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  • Christine Chumbler
    Son of Prominent Malawi Politician Arrested in SA Blantyre (Malawi) (African Eye News Service, October 7, 1999) - The son of Malawi s parliamentary speaker has
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 8, 1999
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      Son of Prominent Malawi Politician Arrested in SA

      Blantyre (Malawi) (African Eye News Service, October 7, 1999) - The son of
      Malawi's parliamentary speaker has been arrested and jailed for two years on
      fraud charges in South Africa, the Malawi Daily News reported on Thursday.

      The newspaper said Speaker Sam Mpasu's 26-year-old son, Joseph, was also
      being sought by the Malawian authorities in connection with a cash heist in which
      a police officer was killed.

      Mpasu confirmed that his son was in a South African jail and said: "Joseph is
      over 25 and he knows what he is doing," adding that he has not been in touch
      with his fugitive son "for a long time"

      State advocate Auriliano Zulu said he was not sure whether Mpasu, convicted
      and sentenced on Tuesday, would be allowed to serve his sentence in Malawi.
      He said the International Police Organisation (Interpol) was discussing the issue
      with Malawian and South African police authorities.

      The newspaper reported that Joseph Mpasu was arrested in South Africa after
      he was caught trying to launder fake US dollars. He was also charged with gun-
      running and theft of a motor vehicle.

      Joseph allegedly escaped from police custody in Malawi after being arrested
      along with Malawi's most wanted criminal, Clive Macholowe.
    • Christine Chumbler
      Britain warns Malawi against corrupt government The British High Commissioner to Malawi has warned ministers in the capital, Lilongwe, that Britain will not
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 12, 2000
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        Britain warns Malawi
        against corrupt
        government

        The British High Commissioner to Malawi has
        warned ministers in the capital, Lilongwe, that
        Britain will not support corrupt governments.

        Speaking at a seminar on good governance
        attended by government secretaries and
        ministers, the High Commissioner, George
        Finlayson, said Britain would not subsidise
        economic mismanagement -- and nor would it
        give backing to leaders who were unwilling to
        take tough decisions.

        Mr Finlayson's comments come after a series of
        corruption allegations against members of the
        administration of President Bakili Muluzi.

        The President has said he will not dismiss any
        ministers until they are formally accused of a
        crime.
      • Paul DEVER
        How ironic that the British government is no longer tolerating corrupt governments...after how many years of not only supporting, but propping them up... ...
        Message 3 of 26 , Oct 12, 2000
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          How ironic that the British government is no longer tolerating corrupt
          governments...after how many years of not only supporting, but propping them
          up...


          ----Original Message Follows----
          From: "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@...>
          Reply-To: ujeni@egroups.com
          To: shelley.milstein@...,ujeni@egroups.com, seanconchar@...
          Subject: [ujeni] short news
          Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 10:24:50 -0400

          Britain warns Malawi
          against corrupt
          government

          _________________________________________________________________________
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        • Christine Chumbler
          Opposition challenge Mugabe law The opposition in urban areas were less intimidated by election violence By Grant Ferrett in Harare The Supreme Court in
          Message 4 of 26 , Jan 19, 2001
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            Opposition challenge
            Mugabe law

            The opposition in urban areas were less intimidated by
            election violence
            By Grant Ferrett in Harare

            The Supreme Court in Zimbabwe has begun
            hearing a challenge by the main opposition
            party against President Mugabe's decision last
            month to amend the electoral law.

            The amendment prevents the courts from
            overturning any of the results of last year's
            parliamentary elections, even if there is
            evidence of corrupt or illegal practices.

            Riot police surrounded the Supreme Court as
            the hearing was due to begin, providing an
            indication of the depth of the controversy still
            surrounding the poll last June.

            The opposition Movement for Democratic
            Change had planned to challenge the results of
            40 constituencies, a third of the total number
            of contested seats, largely on the grounds of
            violence in the run-up to voting.

            'Unconstitutional'

            Sitting members of parliament say the
            amendment cannot now be removed.

            But the opposition
            Movement for
            Democratic Change
            says it is
            unconstitutional.

            Its lawyer told the
            Supreme Court that
            the decision to prevent
            any legal challenge
            amounted to a denial
            of the constitutional
            right to the protection
            of the law.

            The government, which has hired a South
            African lawyer to present its case, argues that
            invalidating results from last year's poll could
            threaten democracy and stability in Zimbabwe.

            Whatever the outcome, the prospects are
            grim.

            If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the
            opposition it would mark an important step
            towards the holding of a series of by-elections.

            Given the example of recent months, that
            would probably result in renewed violence and
            intimidation - most of it carried out by
            supporters of the ruling party.

            Another possibility is that the government will
            once again simply ignore the Supreme Court,
            further undermining the rule of law.
          • Christine Chumbler
            More Rains, Renewed Problems UN Integrated Regional Information Network (Nairobi) March 21, 2001 Posted to the web March 21, 2001 Heavy rains have continued
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 22 6:39 AM
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              More Rains, Renewed Problems

              UN Integrated Regional Information
              Network (Nairobi)
              March 21, 2001
              Posted to the web March 21, 2001

              Heavy rains have continued throughout Malawi, worsening the
              flooding in the south of the country and threatening new areas
              that were initially unaffected, an OCHA situation report released
              on Tuesday said. Some 335,000 people have been affected by
              the floods that have so far inundated 13 out of Malawi's 27
              districts, killing 14 people and causing widespread damage.

              In Nsanje and Chikwawa districts in the south, 125,000 and
              62,500 people have been affected respectively. "Parts of these
              districts are not yet accessible due to poor conditions of roads
              and bridges, hindering delivery of relief items," OCHA said.

              While the Department of Disaster Preparedness, Rehabilitation
              and Relief (DDPRR) has distributed maize, beans and salts as
              well as blankets in Nsanje, Mangochi, Zomba and Chikwawa,
              those items were "distributed only to people within the reach of
              public authorities, namely people accommodated in public
              buildings, schools and churches." In the Central region, heavy
              rainfall has affected more farms, especially in Salima district. "The
              situation in Nkhotakota district, the worst affected in the Central
              region, remains critical," warned OCHA.

              DDPRR had provided food assistance to the affected, until the
              depletion of stocks on 6 March. The government has appealed for US $6.7 million in assistance. Together with DDPRR, UNDP is
              coordinating donor and the UN's efforts in response to the
              emergency. UNDP, UNICEF and WHO have deployed assessment teams in the field. The government and UNDP finalised arrangements for the procurement of blankets, iodised salt and plastic sheets with funding from the government of Norway and OCHA, the report said.

              Meanwhile, WFP has commenced food distribution for 58,900
              "most affected persons" in six districts, aiming at providing 690 mt.
              WFP has worked out a logistics plan in collaboration with district
              officials and other partners to ensure efficient delivery of
              assistance. The possibility of using small canoes and army
              helicopters for areas that cannot be reached by road or rail is
              under consideration, OCHA noted. The International Federation
              of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Malawi Red Cross have also been active in relief distribution.
            • Christine Chumbler
              Church ultimatum to Malawi president By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre Malawi s second largest church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian or CCAP, has
              Message 6 of 26 , May 16, 2001
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                Church ultimatum to
                Malawi president

                By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

                Malawi's second largest church, the Church of
                Central Africa Presbyterian or CCAP, has asked
                President Bakili Muluzi to come out in the open
                on whether he will or will not stand for an
                unconstitutional third term of office.

                Last month the CCAP issued a pastoral letter
                cautioning the ruling United Democratic Front
                (UDF) against moves to change the
                constitution to allow Mr. Muluzi to stand again
                when his second term comes up in 2004.

                Reacting to the pastoral letter, Information
                Minister Clement Stambuli said it was
                premature to discuss the issue of the third
                term because the ruling party politiburo or the
                cabinet are yet to discuss it.

                But the General Synod of the CCAP - the
                church's highest authority - says that is not
                good enough.

                In a letter to the president and Mr Stambuli
                the church says the debate could have been
                curtailed had the president himself came out
                clean on the issue.

                The church says: "Our humble request is that
                you, Mr President, simply declare your decision
                not to seek a third term and we believe this
                matter will be put to rest."

                'Democratic values'

                The church says its opposition to Mr Muluzi's
                third term bid is not a judgment on his
                effectiveness as president. It says the reason
                for its opposition to the third term is to ensure
                that democratic values that Malawians sought
                in 1994 are upheld.

                But despite the general opposition to the third
                term issue, UDF leaders have stepped up the
                unofficial campaign for the bid. Special songs
                beseaching Mr Muluzi to stay put have been
                composed.

                Mr Muluzi himself, although he has not openly
                made his stand clear on the issue, has never
                cautioned his cadres, heightening speculation
                that this is a calculated move to make it seem
                as if it has come from the grassroots.

                However, the recent capitulation of his
                Zambian counterpart Frederick Chiluba on the
                third term issue and Mozambican President
                Joachim Chissano's announcement that he
                would not seek another term could leave Mr
                Muluzi isolated under pressure to discard the
                third term idea.
              • Christine Chumbler
                Malawi s treason trial judge resigns By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre A high-profile treason trial in Malawi, in which four people are being accused of plotting
                Message 7 of 26 , Nov 6, 2001
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                  Malawi's treason trial
                  judge resigns

                  By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

                  A high-profile treason trial in Malawi, in which
                  four people are being accused of plotting to
                  overthrow the government of President Bakili
                  Muluzi, will have to start again following the
                  sudden withdrawal of presiding judge, Justice
                  Anaclet Chipeta.

                  Mr Chipeta is himself facing court proceedings
                  on charges of issuing judgements favourable to
                  opposition parties.

                  With two other judges, Justices Dunstain
                  Mwaungulu and George Chimasula Phiri, Mr
                  Chipeta is scheduled to appear before
                  parliament in Lilongwe on Tuesday at the start
                  of their impeachment proceedings.

                  The impeachment
                  follows complaints by
                  the ruling United
                  Democratic Front, UDF,
                  that the three senior
                  judges were working in
                  cahoots with the
                  opposition.

                  New trial

                  There were emotional scenes and a near
                  fracas in the High Court in Blantyre on Monday
                  as the judge announced his withdrawal from
                  the case.

                  He told the shocked courtroom that he could
                  not continue with the treason case when he
                  himself was on trial.

                  "I can't put everybody on hold as I am
                  preparing my own defence before parliament,"
                  he said.

                  Mr Chipeta also said that however he directed
                  the jury in the case, both parties would be
                  suspicious.

                  He therefore said the safest way forward was
                  to withdraw from the case and hand it over to
                  another judge.

                  Everybody in the packed courtroom held their
                  breath as the judge went on to explain that
                  this means the case should start afresh with a
                  new jury and a new judge and that the state
                  should recall all the 15 witnesses.

                  Shocked indignation

                  Soon after the judge made his ruling, all the
                  four suspected coup-plotters and their lawyers
                  reacted with shocked indignation.

                  Alleged coup leader Sudi Adak Sulaimana told
                  journalists he would rather rot in jail than come
                  back to court after another judge is appointed.

                  "We are being
                  persecuted," he said.
                  "How can we endure all
                  that once more
                  because parliament
                  wants to interfere with
                  the judiciary?"

                  Mr Sulaimana has said
                  that the treason trial
                  itself was a plot to
                  discredit Malawi's
                  opposition leader.

                  He claims the
                  government had offered him money and his
                  freedom if he promised to say National
                  Democratic Alliance leader Brown Mpinganjira
                  was behind the attempted coup.

                  Near tears

                  Mr Sulaimana's co-accused, soldier Moses
                  Bwanali, in near tears, said his wife had given
                  birth to his baby while he was in prison.

                  He said since the case was nearing its end, he
                  thought he would be able to see his baby since
                  he said he was convinced he was innocent.

                  Defence lawyer Fabiano
                  Mzumara told BBC News
                  Online he would apply
                  for bail because the
                  latest developments
                  were not his clients'
                  fault.

                  "The court might take a
                  long time to appoint a
                  new judge so my
                  clients, if they will be kept in prison, will suffer
                  for no reason of their own making," he said.

                  Injunction

                  Director of Public Prosecution Fahad Assani
                  said he was totally taken by surprise with
                  Justice Chipeta's ruling.

                  "I need more time to find out the way
                  forward," he told BBC News Online.

                  Meanwhile another High Court judge, Bathiel
                  Chiudza Banda, slapped Parliament with an
                  injunction, restraining MPs from summoning the
                  three judges.

