- Malawi's Food Shortage to Worsen As Maize Aid
Business Day (Johannesburg)
October 16, 2002
Posted to the web October 16, 2002
SOUTHERN AFRICAN FAMINE: Hospital admissions of
starving babies are likely to rise sharply until the next
harvest brings some relief in April
FOOD shortages in Malawi are very severe and will only worsen in the
months ahead as scarce stocks from the harvest run out and food aid,
reaching 2-million out of 10,6-million people, becomes more difficult
Hospital admissions of starving babies, like howling 13-month-old
from Mua, are likely to rise sharply as they did in the first quarter
until the next harvest brings some relief in April.
"People are on the edge and if we do not keep moving food, they may go
over the edge," says the World Food Programme's (WFP's) Malawi
director Gerald van Dijk, at his Lilongwe office. "When you look at
with almost nothing, you wonder how they are surviving and not dying.
"We scaled up distribution in September to reach 2-million people and
December we need to feed 3,2-million people, which requires about
tons of maize a month. It will be a struggle to mill and move that
during the rainy season."
Malawi is one of six countries in southern Africa where 14,4-million
are threatened by famine until the next harvest, according to the
The WFP is spearheading a 507m emergency relief operation in the
region, where the staple, maize, is in short supply and soaring prices
mean many people can no longer afford to buy the little that is
But the bulk of its donations are genetically modified maize from the
and once the planting season starts, with the onset of the rains later
month, the genetically modified maize may only be distributed if it is
This process will delay food distribution as Malawi lacks enough spare
capacity to mill large amounts of WFP relief maize. Milling also adds
than 20% to the cost of relief operations, which are about 36% funded
Until the rains set in, the government is allowing the distribution of
whole-grain maize for consumption, a pragmatic approach that differs
from neighbouring Zambia, which has banned the distribution of all
genetically modified food aid.
"Our position is simple. People are hungry so they will eat the maize,
plant it," says Ellard Malindi, head of Malawi's emergency joint task
The task force was set up after a 600000-ton deficit was projected in
February, prompting President Bakili Maluzi to declare a national
Says Malindi: "As a precaution we are running a campaign to say the
maize is for food not planting."
The determination with which 220 villagers many down to one meal a day
collect their monthly WFP rations from Mtakwa, southwest of the
Lilongwe, confirms that the maize is urgently needed, after a second
of inadequate or failed harvests.
"I have no food and this bag lasts only about half the month," says
Musaularapo Diverias, a single mother with three children who share
50kg maize rations between 12 relatives. "Often at the village they
redistribute the food and it is not fair," she complains.
The number of Malawians desperate for food is much greater than the
number of "vulnerable" beneficiaries targeted for relief. This leads
frequent redistribution, both voluntary and forced, explains the WFP
emergency officer in Blantyre, Elmigdad Abdalla.
Theft is another problem. Since last year people exhausted legal
such as selling assets like bicycles or goats at a quarter of their
Thieves were mutilated and beaten to death in the first quarter of this
when food shortages peaked ahead of the harvest.
At that time hundreds of people died from hunger and admissions to the
country's 90 nutritional rehabilitation units rocketed. Malnutrition
10% in some areas and school dropout rates increased from about 12 to
"Looking at the register we found that deaths had increased.
makes people more susceptible to disease so we are trying now to
improve sanitation and hygiene," says Unicef's Malawi director,
More than a 1000 people died this year from a cholera outbreak and
malaria is rampant. UN Children's Fund (Unicef) is handing out 100000
treated nets to contain malaria, for example at Mchinji nutritional
rehabilitation unit, next to the eastern Zambian border.
About 80 children die a month at that hospital, where the ravages of
HIV/AIDS which has infected about 19% of the population and orphaned
about half a million children in Malawi is visible among the listless
The government is preparing a "safety net" of food relief to those
by AIDS, says Malindi.
"About a third of people can afford to buy food, about a third
orphans and the elderly get it free and about a third are involved in
public works programme, where they are working for cash, but may be
paid in seed or food when it is scarce," he says.
This year the government promoted winter cropping, using irrigation to
make up some of the maize shortfall and provide seeds for the next
"We are hoping to produce 75000 tons of maize and 3000 additional tons
of maize seed," says Malindi, who is the government's chief
About 250000 tons of maize will be imported for commercial use, in
addition to about 208000 tons of food aid.
Traditionally there is not enough food in the rainy season, but this
number of problems have converged to bring the country to the brink of
famine. "Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. There are not
one or two scapegoats," Van Dijk says bleakly.
Underlying the dire food shortages is endemic poverty aggravated by
HIV/AIDS, excessive dependence on maize which is susceptible to
climatic shocks, a sharp reduction in agricultural subsidies, a
maize deficit and mismanagement of national grain reserves.
Of countries at peace Malawi ranked 163 out of 174 in the UN's human
development index is one of the poorest, with 65% of the population
below the extreme poverty line of $1 a day.
The majority have almost no reserves when natural disasters, like
in the south early this year followed by dry spells, hit the country.
destroy maize crops which account for 70% of cultivation and 80% of
Four years ago the government distributed starter packs, including
fertiliser, to 2,8-million subsistence farmers and the country
bumper maize harvests in 1999 and 2000.
