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  • Christine Chumbler
    Kamuzu Banda Returns in Exciting Novel Malawi Standard (Blantyre) March 15, 2003 Posted to the web March 17, 2003 Oscar Nkala Bulawayo, Zimbabwe WHEN Kamuzu
    Message 1 of 1046 , Mar 18, 2003
      Kamuzu Banda Returns in Exciting Novel

      Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
      March 15, 2003
      Posted to the web March 17, 2003

      Oscar Nkala
      Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

      WHEN Kamuzu Banda, the late President of Malawi, died people believed
      was gone forever.

      Those who knew about his despotic rule will remember the spectacular
      gyrating of his popular Mbumba Women's League whenever he returned
      home from business and personal visits.

      Well, the Ngwazi is back and alive this time in Zimbabwe in an exciting
      by Wim Bonswinkel.

      The novel, Erina, is set to be launched by a Bulawayo publishing
      Amabooks at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Bulawayo exhibition to
      held at the Large City Hall between 13 and 15 March.

      The book, which discusses development aid, governance, and
      between races, among other subjects, is set in Malawi during the Ngwazi

      The story is centred on a romantic relationship between Erina and
      Johan, a
      man who comes to Africa to manage a tea plantation.

      The story takes a leap into the unknown, cleverly blending an African
      with the fantastic premise at its core: the arrival of a black female

      Brian Jones, the director of Amabooks, says the book is of relevance
      Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.

      Boswinkel, the author of the book, settled in Bulawayo in 1988 after
      in a number of countries since leaving Holland in 1970.

      He has been involved in farming, development work, conservation and

      According to John Eppel, another author of two books from Amabooks
      publishing house, "the book will shock those who deserve to be shocked
      delight those who deserve to be delighted". (Source Zimbabwe Daily
      News) -
      0- Malawi Standard


      Bakili Muluzi Institute Offers Leadership Courses

      Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
      March 15, 2003
      Posted to the web March 17, 2003

      By Standard Reporter

      Malawi President Dr Bakili Muluzi has demonstrated his personal
      to the task of building capacity in Malawi by initiating the
      establishment of the
      Bakili Muluzi Institute For Social and Economic Transformation.

      The establishment of the Institute comes in the heels of the birth of
      African Union, whose recent Durban Declaration requires a political
      commitment to the task of capacity building in vital sectors of
      economies. Although, the Institute is currently in its formative stage,
      it has
      started already to bear sweet fruits from which many Malawians will
      This is done through various leadership courses the Institute is

      One may ask what are the principles, aims, objectives and development
      plans for the much publicised prestigious Bakili Muluzi Institute for
      Social and
      Economic Transformation.


      The vision of the Founder, Dr. Bakili Muluzi, is to free Malawi from
      bondage of poverty and transform it into a well governed and
      country. This vision can be achieved through a strategy focused on
      building. Freeing the people of Malawi from the bondage of poverty
      start from unleashing human potential. Thus, the philosophy of the BMI
      be to help people take greater responsibility towards their own
      enhancement, and the subsequent development of others. BMI will have
      abiding commitment to helping others help themselves along the path to
      sustained development.


      The overall mission of the BMI is to build capacity for the efficient
      and management of public and private sectors and in civil society. The
      Institute will develop and deliver high quality, relevant, practical,
      demand-driven and effective research and training programs and

      The Institute will promote excellence in training, research, and policy
      and facilitate the translation of knowledge into practice. BMI will
      ensure that
      the effects of specialized training, innovative research, reflection,
      and public debate ripple throughout the nation and Continent to improve
      human condition. It will be home for the pursuit of knowledge and the
      enhancement of professional and technical skills to address major
      capacity deficiencies.

      The institute will mobilize unique expertise, pursue new avenues,
      collaborative relationships, conduct workshops and promote best
      in capacity building and research.


      The main goal of the BMI is to prepare potential leaders and managers
      development challenges. BMI will seek to help shape leaders and
      to possess the commitment, knowledge and capability to influence the
      framework within which they operate.

      Additionally, BMI will assist Malawi and other African countries
      directly to; the lack of capacity in economic and social policy
      analysis; low
      capacity to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate development
      programmes; weak understanding of policy options, strategies, and
      development management issues by policy makers; and weak capacity for
      economic and financial management.

      To address the capacity needs of the private sector, the Institute will
      set out
      to build capacity for income generation, small business development,
      employment, and workforce development. The aim will be to nurture and
      support the initiation, growth, and success of small and medium

      A strong education and training system is essential for sustainable
      building. Therefore the Institute will provide a forum for discussing
      educational improvement ideas. The Institute will bring stakeholders
      to identify and resolve diverse problems that currently weaken

      BMI intends to make a national and global contribution to knowledge
      acquisition and transmission through the provision of an international
      conference center. BMI will host major international conferences and
      symposiums, thus improving the circulation and sharing of knowledge on
      social and economic transformation.


      The objectives of the Bakili Muluzi Institute for Social and Economic
      Transformation are: (a) To conduct specialized training, short
      distance education programmes, innovative research, reflection, public
      debate, national and international conferences, and workshops in
      development areas.