                  In a strongly-worded ruling, Justice Banda
                  asked where Malawi's young democracy was
                  going when even judges could be threatened in
                  their job.

                  "I am granting the injunction in the national
                  interest," he said.

                  In yet another twist, Speaker of Parliament
                  Sam Mpasu told Monday's sitting of parliament
                  that the three judges would no longer be
                  summoned because the Judicial Service
                  Commission had appeal to him not to call the
                  judges until the Commission investigates the
                  three judges' alleged misconduct.

                  It is not clear what this means for Justice
                  Chipeta's resignation.
                • Christine Chumbler
                  Zimbabwe cracks down on illegal journalists Harare | Thursday ZIMBABWEAN authorities are searching for several foreign journalists who entered the country as
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jan 24, 2002
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                    Zimbabwe cracks down on
                    'illegal' journalists

                    Harare | Thursday

                    ZIMBABWEAN authorities are searching for several foreign
                    journalists who entered the country as tourists in defiance of a
                    ban on most visiting correspondents, a senior government official
                    said on Thursday.
                    The state controlled daily Herald said that its "investigations"
                    established that reporters from Britain's Guardian and Telegraph
                    newspapers, the London-based Economist, South Africa's
                    Sunday Times "and a few other foreign scribes" had declared
                    themselves as holidaymakers on arrival here and were illegally
                    working as journalists.
                    Several of the "illegal" journalists have been covering the
                    worsening repression in the run-up to presidential elections in
                    March and their reports have been published under their names in
                    their newspapers.
                    "Our net is closing in on them and we should be able to account
                    for all of them by the end of the day," said George Charamba,
                    secretary for the department of information.
                    Visiting journalists have to obtain accreditation from the
                    information department before being allowed into the country.
                    Early last year, the regime ended its previously open policy and
                    only a handful of foreign correspondents have been granted
                    accreditation.
                    It says the BBC is "banned" from coming here.
                    "What makes the whole development quite sinister is the fact that
                    these journalists have got intelligence cover from a hostile state
                    because they are on assignment," Charamba said, without
                    explanation.
                    The Herald claimed the journalists were staying in hotels and
                    "MDC safe houses."
                    The announcement came as deepening confusion surrounded
                    controversial information minister Jonathan Moyo's attempt to
                    introduce new press laws that will allow the regime to shut down
                    the country's independent press, stop its journalists working, and
                    cut off reporting to the outside world of the escalating crisis in the
                    country.
                    Wednesday's debate on the bill was delayed for the fourth time in
                    just over a week, amid signs of angry opposition to the bill from
                    MPs of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
                    Meanwhile, a journalist from Madagascar who had planned to
                    spend her vacation with friends in Zimbabwe was turned away
                    when she arrived at the airport in Harare, she said from
                    Johannesburg.
                    Nivo Sahondra Randriamasimanana, a journalist for a French
                    magazine, Capricorne, was allowed to stay at the airport only a
                    few minutes before being put on the first plane leaving for
                    Johannesburg.
                    Passports from Madagascar state the holder's profession, and
                    when immigration authorities saw the word "journalist" they did
                    not even ask whether she had come to Zimbabwe for work or for
                    tourism, she said.
                    "They really treated me like a criminal," Randriamasimanana
                    said. Tourists to Zimbabwe can normally pay for a visa at the
                    airport in Harare, but journalists coming to report on the country
                    must apply one month in advance from their home country for a
                    special visa. - Sapa, AFP

                    *****

                    And in South Africa, safety issues in schools are finally getting attention...

                    http://www.mg.co.za/cgi-bin/schlabo/potd.pl
                  • Christine Chumbler
                    EU poised for action on Zimbabwe Mugabe: Invited observers but excluded Britain European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are discussing new UK
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jan 28, 2002
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                      EU poised for action on
                      Zimbabwe

                      Mugabe: Invited observers but excluded Britain
                      European Union foreign ministers meeting in
                      Brussels are discussing new UK proposals on
                      possible sanctions against Zimbabwe.

                      Britain was expected to press its EU partners
                      to impose limited sanctions if Harare does not
                      meet demands for monitors for the 9-10 March
                      presidential elections.

                      Reports suggest several
                      EU members are
                      reluctant to impose
                      sanctions, such as the
                      freezing of assets
                      abroad, arguing it would
                      give Mr Mugabe's
                      government an excuse
                      to exclude international
                      monitors.

                      But state media in Zimbabwe said Mr Mugabe
                      had invited foreign observers to the elections,
                      including observers from the EU, but would not
                      allow observers from Britain, whom he accused
                      of backing the opposition.

                      UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said ahead of
                      Monday's meeting that it was time to put
                      President Mugabe "on the spot" amid mounting
                      violence ahead of the election.

                      "The tragedy unfolding in Zimbabwe is driven
                      by one man's ruthless campaign to hang on to
                      power whatever the cost," Mr Straw told the
                      Guardian newspaper.

                      EU foreign ministers are
                      considering four
                      options, ranging from no
                      change in policy at all
                      to an immediate
                      imposition of sanctions.

                      Correspondents say the
                      most likely outcome will
                      be somewhere between
                      these two extremes.

                      In a letter sent to Brussels a week ago,
                      Zimbabwe committed itself to inviting
                      observers.

                      And Mr Mugabe was quoted as saying in a
                      meeting on Monday with state media reporters
                      that Nigeria and the South African
                      Development Community could send observers
                      immediately.

                      Observers from the Commonwealth, the EU -
                      excluding Britain - and other regional and
                      international organisations could go at a later,
                      unspecified date, he said.

                      'Disgrace'

                      Over the past few days the British Government
                      has backed away from the idea of trying to get
                      EU sanctions imposed at once.

                      But Mr Straw said on
                      Sunday that Mr
                      Mugabe's actions had
                      sullied the reputation
                      of the whole of
                      southern Africa.

                      "Clearly what has been
                      happening in Zimbabwe
                      is totally
                      unacceptable," he said.

                      "And I think the word
                      the Prime Minister
                      [Tony Blair] used last
                      Wednesday was that
                      Mugabe's actions were a disgrace to his own
                      country."

                      EU foreign ministers are expected to debate
                      cutting aid to the troubled country and may
                      ban Zimbabwean governmental figures from
                      travelling.

                      The EU has repeatedly urged Mr Mugabe to
                      end political violence.

                      It wants him to organise fair presidential
                      elections, ensure freedom of the press and to
                      end the continued illegal occupations of
                      white-owned farms by so-called war veterans.

                      It is also concerned about new proposed
                      legislation that would severely censor the
                      country's media and restrict foreign reporting
                      in the country.

                      The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group
                      could decide to recommend Zimbabwe's
                      suspension when it meets on Wednesday.

                      But BBC diplomatic correspondent Barnaby
                      Mason says a full decision cannot be made
                      until the Commonwealth heads of state summit
                      at the beginning of March.

                      *****

                      Mt Kilimanjaro Is Melting To Its Death

                      The East African Standard (Nairobi)
                      January 27, 2002
                      Posted to the web January 27, 2002
                      An astonishing development is changing one of Africa's most remarkable land marks beyond recognition. The ice cap on Mt Kilimanjaro, one of the few places in the world where ice and snow can be seen on the Equator, is expected to disappear in the next 12 years. Staff writer Mildred Ngesa and photographer Blasto Ogindo recently visited the mountain on a fact finding mission.
                      Guide: "Leo mlima umenuna (Today the mountain is annoyed)!"
                      Writer: "Mlima umenuna? (The mountain annoyed?)"
                      Guide: "Ndio, mlima umekasirika, kwa maana umejificha nyuma ya mawingu, hautaki kuonekana! (Yes the mountain is annoyed and that is why it is hiding behind the clouds, refusing to be seen)"
                      It was a warm and cloudy morning in the serenity of Moshi town. The beauty of Moshi, accentuated by the domineering presence of Mt Kilimanjaro, is an enduring joy to the visitor.
                      No matter which side of Moshi you may be, waking up to the view of the magnificent mountain recalls a popular refrain in these parts: I woke up and kissed the Kilimanjaro good morning.
                      Today, however, on the first morning of our assignment, there was no visible Kilimanjaro to kiss. Thick clouds had assembled above and around the giant mountain, forming a protective cover.
                      "As the day unfolds, the mountain may be kind enough to peek through the clouds, a very beautiful sight," Nechi Limo, our guide, told us.
                      True to his word, the mountain broke into view as dawn gave way to a bright new day. A few hours towards midday, Africa's highest mountain stood tall and proud in all its glory, with the twin peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi filling up the view.
                      Sheets of snow from one of the peaks roll down the mountainside but soon disappear into crevices before reaching the base of the mountain.
                      Unknown to many, the popular shiny ice cap on Kilimanjaro is actually on Kibo peak. Mawenzi peak does not have any snow or ice left, although years back it too wore a shiny ice cap.
                      "Believe it or not, Mawenzi is now bare without any snow or ice on it. About 15 years ago, the ice cap was there. The same case applies to Mount Meru in Arusha which also had an ice cap once upon a time. Now, Mount Meru has no evidence of ice on it," says Philemon Ndesamburo, Moshi's Member of Parliament.
                      Ndesamburo, who is also the shadow Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources in the opposition CHADEMA party, is one of the few Tanzanian leaders who can authoritatively talk about Mount Kilimanjaro's melting ice cap.
                      A native of the old Moshi District located directly at the foot of the mountain, Ndesamburo says a lot of changes have taken place on the mountain since his childhood.
                      "When I was a young boy in the village, we seldom saw the whole of Mt Kilimanjaro throughout the year. Most of the time, the whole mountain was covered in snow and the ice cap was so thick that the whole mountain would be engulfed in dense clouds for months," he says.
                      Today, it is possible to view the whole mountain on a daily basis. Because of the reduction of the ice and snow on the mountain, the cloud cover around it is not as thick and persistent as before.
                      "Our government dismisses the melting of the ice cap as propaganda by the western media. If this is so, why can't the government do its own research then come up with a report on the exact situation at the mountain?" he challenges.
                      Last year, American Professor Lonnie Thompson from Ohio State University went with a group of scientists to Moshi to find out more on the melting ice cap. The group intended to fly a balloon atop the mountain so as to acquire a least 50 tonnes of ice from the mountain to facilitate their research.
                      "Surprisingly, the government stopped the researchers saying that the balloon flights would scare away animals. That was a petty excuse," Ndesamburo says. Thompson and his colleagues, however, carried on with their research and established that the ice cap was melting fast. It is estimated that the whole cap will be completely gone in 12 years.
                      "We have the results of Prof Thompson research. Eighty years ago, there was about 12.2 square kilometres of ice cap. By the year 2,000, there was only 2.2 square kilometres of ice cap left," the legislator says.
                      These are the findings that prompted Prof Thompson to lead an international campaign in an effort to make scientists as well as environmentalists aware of this turn of events.
                      Thompson research also confirms that Peru's Quelccaya's ice cap in the Southern Andes mountains has also shrunk by at least 20 per cent since 1963. More troubling, however, is Thompson observation that the rate of retreat for one of the main glaciers flowing out of the ice cap Qori Kalis has been 32 times greater in the last three years than it was in the period between 1963 and 1978.
                      In his report, Thompson states: "Officials worry that the loss of the ice cap atop Kilimanjaro will be devastating to the thriving trade that brings people to the mountain each year and fuels the country's economy."
                      Ndesamburo concurs with these findings and adds that a number of seasonal rivers that used to flow from atop the mountain to the surrounding areas have dried up.
                      "Moshi has a population of over 200,000 people most of whom are farmers. This is the area where the bulk of Tanzania's coffee is produced. Banana farming is also vibrant. However, with these rivers drying up, there is a big disaster waiting to happen," he says.
                      A spot check around Marangu, Himo and various villages at the foot of the Kilimanjaro reveals a number of rivers have dried up. From the Mawenzi peak, rivers Una, Monjo and Ona are no longer reliable to the villages around it while rivers Karanga, Weruweru and Kikafau, flowing from the Kibo peak, have also dried up.
                      Going further east towards the Rombo side of the mountain, the ice cap is completely gone. Gone too is the giant river Ungwasi, a main source of water for the people of Rombo.
                      Even more disturbing is the gradual disappearance of rain forests that are crucial to agriculture.
                      "We have a major problem of de-forestation here. All the saw mills operating in this area should be closed down. The government knows about the destruction of forests. Sadly, those doing this are destroying rain forests which are crucial to our survival," Ndesamburo argues.
                      We established that tree felling around Mount Kilimanjaro is rife. Also contributing to the degradation of the mountain are fires that ravage the place during the dry season. Some of these fires are accidentally started while others are arson attacks for various reasons. Global warming is also blamed for the melting of the ice cap.
                      Ndesamburo says the warming is "due to excessive carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere from factories that use gas, oil and coal."
                      The tragedy is that few Tanzanians truly understand what is happening to the ice cap and how it could affect their lives.
                    • Christine Chumbler
                      MDC details fraud claims in presidential poll Stuffed ballots, missing ballots, attacks on polling agents ¯ it s all in the opposition s report on how the
                      Message 10 of 26 , Mar 26 6:58 AM
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                        MDC details fraud claims in presidential poll

                        Stuffed ballots, missing ballots, attacks on polling agents ― it's all in the
                        opposition's report on how the party says President Robert Mugabe's government
                        "manipulated the electoral process"

                        AFP

                        Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
                        (MDC), rejected the results of the March 9-11 poll shortly after Mugabe was
                        declared the winner.