But the beneficiaries were scaled down to 1-million after reduced
sponsorship and pressure to abolish subsidies, in line with
reforms advocated by international bodies like the World Bank.
Deepening the crisis, Malawi sold off its strategic grain reserves from
to last year, despite warning signs that the harvest was likely be
Nearly 27000 tons of maize was exported at a loss, with large amounts
money from the sales not yet accounted for, according to the National
Audit Office report of May 2002.
Now the whole region is afflicted by maize shortages which have forced
prices up, by as much as four times in parts of Malawi. At the
recommended rate of 17,50 Kwacha (R7,50) a kilogramme, a 50kg bag
costs roughly three weeks' wages for a subsistence fisherman on Lake
Malawi, or about a quarter of a medical doctor's monthly salary.
"This year the situation is very, very fragile. We cannot say it is
control as it could deteriorate at any time, says Mbengue.
Aid workers on the ground, like Ralph Makhambela of the Catholic
in Zomba, sound an even stronger warning. "The situation is getting
by the day. The worst is still to come."
Zambia to get $50-million credit from World
Zambia is to receive $50-million in credit from the
World Bank (WB) for
current drought and food shortages in the country, a
representative said on Tuesday.
According to Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde, the
WB funds will be
released under the Emergency Drought Recovery
Project (EDRP), and will
go towards logistical and humanitarian support in
ongoing food distribution.
The EDRP is an emergency credit facility that the WB
gives to member
countries to enable them deal with the effects of
drought. The funds are
awaiting approval from the WB board which is
scheduled to meet at the end
of October. "The situation is very serious. There is
no doubt that people are
dying, disease is taking its toll on hunger-weakened
people," Kasonde said,
adding that Zambia was seeking further support from
the WB for economic
expansion and diversification.
He said parliament would approve a supplementary
budget next Tuesday to
allow for food imports and methods to alleviate the
drought. He did not say
how much would be approved.
Zambia has an annual consumption of 1,2-million tons
of grain, but currently
has only half of the required amount. About four
million people face
starvation and two million of them are already on
the brink of famine. -
cross race divide
In the midst of all the stories of violent
confrontation associated with Zimbabwe's
land reform, some farmers - black and
white - are making it work in Zhombe, 220
km west of the capital, Harare, as the
BBC's Lewis Machipisa found out.
White farmer Neville
Coetzee agreed to
give up 6,000 ha of his
9,000 ha farm to new
Although he said it
was hard to give up so
much of the farm he
had built, he is sure he
did the right thing.
"In this area, we're
very fortunate. We've
had dialogue which
took place right at the
beginning of the land
issue," he said. "I can
still be very viable with
what I've got left.
"I'm very happy to
stay in the country
because I've still got a
good life," he said.
Mr Coetzee's new
Chitate, is also
pleased with the way
things have gone.
After a year on his new plot of land, his wheat
crop is just as high as Mr Coetzee's.
"There is a lot of money in farming... I'm
expecting a profit of over a million [Zimbabwe
dollars - US$18,000]."
"Somebody who says we cannot do as good as
the white farmers does not know what he is
talking about. Come on the ground and have a
look," he said.
"I worked as a customs officer for 21 years but
I grew up farming," he said, adding that his
father had always encouraged him to get some
land and take up farming.
Although Mr Chitate is
luckier than most
black farmers in that
he had some money
to invest in his new
land, he still needs
He said banks had refused to give him a
loan but at least the government had
given them irrigation equipment.
"I have a tractor but I don't have a
plough, a cultivator or a planter," he said.
He got round this by hiring equipment
from Mr Coetzee to harvest his crop - at
Z$30 700 per hectare.
"We are happy and he is happy," he said.
"This is the way forward. We have to
relinquish land... so everyone can farm
together," Mr Coetzee said.
"I would like people elsewhere in the
country to see how we're handling the
British envoy told to 'stop meddling' in
British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe Brian Donnelly
was warned on
Wednesday not to "interfere" in the internal affairs
of the southern African
country, according to the state-run Zimbabwe
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused Donnelly
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the
Amani Trust, which
were involved in violence in Zimbabwe, according to
the ZBC. Amani Trust
helps victims of torture and has made allegations of
widespread torture by
the ruling party against members of the opposition.
A state-owned weekly, The Sunday Mail, accused the
Commission of granting 3,6-million Zimbabwe dollars
($65 450/ euros) to the
President Robert Mugabe on Friday warned NGOs not to
involved in politics. Moyo was quoted by the state
radio as saying that
Donnelly was posted to Zimbabwe to destabilise the
country as he did in
Yugoslavia where he played an active role, according
to the information
minister, in the overthrow of the "democratically
elected" government of
The arrival of Donnelly in Zimbabwe in 2001 saw a
worsening of the already
tense relations between London and Harare with the
government repeatedly accusing the high commissioner
of having been sent
to Zimbabwe to "do a Yugoslavia." - Sapa-AFP
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
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
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.
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