      (b) To facilitate the enhancement of technical, analytical, and
      skills to address specific human and institutional capacity gaps.

      (c) To facilitate the translation of knowledge into practice and reduce
      by doing the following: (i) Awakening the human potential to strive

      (ii) Increasing income and self employment opportunities.

      (iii) Improving health and HIV/AIDS awareness and interventions.

      (iv) Enhancing the quality of education.

      (v) Improving public policy formulation, implementation, monitoring,

      (d) To establish an International Conference Centre for Social and

      (e) To champion leadership development within the SADC Region.

      (f) To form linkages, twinning arrangements, collaborations, and
      partnerships with other institutes world wide.


      and management of
      The overall focus of the Bakili Muluzi Institute will be on
      particularly in areas where huge institutional and human capacity gaps
      which include leadership, entrepreneurship, policy analysis, and

      The Institute will be organized into four major centres, namely: *
      Centre for
      Leadership Development * Centre for Entrepreneurship and Productivity
      Centre for Policy Analysis and Research * Centre for Excellence in
      Education * Centre for Leadership Development


      Excellence will be the foundation of all research and training
      endeavors at
      BMI. The Institute will promote excellence as a fundamental goal both
      at the
      individual and institutional levels. This will be achieved by
      excellence within the context of the goals of the Institute, which will
      be guided
      by a strong commitment to producing novel outcomes, services, and


      Inclusiveness at the Bakili Muluzi Institute will mean drawing together
      makers, practitioners, community, political, and civic leaders,
      and large business owners, intellectuals, and professionals to
      participate in
      shaping the future of Malawi and Africa. The activities of the
      Institute will
      include group efforts and larger team-driven projects focusing on
      goals and priorities.


      The Institute will play a critical role in integrating individuals from
      countries, disciplines, and organizations to build partnerships in
      order to
      achieve shared goals. Collaborations will be established between the
      Institute and government agencies, international organizations, local
      Regional institutions. Building partnerships with existing institutions
      will be an
      important priority for BMI.


      The Institute will demonstrate flexibility by responding to the
      changing needs
      of the environment. Thus, mechanisms will be put in place for changing
      focus of the centers and creating new centers as new needs and demands
      arise. The Institute will ensure that it responds rapidly to important
      socioeconomic problems and pressing national and Regional concerns.


      The Institute will open its doors to visiting researchers, scholars,
      participants from Africa and the larger global community. It shall
      aspire to be
      identified as a center of specialization for leadership training within
      Region. It will accommodate visits by distinguished scholars for
      research, and to deliver public lectures. The Institute will host
      and Regional conferences.


      The Institute will form linkages and twinning arrangements with other
      research and training institutes worldwide. It will foster strong ties
      with similar
      institutes, particularly in East and Southern Africa.

      Additionally, each centre will form partnerships and linkages with
      international institutions, to conduct collaborative training and
      exchange research fellows and tutors, and share resources.

      So far two linkages have already been established between the BMI and
      Global Leadership Development Foundation (GLDF) based in South Africa,
      and the World Institute of Leadership and Management in Africa (WILMA)
      based in the U.S.A.


      Strike shuts Zimbabwe cities

      Most factories and shops in
      Zimbabwe have closed in
      response to an
      opposition-called strike.

      However some government offices
      and banks remain open, reports
      Reuters news agency.

      The BBC's Lewis Machipisa in Harare
      says that the army has been
      deployed following some violence in
      the Harare suburb of Epworth.

      Correspondents say this is the most successful
      anti-government strike
      since President Robert Mugabe's controversial
      re-election a year ago.

      It was called by the Movement for Democratic Change,
      whose leader
      Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused by some party
      activists of not
      doing enough to make life difficult for Mr Mugabe.


      Our correspondent says he has seen a bus and a bread
      van set on fire,
      while youths are throwing stones at any cars which are
      on the streets.

      Police have also fired tear gas to
      disperse protesters from a bus
      station in the eastern suburb of
      Mabvuku, the Associated Press news

      The BBC's Themba Nkosi in the
      second city, Bulawayo, says there have been clashes
      between MDC
      activists and government supporters in the suburb of

      He says that most shops and factories are closed,
      while there is a heavy
      police presence.

      The authorities have declared the strike illegal under
      tough new security
      laws and say they will deal strongly with any

      "The police will meet them head-on. We will be very
      ruthless with them,
      but within the limits of the law," police Inspector
      Andrew Phiri told state

      "There are major roadblocks on all roads going to and
      leading out of
      town," our correspondent says.

      Many of those who want to work are unable to do so
      because public
      transport is not running.


      The MDC has called on people to stay at home on
      Tuesday and
      Wednesday and not to demonstrate in order to avoid any

      "The reports we have so far is that there is an 80%
      shutdown around
      the country," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.

      "People are sick and tired of this
      regime and this is their message."

      The strike is being supported by the
      unions and other civic groups.