                        But the inch-thick report released on Tuesday provides the most detailed analysis
                        yet aiming to support Tsvangirai's claim that the election was "stolen" and
                        "massively rigged".

                        The party found large differences between the number of ballots tallied at polling
                        centres and the number of votes cast according to the official results.

                        According to the party's count, 185 961 ballots went missing in 48 constituencies.
                        The number of ballots recorded at polling stations in those areas was higher than the
                        number announced when the registrar-general gave the results, the report said.

                        The opposite happened in 72 other constituencies. The number of votes announced
                        by the registrar general was as much as 246 445 votes higher than the figures
                        announced at the counting centres, according to MDC.

                        Official results gave Mugabe 426 454 more votes than Tsvangirai, extending his
                        22-year grip on power by a further six years.

                        The party said it had still been unable to
                        compile a complete national report on the
                        election because pro-Mugabe militants
                        had blocked their polling agents from
                        monitoring 40% of rural voting stations.

                        "The report covers only the initial phases
                        of information gathering because many of
                        the polling agents are still detained by
                        the police or their whereabouts unknown
                        as a result of intimidation or related
                        reasons," the party said.

                        Mugabe's government has not responded
                        to most of the allegations made by the
                        MDC and has rejected reports from
                        observer missions ― including local
                        independent observers, regional
                        parliamentarians, the Commonwealth and
                        most western nations ― which found the
                        polls were neither free nor fair.

                        At least 42 people have died since the
                        start of this year in political violence,
                        most of them MDC supporters.

                        The MDC has reported two of its polling
                        agents killed either by soldiers or
                        pro-Mugabe militia.

                        Thousands more have suffered beatings
                        or other intimidation, according to rights
                        groups.

                        In its report, the MDC said 83 of its
                        campaign rallies were disrupted or cancelled by police or the militias, who have set
                        up bases around the country during the last two years.

                        Among the other irregularities cited by the party were:

                        no opposition access to state media, which operate the only radio and
                        television networks in Zimbabwe;
                        a 40%- reduction of polling stations in urban areas, where the MDC enjoys
                        most of its support;
                        reduced numbers of independent observers, with only 430 domestic observers
                        granted accreditation, of the 12 000 who applied;
                        Mugabe's issuing of new electoral regulations right up to the day before the
                        voting began;
                        new laws that curtailed freedoms of expression and association;
                        and a delay in opening polling stations on a court-ordered third day of voting in
                        Harare.

                        Some African nations have backed the results, including South Africa, Kenya,
                        Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia, even though South Africa and Nigeria were
                        part of a three-nation team that subsequently suspended Zimbabwe from the
                        54-nation Commonwealth for a year.

                        Other African nations, including Ghana and Senegal, have joined Western capitals in
                        criticizing the polls, saying they failed to meet democratic standards.

                        *****

                        African leaders seek aid
                        breakthrough

                        Leaders of 21 African states have gathered in
                        Abuja in Nigeria to fine-tune a plan to finance
                        economic development in the continent, ahead
                        at a meeting of the world's biggest
                        industrialised countries.

                        The plan, dubbed the New Partnership for
                        African Development (Nepad), is the brainchild
                        of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and
                        Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

                        The BBC's Elizabeth
                        Blunt says African
                        countries are counting
                        on the plan to
                        re-engage potential
                        donors and investors.

                        It is to be discussed by
                        G8 leaders, who will lay
                        out their response -
                        including financing to
                        tackle the Aids crisis
                        which affects tens of millions of Africans - in
                        June.

                        South Africa has requested that the Western
                        countries, on whose money the plan depends,
                        should not victimise the whole continent
                        following the election in Zimbabwe.

                        Details

                        The summit aims to develop in more detail the
                        ideas drawn up by the 16 member states of
                        Nepad before a visit to Nigeria by Canadian
                        Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is due to
                        host the next G8 meeting.

                        It hopes to persuade Western countries and
                        companies to invest $64bn (£45bn) a year in
                        Africa, targeting economic growth of 7%, in
                        exchange for promises that good governance
                        and transparency will be encouraged.


                        On the agenda are
                        subjects including
                        peace and security,
                        agriculture and market
                        access, capital flows,
                        economic and
                        corporate governance,
                        infrastructure and
                        human development.

                        But some fear that the
                        recent election in
                        Zimbabwe has put
                        that investment at
                        risk.

                        Western governments,
                        together with a clutch
                        of non-governmental
                        organisations including
                        the Commonwealth,
                        cast doubt on the
                        legitimacy of the
                        President Robert Mugabe's victory.

                        Zimbabwe's neighbours, however, were broadly
                        in agreement that Mr Mugabe won fairly.

                        Punish one, punish all

                        Jacob Zuma, the South African deputy
                        president, warned against "collective
                        punishment".

                        "There is a tendency to
                        look at one country and
                        say that it is every
                        country in Africa... to
                        almost want to punish
                        all countries in Africa
                        collectively," Mr Zuma
                        told reporters in South
                        Africa.

                        "Zimbabwe was such an
                        example. If one country
                        has done certain
                        things... you must not
                        try to also punish other
                        people."

                        African leaders should
                        not be expected to be
                        held responsible for
                        bringing Zimbabwe into
                        line, he warned.

                        "If a country like France
                        misbehaved, no-one
                        would say that
                        everything is in the
                        hands of (British prime
                        minister) Tony Blair," he
                        said.
                      • Christine Chumbler
                        Malawi food crisis plan to cost $150-million Malawi wants to spend 6,8 billion kwacha ($150-million) to combat its devastating hunger crisis, a statement from
                        Message 11 of 26 , Apr 3, 2002
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                          Malawi food crisis plan to cost $150-million

                          Malawi wants to spend 6,8 billion kwacha ($150-million) to combat its devastating
                          hunger crisis, a statement from Vice President Justin Malewezi's office said on
                          Saturday

                          SAPA-AFP

                          The statement, issued after Malewezi held discussions with donors in the
                          administrative capital Lilongwe this week, said half the amount would address
                          medium-term food security issues.

                          Assistance to flood victims and cholera control will each cost five million dollars, the
                          statement added, without saying how the programs would be funded.

                          The food crisis began in part last year, when the worst floods in living memory struck
                          the nation. Drought this year has caused crops to fail, leaving the nation with severe
                          food shortages.

                          Malnutrition has left the population more
                          vulnerable to disease, including cholera,
                          which has claimed 503 lives since the
                          outbreak began in November.

                          More than 300 people starved to death in
                          January and February alone, according to
                          civic and church groups.

                          Malawi also needs to replenish its
                          strategic grain reserves, after 60 000 tons
                          of the staple maize were sold to Kenya last year in a corruption scandal.

                          Spending will also include a supplementary feeding program for the chronically ill, the
                          elderly and other vulnerable groups. Agriculture secretary Anddrina Mchiela was
                          quoted by the media on Saturday as saying that the government has responded to
                          the worst hunger in living memory by supporting supplementary feeding programs for
                          pregnant women and children under five.

                          Up to 76% of the country's 11-million people have no food, according to official
                          figures. - Sapa-AFP

                          *****

                          Zimbabwe media chief
                          quits

                          Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief
                          executive Alum Mpofu has resigned amid a
                          government inquiry into his sexuality.

                          The state-run corporation said Mr Mpofu was
                          leaving for personal reasons and his resignation
                          would take effect immediately.

                          He was quoted by state-run media as saying
                          his decision followed reports of impropriety on
                          his part.

                          The government launched an inquiry after
                          allegations that Mr Mpofu was caught "in a
                          compromising situation" with another man at a
                          night club.

                          President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly
                          denounced homosexuals, describing them as
                          "worse than pigs and dogs".

                          Mr Mpofu, who is 43 and married with three
                          children, was recruited to the ZBC from the
                          South African Broadcasting Corporation last
                          year.

                          Last month, Zimbabwe enacted a new law
                          curbing the activities of independent and
                          foreign news media.
                        • Christine Chumbler
                          Blantyre Embarks On US $14m Power Line Project African Eye News Service (Nelspruit) April 10, 2002 Posted to the web April 10, 2002 Raphael Mweninguwe
                          Message 12 of 26 , Apr 11, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Blantyre Embarks On US $14m Power Line Project
                            African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)
                            April 10, 2002
                            Posted to the web April 10, 2002
                            Raphael Mweninguwe
                            Blantyre
                            Malawians won't be left in the dark much longer once the country's electricity supply company completes a US$14 million project on its power lines.
                            The country's political capital Lilongwe and commercial capital Blantyre have been particularly plagued by frequent power blackouts mainly because of silt build up at the Nkula and Tedzani hydro-electric power stations.
                            "Tedzani power station has been out since November last year," said chief executive of the Electricity Corporation of Malawi, Douw van Wyk.
                            He said a British based company had been contracted to rehabilitate transmission power lines at a cost of US$6 million and US$8 million in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively.
                            "Work has already begun in Lilongwe and is expected to be finished sometime this year," he said.
                            About two years ago Malawi and Mozambique entered an agreement to share power. Nothing has come of the agreement as yet but Van Wyk said the two sides were still negotiating.
                            He said that both countries were keen to implement the project because it would boost power supply in the region but that it was expensive.
                            "It is expected to cost over US$40 million and is expected to be finalised in November 2004," he said.


                            *****

                            Officials Adjourn Talks in Zimbabwe

                            By Angus Shaw
                            Associated Press Writer
                            Wednesday, April 10, 2002; 7:24 PM

                            HARARE, Zimbabwe ** Ruling party and opposition officials adjourned talks Wednesday with an
                            agreement to reconvene next month, despite gaping differences over how to resolve their dispute over
                            last month's elections.

                            In a brief statement, the two sides said they adopted a set of procedural rules and "an agenda for
                            dialogue" for the talks scheduled to resume May 13.

                            The rules said an objective of the talks was to achieve tolerance of divergent views, and the top agenda
                            item was a discussion on the legitimacy of the March 9-11 polls, an apparent concession by the ruling
                            party to keep the talks alive.

                            The government has dismissed opposition calls for a rerun of the presidential balloting, which the
                            government said President Robert Mugabe won.

                            The opposition Movement for Democratic Change insisted at the opening of talks Monday that the
                            nation's political stalemate could only be resolved by new elections.

                            Several independent observer groups have said the elections were deeply flawed. The United States
                            condemned the vote and the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies suspended Zimbabwe for
                            a year.

                            The state Herald newspaper, a government publication, accused the opposition Wednesday of
                            "blackmail" for refusing to accept the poll results and forcing a standoff that jeopardized trade and
                            investment in Africa.

                            "The MDC should be told in no uncertain terms that it should accept its defeat and settle for its role as an
                            opposition party," it said.

                            Official results showed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai losing with 1,258,401 votes to Mugabe's
                            1,685,212.

                            Tsvangirai condemned the tally as rigged and tainted by political violence and demanded an immediate
                            end to state-orchestrated reprisals against his supporters.

                            Officials from Nigeria and South Africa were mediating the talks.

                            The opposition argued Monday the ruling party's participation in the talks was tacit admittance the rigged
                            elections had plunged the country into a deep crisis.

                            Mugabe, 78, has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and vowed to crush any protests against his
                            election victory.

                            Police and troops blocked protests in major cities organized Saturday by a reform alliance and arrested
                            64 demonstrators.

