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  • Christine Chumbler
    Gadaffi s African roadshow rolls into Malawi Blantyre 17 July 2002 12:22 Up to half-a-million Malawians turned out to see Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi when he
    Message 1 of 1046 , Jul 17, 2002
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      Gadaffi's African roadshow rolls into Malawi

      17 July
      2002 12:22

      Up to half-a-million Malawians turned out to see
      Libyan leader Moammar
      Gadaffi when he travelled the 350 kilometres by road
      from the administrative
      capital Lilongwe in central Malawi, through the tiny
      country's main highway
      to Blantyre, the commercial capital in the south,
      officials said on

      "I have never seen anything like that before in
      Malawi. Thousands of people
      along the entire main road showed up to see the
      Libyan leader," Willie
      Zingani, press secretary to Muluzi, told AFP.

      Host Malawian President Bakili Muluzi accompanied

      Zingani, who travelled close to the 100-car convoy,
      said most of the people
      along the stretch of the road waved Libyan and
      Malawi flags, while many
      others carried portraits of the two leaders.

      "It was quite a big and colourful show," he added.

      The Libyan leader was the first head of state in
      Malawi's history to travel this
      distance by road. Even Muluzi has hardly travelled
      by road between the two
      cities since he came to power in 1994.

      Driving in an open limousine, Gadaffi's convoy took
      five hours to cover the

      Two Malawi army helicopters flew above the convoy
      from Lilongwe to
      Blantyre, in what one resident here described as the
      "spectacle of the year."

      A police officer on the convoy said the Libyans took
      control of all security for
      Gadaffi's convoy, sidelining all arrangements made
      by Malawi.

      Gadaffi had arrived on Tuesday to a hero's welcome
      at the start of his first
      official four day visit to the impoverished southern
      African state.

      He was to attend a rally Wednesday at the main 60
      000 seat stadium in

      Thousands of people started trooping to the stadium
      as early as 6am after
      state radio announced that government had declared
      an afternoon holiday for
      all workers to enable them to attend the rally.

      Gadaffi was to hold talks with Muluzi on bilateral
      issues. - Sapa-AFP


      Zambia's ex foreign minister commits

      17 July
      2002 11:09

      Zambia's former foreign minister shot himself dead
      on Tuesday shortly after
      the country's parliament lifted ex-president
      Frederick Chiluba's immunity
      from prosecution, state radio said.

      Katele Kalumba resigned from his post on July 11,
      minutes before President
      Levy Mwanawasa urged parliament to remove Chiluba's

      Kalumba served as finance minister in Chiluba's
      government but
      Mwanawasa moved him to foreign affairs when he came
      to power early this

      Mwanawasa has named Kalumba as one of the people
      implicated in the
      financial scandals surrounding Chiluba.

      Last year Kalumba was acquitted by a special
      tribunal trying him and two
      other ministers for allegedly diverting $750 000 of
      parliament money to fund
      last year's convention of the ruling Movement for
      Multiparty Democracy

      Vice President Enock Kavidele has meanwhile given a
      national address
      detailing further corruption charges against Chiluba
      and naming more people
      who allegedly received illegal allocations of state
      money from his
      government. - Sapa-AFP


      Zambians protest
      against Chiluba

      Thousands of opponents of former president
      Frederick Chiluba demonstrated outside
      parliament in Lusaka on Tuesday as MPs met
      to start debating whether to lift his immunity
      from prosecution.

      Ordinary people, women's groups and
      anti-corruption campaigners chanted slogans
      and carried placards denouncing the former
      president and demanding a swift decision.

      But the BBC's Penny
      Dale in Lusaka says that
      the debate is now
      expected to start in
      earnest on Wednesday.

      Frederick Chiluba has
      denied the allegations of
      corruption against him
      made by his successor,
      Levy Mwanawasa, in
      parliament last

      Our correspondent says
      that the government
      would be in a difficult
      position if it was seen to
      delay the debate too

      But she says many members of the
      government want to make sure that the
      correct procedure is followed, particularly
      because of the divisions within the ruling
      Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

      Mr Chiluba was believed to be staying in his
      secure Lusaka residence on Tuesday, with
      feelings running so high in the capital.

