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  • Christine Chumbler
    Sorry for the multiple emails, but BBC snuck in some later stories... Judge reprieves Malawi MPs By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre A high court judge has granted
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 9 9:49 AM
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      Sorry for the multiple emails, but BBC snuck in some later stories...

      Judge reprieves Malawi

      By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

      A high court judge has granted an injunction
      which suspends the expulsion from parliament
      of seven opposition politicians in Malawi.

      Among them are former senior minister Brown
      Mpinganjira, and his wife Lizzie, who were
      expelled from the ruling United Democratic
      Front last year and have since formed the
      National Democratic Alliance pressure group.

      They were expelled
      because under the
      constitution, MPs are
      forbidden from
      associating themselves
      with parties or political
      groupings, other than
      the party they
      represented when

      Justice Frank Kapanda ordered parliament and
      the seven sacked MPs to present their
      arguments before Justice William Hanjahanja on
      Sunday on whether they deserve to be fired or

      Garnered support

      Their lawyers had argued that they had
      already been sacked from the UDF when the
      controversial section 65 of the constitution
      was gazetted.

      The pressure group has managed to garner
      some support from the UDF stronghold of the
      southern region, and analysts say the move to
      ban some of them was designed to undermine

      The expulsion of the
      president of the
      opposition Malawi
      Congress Party of
      former President
      Hastings Banda was
      also suspended.

      Gwanda Chakuamba
      and his right-hand
      man, the outspoken
      Heatherwick Ntaba,
      had been accused of
      forming an alliance with
      the third largest group
      in parliament and taking senior positions within

      The debate on the issue in parliament on
      Wednesday followed the circulation of a letter
      by two MPs, one ruling party and another
      opposition, to the speaker, asking him to
      declare their seats vacant because they had
      left their original party.

      Heated exchange

      During the heated exchange it was argued that
      five of the disaffected MPs were voted in as
      ruling party representatives and as they have
      now joined groupings whose objectives, it is
      claimed, are political in nature, they have
      forfeited claims to their seats.

      But when the speaker allowed the debate to
      go ahead despite the absence of the seven
      accused MPs, even senior ruling UDF MPs
      protested, saying it was unfair.

      Loveness Gondwe, MP, said that if the motion
      was not vindictive, then all other MPs in the
      alliance should also have their seats declared

      But the speaker curtailed the debate, saying
      his decision was final.


      Also banned from parliament is the tycoon and
      former financier of the ruling party, James
      Makhumula, who left the party early this year
      citing corruption.

      Both Mr Mpinganjira
      and Dr Ntaba told the
      BBC they would fight
      both legally and
      politically to regain
      their status.

      Mr Mpinganjira said he
      knew all along that the
      introduction of the
      controversial section
      had been targeted at

      The move to dismiss
      the seven MPs has already drawn wide-spread
      condemnation among civil society and the
      donor community.

      Their expulsion would trigger a round of


      Zimbabwe editor walks

      The editor of Zimbabwe's only privately-owned
      daily newspaper, the Daily News, has been
      been released on bail after being held
      overnight and charged with giving false
      investment information.

      It comes as reports from Zimbabwe say the
      government intends to remove voting rights
      from most Zimbabweans living abroad.

      Geoff Nyarota and Wilf Mbanga, a former
      director of the company which publishes the
      paper, appeared at a Harare Magistrates court
      on Friday where they were given $10,000
      Zimbabwe dollars bail.

      The Daily News is
      fiercely critical of the
      government and in
      January, its printing
      press was destroyed by
      a bomb.

      But Mr Nyarota
      appeared unintimidated
      by his spell in custody.

      "Nothing whatsoever will make me change the
      policy of my newspaper," he said

      "This was just a minor irritation."

      Earlier this week, a government newspaper,
      The Herald, said that The Daily News might be
      shut down because its publishers had broken
      investment and foreign exchange control

      Mr Nyarota and three colleagues were arrested
      in August after publishing a story which alleged
      that some police officers were involved in the
      looting of white-owned farms.

      Election rules

      New rules are to be introduced before next
      year's presidential election which would limit
      the use of postal votes to diplomatic staff and
      soldiers serving outside Zimbabwe, said The
      Herald on Friday.

      In addition,
      expatriates would be
      barred from using a
      return visit as a
      pretext for casting
      their ballot at home.

      Political analysts say
      the government
      believes most of the
      of Zimbabweans living
      abroad support the
      opposition Movement
      for Democratic Change.

      About 30,000 white Zimbabweans, and as
      many as a million farm workers and their
      families from other African countries, who have
      dual nationality, have already had their voting
      rights affected.

      They are required to either renounce their right
      to a foreign passport, or forego their
      Zimbabwean citizenship.


      On Thursday the government said that it would
      only allow civil servants to monitor presidential
      elections, due early next year.

      In last year's parliamentary elections,
      foreigners were banned but local civic
      organisation trained thousands of

      Mr Chinamasa said that
      some of these
      organisations were
      funded by foreigners
      and therefore did not
      have Zimbabwe's
      interests at heart.

      The opposition
      Movement for
      Democratic Change
      immediately cried foul,
      saying this was
      preparing the ground to
      rig the elections.

      The European Union has threatened to impose
      sanctions if it is not allowed to monitor the


      Zimbabwe clash with
      Oppenheimer dynasty

      The Oppenheimer dynasty in South Africa is
      heading for a confrontation with the Zimbabwe
      Government over land reform.

      The Oppenheimers control two of Africa's
      richest companies - the Anglo American
      Corporation and De Beers - and own 2.4 million
      acres of farmland in Zimbabwe - approximately
      the size of Belgium.

