliament when he
          recommended the country should
          start growing marijuana, for non-narcotics purposes,
          to replace the main
          cash crop, tobacco.

          He also has called for marketing a locally made
          herbal
          aphrodisiac, saying if exported to western nations
          it could lift the nation out
          of poverty. - Sapa-AFP

          *****

          Zimbabwe trumpets 'victory over
          colonialism'
          Harare
          25 September
          2002 07:33

          The Zimbabwe government on Tuesday greeted with
          triumph news that a
          Commonwealth troika had decided to spare it from
          further sanctions, calling
          the decision a victory over colonialism.

          The official Herald newspaper said the two African
          members of the troika,
          Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo
          Mbeki of South Africa
          "did Africa proud" by out-voting Australia's Prime
          Minister John Howard.

          The troika met in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday, six
          months after it partially
          suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth over flawed
          elections that
          returned President Robert Mugabe to power.

          Howard backed full and immediate suspension of
          Zimbabwe, while Obasanjo
          and Mbeki wanted to continue to monitor the southern
          African country for
          another six months.

          The three agreed that nothing had been done yet to
          address Commonwealth
          concerns that Mugabe had been re-elected
          undemocratically. But Commonwealth secretary general
          Don McKinnon,
          along with Howard and Prime Minister Tony Blair of
          Zimbabwe's former
          colonial power Britain, said the 54-member body
          intends to keep the
          pressure on.

          Speaking on BBC radio, McKinnon said the
          Commonwealth had given
          Mugabe a 12-month period that expires on March 19
          next year, to come into
          line before full suspension from the organization is
          considered.

          "We are still remaining engaged," he said. "The
          Commonwealth is not just
          walking away from this. We are doing our best to
          remain engaged and try to
          influence."

          Blair and Howard agreed on Tuesday after meeting in
          London to keep up
          pressure, with the British leader reiterating his
          concern at the deteriorating
          situation in Zimbabwe, a Foreign Office
          representative said.

          Meanwhile, the Herald, which closely reflects
          government thinking, claimed
          Howard's agenda was "not to discuss the situation in
          Zimbabwe but to
          prescribe punishment to a country that had dared
          challenge colonial
          hegemony."

          Zimbabwe has accused white Commonwealth countries of
          trying to
          undermine a controversial land reform programme.

          The government-backed scheme is aimed at redressing
          colonial imbalances
          in land ownership by the compulsory acquisition of
          white-owned farms,
          which are redistributed to landless blacks.

          Aid agencies warn that the programme, which has
          resettled some 300 000
          black families and aims to resettle many more, will
          aggravate a famine that
          threatens over half the country's 12-million people,
          because the new
          landowners are not trained commercial farmers.

          Zimbabwe's main political opposition criticised the
          troika for being too
          lenient on Mugabe.

          Welshman Ncube, the Secretary General of the
          Movement for
          Democratic Change (MDC) said the Commonwealth had
          missed "an
          opportunity to take firm action."

          He said Obasanjo and Mbeki had given their assent to
          an "unrepentant and
          unreforming" Mugabe and given him "another six
          months to destroy the
          country."

          "Right now it (the government) is doing everything
          to subvert democratic
          processes in Zimbabwe," he charged.

          The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its
          political councils after its
          observer mission to the March presidential polls
          produced a report saying
          the election did not reflect the will of voters.

          The Zimbabwe government rejected that report, which
          it described as flawed
          and one-sided, and accused the troika of acting
          unilaterally when it partially
          suspended Zimbabwe.

          Masipula Sithole, a political science lecturer at
          the University of Zimbabwe,
          said the reprieve had not totally let Zimbabwe off
          the hook.

          If there was no improvement in the next six months,
          the country could
          expect the ultimate censure -- sanctions and full
          suspension from the body
          -- he warned.

          "I believe we have been given a long rope," Sithole
          said. He described as
          "premature" the glee in government circles over
          being spared further
          sanctions.

          "We know what is coming," he said. "If we don't
          improve within the next six
          months, we're doomed."

