- President Muluzi's Gun Trade a Security Threat, Says NDA
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
June 2, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) President Brown Mpinganjira has
expressed his concern at the fact that the State President, Bakili
Muluzi who owns Rocksizer Mining Contractors is involved in the
importation, selling and trading in guns and ammunition, saying that
this is a very dangerous situation for any country to be in.
He said Rocksizer is personally registered under the name of E. B.
(Elison Bakili) Muluzi using the Sanjika Palace address as the business'
The company won the tender to import and supply all the arms and
ammunition for the Malawi Army and the Police Service, private security
firms as well as all explosives for the mining and allied industry after
Marketing Services Malawi (MSM) who were the traditional suppliers under
the Malawi Import & Export Company lost their ability to supply the
service to the country in the year 1997.
A reliable source within the police told The Chronicle that the supply
of ammunition from the company to the Malawi Police Services amounts to
approximately MK3 million per year and the amount is likely to go up
because they will soon start ordering rubber bullets from the company
for crowd control. The Malawi Army too pays an amount close to MK6.5
million per year for the supply of ammunition for their forces from
Rocksizer Mining Company.
'Instead of trying to alleviate the poverty of Malawians, Muluzi has
enriched himself beyond expectations and made himself into a businessman
whose reach and influence is far beyond the ordinary. He owns Rocksizer,
a company which, apart from grinding rocks and supplying gravel for
roads and for building, has a license to sell guns and ammunition,' said
Mpinganjira recently at a rally held in Kasungu.
'Imagine, the Head of State owning such a company! What do you expect
from him? Poverty is now rampant in the country because we lack a
responsible leader who can help people rather than a businessman who is
there just to make himself richer,' said Mpinganjira saying it is
dangerous and questionable for a head of state to own a company which
deals with guns running.
However, The Chronicle has established that the Malawi Constitution
forbids the president from actively embarking on any business
transactions and activity where the businesses material interests
conflict with the responsibilities and duties of his office. Section 88,
subsection 4 says: 'Any business interests held by the President and
Members of the Cabinet shall be held on their behalf in a beneficial
trust which shall be managed in such a manner as to ensure conformity
with this section.' In addition, subsection 5 says: 'The President and
Members of the Cabinet shall not use their respective offices for
personal gains or place themselves in a situation where their material
interests conflicts with the responsibilities and duties of their
offices.' Since 1994 when Malawi entered the new multi-party
dispensation many cabinet ministers have been intimately involved in
their respective businesses, often obtaining remuneration to supplement
their cabinet salaries.
The President has been on record as saying that he does not get any
money from the public purse for his numerous political rallies and has
even contributed to state functions from his businesses, a fact that
runs counter to the terms and spirit of the constitution which expressly
forbids additional remuneration from one's businesses.
The concern by the opposition leader of the president being involved in
the importation, sale and control of the nations munitions industry
comes in the wake of fears of arms caches being established to possibly
destabilise the country should the UDF fail to win in the next
elections. The episode of the threat in 1994 of the defunct Malawi Young
Pioneers (MYP) runs fresh in the minds of most Malawians.
Sexual Harassement Encourages Spread of HIV/Aids
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
June 2, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
When Sofia Moya (not real name) falls pregnant from her boss' husband
she is fired from the job and left without support from the father of
her unborn baby.
The only choice that she has is to return to her home village to wait
for the birth of her baby and a future that is not secure. The man who
has made her pregnant is not concerned and, his wife is happy and
relieved that the woman who was sharing her husband with her is no
longer in their house.
Sofia who was working as a housemaid for the couple is left without
She has to face the challenges of having her first baby by herself,
This is not the end of her problems. In fact, this is only the
When she gets home her family treats her like a prostitute. Sofia is
not a sex worker. The truth is that, in order to keep her job, Sofia had
to have sex with her boss' husband. Losing her job means no income for
her to send to her family in the village and they all depended on the
money that she sends - it is a life line for her family.
The case of Sofia is not happening only to housemaids alone, but to
women working in other places. These women are forced to suffer in
silence for fear of losing their jobs.
Doreen (surname withheld) said that she has sex with her boss whom she
knows is dating four other girls at the some company.