      A group of students carried a banner saying
      "Chiluba must be caged for life".

      'Puppet' breaks free

      The former president has protested his
      innocence and said he was the victim of a

      Addressing a press conference in Lusaka on
      Sunday, Mr Chiluba lamented: "Zambia is
      degenerating into an intolerant society where
      brother eats brother".

      On Thursday,
      President Mwanawasa
      asked a special
      session of parliament
      to lift Mr Chiluba's
      immunity from
      prosecution and
      outlined a series of
      corruption allegations
      against him and
      members of his

      Mr Mwanawasa was
      elected as president in
      December 2001 in a widely disputed election.
      His victory is being challenged by the
      opposition in the Supreme Court.

      When he was first chosen to be the
      presidential candidate for the MMD, Mr
      Mwanawasa was seen by many observers as "a
      puppet" of Mr Chiluba.

      Since his election, he has made the fight
      against corruption a priority for his

      This has had the effect of splitting the MMD
      into pro-Mwanawasa and pro-Chiluba camps.

      Kaunda, too

      The anti-corruption campaign has led to the
      resignation of the foreign minister and the
      arrest of the Zambian ambassador to

      Addressing a crowd of his supporters at the
      Sunday press conference, Mr Chiluba said it
      was not fair that the corruption accusations
      were made in parliament, he had not had the
      chance to defend himself.

      Penny Dale said that Mr Chiluba appeared tired
      but was determined to fight the allegations.

      The former president warned his audience that
      the country would end up in turmoil if the
      allegations continued to be made.

      He also said that if parliament removed his
      immunity it should also do so for Zambia's first
      President, Kenneth Kaunda, "to create a level
      playing field".

      Mr Kaunda stepped down as president in 1991
      after losing to Mr Chiluba in that year's


      AU asked to address Zim crises
      Jaspreet Kindra

      12 July
      2002 00:00

      Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's
      opposition Movement for
      Democratic Change (MDC), and the party's secretary
      general, Welshman
      Ncube, could not attend the launch of the African
      Union (AU) in Durban this
      week. Their passports and other identification
      documents had been
      confiscated by the Zanu-PF regime, making travel
      impossible, the MDC's
      Sekai Holland said.

      Tsvangirai and Ncube are facing treason charges,
      which the MDC claims
      have been trumped up.

      Holland, who represented her party in Durban, called
      for more details on the
      "peer review mechanism" contained in the New
      Partnership for Africa's
      Development (Nepad),which will enable the AU to
      ensure that all countries
      on the continent follow democratic practices.

      Holland called on the AU and two of its members --
      South Africa and Nigeria
      -- in particular, to push for an interim government
      in Zimbabwe. The MDC
      rejected the results of the presidential poll in

      South Africa and Nigeria tried to mediate between
      the Zanu-PF and the
      MDC in a bid to set up a transitional government in
      Zimbabwe but failed.

      In a message to the AU released at the launch of a
      "Save Zimbabwe"
      campaign in Durban, Tsvangirai urged the leaders to
      "deliver a clear and
      unequivocal message to [President] Robert Mugabe
      that his abuse of
      Zimbabweans is totally unacceptable as this flouts
      standards set by both
      regional and continental organisations."

      The Save Zimbabwe campaign, which hopes to emulate
      the anti-apartheid
      campaign of the 1970s and 1980s, aims to restore
      human rights and
      democracy in Zimbabwe. The MDC said it endorsed the
      campaign, which is
      run by Zimbabwean sympathisers settled outside the
      country. The
      campaigners are calling for new presidential

      Tsvangirai asked in a statement: "When we talk of
      Nepad, what credibility
      can Africa have in the eyes of the world community
      when rogue rule in
      Zimbabwe flouts all international expectations of
      justice, human rights and


      Frelimo's Future Presidential Candidate Sets Out His Stall


      July 16, 2002
      Posted to the web July 16, 2002

      Akwe Amosu
      Maputo, Mozambique

      The swearing in last month of Armando Guebuza as the new secretary
      general of Mozambique's ruling party, Frelimo, makes it certain that he
      will be the party's presidential candidate in 2004, since President
      Chissano has said he will not run again.