                            Since the beginning of the year, political violence has claimed 48 lives, 31 of them opposition supporters,
                            according to local human rights groups. Hundreds more people suffered assaults, death threats, torture
                            and evictions from their homes, mostly at the hands of ruling party militants, since the poll.
                          • Christine Chumbler
                            Journalist Killed in Troubling Circumstances Reporters sans frontières (Paris) PRESS RELEASE August 12, 2002 Posted to the web August 12, 2002 Paris Reporters
                            Message 13 of 26 , Aug 13, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Journalist Killed in Troubling
                              Circumstances

                              Reporters sans frontières
                              (Paris)
                              PRESS RELEASE
                              August 12, 2002
                              Posted to the web August 12, 2002

                              Paris

                              Reporters Without Borders today expressed its concern
                              about the death of freelance journalist Don Kulapani on 8
                              August during the hold-up of a bar in the capital, and called
                              on the authorities to conduct a full investigation into this
                              killing, which has coincided with attacks on journalists by
                              the ruling party.

                              "We ask you to fully clarify the circumstances of the
                              journalist's death and to establish that it was not linked to
                              the exercise of his profession", Reporters Without Borders
                              secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Interior
                              Minister Monjeza Maluza. "The fact that it coincides with
                              recent attacks on journalists by the UDF's youth league is
                              troubling, to say the least", Ménard said in the letter, which
                              requested that Reporters Without Borders be kept
                              informed about the investigation's progress.

                              A freelancer who used to work for The Chronicle
                              newspaper, Kulapani was in a bar in the capital, Lilongwe,
                              on 8 August when four armed men entered and opened
                              fire, hitting the journalist. They then stabbed him many
                              times. The assailants took cases of beer, musical
                              equipment and cash from the till before making off.
                              Kulapani died as a result of these injuries.

                              The journalist's death comes soon after the release of a
                              statement by the ruling UDF denying news media claims
                              that it had a unit tasked with silencing investigative
                              journalists who "embarrass" the government. In early
                              August, the National Media Institute of South Africa
                              claimed to have discovered a UDF plot to attack
                              journalists of the Daily Times, Weekly Chronicle, Pride
                              and BBC for having accused the UDF of intending to
                              change the constitution to allow President Bakili Muluzi to
                              run for a third term in 2004.

                              Young activists have been implicated in beatings of
                              journalists who support the opposition party, especially
                              journalists working for the Chronicle, Kulapani's former
                              employer. The Daily Times had already alleged in
                              November 2001 that the UDF had complied a list of
                              journalists who "discredit the party" and that it intended to
                              use its youth wing to attack them.

                              *****

                              Tension Rises on Zimbabwe Farms

                              By Angus Shaw
                              Associated Press Writer
                              Tuesday, August 13, 2002; 8:56 AM

                              HARARE, Zimbabwe ** White
                              farmers facing eviction reported
                              Tuesday a wave of threats and
                              intimidation by government officials
                              and ruling party militants trying to
                              force them off their land.

                              Farmers leaders said five farmers in
                              southeastern Zimbabwe left their
                              land early Tuesday after local
                              officials, armed police and soldiers visited their
                              farms and told them they were
                              violating the eviction laws.

                              No physical action was taken, but five farmers went
                              to stay with neighbors
                              not affected by eviction orders, the Commercial
                              Farmers Union, representing
                              4,000 white farmers, said.

                              In other incidents in the north of the country,
                              militants threatened violence if
                              farmers did not abandon their properties, said
                              Justice for Agriculture, a group
                              calling for the evictions to be challenged in
                              court.

                              A black settler on one of the farms in the Banket
                              tobacco and corn district
                              fired a pistol in the air in an effort to drive the
                              owner and his black workers
                              away Monday, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for
                              the group.

                              In other incidents near Harare, a black manager
                              employed by a white farmer
                              was assaulted by militants Monday and three other
                              farmers were under
                              pressure from black settlers to leave, she said.

                              A deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave
                              their land expired last
                              week as part of the government's often violent land
                              reform program. But the
                              government has taken no direct action to enforce the
                              eviction order.

                              The government says its program was a final effort
                              to correct colonial era
                              imbalances in land ownership. Critics say it is part
                              of the increasingly
                              authoritarian government's effort to maintain power
                              amid more than two years
                              of economic chaos and political violence mainly
                              blamed on the ruling party.

                              The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
                              Association, which has led
                              the often violent occupation of white-owned farms
                              over the past two years,
                              said its members would not take the law into their
                              own hands to remove
                              defiant farmers.

                              "It is now the responsibility of the government of
                              Zimbabwe to make sure the
                              laws of Zimbabwe are obeyed in all respects,"
                              chairman Patrick Nyaruwata
                              said.

                              President Robert Mugabe said Monday he would not
                              tolerate opposition to
                              his plans to redistribute white-owned farms to
                              blacks. He said he would not
                              allow whites to retain massive farms, though he said
                              he was willing to let
                              "loyal" farmers keep some land.

                              Mugabe did not refer to evictions in a second speech
                              marking a Defense
                              Forces Day holiday Tuesday.

                              He said the land redistribution program was "being
                              finalized." Military
                              personnel had been given farms and more would
                              continue to get land.
                            • Christine Chumbler
                              Malawi floods kill four, over 15 000 homeless Blantyre 06 January 2003 11:50 Floods in Malawi have left four people dead and more than 15 000 people homeless
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 7, 2003
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Malawi floods kill four, over 15 000
                                homeless
                                Blantyre

                                06
                                January 2003 11:50

                                Floods in Malawi have left four people dead and
                                more than 15 000 people
                                homeless while causing extensive damage to
                                desperately-needed maize
                                crops, relief officials said on Sunday.

                                "The situation is very bad. Extensive flooding has
                                taken place," said Lucius
                                Chikni, commissioner of disaster and relief.

                                "Thousands of people are homeless and there has
                                been extensive crop
                                damage," he added.

                                Two people died when heavy rains hit the south of
                                the country on Thursday,
                                caused four big rivers to burst their banks. Two
                                others died last week when
                                flooding occurred in the north of the country,
                                leaving 290 families homeless.

                                The main highway connecting the commercial centre
                                Blantyre to Lilongwe
                                the administrative capital, was reported to have
                                been heavily damaged in
                                some sections.
                                High tension power lines were brought down by the
                                storm, disrupting power
                                supply in Blantyre on Sunday for several hours.

                                Chikuni said he and Poverty and Disaster Management
                                Minister Lee Mlanga
                                on Sunday flew by helicopter to the affected
                                lakeshore districts of Ntcheu
                                and Dedza, to conduct an assessment of the
                                situation.

                                He said most of the flooding had been caused by
                                tropical cyclone Delfina
                                which hit the country last week, and was aggravated
                                by environmental
                                degradation.

                                The floods are likely to increase hardship in a
                                country where some three
                                million people are threatened by famine.

                                Floods last year were partly responsible for
                                causing the current food
                                shortages in the southern African country. Malawi
                                needs 600 000 tons of
                                maize, its national staple, to stave off famine. -
                                Sapa-AFP

                                *****

                                Finance Minister Probed Over Sale of Maize
                                Reserves

                                UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
                                January 6, 2003
                                Posted to the web January 6, 2003

                                Johannesburg

                                Malawi's finance minister is expected to come under investigation for
                                his
                                involvement in the controversial sale of the country's strategic maize
                                reserves just months before widespread crop failure, officials told
                                IRIN on
                                Monday.

                                With 3.3 million Malawians facing hunger, President Bakili Muluzi last
                                week
                                appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged
                                mismanagement of the state-run Agriculture Development and Marketing
                                Corporation (ADMARC).

                                The commission is expected to investigate whether Finance Minister
                                Friday Jumbe, who was then head of ADMARC, had "unduly" benefited
                                from the sale of the maize.

                                "Minister Jumbe is just one of the officials who will be investigated.
                                There is
                                to date no evidence of guilt or innocence. The commission is merely a
                                fact-finding commission. It is our mandate to find out if Jumbe
                                unfairly
                                benefited personally from his involvement in the management or sale of
                                the said maize," commission chairman Khuze Kapeta told IRIN.

                                Almost 160,000 mt of grain was sold from the strategic grain reserves
                                in
                                August 2000, of which 60,000 mt was exported to Kenya.

                                This was after unprecedented floods earlier in the year had ravaged
                                production. The floods, followed by drought, left Malawi with a
                                shortfall of
                                about 480,000 mt and made it one of the hardest hit of the six
                                southern
                                African countries - along with Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland
                                and Lesotho - that are struggling to cope with their worst food
                                emergency
                                in recent years.

                                The government has blamed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for
                                forcing it to sell at least part of the reserve in 2000 to reduce debt,
                                an
                                accusation denied by the IMF.

                                The IMF's countered that Malawi sold the maize after advice from a
                                food
                                consultant, hired by the government in a European Union-funded
                                project.

                                In August last year, former Poverty Alleviation Minister Leonard
                                Mangulama
                                was sacked by Muluzi for alleged corruption in the sale of the
                                reserves.

                                Magulama was named in an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report into the
                                matter which accused him of acquiring 300 mt of maize without paying
                                for
                                it.

                                It also named several parliamentarians, from both the opposition and
                                the
                                ruling party, who bought maize from the strategic grain reserves for
                                resale
                                in different markets.

                                ACB Deputy Director, Alex Nampota, told IRIN: "We conducted our
                                investigations in the most transparent way and our final report
                                reflected our
                                findings. But the fact that a commission of inquiry has been set up to
                                further investigate the sale of the maize suggests that there are
                                greater
                                concerns.

                                "The commission will hopefully satisfy those who are still worried
                                about the
                                sale of the reserves. It goes toward showing ordinary Malawians who
                                are
                                suffering that the government is doing something to be rid of
                                corruption,"
                                Nampota said.

                                *****

                                Zimbabwe food riots
                                spread

                                Four police officers have been injured in a
                                dormitory town near Harare, when youths
                                attacked people queuing for food on Sunday,
                                police have said.

                                In the second city of Bulawayo, there is tight
                                security around the courthouse, where 39
                                people are appearing in connection with food
                                riots on Friday, reports the French news
                                agency, AFP.

                                Up to six million
                                people, half of the
                                population, are
                                suffering from food
                                shortages according to
                                aid agencies.

                                Meanwhile, President
                                Robert Mugabe has
                                moved to tighten his
                                control of the main
                                cities, which are
                                opposition strongholds,
                                by announcing that he will appoint governors
                                for both Harare and Bulawayo.

                                Correspondents say that governors enjoy
                                considerable power and they are likely to be
                                used to sideline opposition mayors in both
                                cities.

                                'Green Bombers'

                                Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said that
                                about 200 people were queuing up for
                                mealie-meal, the scare staple food, when a
                                group of youths attacked the police who were
                                controlling the crowd.

                                "In the process of controlling the crowd, some
                                youths came and disrupted the queue resulting
                                in four police officers being injured," Mr
                                Bvudzijena told AFP.

                                Opposition supporters
                                have been prevented
                                from receiving food aid
                                and even from buying
                                food in urban areas,
                                says the Movement for
                                Democratic Change
                                (MDC) and donor
                                agencies.

                                But it is reported that
                                activists from Mr
                                Mugabe's Zanu-PF
                                party were behind the
                                disturbances in both
                                the town of Chitungwiza, 23km south of
                                Harare, and Bulawayo.

                                The privately owned Daily News reports that
                                "Green Bombers", graduates of a
                                government-run youth training scheme, were
                                involved in the Chitungwiza riots.

                                The police said they had not identified the
                                culprits.

                                In Bulawayo, a group of "war veterans" was
                                dispersed by riot police when they tried to
                                protest outside the courthouse on Monday.

                                State media have accused the "war veterans",
                                who have been used to intimidate opposition
                                supporters, of organising Friday's food riots.

                                They were apparently unhappy at the unfair
                                distribution of food.

                                The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
                                Corporation reported that residents had
                                accused grain board officials of corruptly
                                supplying maize to unscrupulous millers, who
                                then sold it on at exorbitant prices.

                                'Coordinate'

                                Zimbabwe's eight largely rural provinces
                                already have governors, who also sit in
                                parliament.

                                Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
                                denied that the new governors would make the
                                opposition mayors redundant and said they
                                would coordinate development.

                                Opposition parties point the finger of blame at
                                Mr Mugabe and his government for the food
                                shortages because of disruption caused by his
                                controversial programme of land reform.