'I usually have sex with my boss right in his office because he said
that if I refuse to, he is going to get rid of me so that he employs
someone who can give him the pleasure that he wants.
'The problem is that he also has sex with some of my workmates, and
there are chances that I am exposed to HIV/AIDS,' said Doreen Most of
women who refuse to give their bosses what is termed 'the office ride'
face numerous problems and are often fired when they try to object to
the continued abuse.
Joyce Khungwa, lost her job because she refused to have sex with her
'When he approached me and told me that he wanted to sleep with me, I
refused. Two days later I was fired. I received a letter saying that I
was fired on the grounds that I was incompetent. He had already told me
that since I had refused to sleep with him I was not going to remain
with the firm,' said Khungwa, 23 who lives in one of the township in the
Lorine Muhuju said she has been forced to have sex with a workmate who
has been helping her resolve a problem that she was having with the
machinery that she was to be using.
'When I had just joined this particular firm I had problems in using
the computers because they were different from the computers that I used
where I was working before. I asked for help from one of my fellow
computer operator but one day when working late he said that he was not
going to assist me any more unless I had sex with him that night,' said
Muhuju, a 27 year old, computer operator at one of the non governmental
organisation based in Lilongwe. She went on to say that the work that
they had before them was very urgent and if she did not finish it, there
was the possibility that she could lose her job. Put in a position where
her income could be removed through losing her job, she accepted what
the fellow computer operator wanted.
'Without him I knew that I was not going to be able do anything on my
own. When I asked him to use a condom. He said there was no where he
could have got a condom at the time, I slept with him without a condom
though I knew that it was dangerous but I did not have a choice,' said
Most women who have been in such situations feel that there are chances
that they may be infected by HIV/AIDS because these men who rape women
in this manner do not use a condom. This puts the women at risk of
contracting HIV/AIDS. Men who are involved in this practice usually
sleep with other women using the same coercive manner.
Because of the possibility of losing their jobs and incomes, women
choose to keep silent on this issue. Even though they know that they are
in danger of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS, the loss of financial
income prevents them from exposing the abuse.
'If I go about telling this to people, they will call me all sorts of
names and some will not believe that I was forced to do it. Moreover, at
they end of the day it can cost me my job,' said Doreen saying she is
concerned about becoming infected with HIV/AIDS.
' My only worry is that it could be possible that my boss has the virus
and I might be affected as well,' said Muhuju.
Reports have indicated that a lot of women are being sexually abused in
work places. Society for the Advancement of Women (SAW) is one of the
organisations where women who have been abused go for legal advice. It
has a long record of numerous cases of sexual abuse in work places.
'There are a lot of cases where women have complained to us that they
have been abused sexual and some even reaching to the point of being
made pregnant by their bosses,' said Catherine Munthali, Executive
Director for SAW.
She said that though they are a lot of cases that have been reported,
it has been very difficult to prove the cases in a court of law.
'It is very difficult to get evidence of sexual abuse cases,' said
Munthali insisting that since it is difficult to prove such a case in
the court of law women should not wait until they have sex with their
bosses to complain.
'They should take up the case the moment the boss starts making
advances, because it is their right to have a job. There is no need for
them to pay back to the boss by sleeping with him,' said Munthali.
She also said that the major problem the courts face in obtaining a
conviction is that there is nothing in the laws of Malawi to do with
'The laws of Malawi only talk about rape. It is only recently that we
proposed to the Malawi Law Commission to draft a bill on sexual
harassment,' said Munthali.
Councillor Threatens to Drag Deputy Minister Lamba to Court
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
June 2, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
Deputy Minister of Health and Population, Elizabeth Lamba, who is also
UDF Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe City West, risks court action
for allegedly making defamatory remarks against a councilor who is
aspiring to run as an MP in her constituency.
The UDF Counselor for Chinsapo 2, John Nakanga, told The Chronicle in
an interview that Lamba held a meeting in his ward on 4 May where she
alleged that Nakanga had misappropriated K700,000 which he had received
from MASAF to help a club for Physically Challenged People which he
Nakanga added that at the same meeting Lamba also alleged that he has
been abusing donations which companies and organisations have been
making to his orphanage.
'All the things she said were total lies because the money I got from
MASAF was duly distributed to the intended beneficiaries and they can
testify to this fact,' charged Nakanga.