      As a top party official for the past two decades, Guebuza is well-known
      among Mozambicans and has a controversial history.

      In the early 1980s he was personally responsible for implementing
      'operacao producao' a policy under which the then sole party, Frelimo,
      sent thousands of city dwellers to 're-education camps' in the far north
      of the country if they were perceived to be insufficiently compliant to
      the authorities or engaged in anti-social practices, such as

      A few years earlier, faced with a number of Portuguese in the newly
      independent Mozambique who were seen as trying to obstruct the Frelimo
      government, Guebuza declared the policy that came to be known as
      "24/20"; the trouble-makers had 24 hours to get out of the country and
      could only take 20 kilos of personal belongings.

      Memories of both periods remain keen and there are anxieties that such
      heavy-handedness might be a hint of things to come.

      Guebuza's extensive business empire is also the subject of some
      discussion; a commonly-heard nickname for him is 'Gue-business'. Critics
      charge that he has used his political power to leverage his business
      affairs and vice versa.

      Armando Guebuza is popular in Frelimo. He won his position as secretary
      general with 106 votes, over 70% of the total; the next candidate polled
      only 18 votes. He has been in the leadership of the party since 1968,
      serving under the country's first president, Samora Machel, as interior
      minister twice, 'minister-resident' in Sofala province and as minister
      without portfolio. Under President Chissano he was appointed Minister of
      Transport and went on to become the chief Frelimo negotiator during
      talks with Renamo to end the civil war, concluding the agreement which
      eventually led to multi-party elections, in 1992.

      Akwe Amosu managed to win 15 minutes with him in the grounds of a
      well-known primary school in Maputo, before he went into a Frelimo party

      Being sworn in as the secretary general of Frelimo and the party's
      future presidential candidate must be an important moment in your life.
      Is this something that you've long worked for?

      Of course, of course. I had not been working to become secretary
      general; but once the situation arose, I of course fought for this
      position because I had the confidence of my comrades and friends who
      believed that, as President Chissano had decided to renounce the
      candidature for the new term after 2004, I would be fit for it; from
      then on, I started fighting for it.

      What accounts for the strong support that you have in the party?

      (laugh) I don't know. But I believe, from what I see, that people trust
      me and that this trust was translated into a very strong voting position
      for myself. For example I had 72 per cent of the votes in the central
      committee, so I believe that people trust me and that they are ready to
      help me because they know that I cannot do it alone.

      You will lead a major election campaign in 2004. What are the most
      important planks of your programme and your vision for Mozambique?

      Fortunately we have a programme in Frelimo, one that was approved by
      the recent 8th congress, meaning that I'm not having a special plan of
      my own, as I identify myself completely with whatever was decided in
      that meeting.

      Areas of concern on my side are, one, the absolute poverty issue which
      is the biggest problem that we are facing in the country and all other
      problems are, in a way, related to that.

      The second is, in order to overcome that, to work to continue to
      attract investment, both national and international. You will ask 'but
      what kind of national investment do you have?'

      So what's the answer?

      We do have, we do have; people need to be more realistic, in the sense
      that even if they have just [a small amount of] U.S. dollars or meticais
      this can be transformed into something that could help them and also
      help implement the programme of the government. So we need all that.

      Of course, in order to grow faster, we rely on foreign investment and I
      believe the continuation of a creation of a good investment atmosphere
      is important. In order to do that we need to make sure there is good
      governance in the country, there is transparency, that all freedoms are
      respected and encouraged to be used according to the rules of the
      democratic game; also that we fight strongly against, on one side,
      corruption, which is a very serious problem, and on the other, with

      On that, I would say that the impression of people is that Mozambique
      is completely a country of crime but that's not what I mean. What I mean
      is that whatever crime exists worries Mozambicans seriously because they
      are not used to this kind of situation. So it is our responsibility to
      calm our people and fight strongly against crime.