                                The president says the cause of the crisis is a
                                combination of a drought and a Western
                                imperialistic plot aimed at keeping power in the
                                hands of Zimbabwe's whites.
                              • Christine Chumbler
                                Vampire fever sweeps Malawi Raphael Tenthani | Blantyre 10 January 2003 09:12 A senior ruling party official was recovering in a hospital on Thursday after
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                  Vampire fever sweeps Malawi
                                  Raphael Tenthani | Blantyre

                                  10
                                  January 2003 09:12

                                  A senior ruling party official was recovering in a
                                  hospital on Thursday after
                                  being stoned by an angry mob who believed rumours
                                  he was harbouring
                                  vampires.

                                  Malawi's government has been campaigning to quell
                                  vampire rumours that
                                  have spread throughout the impoverished southern
                                  African country, saying
                                  opposition elements were using the rumours to
                                  discredit the ruling party.

                                  Eric Chiwaya, a senior official with the United
                                  Democratic Front party was
                                  badly beaten in the attack on Wednesday night.

                                  Hundreds of people from a township south of
                                  Blantyre stoned his house and
                                  when he tried to escape by car, they stoned him
                                  inside the vehicle, he said.

                                  Police had to fire shots to disperse the crowd.
                                  Rumours had spread through
                                  the township that Chiwaya was harbouring vampires
                                  and had approached
                                  community leaders asking them to let them into the
                                  area.

                                  Police said three people had been arrested for
                                  inciting violence in the
                                  incident. Horrifying stories of vampires attacking
                                  villagers in the dead of night
                                  and sucking their blood began circulating last
                                  month in Malawi.

                                  Frightened villagers have beaten to death a man
                                  suspected of being a
                                  vampire, attacked and nearly lynched three visiting
                                  priests and destroyed an
                                  aid group's encampment they feared was the
                                  vampires' headquarters.

                                  President Bakili Muluzi called the rumours
                                  unfounded and malicious, and
                                  accused unnamed opposition groups of trying to
                                  undermine him by saying
                                  his government gave aid agencies human blood in
                                  exchange for food aid. -
                                  Sapa-AP

                                  *****

                                  White Farmer: Judge Seized Zimbabwe Farm

                                  By Angus Shaw
                                  Associated Press Writer
                                  Friday, January 10, 2003; 9:10 AM

                                  HARARE, Zimbabwe – A High Court judge ignored an
                                  order by his own court barring him from moving onto
                                  a farm
                                  confiscated from a white family, the owner of the
                                  disputed
                                  land said Friday.

                                  According to the white farmer, Vernon Nicolle, Judge
                                  Ben
                                  Hlatshwayo told him he was allocated the land by
                                  the
                                  government under its land reform program
                                  encouraging
                                  commercial farming by blacks.

                                  The controversial land reform program, which the
                                  government says is a tool to correct colonial era
                                  injustices by
                                  giving farms to poor, landless blacks, has come
                                  under fire for
                                  giving many of the prime farms instead to
                                  confidantes of
                                  longtime President Robert Mugabe.

                                  Nicolle obtained a High Court order in September
                                  freezing a government eviction notice on his property
                                  in Banket, 60 miles northwest of Harare on grounds
                                  there were errors in the notice.

                                  That order suspended Nicolle's eviction until the
                                  government revised the notice. It has not been
                                  reissued.

                                  Accompanied by a police escort, Hlatshwayo moved
                                  onto the 900-acre farm last month. He also
                                  moved equipment and workers there, according to
                                  correspondence to the judge by Nicolle's lawyers.

                                  Nicolle, one of the biggest grain producers in the
                                  district, is living in his farmhouse on an adjacent 192
                                  acres.

                                  "This has seriously affected my operations. The
                                  eviction was declared invalid and as a judge he should
                                  know how the legal system in Zimbabwe works,"
                                  Nicolle said Friday.

                                  "I'm going to take him to the High Court. We won't
                                  stop until we reach the end," he said.

                                  Hlatshwayo was not immediately available for
                                  comment. Nicolle said when he confronted Hlatshwayo,
                                  the judge said he had been allocated the land by the
                                  state.

                                  The government has confiscated more than 90 percent
                                  of land owned by about 4,000 white farmers
                                  under a plans to redistribute it to blacks to farm.

                                  At least 6.7 million people, more than half the
                                  population, face starvation blamed on erratic rainfall and
                                  agricultural disruptions caused by the chaotic land
                                  confiscations.

                                  Zimbabwe has been wracked by political and economic
                                  turmoil for nearly three years that began with
                                  violent farm seizures by ruling party militants.

                                  The country is suffering its worst ever economic
                                  crisis. Hard currency shortages have caused gas
                                  stations to run dry. Corn meal, the staple food,
                                  bread, milk, sugar and other commodities are scarce
                                  and long lines have become commonplace.

                                  Justice for Agriculture reported violent incidents
                                  and intimidation have continued against white farmers
                                  still on their land or visiting abandoned properties
                                  to collect belongings and equipment.

                                  It said a woman and her two children were assaulted
                                  in northwestern Zimbabwe on Thursday at their
                                  farm.

                                  Her husband, Alan Parsons, reported to police the
                                  identity of the assailant as Themba Mliswa, a ruling
                                  party activist and prominent soccer coach who
                                  apparently took over the family's farmhouse after they
                                  left last year, fearing for their safety.

                                  The farm, in the troubled Karoi district 120 miles
                                  northwest of Harare, had not been targeted for
                                  confiscation.

                                  "When I arrived at the farm, I was approached by
                                  Mliswa, who had changed the locks to the house. ...
                                  He asked what I was doing on the farm," Parsons
                                  said.

                                  *****

                                  China donates 4 500 tons of maize to
                                  Zimbabwe
                                  Harare

                                  10
                                  January 2003 10:58

                                  China has donated 4 500 tons of maize to famine-hit
                                  Zimbabwe, the
                                  state-controlled Herald newspaper reported on
                                  Friday.

                                  The donation of the southern African country's
                                  staple food, which was
                                  handed over on Thursday, comes at a time the
                                  country face a shortfall of
                                  well over 300 000 tons of maize between now and
                                  March, when the next
                                  harvest is due.

                                  Around eight-million out of Zimbabwe's 11,6-million
                                  people are threatened
                                  with famine.

                                  It is the hardest-hit out of six southern African
                                  countries affected by food
                                  shortages caused by drought and unsound government
                                  policies. - Sapa-AFP
                                • Christine Chumbler
                                  Reporter arrested for interview with a vampire 21 January 2003 09:33 Police in Malawi arrested a radio journalist yesterday for broadcasting an interview with
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                    Reporter arrested for interview with a
                                    vampire

                                    21
                                    January 2003 09:33

                                    Police in Malawi arrested a radio journalist
                                    yesterday for broadcasting an
                                    interview with a man who claimed to have been
                                    attacked by a vampire.

                                    Southern Malawi has been rife with rumours of
                                    blood-sucking vampires,
                                    fuelled by the popular belief that the government
                                    is colluding with vampires
                                    to collect blood for international aid agencies.

                                    A judge later dismissed charges against Maganizo
                                    Mazeze of broadcasting
                                    false information likely to cause public alarm,
                                    after an interview on a local
                                    radio station with a tea-planter from the southern
                                    province of Thyolo.

                                    "I am not bitter with anyone," Mazeze said after
                                    his court appearance. "In
                                    fact, my sojourn in jail has reinforced my resolve
                                    to unearth issues
                                    authorities would otherwise prefer buried."

                                    The police said there was no evidence to support
                                    the interviewee's claims.

                                    A man was recently stoned to death by villagers in
                                    Thyolo after being
                                    suspected of working with vampires. - Guardian
                                    Unlimited

                                    *****

                                    Mugabe party office
                                    firebombed

                                    Attackers have thrown petrol bombs at a ruling
                                    party office in a suburb of the Zimbabwean
                                    capital, Harare.

                                    One person died and seven people were hurt,
                                    several seriously, say police.

                                    Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said
                                    about 50 young men drove into Harare's
                                    western Kuwadzana township on Monday
                                    night, smashing property and assaulting
                                    pedestrians before throwing petrol bombs at
                                    the offices.

                                    "It's a political attack.
                                    We suspect that it is
                                    related to the
                                    by-election to be held
                                    in the suburb," Mr
                                    Bvudzijena said.

                                    A parliamentary
                                    by-election is
                                    expected to take
                                    place soon, following
                                    the death in police
                                    custody last year of
                                    an opposition
                                    Movement for
                                    Democratic Change (MDC) MP, Learnmore
                                    Jongwe.

                                    Blame

                                    Police are blaming the attack on opposition
                                    supporters and have made 16 arrests.

                                    Mr Bvudzijena said the
                                    attack appeared aimed
                                    at "provoking political
                                    violence on a wider
                                    scale".

                                    MDC officials say it is
                                    the work of militant
                                    supporters of
                                    President Robert
                                    Mugabe.

                                    They say Zanu-PF is
                                    waging a violent
                                    campaign to win the
                                    seat in the Kuwadzana constituency by trying
                                    to intimidate voters. The MDC won almost all
                                    urban seats in parliamentary elections in June
                                    2000.

                                    Widespread political intimidation and
                                    persecution of opposition supporters has been
                                    reported in recent months.

                                    Torture

                                    Last week, MDC MP Job Sikhala and human
                                    rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba said they were
                                    tortured by police while being held in police
                                    custody.

                                    Both appeared in court over the weekend and
                                    were then released on bail.

                                    At a news conference in Harare, Mr Sikhala
                                    said he was severely tortured all over his body
                                    "for a solid eight hours" including having
                                    electrodes attached to his genitals.

                                    "They also used planks to beat under my feet
                                    and over the entirity of my body... I am still in
                                    pain."

                                    He said he was then forced to drink poison
                                    which they said was urine.

                                    Zimbabwe is in the grip of a major food crisis
                                    affecting more than half of the country's
                                    population.

                                    President Mugabe's government is accused of
                                    withholding food aid from opposition
                                    supporters.

                                    *****

                                    Zimbabwe distances itself from Moyo's
                                    comments
                                    Richard Thompson

                                    20
                                    January 2003 12:40

                                    The South African government has "noted and
                                    accepted" the Zimbabwean
                                    government's explanation of remarks by its
                                    information minister -- who
                                    described South Africans as "filthy, recklessly
                                    uncouth and barbaric".

                                    Foreign Affairs representative Ronnie Mamoepa said
                                    on Sunday the South
                                    African government had requested an explanation
                                    from Zimbabwean
                                    authorities regarding Jonathan Moyo's remarks.

                                    Moyo's outburst followed a story in the Sunday
                                    Times of January 12 about
                                    his shopping trip to South Africa, when he spent
                                    large sums on luxury items
                                    while millions of his compatriots face starvation.

                                    In his response to that story, Moyo criticised the
                                    South African media and
                                    South Africans in general, and clearly implied that
                                    President Thabo Mbeki
                                    was not fit to lead the African Renaissance.

                                    "If these people believe they can lead an African
                                    renaissance, then God help
                                    them," Moyo said.

                                    Pretoria's request -- on Tuesday -- for an
                                    explanation from Harare can be
                                    seen as a demarche, in diplomatic terms an extreme
                                    form of criticism.

                                    Harare's reply to that demarche criticises the
                                    Sunday Times for its
                                    "invasion" of Moyo's privacy and "disregard" for
                                    his status as a cabinet
                                    minister.

                                    However, it goes on to distance itself from
                                    "inferences" that "cast
                                    aspersions on President Thabo Mbeki's impeccable
                                    credentials as a Pan
                                    Africanist.

                                    "Nothing could be further from the truth," the
                                    Zimbabwean government says
                                    in the statement.

                                    "The Zimbabwe government respects and supports the
                                    role and efforts of His
                                    Excellency President Thabo Mbeki to bring about the
                                    dawn of a new
                                    Africa..."

                                    Mamoepa said the South African government accepted
                                    the reassurance "in
                                    as far as it pertains to the government and people
                                    of South Africa."

                                    Zimbabwe was suspended from the councils of the
                                    Commonwealth -- a
                                    lesser penalty than outright suspension -- after
                                    President Robert Mugabe
                                    was returned to office in 2002 in elections marred
                                    by violence and widely
                                    regarded as rigged.

                                    Mbeki is a member of the "troika" delegated by the
                                    Commonwealth heads of
                                    Government Meeting to consider whether that
                                    suspension should be
                                    continued is to meet again in March.

                                    Mbeki's representative Bheki Khumalo said on
                                    Sunday Moyo's remarks
                                    "would have no bearing on that meeting."

                                    He emphasised that Mbeki would approach the
                                    question with an open mind.