On the allegation that he misappropriated donations meant for the
orphanage, Nakanga said that he has never received any donation for the
orphanage and that he runs it with his own personal finances.
'If she is serious that I abused these donations, why then didn't she
cite the organisations which have been making these donations,' queried
Nakanga adding, 'these are very serious allegations which have cast
serious doubts on my integrity. I want her to explain them in the court
of law.' He said that he has already consulted his lawyers to take up
the matter with the courts and that he will give them an okay to
institute legal procedings once he receives a response from top UDF
officials who were informed about the MP's remarks.
He said Lamba made the statements in order to tarnish his image because
she regards him as a threat to her parliamentary seat because she knows
that he is planning to contest as an MP in her constituency.
'To prove that she is being driven by jelousy and insecurity, she even
went to the extent of saying that she has the financial capacity to
employ and feed me together with my family. How can the whole MP and
minister sink so low as to say that?' Wondered Nakanga.
He went on to say that Lamba has been removing people she perceives as
threats from different constituency positions.
'All indications are there that Lamba has lost popularity in the
constituency and people have now turned to me as a viable candidate for
the constituency,' he said.
When approached for comment at parliament building, Lamba said that she
would only comment on the issue when the matter is in court. However,
she asked this reporter not to write an article on the issue to avoid
giving Nakanga a platform.
MASAF officials at the institution's headquarters refused to comment on
whether they knew of the allegations and whether they had followed up on
how the donation made to Nakanga were used. They could not substantiate
whether there was any substance to the accusations levelled at Nakanga
Policemen Cry Foul
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
June 2, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
Thirty Six traffic cops who were recently relocated to general duties
for being suspected of acquiring vehicles illegally have accused
Inspector General Joseph Aironi of harbouring grudges against junior
officers and harassing them.
The cops have complained through a letter sourced by The Chronicle with
copies sent to the DPP, the Ombudsman, The Inspector General of Police
and The Officer-In-Charge of Service Criminal Investigation.
Part of the letter reads: Last year the Inspector General reverted 144
traffic police officers that he found them (sic) stealing money at Bunda
Road Block. But until now the case is still outstanding. When will the
Inspector General take them to court which can prove them guilty or
'The Inspector General is always struggling with the juniors especially
trying the traffic branch in Police service. Should they stop buying
their goods because of fearing him,' questions the police officers.
They complain that the IG is segregating in dealing with Police
officers as he always targets the more junior officers only.
'Why is it that he targets junior officers only? What about those who
are leading the branch? Are they exempted from this alleged offence?'
The cops query.
According to Daily Times of January 30, Aironi is quoted as saying that
in an attempt to stamp out the much talked about corruption in the
service, the Police have started probing officers who have wealth that
does not match with their positions.
'I have been quiet for a long time but I have seen that it has become
very shameful. Corruption in the Police Service is being discussed even
on radios,' he said adding, 'A constable does not qualify for a vehicle
loan.' Asked to comment on allegations that he too owns a fleet of
vehicles and several houses, Aironi denied this saying those were being
investigated were free to institute investigation on his property or
report him to the responsible minister for action.
'I am not scared because I have one vehicle which I got on loan and one
house. Those relocated officers might be saying a lot of things because
we have snatched white caps from them and they feel humiliated,' Aironi
is quoted in Daily Times.
He said that if it would be discovered that the officers obtained the
money to purchase the vehicles dubiously, the law would take its
However the relocated cops complain that since January nothing has been
'Since January when 36 traffic officers and four prosecutors were
relocated for acquiring vehicles corruptly and despite the fact that
some of them were threatened and statements under caution were taken
from them, we haven't heard the results,' the officers complained.
Police Public Relations officer George Chikowi said that the Police
boss thought of relocating the 44 officers because evidence against them
was not sufficiently overwhelming or conclusive to warrant court
'But we are still probing the matter and whatever transpires, we will
let you know,' said Chikowi.
The Police has stepped up its efforts to stamp out corruption in an
effort to instill public confidence in the Police Service which
currently is undergoing reform which is fully funded by the British.