      We also have to consider the issues related to HIV, malaria and cholera
      which, due to our conditions, are very dangerous and deadly diseases. Of
      course, all these have a main cause - poverty.

      Another element to deal with poverty - we are going to continue to
      encourage agriculture; I mean the rural areas must be developed and
      agriculture must be more and more commercialized because, mostly in the
      country, we have subsistence agriculture.

      What do you say to people who say: "Look, Frelimo has had a long time
      to address this issue and yet if you go outside this wealthy island of
      Maputo you see extreme poverty and lack of investment throughout the
      country?" Many feel there hasn't been enough effort. so far. to address
      this problem.

      Well it's true that we have been in power for the last 27 years; but we
      would need to consider the fact that since '75 up to now, we faced
      problems that were not made by ourselves.

      This region had enemies of African people like Ian Smith of Rhodesia
      and apartheid in South Africa; that involved military attacks and
      economic blockades which made it difficult to continue the economic plan
      that we had.

      And we had 16 years of war. Nevertheless, the government of Mozambique
      showed that it meant to develop the country. You see the main programmes
      to electrify this country were established during those periods,
      rehabilitation of Nacala corridor, even Beira corridor partially, were
      done during that time. Even the Limpopo corridor was partially
      rehabilitated during that time.

      So while we were rehabilitating, while we were constructing something,
      we were seeing that Renamo and apartheid were destroying whatever we
      were doing. But a lot of things were done. Only we could not succeed
      because of these pressures, which were outside of our control.

      Another example; since we achieved peace, all schools that were
      destroyed have been reconstructed, as well as clinics, which shows the
      capacity that Frelimo has to rebuild.

      Can I ask you about the governance issue, because you raised it in your
      list of priorities? Two weeks ago, the independent weekly newspaper
      Savanah published a list, drawn from publicly-available sources, of your
      apparently extensive business interests and it raised the question of
      whether it is possible for senior officials to keep a boundary between
      their business interests and those of the country and government. There
      appears to be a perception that your business interests might compromise
      a presidency that you might lead.

      Well there are laws in this country which establish that if somebody
      holds government office he may not also be in the management of his own
      business, so I am going to respect that completely.

      And secondly, I have been involved since a long time in situations
      where I have personal interests on one side and collective interests on
      the other side and always I have given preference to the public
      interest. I am sure that I will go on doing that.

      I'm not saying it is an easy thing because at that level of the
      presidency, we may have interference; but whenever there is a conflict,
      I would respect the presidency.

      One particular question that one of my press colleagues here raised
      with me was the linking, in that list of interests, of your name with
      the newspapers O Diario and Domingo. He complained that you appeared to
      be a shareholder and that those papers were, in fact, supportive of you.
      Is there any justification in that?

      (sigh) Well, I would say in this inventory, there are many, many things
      that are just speculations.

      Secondly, you have to consider that you are dealing with private
      property and you are not going to interfere with whatever a private
      newspaper would do, in terms of its positioning on different issues. You
      have, today, things like Imparcial; they take a position apparently
      supporting Renamo and nobody can complain about it. Or you have other
      papers that will take different positions. So I don't think we should
      interfere with the liberty and freedom of the private newspapers or
      private enterprises in this field.

      Can you foresee the need for new rules that would regulate that
      relationship between press and politicians?

      Well, we have here the law on the press and I think it's enough; but
      you can sometimes find people from the press saying that it's not
      enough, so it's up to them to present a proposal. Of course, we would
      look into [any proposal] and I would be very supportive if it is, on the
      one hand, to protect their interests but, at the same time, to protect
      the interests of the public.

      When I spoke to President Chissano in Washington three months ago he
      talked about an extensive plan for dealing with corruption. Is it as
      serious as the international multilateral bodies say?