      Zimbabwe is hit by shortages of
      everything from food and fuel to
      cotton wool.

      Inflation is running at more than
      200% and many factories have
      closed down, leading to massive

      Half of the population, some seven million people need
      food aid.

      Mr Mugabe blames the problems on sabotage by foreign
      opposed to his land reform programme.


      Mugabe's youth militias 'rape captives'

      18 March
      2003 07:18

      Rape is being used as a political weapon by the
      youth militia and other
      groups allied to Zimbabwe's ruling party, according
      to human rights workers
      and church groups. Investigations by the Guardian
      reveal allegations of
      politically motivated rape against opposition

      According to victims' testimony, President Robert
      Mugabe's militia are also
      forcing young women to be their concubines with

      Zimbabwe's human rights forum reports seven cases
      of politically motivated
      rape in 2002, alongside 58 murders and 1 061 cases
      of torture. But the
      reported rapes, verified by medical examinations
      and interviews, are just the
      tip of the iceberg, human rights workers say.

      "There is a serious problem of political rape in
      Zimbabwe. The documented
      cases are low, but there is considerable stigma and
      fear about reporting
      rape," said Tony Reeler, human rights defender for
      the Institute for
      Democratic Alternatives for Southern Africa. "From
      enormous anecdotal
      evidence we know the number is much higher.

      "The victims are mostly young females, relatively
      uneducated, poor, rural,
      the most vulnerable members of society. Many
      urgently require
      antiretrovirals for HIV infection."


      The trauma of rape is evident in the dull gaze of
      Sithulisiwe (21). For eight
      months she was held captive at a "youth camp" for
      President Mugabe's
      ruling Zanu-PF party, where, she says, she was
      repeatedly gang raped and
      tortured. She said she was abducted in December
      2001 and marched to a
      camp in a Bulawayo suburb.

      "It was surrounded by security guards so we could
      not get out," she said.
      "There were hundreds of us. We were fed horse meat
      and rotten food. They
      woke us up at 3am and we had to run 20 kilometres.
      Then we had to do 200
      press ups and other exercises. If anyone failed to
      do so, they were beaten.
      We had to chant slogans and sing Zanu-PF songs.

      "They taught us the history of our country,
      starting from colonial slavery, and
      they told us we should hate whites. We slept in
      large rooms, the men and
      women together. We were raped by the boys. I can't
      even count how many
      times by how many different men. If we complained
      to the camp
      commander, we were beaten and they would call us
      sell-outs to the MDC
      [the opposition Movement for Democratic Change]."

      Sithulisiwe says she felt sorry for the young
      girls, of just 12 and 13, picked
      out, by the camp commander and taken to a nearby
      hotel to be raped. Her
      voice is flat and only when she talks to her
      five-month-old child does her
      face light up. "I have named her Nokthula, which
      means peace. I want her to
      find peace - imagine, I do not even know who her
      father is."

      Sithulisiwe and others were caught trying to
      escape. She says they were
      buried up to their necks. "We were beaten and
      thought we'd be killed, but
      the camp commander rescued us. They made us roll in
      mud, then would not
      let us take a bath."

      The camp closed in July 2002. Many of the youths
      went to government
      training camps, and Sithulisiwe was sent away.
      Aided by a church group,
      she and other women then reported the rapes at
      Hillside police station near

      "Then the doctor gave me a blood test. He told me I
      was HIV positive."g to


      Sithulisiwe's story has been independently
      verified. This month she testified
      at a service led by Archbishop Pius Ncube at the
      Bulawayo Catholic
      cathedral. People across Zimbabwe told of rape and
      torture at the hands of

      "We have several reports of gang rapes and beatings
      at the youth militia
      camps," said a human rights worker. "The camps have
      become centres of
      torture and sexual abuse. Reports are made to
      police but they take virtually
      no action."

      Zimbabwe's police deny this. "Irrespective of
      whether they are political
      cases or not, if they are true rape cases then we
      will investigate them," said
      Wayne Bvudzijena, an assistant commissioner. "If it
      proves to be a serious
      charge, then the culprits will go to court." He was
      not aware of reports of
      rape at the Bulawayo militia camps.

      But investigations have revealed other accounts of
      politically motivated
      sexual violence. Rebecca (36) says she was dragged
      from her home in
      eastern Zimbabwe by youth militia. "They beat me,
      saying I wanted to give
      the country back to whites. Six guys raped me.
      These people threatened to
      kill me and my family. I am afraid I may be
      infected with HIV, but this has
      made me stronger. I feel we are in a war and I must
      be prepared to die."

      Sarah (22) from central Zimbabwe, tells how Zanu-PF
      youth attacked the
      homestead where she farmed. "They burned our house
      and destroyed
      everything we owned. They beat me, even though I
      had our baby on my
      back. They took my baby away. They called me
      Tsvangirai's whore [a
      reference to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai],
      and they beat the soles of
      my feet. Then, they raped me." - Guardian Unlimited
      © Guardian
      Newspapers Limited 2003
    • 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

        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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