Malawi Ranked Third On Accidents in Africa
Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
June 1, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
National Road Safety Council of Malawi (NRSCM) says of late the Country
has been ranked 3rd in Africa in terms of Road traffic Accidents after
Nigeria and Ethiopia due to careless driving and lack of First-Aid
Drivers Orientation Programmes.
"Malawi has only around 200,000 vehicles and out of these, 10 000
vehicles kill about 200 people in a year while some are admitted in
hospitals," said Chairperson of National Roads Safety Council of Malawi
Linda Soko in an interview following First Aid Drivers Orientation
Programme which has graduated 601 since march this year hosted by the
Taiwan Medical Mission.
The chairperson said these accidents have led to a health problem, as a
lot of patients lying in the Emergency departments in various hospitals
throughout the country are victims of such scenarios.
"Unfortunately the situation is aggravated by the fact that 30 percent
of export for countries in this part of Africa goes to debts repayment
instead of road construction leaving accidents prevention a compelling
one," Soko remarked.
She therefore appeals to civic leaders including councillors and other
authorities to take a leading role in discouraging the malpractices.
"If stakeholders could team up creating an accident free environment
thereby training drivers on first-aid issues and how to drirve carefully
this health problem in hospitals would be eradicated," queried Soko.
UNICEF Accuses Police of Being Too Lenient
The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)
June 2, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
Negligence by the people and tendency to treat drivers with leniency
among the traffic police persons are some of problems that increase road
accidents that can cause children to lose their lives, UNICEF has said.
Delegates at the 'UNICEF Road Safety Campaign for the Children' meeting
held in Lilongwe recently said that a driver cannot avoid an accident
when a child is crossing the road if the car is driving at a speed in
excess of 80 kilometres per hour in a built up area.
They also acknowledged that people are negligent in the control of
their children as they cross the road. The traffic police personnel as
well usually condone drivers carelessness and negligence when they have
breached traffic rules.
'The traffic police person lets the car which is not in good condition
to continue travelling on the roads of Malawi instead of removing the
unroadworthy vehicle and referring it to the Road Safety Council for
testing. Initially, they tell the drivers of the car that is not in good
condition to go and sort out the problem at home. Thereafter the
policeman asks for a token [bribe] for letting the person go,' said
Hastings Samute from UNICEF.
He also said many drivers have fake driving licenses obtain from the
Road Traffic Examiners through the back door, but the traffic police
persons, knowing this still let the offenders go free as long as they
give them some small token in the form of money.
'Many drivers on the roads of Malawi are reckless and have false
driving licenses. They don't even check whether their cars are
roadworthy before driving off,' said Samute adding, 'for example one
even can drive a car that has loose or deflated tyres.' MacPherson
Mdalla, an official from Lilongwe City Assembly said that drivers ignore
road signs and some of them do not even know what the signs stand for
because they lack civic education for the road.
He said many road signs are continually being vandalised by some people
yet no one is willing to report it to those responsible to repair the
'The public has a major role to ensure that the road signs are not
vandalised by anyone. Whenever one sees anyone taking away the road sign
he should be reported to the police,' advised Mdalla.
According to the National Statistics Office every 18 people who die on
the roads in an accident, one is a child. The Road Safety Campaign for
Children is a three month program from May to July and is funded by
Aleke's Contract As a Trustee Ends July
Malawi Standard (Blantyre)
June 1, 2003
Posted to the web June 2, 2003
By Dickson Kashoti
First Initial Trustee of Press Trust Aleke Banda's term of office
expires in July 2003, The Malawi Standard has learnt.
Emillias Dokali, lawyer representing the Attorney General in a case in
which Aleke took the AG to court over his purpoted dismissal as a
trustee said in an interview: " The President is free if he so desires
to write Aleke Banda withdrawing him from Press Trust. But such
dismissal would be of very nominal significance because his term of
office expires this July 2003," said Dokali who is also a Law Lecturer
at Chancellor College in Zomba.
High Court Judge, Healey Potani, on May 20, 2003 ordered Aleke Banda's
lawyer and lawyers for the Attorney General to draw up a consent order
declaring that Aleke and six others who were reported to have been
withdrawn by President Muluzi as trustees of Press Trust on April 30 are
The ruling follows a challenge in the court by the Attorney General
after an application by Banda restraining the President from dismissing
him as a trustee of Press Trust.