                                    Meanwhile, Moyo blamed the opposition and
                                    disgruntled civil servants on
                                    Sunday for spreading reports of a retirement plan
                                    for Mugabe, accusing
                                    them of treason and agitating for a coup.

                                    "If there is anyone who has hatched a plot to
                                    force the president to step
                                    down they should face the full wrath of the law,"
                                    Moyo told the state Sunday
                                    Mail newspaper.

                                    Moyo said the debate on Mugabe's future was,
                                    "tantamount to plotting a
                                    coup in the glare of the media."

                                    He blamed the economic crisis gripping the southern
                                    African country
                                    marked by massive shortages of food, fuel and hard
                                    currency, on
                                    government bureaucrats fumbling what he termed
                                    "technical" economic
                                    factors, and not ruling party policies.

                                    "There is a lot of inefficiency, let alone
                                    corruption," he said.

                                    "Our greatest challenge at the moment is that we
                                    have a civil service that is
                                    not performing."

                                    Moyo suggested some members of the civil service
                                    may be serving "hostile
                                    political interests."

                                    The economic disruptions in the country --
                                    partially blamed on the
                                    government's often violent seizure of thousands of
                                    white-owned commercial
                                    farms -- and erratic rains have caused the
                                    unprecedented shortages and
                                    spurred record inflation and unemployment.

                                    An estimated 6,7-million people face starvation in
                                    coming months. Analysts
                                    say the unravelling of the economy is likely to
                                    intensify demands for
                                    Mugabe's departure.

                                    In his comments, Moyo made no mention of two of the
                                    most powerful figures
                                    in the ruling party, Parliament speaker Emmerson
                                    Mnangagwa and military
                                    commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe, who have been
                                    cited in reports as
                                    favouring Mugabe's retirement.

                                    Moyo also denied any rifts in the ruling party.

                                    "You will not find in the party any significant
                                    elements that want to act
                                    unconstitutionally and undemocratically in favour
                                    of coup plotters and
                                    electoral cowards," said Moyo.

                                    The South African government, meanwhile, faced
                                    criticism on its Zimbabwe
                                    policy from another quarter on Sunday. Zimbabwe's
                                    main opposition the
                                    Movement for Democratic Change accused Mbeki of
                                    "hypocrisy" and
                                    "dishonesty" in his approach to the situation in
                                    Zimbabwe.

                                    "The South African government frankly, is
                                    dishonest," MDC
                                    secretary-general Welshman Ncube was reported as
                                    saying, in the Sunday
                                    Times.

                                    "It is not surprising, really, because it is the
                                    same SA government which is
                                    saying to the rest of the world: 'Don't do anything
                                    about Zimbabwe. Let
                                    (Mugabe) go on with his torture and abuse. Let
                                    bygones be bygones'," he
                                    said. - Sapa
                                  • Christine Chumbler
                                    Authorities Take Stock Of Damage Caused By Floods African Church Information Service January 27, 2003 Posted to the web January 29, 2003 Reported By Hamilton
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jan 30, 2003
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                                      Authorities Take Stock Of Damage Caused By
                                      Floods

                                      African Church Information Service
                                      January 27, 2003
                                      Posted to the web January 29, 2003

                                      Reported By Hamilton Vokhiwa
                                      Blantyre

                                      Authorities in Malawi are taking stock of damage caused by floods,
                                      following heavy rains that pounded the country recently.

                                      The extraordinarily heavy rains occasioned by a cyclone named Defina,
                                      caused widespread damage to infrastructure and agricultural land. A
                                      number of roads, bridges and railway lines were damaged. Large areas
                                      of
                                      crop fields were washed away, killing at least 10 people and
                                      displacing
                                      tens of thousands of people, now in need of relief aid.

                                      A wash-away of a bridge along Zalewa highway caused a major disruption
                                      of traffic between Blantyre and Lilongwe, but has since been partly
                                      repaired to allow traffic to pass.

                                      Road traffic authorities said three people went missing when the
                                      bridge
                                      across Rivi-rivi river was swept away, following two days of incessant
                                      rains.

                                      More bridges were washed away throughout the country, rendering a
                                      number of areas inaccessible to motor vehicles.

                                      This caused President Bakili Muluzi to declare a state of emergency.
                                      It
                                      was the second time the president was making such a declaration in a
                                      span of less than one year.

                                      In February last year, President Muluzi declared a state of emergency
                                      following widespread food shortages that led to deaths of hundreds of
                                      people, especially children.

                                      The Commission for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Rehabilitation,
                                      said in total, up to 15, 000 people have been displaced by the current
                                      floods.

                                      Lucius Chikuni is the head of the Commission. He said work had started
                                      to
                                      bring food and tents to the displaced people, who had sought refuge in
                                      schools and churches in affected regions.

                                      The most affected areas include Karonga and Rumphi in the northern
                                      region, Lilongwe, Salima and Ntcheu in central part of the country,
                                      and
                                      Machinga and Balaka in the south.

                                      In Ntcheu district, the Malawi Television featured a cemetery where
                                      the
                                      raging flood waters washed away coffins, leaving the graves open. Some
                                      bodies were recovered several kilometers away.

                                      Western aid agencies have promised to step up relief assistance,
                                      following the declaration of a state of emergency by President Muluzi.

                                      A representative of a western diplomatic mission based in Lilongwe,
                                      said
                                      that the declaration would pave way for a suitable response by western
                                      aid
                                      agencies.

                                      World Food Programme (WFP) information officer, Abbelgadir Musallam,
                                      said his organisation was at pains to try to reach some areas in the
                                      districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in lower Shire Valley. He said they
                                      were
                                      forced to divert relief food items to other accessible sites more than
                                      20
                                      kilometers away from the strategic distribution centres.

                                      "We have no money to airlift the relief items. Our movements have been
                                      delayed and we don't know what is happening to those people."

                                      When making the declaration, President Muluzi said the costs of
                                      repairs
                                      could be expected to run into millions of Kwachas.

                                      District officials and representatives of non-governmental
                                      organisations
                                      have issued urgent appeals for food, medicines, blankets, tents and
                                      sheets for the displaced people.

                                      Over the past few weeks, teams of field workers from non-governmental
                                      organisations, the department of disaster preparedness and relief
                                      rehabilitation, as well as the international organisation of doctors
                                      without
                                      borders have been forcing their way across washed out roads to reach
                                      the
                                      displaced people.

                                      District Commissioner for Salima, Gift Rapozo, said about 2,300 people
                                      in
                                      18 villages were isolated and that government officials including those
                                      from
                                      his office were failing to reach the displaced people.

                                      "We have come up with the number after estimating the village
                                      population,
                                      but we don't really know how many more people are isolated. It might
                                      be
                                      possible that others left the areas when they sensed the dangerous
                                      situation," he said.

                                      Shadrick Matsimbe, who is the chairman of the Road Users Association,
                                      said his organisation had difficulties to reach an isolated area
                                      because a
                                      bridge had been swept away.

                                      "People are starving in the villages as we are failing to supply them
                                      with
                                      relief items because of the poor condition of the roads and bridges
                                      leading
                                      to those areas," he pointed out.

                                      Religious organisations were mobilising relief aid to the affected
                                      areas.
                                      One of them, the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), donated
                                      maize
                                      flour and cow peas to 1000 households displaced by floods in Salima.

                                      Ironically, the floods have come after governments in the southern
                                      Africa
                                      region were advised to plan for another season of little rainfall, and
                                      possibly, a terrible drought.

                                      *****

                                      Harare police break up
                                      mayor's meeting

                                      Zimbabwean police have fired tear gas at
                                      hundreds of residents of the capital, Harare, as
                                      they entered the office of the mayor.

                                      Mayor Elias Mudzuri, who is from the opposition
                                      Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says
                                      he was trying to inform his constituents about
                                      water shortages.

                                      He told the BBC's Focus
                                      on Africa programme
                                      that this was the only
                                      way he could
                                      communicate with
                                      rate-payers because state-owned media
                                      refuse to interview him or even carry his
                                      adverts.

                                      Mr Mudzuri was arrested two weeks ago for
                                      holding an illegal meeting.

                                      Earlier this month, the government announced
                                      that it would introduce governors to run Harare
                                      and the second city of Bulawayo, which both
                                      have MDC mayors.

                                      'Police state'

                                      Under tough new security laws, the police
                                      have wide powers to break up meetings of
                                      more than five people.

                                      But Mr Mudzuri said the meeting was going to
                                      be held in his office and so he did not need
                                      police authorisation.

                                      "I hold meetings every five minutes with more
                                      than five people," he said.

                                      "It's becoming a police
                                      state."

                                      He also said that the
                                      police were invited to
                                      the meeting and had
                                      originally given their
                                      permission.
                                    • Christine Chumbler
                                      Ghost Employees Deplete Govt Coffers African Church Information Service February 24, 2003 Posted to the web February 25, 2003 Hobbs Gama Blantyre Things have
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Feb 26, 2003
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                                        'Ghost Employees Deplete Govt Coffers'

                                        African Church Information Service
                                        February 24, 2003
                                        Posted to the web February 25, 2003

                                        Hobbs Gama
                                        Blantyre

                                        Things have turned sour in several government departments in Malawi,
                                        where civil servants have not been paid salaries on time. A situation
                                        of ghost
                                        workers created by senior government officials, is depleting the
                                        coffers.

                                        Teachers in primary and secondary schools, being the most affected,
                                        have
                                        abandoned classes in a number of schools in several districts around
                                        the
                                        country, including Blantyre.

                                        The issue of ghost workers came out strongly following an audit
                                        instituted by
                                        International Monetary Fund (IMF) late last year. It was discovered
                                        that the
                                        government's inflated wage bill was a result of huge numbers of
                                        non-existent
                                        workers created by officials in six ministries.

                                        Names of deceased staff, retired workers, and of fake individuals were
                                        noticed on payrolls. The education ministry was the most affected.

                                        The Teachers Association of Malawi (TUM) has since taken the treasury
                                        to
                                        task, accusing it of being insensitive to the plight of teachers, who
                                        constitute
                                        the largest part of public workers. Out of a total 120,000 workforce in
                                        the
                                        public sector, 60,000 are teachers.

                                        TUM General Secretary, Lucien Chikadza, said morale was low in all
                                        education divisions around the country. He blamed the ministry of
                                        education
                                        headquarters for the mess.

                                        Towards the end of last year, workers in education, agriculture and
                                        health
                                        ministries went for Christmas and New Year holidays without pay.

                                        In the past two years, salaries have been paid irregularly.

                                        Finance Minister, Friday Jumbe, has since apologised to teachers and
                                        promised speedy action, saying teachers were victims because the
                                        ministry's
                                        wage bill was plagued with a lot of problems.

                                        "The situation is regrettable because issues of salaries are not
                                        negotiable.
                                        The wage bill in the ministry has been fluctuating when it is supposed
                                        to
                                        remain constant," said Jumbe.

                                        Last month, an IMF team made its seventh visit to Malawi since 2002,
                                        and
                                        accused the government of spending beyond budget passed by parliament.

                                        The Fund suspended a US$56 million aid until issues of financial
                                        mismanagement and poor governance were resolved, and presidential
                                        trips
                                        limited, among other conditions.

                                        Subsequently, Malawi's bilateral donors , the United States of
                                        America,
                                        Britain and the European Union, have also closed their aid taps.

                                        Angered by President Muluzi's reckless spending, the World Bank is
                                        pressing the government to refund US$1.5 million in aid of various
                                        uncompleted projects. The EU is also demanding that the administration
                                        gives back about US$7 million, for similar reasons.

                                        *****

                                        UN blames Mugabe for crisis

                                        The United Nations food agency
                                        has said that the Zimbabwe
                                        Government is largely
                                        responsible for the
                                        humanitarian crisis there.

                                        The Zimbabwe crisis was "almost
                                        beyond comprehension" and could
                                        easily have been avoided, said
                                        James Morris, head of the World
                                        Food Programme.

                                        He pointed to President Robert Mugabe's land
                                        redistribution programme,
                                        which has left thousands of normally productive farms
                                        lying idle.

                                        Up to seven million people - half the population -
                                        need food aid, donors
                                        say.

                                        This year's harvest is expected to be even lower than
                                        in 2002 - just
                                        40% of normal.

                                        The government has also been accused of diverting food
                                        aid away from
                                        opposition areas.

                                        'Nightmare'

                                        Mr Mugabe blames the food shortages on failed rains.