      Well, we can see it in a positive way. They are concerned that the
      process here does not derail and it could derail if corruption
      intensifies; so there is a need to make sure the process does not derail
      and on that basis, we have to fight corruption as it is.

      Frelimo has had the same leaders for decades. Wouldn't it have been
      better for the party to have a younger, fresher leader?

      Well, I think that one has to look at the situation in terms of
      programme, of competence, not in terms of age. A farmer or a worker or a
      skilled professional is interested in seeing whether this government is
      delivering, not whether there is a new face or whatever. So what we have
      been doing all this time is to do our best to involve young people in
      this process, to make sure we have continuation. But without putting
      competence in question.

      The problem of age is, in a way, a problem of some people who do not
      dare say exactly what their programme is. They should try to convince us
      about their programme but instead of that, they hide behind age.

      Meanwhile, you can see that the majority of leaders in Frelimo are
      young. If you go to government, most of the administrators at district
      level, they are young people, 30 or 35 years old. Go to the governors,
      you will find no old ones. Go to the ministers, probably you will find
      only five veterans out of 20. If you go to the party you will see
      exactly the same thing. So what we are facing here is that people are a
      little bit shy to present their programme and fight for that so instead
      they use the age issue. They should come forward and present a

      Are you the hard man of the party? People point to '24/20' and operacao
      producao and say, "this guy is very tough, he won't respect human
      rights." Is that fair?

      Well that's their perception. I believe that I'm very - I'm trying to
      be very respectful of different opinions and also respectful of all
      contributions of my colleagues and even of those who are not part of our
      party. And I may have shown that, I believe, during the Rome agreement
      discussions; I hope I did it during my holding of the office of chief
      whip when I was responsible for Frelimo in parliament. So I believe that
      I'm not a person who would just be unfair for the sake of whatever.

      So human rights would be safe in your hands?

      Sure, sure, sure, sure. They are sacred. We have accumulated a lot of
      experience and it shows us that you have no other way to solve the
      problems of the population but through respecting freedom of expression,
      human rights, etc.

      On exactly that issue, and looking to Zimbabwe, when I spoke to
      President Chissano, he said the world was not giving President Mugabe a
      fair chance to hold the election. And he blamed Europe particularly for
      being unfair. Since then we have seen a disputed election and an
      escalation of repression and I wonder whether you think it is, at last,
      time to sound a note of warning for President Mugabe?

      I want to believe - and I've expressed this on other occasions - that
      Europe should give us a chance as SADC [Southern African Development
      Community] to work out this problem properly and not interfere so
      directly in the way we choose to deal with these issues.

      The SADC region had worse problems before, with Ian Smith and then
      apartheid; but because we united and we were working in an African way,
      we were able to overcome those terrible problems.

      Countries like Mozambique had internal problems, as you know, but
      because of the type of leadership that existed in the region it was
      possible to overcome them.

      It is a serious problem but we should be given a chance to make use of
      our experience. For example, I believe that Europe - and I believe they
      want to help us - America also, they should use us more, and not go
      straight into the issues there, because they cannot understand Africa as

      But Zimbabwe could well be heading for a civil war if this situation

      Well that is, in part, probably because Zimbabwe feels that it is
      suffering such hostility; whenever you have the mentality of being under
      siege you have to defend yourself and all rational ways of handling
      problems practically become out of reach.
    • Christine Chumbler
      ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17 The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal by
      Message 1046 of 1046 , May 22, 2006
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        ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


        Chihana operated on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Mughogho is now in charge of the party.

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


        Pillane proposes presidential age limit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


        Mussa hails new driving licence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


        UDF demands investigation on Kasambara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


        Zambia: Malawians Grab Zambian Land

        The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

        May 18, 2006

        Posted to the web May 19, 2006

        Andrew Lungu


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        The Zimbabwean traders were warned and cautioned and later released.

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



        Zim unions, MDC still plan anti-govt protests

        Harare, Zimbabwe

        22 May 2006 11:51

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

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

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

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

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

        Opposition protests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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