Aleke Banda had asked the court to arrange a date of hearing on which
he would argue through his lawyers that the President has no powers to
Dokali said there was no document submitted to the court to support the
assertion that he had been dismissed by the President.
"He only relied on radio announcement to that effect. Section 90 of the
Constitution requires that any decision made by the President be in
writing and signed by him. Despite the absence of that written
communication, the court nevertheless granted the injunction."
"Mr (Kalekeni) Kaphale and I were given instructions by the Attorney
General to challenge the injunction and we did challenge it on the basis
that in the absence of any written communication as required by Section
90, Aleke Banda had no basis for applying for an injunction," said
Dokali said the lawyer for Aleke Banda conceded this point and as a
result, lawyers from both parties obtained a court order that the
injunction be dissolved.
He therefore said there was no decision made by the President to
dismiss Aleke Banda.
Section 90 of the Constitution talks about confirmation of decisions of
the president and it says that decisions of the president shall be
expressed in writing under his signature.
Mordecai Msisha, lawyer for Aleke Banda in the case said the cause of
Aleke's complaint is no longer there.
"The status quo remains. There's no need for anything to happen," he
The board which Muluzi dissolved comprised Aleke as First Initial
Trustee, Second Initial Trustee Christopher Barrow, and other ordinary
trustees Health Minister Yusuf Mwawa, Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe,
Presidential Advisor on Education Professor Brown Chimphamba, late
Kamuzu Banda's grand niece Jane Dzanjalimodzi and international trustee
Muluzi's new appointments saw Dzanjalimodzi, Mwawa and Kamba retained
while Education Minister George Mtafu replaced Aleke, lawyer Shabir
Latif replaced Barrow and new faces included Admarc general manager
Evans Chipala and architect Ben Chidyaonga.
Various commentators questioned the very wisdom of a high court judge
awarding an injunction in a matter where the complainant did not have
adequate documents to initiate an injunction.
"How did the judge grant an injunction when there was no document from
the President dismissing Aleke? Was this judge not aware of the
requirement that you can only challenge what is written down? Probably
the judge has an axe to grind against the President following that
impeachment case"; queried Mussa Wa Kadalikanga of Zingwangwa township.
Zimbabwe govt crushes protests
02 June 2003 11:17
Authorities arrested Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Monday and fired
tear gas on student protesters, vowing to crush the launch of
anti-government demonstrations the opposition hopes will mark the most
significant challenge yet to President Robert Mugabe's decades long
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change was arrested at his home on Monday, charged with contempt of
court for planning an illegal demonstration, said Innocent Chagonda, his
Police had come several hours before, around midnight, but left when
they found Tsvangirai was not at home.
Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, has become increasingly
defiant in his calls for the people of Zimbabwe to rise up against
Mugabe and his policies which the opposition blames for sinking the
country into economic and political disarray.
This week has been called as a week of strikes and protest against the
Riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of students at Zimbabwe
University as they tried to march from campus to downtown Harare.
The students were driven back by the clouds of tear gas. Tear gas was
also fired on a group that gathered on the street in the Harare township
In another Harare township called Mabvuku army trucks packed with
soldiers patrolled overnight. Riot police in helmets and bearing clubs
stood watch in downtown Harare.
Tsvangirai appeared in court on Monday where he is standing trial for
treason. The state says he was part of a plot to assassinate Mugabe,
charges he and his fellow accused -- two senior opposition officials --
"I'm in no position to comment," Tsvangirai told reporters of his
arrest as he was hurried into court by two plainclothes detectives.
One of his fellow accused, party secretary-general Welshman Ncube said
police had also tried to arrest him overnight. He was not at home, but
police assaulted his staff, he said.
"They beat my workers, there are broken bones," he said.
Of the launch of this week's actions against the government, he said,
"it is tough and it is very tense."
As part of their crackdown against demonstrations, police-manned
roadblocks were set up along all the main roads leading into the
capital, Harare and military helicopters swooped over the western city
of Bulawayo. Both cities are considered opposition strongholds.
In Bulawayo, two lawmakers were arrested, also accused of planning an
illegal demonstration, opposition officials said.
Over the weekend the High Court declared the demonstrations illegal,
but the opposition planned on filing an appeal against the ruling at the
Supreme Court on Monday.