      The family is resisting government calls to
      hand over a large proportion of its

      But Zimbabwe vice-president Joseph Msika has
      visited Oppenheimer ranches to tell them that
      an interim agreement has been reached.


      Family spokesman Clifford Elphick told the
      BBC's World Business Report that it was not
      their understanding that land is going to be

      "There is a process of discussion between
      Nicky Oppenheimer and the Zimbabwean
      government," he said.

      In September 2000
      President Robert
      Mugabe made a rare
      concession on his
      controversial land
      reforms by telling Anglo
      American that it could
      keep its properties.

      Now there are reports that deputy chairman
      Nicky Oppenheimer is under pressure to give up

      "A compromise is that Nicky would give his
      management instructions to remove cattle
      from some areas so crops could be planted
      whilst the rain was falling," Mr Elphick said.

      Different solutions?

      The family would then reclaim its land, but the
      government wants it to remain under the
      control of black farmers.

      The problem revolves around the question of
      what land the family is prepared to make
      available to the government.

      The government says it wants a total of
      65,000 hectares of land by the end of the
      year, claiming that Anglo American's
      possessions amount to the size of Belgium.

      "We are running a very successful business
      with 20,000 head of cattle on that property. It
      is a question of making sure the business
      remains viable."

      "At the same time we have to make land
      available to the invaders, if you want to call
      them that - the war veterans - which would
      suit their needs and the sort of agriculture
      they want to practice," Mr Elphick said.

      There is a danger that Zimbabwe is making an
      example of the Oppenheimer dynasty because
      they are so powerful.

      "I hope that isn't the case because we are
      looking for a compromise," Mr Elphick explained.

      Mr Mugabe has authorised the seizure of more
      than 4,500 white-owned farms as part of his
      often-violent drive to redistribute land he says
      was stolen by British settlers more than 100
      years ago.

      Aid agencies have warned of impending severe
      food shortages in Zimbabwe - citing a
      combination of drought and the farm invasions.

      Commercial farmers say Mr Mugabe has failed
      to honour a deal under which his government
      agreed to end farm invasions in return for
      pledges of financial help from former colonial
      power Britain.
    • Paul DEVER
      Judge reprieves Malawi MPs I guess they don t have separation of powers and the system of checks and balances... If our Congress had censured, then banished a
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 9 6:49 PM
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        Judge reprieves Malawi

        I guess they don't have separation of powers and the system of checks and

        If our Congress had censured, then banished a member of congress, Not even
        the Supreme Court could get him/her back...

        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
      • Christine Chumbler
        According to my sources, the bit about USAID s funding is not exactly the whole story, as you might expect. Malawi donors suspend aid President Muluzi is
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 19 1:24 PM
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          According to my sources, the bit about USAID's funding is not exactly the whole story, as you might expect.

          Malawi donors suspend

          President Muluzi is planning to travel to Europe to
          discuss the suspensions
          By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

          At least four of Malawi's major donors have
          suspended aid to the impoverished southern
          African state citing widespread corruption and
          economic mismanagement.

          The news emerged in a
          leaked confidential
          memorandum from
          Malawi's Finance
          Minister Mathews
          Chikaonda to President
          Bakili Muluzi.

          He says in the letter,
          that I have seen a
          copy of, that both the
          European Union and
          the United States have
          development aid.

          It says the EU has not only suspended the
          release of 15m Euros ($13m) but has also
          demanded a refund of seven million Euros
          already disbursed.


          The EU delegation discovered anomalies while
          carrying out an audit, discovering that funds
          had been used for projects outside any
          bilateral agreement.

          The delegation's economic advisor, Theo
          Kaspers, said the EU had written a fresh
          memorandum of understanding with conditions
          which had to be signed.

          The United States government, through the US
          Agency for International Development (USAID),
          has also diverted at least $6m of the $7m
          meant for Malawi to another country.

          It said the move came in response to the
          Malawi Government's decision to suspend its
          privatisation programme.

          Other donors, notably Britain, have also put on
          hold development aid to Malawi because of
          corruption, mismanagement and political

          Denmark, whose envoy Orla Bakdal was forced
          to leave after the Danish embassy questioned
          how its money was being used, has also scaled
          down sponsored projects in Malawi.

          Bad timing

          The suspensions could not come at a worse
          time for Malawi.

          The government needs
          to imports thousands
          of tonnes of maize to
          offset the worsening
          food crisis.

          Mr Chikaonda has
          recommended that the
          cabinet be informed on
          the developments to
          discuss other ways of
          raising money.

          He has also suggested
          that President Muluzi
          and himself travel to Brussels to discuss
          developments with the EU.

          Meanwhile, the practical effects of the aid
          suspensions are already being felt.

          New salaries for teachers, the police and
          medical workers - which President Muluzi
          promised last June - have yet to materialise,
          already fuelling sporadic strike actions.
        • Christine Chumbler
          Zambian president suffers stroke Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has suffered a minor stroke, state radio has reported. A spokesman said he was making steady
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 13, 2006
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            Zambian president suffers stroke

            Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has suffered a minor stroke, state radio has reported. A spokesman said he was making steady progress.
            The president was admitted to hospital in London for a check-up two weeks ago.

            Mr Mwanawasa, 57, has been in office since 2001, and has said he intends to contest elections later this year for a second and final term.

            The radio report did not make clear how long ago President Mwanawasa had suffered the stroke.

            "Chief Government Spokesman Vernon Mwaanga revealed that President Mwanawasa suffered a minor stroke," Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.

            "Mr Mwaanga however, said the president was making steady progress," ZNBC said.

            Mr Mwanawasa cancelled an election campaign trip and flew to London to see doctors after feeling ill on 1 April, officials said.

            But a government spokesman said Mr Mwanawasa had gone to London for a routine check-up to ensure his fitness ahead of the election campaign.
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