                                        He also says that his land reform programme should
                                        increase food
                                        production, because white farmers generally grew cash
                                        crops such as
                                        tobacco and paprika, while small-scale black farmers
                                        generally grow the
                                        staple food, maize.

                                        But Mr Morris disagreed.

                                        "This scheme (land reform) along
                                        with restrictions on private sector
                                        food marketing and a monopoly on
                                        food imports... are turning a drought
                                        that might have been managed into
                                        a humanitarian nightmare," he told
                                        lawmakers in the United States.

                                        Mr Morris said that he had held six
                                        meetings with Mr Mugabe in the past
                                        six months but had failed to
                                        persuade him to alter his economic
                                        policies or remove bureaucratic
                                        obstacles to food production or aid
                                        distribution.

                                        The head of the US Agency for
                                        International Development, Andrew
                                        Natsios, agreed.

                                        Zimbabwe had become "a basket
                                        case rapidly sliding into a disastrous
                                        famine that is politically induced," he
                                        said.

                                        A government audit reportedly
                                        shows that many of the farms seized
                                        from white farmers have been allocated to government
                                        ministers and
                                        officials, rather than landless blacks.

                                        In neighbouring Malawi, which was worst hit by the
                                        food shortages last
                                        year, the government says that the situation is
                                        improving this year.
                                      • Christine Chumbler
                                        Just have to point out that on the BBC site today, quite a few hints of peace. Leaders in Sudan are predicting that war will be over by June; observers are
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Apr 3, 2003
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Just have to point out that on the BBC site today, quite a few hints of
                                          peace. Leaders in Sudan are predicting that war will be over by June;
                                          observers are cautiously optimistic about the peace deal signed in the
                                          DRC yesterday; and rebels have ended their boycot of the transitional
                                          government in Cote d'Ivoire. Could it be that parts of Africa are
                                          examples of peace for the rest of the world?
                                          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/default.stm

                                          *****

                                          Malawi cabinet sacked
                                          Raphael Tenthani
                                          BBC, Blantyre

                                          President Bakili Muluzi has sacked his entire cabinet
                                          just two
                                          days after naming an outsider as his successor.

                                          A brief statement from the office of
                                          the president did not give any
                                          reason for the surprise decision but
                                          only said all matters requiring
                                          cabinet attention should be directed
                                          to his office until a new cabinet is
                                          appointed.

                                          The Secretary to the President and
                                          Cabinet Alfred Upindi told me this
                                          afternoon he too does not know why
                                          Mr Muluzi has sacked his cabinet.

                                          He said the president just called him
                                          into his office at State House on Wednesday morning
                                          where he was told
                                          to issue the statement.

                                          The decision to dissolve the cabinet comes only two
                                          days after President
                                          Muluzi announced that the cabinet and the ruling
                                          United Democratic
                                          Front politburo had anointed Bingu wa Mutharika to be
                                          his successor for
                                          the elections scheduled for 18 May 2004.

                                          President Muluzi had tried but failed both in court
                                          and in public opinion to
                                          change the constitution to allow him a third term in
                                          office.

                                          Resignation threats

                                          Several ministers and UDF leaders have accused
                                          President Muluzi of
                                          imposing the 69-year-old economist on the party.

                                          A senior UDF official told me that it
                                          had not been done according to the
                                          rules.

                                          Several ministers, according to
                                          cabinet sources, threatened to quit
                                          soon after President Muluzi told both
                                          the cabinet and the UDF National
                                          Executive Committee that he wanted
                                          Mr wa Mutharika to be his chosen
                                          successor.

                                          My cabinet source told me that ever
                                          since President Muluzi's first attempt
                                          to change the constitution to allow him to stay on in
                                          power flopped, he
                                          has been intimidating any senior minister he suspected
                                          was eyeing the
                                          top job.

                                          The source told me he settled for Mr wa Mutharika, a
                                          recent arrival to
                                          the cabinet, as a way of punishing the presidential
                                          aspirants.

                                          He said the president's announcement that Mr wa
                                          Mutharika was elected
                                          by the joint cabinet and UDF National Executive
                                          Committee was a
                                          facade.

                                          Purge

                                          He said President Muluzi simply told everyone to
                                          endorse his anointed
                                          successor.

                                          The speculation is that President Muluzi will now
                                          purge his cabinet of all
                                          ministers who are unhappy with the succession process.


                                          But analysts say it is only a matter of time before
                                          major splits start
                                          rocking the ruling party following President Muluzi's
                                          decision to impose a
                                          presidential candidate on the party.

                                          *****

                                          Zanu-PF is only five seats away from total
                                          domination

                                          03 April
                                          2003 12:42

                                          Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF is within sight of a
                                          two-thirds majority in
                                          parliament that would enable it to make
                                          constitutional amendments. This
                                          makes three upcoming by-elections all the more
                                          important for the opposition
                                          Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

                                          Zanu-PF holds 95 of the 150 seats in parliament.
                                          The 150 seats include 30
                                          that are appointed directly or indirectly by
                                          President Robert Mugabe -- eight
                                          provincial governors, 12 non-constituency MPs and
                                          ten chiefs appointed by
                                          their peers and given final approval by Mugabe.

                                          According to Zimbabwe's parliamentary records, the
                                          MDC holds 54 seats.
                                          The ZANU-Ndonga party of the late Ndabaningi
                                          Sithole, veteran nationalist
                                          and Mugabe critic, has one seat.

                                          Five of the 150 seats are currently vacant. Two of
                                          these -- the Mashonaland
                                          West governor's seat and a replacement for deceased
                                          chief Mukwananzi --
                                          will almost certainly be filled by Zanu-PF members,
                                          said Greg Linington,
                                          lecturer in constitutional law at the University of
                                          Zimbabwe.

                                          The others are the constituencies of Harare
                                          Central, following the resignation
                                          of MDC Member of Parliament (MP) Michael Auret due
                                          to ill health, and
                                          Makonde in the northwest of the country, vacant due
                                          to the recent death of
                                          Education Minister Swithun Mombeshora of Zanu-PF.
                                          Also up for grabs is
                                          Chiredzi South, in the northeast of the country,
                                          after the suspension of
                                          Zanu-PF MP Aaron Baloyi.

                                          It was recently reported that MDC MP Tafadzwa
                                          Musekiwa had fled to
                                          London to escape alleged intimidation and had
                                          resigned his Harare seat.
                                          But a parliamentary official as well as MDC
                                          representative Paul Themba
                                          Nyathi said they had not yet received official
                                          notification of this, so his
                                          Zengeza constituency is not considered vacant.

                                          According to the constitution, if the ruling party
                                          holds "two thirds of the full
                                          membership" of parliament, which is 100 of 150
                                          seats, then it is entitled to
                                          make constitutional amendments, Linington said.

                                          Zanu-PF are therefore five seats short of the 100
                                          seats required.

                                          Analyst Chris Maroleng of the Institute of Security
                                          Studies Africa said the
                                          issue of constitutional amendments becomes relevant
                                          in the context of
                                          recent reports, denied by the government, of the
                                          search for an exit strategy
                                          for Mugabe.

                                          "The constitution currently says that within 90
                                          days of the president's death
                                          or retirement, there has to be a presidential
                                          election to appoint a
                                          successor," Maroleng explained. "But a
                                          constitutional amendment could
                                          allow Mugabe to appoint a successor ahead of his
                                          departure and bypass an
                                          election."

                                          The upcoming by-elections therefore become all the
                                          more critical, with the
                                          attending risk of political violence and
                                          intimidation.

                                          "During the presidential election the [Zanu-PF]
                                          strategy was to reduce the
                                          number of voters, as a high voter turnout benefited
                                          the MDC and low turnout
                                          benefited Zanu-PF," Maroleng said.

                                          Other influences include whether a constituency is
                                          urban or rural -- where
                                          traditionally it is more difficult for the
                                          opposition to campaign. Most rural
                                          seats are held by Zanu-PF, while the MDC tends to
                                          be urban-based.

                                          Maroleng said that of the three by-elections, the
                                          Makonde seat was likely to
                                          be a "borderline" MDC/Zanu-PF seat as it had been a
                                          close contest in the
                                          last election, with reported incidents of
                                          violence.

                                          The Electoral Supervisory Commission has yet to set
                                          a date for the closely
                                          watched contests. - Irin
                                        • Christine Chumbler
                                          Upheaval in Ruling Party Continues UN Integrated Regional Information Networks May 2, 2003 Posted to the web May 2, 2003 Johannesburg Splits in Malawi s United
                                          Message 20 of 26 , May 5, 2003
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                                            Upheaval in Ruling Party Continues

                                            UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                            May 2, 2003
                                            Posted to the web May 2, 2003

                                            Johannesburg

                                            Splits in Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) began to emerge this
                                            week as another senior official announced his resignation from the
                                            ruling party.

                                            On Thursday, Jan Sonke, a UDF lawmaker for the commercial capital
                                            Blantyre, cited the party's failure to "reduce poverty, strengthen
                                            democracy and improve the economy" as reasons for his resignation.

                                            He is the third high-ranking UDF official to leave the party following
                                            a recent controversial decision by President Bakili Muluzi to dissolve
                                            his entire cabinet and name Bingu wa Mutharika - a political newcomer -
                                            as the UDF's candidate for the 2004 presidential elections.

                                            Soon after the political shake-up, Harry Thomson, (former environment
                                            minister) and Aleke Banda (former agriculture minister) quit the party.
                                            Both men had expressed an interest in the presidency, and Banda also
                                            objected to Muluzi's bid for a third term in office.

                                            But observers say the split in the ruling party could be an opportunity
                                            to entrench political pluralism in Malawi, where the UDF is seen to
                                            dominate the political stage.

                                            "Any kind of split in the UDF would be significant for the future of
                                            democracy in Malawi. Senior UDF members who are dissatisfied with Muluzi
                                            may decide to leave the party and form a new opposition. On the other
                                            hand, some may leave and join existing opposition groups," Ralph
                                            Kasambara, chairman of the NGO, the Civil Liberties Committee, told
                                            IRIN.

                                            "This will in the long term encourage healthy debate and produce a
                                            vibrant opposition. Presently, the UDF has a stranglehold on politics in
                                            Malawi and by watering down some of that power, we will eventually
                                            escape the quagmire of a state dominated by just one party," he added.

                                            Meanwhile, John Tembo on Tuesday was elected president of the main
                                            opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The MCP convention was marred by
                                            violence after it emerged that Tembo, the deputy leader of the party,
                                            had won more votes than party leader Gwanda Chakuamba, and would
                                            therefore be the party's candidate in the 2004 presidential elections.

                                            Some 15 people were injured in the clashes.

                                            *****

                                            African Presidents Tackle Zimbabwe Chaos

                                            By ANGUS SHAW
                                            The Associated Press
                                            Monday, May 5, 2003; 6:32 AM

                                            HARARE, Zimbabwe - Three African presidents arrived in Zimbabwe Monday
                                            for talks aimed at ending the political chaos and violence that has
                                            crippled the nation for three years.

                                            South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun
                                            Obasanjo and Malawi President Bakili Muluzi went to a Harare hotel where
                                            they were scheduled to meet with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe,
                                            whose increasingly autocratic rule has been blamed for causing the
                                            crisis.

                                            They were also scheduled to hold a separate meeting with Morgan
                                            Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

                                            Zimbabwe officials said the main talks with Mugabe were to be held at
                                            his State House offices, where reporters for some foreign media
                                            organizations were refused entry.

                                            The new mediation efforts come ahead of a trip to southern Africa by
                                            Walter Kansteiner, the U.S. State Department's top Africa official.
                                            Kansteiner will visit South Africa and Botswana, and will try to win
                                            backing for calls for political reform in Zimbabwe.

                                            Mugabe, 79, who led the nation to independence in 1980, narrowly
                                            defeated Tsvangirai in presidential polls last year that independent
                                            observers said were deeply flawed.

                                            The opposition, along with Britain, the European Union and the United
                                            States, have refused to accept the results, saying voting was rigged and
                                            influenced by intimidation mainly against opposition supporters.

                                            Zimbabwe's opposition MDC has criticized African leaders for
                                            recognizing Mugabe's re-election amid state-sponsored political
                                            violence.

                                            The Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said in an editorial
                                            Monday that Mugabe's foes hoped the talks would lead to Mugabe's
                                            retirement and implied the government feared a possible attack from U.S.
                                            and British forces, an implication both nations have repeatedly denied.