In Harare it appeared the strike was taking hold, with most shops,
banks, and factories closed. Traffic was light, and only few commuter
busses were running.
Opposition officials said they were planning for street demonstrations
later in the day.
State television, in its nightly news on Sunday, said planned
demonstrations and strikes would be "met with the full wrath of the
It said ruling party youths loyal to the government would break up
opposition street demonstrations and quoted Defence Minister Sidney
Sekeramayi as saying "enough measures" were being taken to stop
"Our soil is very sacrosanct. We shall not allow it to be recolonized,"
Sekeramayi told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
The government has repeatedly accused Britain, the former colonial
ruler, of funding the Movement for Democratic Change and
opposition-backed labor unions to mount a campaign to oust Mugabe.
The television station showed footage of troops and riot police being
deployed in Harare and file footage of tear gas being fired on
demonstrators in previous protests.
Government vehicles sped through Harare late on Sunday throwing out
printed fliers urging Zimbabweans to ignore opposition calls for the
protests, saying: "No to mass action. No to British puppets. - Sapa-AP
From TV evangelist to Zambia's vice president
By Penny Dale
BBC, Lusaka, Zambia
Never in the history of Zambian politics has someone's rise to power
been so meteoric as that of Nevers Mumba.
Almost overnight, Mr Mumba has moved from being an unimpressive
opposition leader to holding the country's second most prestigious
But who is he?
He is perceived as a man who is driven as much by his deep religious
conviction as his boundless ambition.
The 42-year-old Mumba was born in the north of Zambia in Chinsali,
reputed to be the true heartland of the Bemba people.
He is married to Florence, who apparently after the fifth child,
stopped Mumba from fulfilling his desire for siring 12 children.
His mother is one of the sisters of Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia's first
Mumba greatly admires Mr Kaunda, but unlike the former president, Mumba
is better known as a preacher than a politician.
The founder of the well-known Victory Ministries, he made his name as a
fiery TV evangelist.
He studied theology in the United States and for close to two decades
he has pulled in huge crowds, preaching with eloquence a message of hope
and dignity through Christ.
He is well known not just in Zambia but also in Namibia, Uganda, South
Africa, Canada and the US.
In his own words, he heard God telling him to save Zambia through the
His vision is to cleanse the country of corruption and improve the
living standards of ordinary Zambians.
Mr Mumba says he is guided by the message of the the scriptures that
say when the righteous rule, people rejoice.
I first met him five or so years ago, when he was putting the final
touches to his transformation from priest to politician.
At the time he was doing the African media rounds in London, promoting
his National Citizens Coalition party.
He struck me as charismatic and extremely well-dressed in stylish
clothes and the phrase 'salvation through prosperity' unkindly popped
into my mind.
He did not strike me as a political animal.
He is intelligent and highly articulate but his silver tongue and his
other charming qualities were not enough when he stood for president in
Zambia's 2001 elections.
Out of the 11 candidates, Mumba's was one of the more spectacular
flops, when he polled only 2% of the vote.
According to his biography, Mumba loves boxing - a peculiar taste for a
preacher - but perhaps less so for a politician who very often displays
the flamboyant aggression of a boxer.
[and this is just...weird]
Theme park offers the thrill of... brick-making
The latest theme park in the US state of Georgia is not aimed at the
usual holidaying hedonists.
Instead of rollercoasters and fast food, the most the Global Village &
Discovery Center can offer is "brick and tile making, as well as other
And it may be the only theme park in the world whose facilities are
deliberately built to look shabby and squalid, rather than getting that
way by accident.
But the Global Village, which opens on 7 June, has a serious point to
Backed by Habitat for Humanity, a Christian charity, it aims to teach
wealthy Americans how the world's poor really live.
The main theme of the Global Village is housing; Habitat for Humanity
specialises in providing low-cost houses in developing countries.
Its centrepiece is a painstakingly recreated slum, reflecting poor
housing from Africa, Asia and Central America.
Visitors will be encouraged to help build new houses for the village,
to purchase and inscribe their own personal brick, or to sign up for
volunteer work overseas.
Despite the lack of overt excitement, Millard Fuller, the founder of
Habitat for Humanity, expects the Global Village to attract up to 70,000
tourists in its first year.
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