          On Monday Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister Stan
          Mudenge welcomed
          the panel's decision, and invited the troika to come
          and assess the situation
          in Zimbabwe for themselves.

          "Particularly we want Prime Minister Howard to come
          to Harare," Mudenge
          said. "He can come and see what he wants to see, he
          can discuss what he
          wants to discuss." - Sapa-AFP
        • Christine Chumbler
          Malawi VP quits ahead of election Malawi s Vice-President Justin Malewezi has resigned ahead of general elections due in May. In a surprise statement, Mr
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 2, 2004
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            Malawi VP quits ahead of election

            Malawi's Vice-President Justin Malewezi has resigned ahead of general elections due in May.
            In a surprise statement, Mr Malewezi also resigned from the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF).

            He cited personal reasons for his departure, but the BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says his resignation statement hints that Mr Malewezi is now deciding his next political move.

            He had been seen as the obvious man to succeed President Bakili Muluzi as the UDF candidate until Economics Minister Bingu wa Mutharika, a relative outsider, was appointed.

            Mr Muluzi lost a spirited campaign to secure a third term in office.

            Last straw

            "I have resigned for personal reasons. At the same time, I have proceeded on leave pending retirement until I hand over the vice-presidency to my successor after the general elections on May 18, 2004," Mr Malewezi said in a statement.

            He served as first vice-chairman of the UDF since Malawi's first democratic elections in 1994, which ended the rule of long-time leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

            Four months ago the ruling party entered a loose alliance with the country's second largest opposition party, the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) whose leader Chakufwa Chihana, was named second vice-president.

            Our correspondent says the appointment of Mr Chihana seems to have been the last straw for Mr Malewezi.

            Several senior ruling UDF officials resigned in protest over Mr Wa Mutharika's anointment while some were fired from their party positions for publicly opposing the president's choice.
          • Christine Chumbler
            Malawi mob attacks police station At least two people have been killed following clashes between the police and demonstrators in Malawi. Police spokesman
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 20 6:14 AM
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              Malawi mob attacks police station

              At least two people have been killed following clashes between the police and demonstrators in Malawi.
              Police spokesman Willie Mwaluka said scores of youths throwing stones had besieged a police station at Nsanje, near Malawi's border with Mozambique.

              They were protesting at the death of a man in custody whom they claimed had been tortured to death.

              Correspondents say political tensions are high in the south ahead of the 18 May presidential elections.


              Mr Mwaluka said the man had committed suicide after being arrested for being drunk in public.

              Chanting slogans

              The angry crowd besieged the police station when news of the death spread, with police officers barricaded inside being pelted with stones and other missiles.

              Mr Mwaluka said the mob then went on the rampage, ransacking and looting people's houses, grocery shops and a department store.

              "It was a pure orgy of looting and general disorder," he said.

              Opposition Republican Party spokesman Silas Kanjere alleged that police arrested the man for chanting anti-government slogans and for proclaiming that Gwanda Chakuamba should be Malawi's next president.

              Mr Chakuamba is the presidential candidate for a coalition of seven opposition parties.

              The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says tension is high in the town as the angry youths have vowed to avenge the death of their colleagues.

              Officers from a nearby Malawi Army garrison have been called in to re-enforce security.
            • Christine Chumbler
              Malawi: Battle Over the Airwaves Goes to Court UN Integrated Regional Information Networks April 22, 2004 Posted to the web April 22, 2004 Lilongwe The
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 23 6:04 AM
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                Malawi: Battle Over the Airwaves Goes to Court

                UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                April 22, 2004
                Posted to the web April 22, 2004

                Lilongwe

                The opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has taken legal action against the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Television Malawi (TVM) for allegedly biased coverage of election campaigning.

                NDA attorney Ralph Kasambara said his client was seeking redress for the alleged blackout of opposition parties by the public broadcasters.

                "I am only hoping that the court will direct the two public media institutions to comply with the Parliamentary and Presidential Act [on free and fair elections]," said Kasambara. The NDA is also asking the courts to rule that all competing parties have fair access to public broadcasters.

                NDA spokesperson Salule Masangwi said the party had resorted to court action, as "the ruling party has an advantage over us because of [coverage by] the two media houses".

                Deputy director-general of the MBC, Eunice Chipangula, was quoted by Capital Radio FM as saying that coverage of political parties was based on the number of MPs each party had in the national assembly.

                "This is how we learned from South Africa when we went there to learn about political reporting," said Chipangula.

                This assertion is being challenged by the NDA, whose presidential candidate, Brown Mpinganjira, was previously the minister of information in the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

                Parliament was dissolved last month and there are currently no MPs in the house, argued the NDA.

                According to documents filed in the courts, the NDA also wants the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to adhere to the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections laws, as the MEC is also facing accusations of bias toward the ruling party.

                The court is to hear the NDA's application on 3 to 4 May.


                *****

                Mozambique battles malaria

                Maputo, Mozambique

                23 April 2004 13:55


                Mozambique said on Friday it is stepping up a prevention campaign against malaria, the country's third-biggest killer after cholera and Aids, by encouraging the use of mosquito nets and looking at new treatments.

                Malaria, caused by a parasite carried by the Anopheles mosquito, killed 3 200 people in Mozambique last year out of a total of 4,5-million cases, the Health Ministry said in a statement, two days ahead of Africa Malaria Day.

                The worst affected area is the northern Nampula region with 627 fatalities, followed by the southern Maputo province with 471 deaths, said the statement.

                Authorities have been encouraging the use of mosquito nets and are trying to raise public awareness among children, who are the most affected along with pregnant women.

                "We think that by educating children we will be securing successes in the struggle against malaria," National Director of Health Alexandre Manguel said.

                The Health Ministry is also planning to introduce a new line of antimalarial drugs to replace chloroquine, to which the parasite carried by the mosquitoes has grown resistant in recent years.

                Mozambique is also battling an outbreak of cholera that has claimed 100 lives this year out of about 20 000 reported cases, according to official statistics.

                The majority of cholera cases have been reported in the capital, Maputo, and the central city of Beira, where about 50 000 people were earlier this year vaccinated on an experimental basis.

                The Health Ministry is also awaiting the results next month of trials on an orally administered vaccine for cholera.

                HIV/Aids has been another health plague but authorities have not published any figures of the number of deaths from the disease.

                Mozambique, with a population of more than 17-million, has an adult HIV prevalence rate of 16% with about 700 new infections daily. -- Sapa-AFP
              • Christine Chumbler
                Malawi president a bad choice Former President Bakili Muluzi has apologised to Malawians for choosing a successor who has turned against him. Current
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 5 5:45 AM
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                  Malawi president 'a bad choice'

                  Former President Bakili Muluzi has apologised to Malawians for choosing
                  a successor who has turned against him.
                  Current President Bingu wa Mutharika was proposed by Mr Muluzi as the
                  United Democratic Front candidate in the 2004 presidential elections.

                  But he resigned from the UDF after a bitter political tussle and is now
                  launching his own political party.

                  President Mutharika accuses Mr Muluzi of thwarting his high-profile
                  anti-corruption campaign.

                  Admission

                  "Let me apologise to the country for the choice of Bingu wa Mutharika
                  and imposing him on the country," Mr Muluzi told a political rally in
                  the capital, Lilongwe.

                  "I didn't know he would be accommodating dissenting views," he said.

                  Mr Muluzi, who remains extremely influential within the UDF, chose Mr
                  Mutharika as presidential candidate after parliament rejected his
                  attempt to amend the constitution to allow him to stand for a third
                  term.

                  The BBC's Raphael Tenthani says it is the first time Mr Muluzi has
                  admitted imposing a successor on his party and suggests the gloves have
                  now come off in their worsening row.

                  No party has a majority in the 193-member parliament, but the UDF is
                  believed to be considering impeaching the president.
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