                                            "There is trepidation ... about the timing of the visit in view of the
                                            pronounced positions of the British and American governments over regime
                                            change in Zimbabwe following their successful invasion and occupation of
                                            Iraq," it said.

                                            Talks between the MDC and Mugabe's party, mediated by Nigeria and South
                                            Africa, ended in a stalemate last year.

                                            Mugabe said last month he would only meet with Tsvangirai if the
                                            opposition recognized his re-election and dropped a court case
                                            challenging the result, conditions the MDC has previously rejected.

                                            The opposition and the main labor federation have shut down most of the
                                            economy with two national anti-government strikes since mid-March.

                                            Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence.
                                            Inflation has soared to a record 228 percent, unemployment is nearly 70
                                            percent and Zimbabweans face shortages of hard currency, food, gasoline
                                            and medicine.

                                            More than 200 people have been killed in political violence since 2000
                                            and thousands of others, mostly opposition supporters, have been
                                            arrested and tortured, rights groups say.
                                          • Christine Chumbler
                                            Malawi bans Big Brother Africa Big Brother Africa has been taken off the air in Malawi after the country s parliament condemned it as immoral . It voted to
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Aug 6, 2003
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                                              Malawi bans Big Brother Africa

                                              Big Brother Africa has been taken off the air in Malawi after the
                                              country's parliament condemned it as "immoral".

                                              It voted to ban the pan-African reality series from its public TV
                                              station because of concerns about its sexual content.

                                              Taylor Nothale, chairman of the parliamentary committee on the media,
                                              said he had received a number of complaints, particularly from parents.


                                              He said most Malawians felt the show might encourage young people to
                                              engage in immoral behaviour.

                                              "People are subjected to horrible pictures which are corrupting the
                                              morals of our children," Mr Nothale said.

                                              Opposition leader Gwanda Chakuamba said: "We want the government to
                                              stop that nonsense on TV."

                                              Most of the southern African country's 10.6 million people are deeply
                                              conservative Christians. It also has a Muslim minority.

                                              Malawi has become the third African nation to condemn the series
                                              following concerns raised by religious and political leaders in Zambia
                                              and Namibia.

                                              They have complained that some of the footage broadcast is too
                                              explicit.

                                              State-run Television Malawi has been broadcasting highlights of the
                                              South Africa-based show every evening.

                                              It originally featured 12 contestants, each from a different African
                                              country, locked together inside the Big Brother house.

                                              As with the western-style format, they are voted off one by one.
                                              Malawi's representative, Zein Dudah, was removed a month ago.

                                              Apart from the condemnation over sexual content, the show has been
                                              praised for bridging cultural gaps and exploding some of the myths
                                              contestants share about fellow Africans.

                                              Show producer Carl Fischer said: "If (the show) didn't generate any
                                              controversy, the project would be a failure."

                                              Rich Malawians will still be able to watch the show on satellite
                                              television.

                                              *****

                                              Cheap malaria drug approved

                                              A cheap drug to combat malaria is to be launched by GlaxoSmithKline.
                                              The drug could help to save millions of lives each year in some of the
                                              world's poorest countries.

                                              According to GSK, a course of treatment with Lapdap will cost just 18
                                              pence (29 US cents) for an adult and 9 pence for a child.

                                              This is much cheaper than many existing drugs, some of which can cost
                                              as much as £33 per course.

                                              Major killer

                                              Malaria affects around 300 million people around the world each year.

                                              Nine out of 10 cases occur in Africa. The disease claims the lives of
                                              at least one million people annually, according to the World Health
                                              Organization (WHO).

                                              Many of these lives could be saved if more affordable drugs were
                                              available.

                                              This latest drug, which combines two existing anti-malaria compounds,
                                              has been developed by GSK in collaboration with the WHO and scientists
                                              in the UK.

                                              The $5m development costs were shared between GSK, the WHO and the UK
                                              Department for International Development.

                                              Trials have shown that it is more effective than some existing
                                              treatments and can also help people who are resistant to some older
                                              drugs.

                                              It has now been approved for use by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare
                                              products Regulatory Agency.

                                              GSK said the drug would be made available in sub-Saharan Africa as soon
                                              as possible.

                                              In a statement, the company said: "GlaxoSmithKline plans to make Lapdap
                                              available at preferential prices across sub-Saharan Africa as soon as
                                              local approval has been granted."

                                              Professor Peter Winstanley, director of the Wellcome Trust Tropical
                                              Centre at the University of Liverpool which led the development work,
                                              welcomed the drug's approval.

                                              "Lapdap can help us meet the urgent need for an affordable anti-malaria
                                              treatment for use in Africa," he said.
                                            • Christine Chumbler
                                              BBC has a photo gallery of a man living with AIDS in Malawi http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/africa_aids_in_malawi/html/1.stm *****
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jul 15, 2004
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                                                BBC has a photo gallery of a man living with AIDS in Malawi

                                                http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/africa_aids_in_malawi/html/1.stm

                                                *****

                                                Sunshine City goes dark

                                                Ryan Truscott | Harare, Zimbabwe

                                                15 July 2004 12:59


                                                Living in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, is getting harder as weary
                                                residents battle with frequent power cuts, water shortages and the
                                                ever-rising prices of basic goods.

                                                Harare once boasted the nickname "Sunshine City" but in the depths of a
                                                Zimbabwean winter, it's looking less and less that way for all
                                                residents, regardless of their income levels.

                                                Last week the state-run power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
                                                Authority (Zesa), announced it is introducing power cuts at peak periods
                                                due to increased demand from the cold weather and Zimbabwe's inability
                                                to find additional sources for power imports from outside the country.

                                                Zimbabwe imports 30% of its power, much of it from neighbouring South
                                                Africa, but has in the recent past reportedly had problems settling its
                                                bills.

                                                Coinciding with the power cuts, Zesa has started broadcasting
                                                advertisements every half hour on state radio, proclaiming "Zesa: Power
                                                to the people."

                                                "While we sit in the dark with candles waiting for the power to come
                                                back on and women stream out of the bush with firewood on their heads
                                                because they can't afford electricity, the jingles go on and on and on,"
                                                says Zimbabwe writer Cathy Buckle in her weekly commentary.

                                                In several suburbs of the capital, streetlamps and house lights flicker
                                                off at 6pm at night -- to be restored three hours later.

                                                There are also cuts scheduled for three hours in the mornings.

                                                "It's every night," moans one elderly resident of the relatively
                                                well-heeled Avondale suburb, near Harare's main hospital.

                                                "It was Thursday, Friday and then again at half-past six on Saturday,"
                                                she complains. She adds that she keeps her bath "half full" to be ready
                                                for water cuts -- usually advertised in the state-run Herald newspaper
                                                and on public radio.

                                                In June some suburbs had no water for almost three weeks. The
                                                authorities blamed pump failures at the ageing Morton Jaffray water
                                                plant, as well as a lack of crucial aluminium sulphate used to treat the
                                                water.

                                                A so-called "water demand management system" was brought in. This meant
                                                cutting off supplies to other suburbs for 24-hour periods.

                                                Harare's opposition-led city council says it does not have the funds to
                                                maintain infrastructure. But efforts to hike rates have been blocked by
                                                Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who has also dismissed
                                                Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) mayor Elias Mudzuri.

                                                A member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, Chombo last month
                                                declared previously approved increases "unjustified" and ordered a
                                                freeze.

                                                The Harare city council has only held two meetings in the past six
                                                months, says Jameson Gadzirai of the Combined Harare Residents'
                                                Association, leaving residents concerned that civic governance is being
                                                frustrated by party politics.

                                                "What the residents are feeling now is that council decisions are not
                                                being implemented because of a broader agenda being pushed by the [local
                                                government] ministry," Gadzirai says.

                                                There are other concerns. Public hospitals in the city are faring
                                                badly. The privately owned Standard reported this month that corpses at
                                                Harare's Central hospital are being rolled down the stairs from wards to
                                                the mortuary because there is no money to repair the lifts.

                                                Health delivery has been one of the biggest casualties of Zimbabwe's
                                                four-year old economic downturn. Cases of kwashiorkor -- a sometimes
                                                fatal illness usually associated with times of war and famine -- have
                                                resurfaced.

                                                At least 621 were treated last year in the city's clinics, according to
                                                a report by the council's director of health, Lovemore Mbengeranwa.

                                                Price hikes too are a worry. Although inflation rates have fallen, from
                                                more than 600% at the end of last year to just less than 400%, prices of
                                                foodstuffs and many basic goods continue to rise.

                                                Faced with an outcry, the country's energetic Reserve Bank Governor
                                                Gideon Gono last week said that "the thinking that prices ought to come
                                                down because inflation is coming down is fallacious", the state-run
                                                Ziana agency reported.

                                                Gono told the conference that prices should still be going up by about
                                                6%. But his figures do not square with prices on shop shelves: bread has
                                                more than doubled in two months from about Z$1 200 a loaf to Z$2 900.

                                                Meanwhile fuel queues resurfaced last week. A wearying fact of life for
                                                many Zimbabwean drivers over the past three years, the queues seemed to
                                                have disappeared after the authorities removed price controls.

                                                State radio said last week's queues were due to "logistical" problems
                                                in fuel distribution. -- Sapa-AFP
                                              • Christine Chumbler
                                                Malawian leader to boot out MPs Malawi s newly-elected president has ordered parliament to move to a bombed-out sports complex so he can make it his official
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jul 22, 2004
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                                                  Malawian leader to boot out MPs

                                                  Malawi's newly-elected president has ordered parliament to move to a
                                                  bombed-out sports complex so he can make it his official residence.
                                                  Bingu wa Mutharika said he wanted to move from his Blantyre residence
                                                  to the capital, Lilongwe, as part of attempts to streamline government
                                                  operations.

                                                  But the opposition said the decision ran against his promises to cut
                                                  government expenditure.

                                                  Parliament has 300 rooms and its own school and supermarket.

                                                  New State House was originally built as a presidential palace at a cost
                                                  of $100m by a former president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, but he only
                                                  stayed in the house for 90 days.

                                                  Parliament moved into the site in 1995.

                                                  "The president needs enough room," said Ken Zikhale Ng'oma the
                                                  president's chief of staff.

                                                  Costly

                                                  But Catherine Chisala, spokesperson for the Peoples Progressive
                                                  Movement, said they were unimpressed.

                                                  "It will be very expensive to renovate the Kamuzi Institute for Sports
                                                  into a habitable place and the New State House into a presidential
                                                  palace," she said.

                                                  The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Malawi says that President Mutharika's
                                                  predecessor, Bakili Muluzi, who was criticised for excessive
                                                  over-expenditure, refused to occupy New State House, calling it an
                                                  "obscene extravagance".

                                                  The site of the proposed parliament was bombed by the army when it was
                                                  occupied by paramilitaries loyal to President Banda when he lost power
                                                  in 1993.

                                                  The Malawi Young Pioneers, as they were called, were suspected of
                                                  storing their arms in the building.

                                                  The sports complex remains in disrepair.

                                                  *****

                                                  Malawi: Media Involved in Aids Information Dissemination

                                                  UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                                  July 21, 2004
                                                  Posted to the web July 21, 2004

                                                  Johannesburg

                                                  Malawi's National AIDS Commission (NAC) and local media houses are
                                                  currently discussing how journalists can help implement the country's
                                                  national HIV/AIDS policy.

                                                  Launched earlier this year by former President Bakili Muluzi, the
                                                  policy aims to engage key institutions, like the media, in planning,
                                                  coordinating and ensuring common standards in response to the AIDS
                                                  crisis.

                                                  Rita Chilolgozi, resident advisor of the policy project, said the main
                                                  aim of the NAC was to disseminate the HIV/AIDS policy.

                                                  "We need to use the media as a tool to help the people of Malawi
                                                  understand the issues. Writing documents that no one sees just isn't
                                                  enough. The media must be used as a channel through which to pass on the
                                                  message," a local newspaper, The Chronicle, quoted Chilolgozi as
                                                  saying.
                                                • Christine Chumbler
                                                  Development-Malawi: Rapid Urbanisation Looks Irreversible Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) July 27, 2004 Posted to the web July 27, 2004 Frank Phiri Blantyre
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Jul 29, 2004
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                                                    Development-Malawi: Rapid Urbanisation Looks Irreversible

                                                    Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

                                                    July 27, 2004
                                                    Posted to the web July 27, 2004

                                                    Frank Phiri
                                                    Blantyre

                                                    Every morning, residents of Malawi's sprawling commercial hub, Blantyre
                                                    wake up to deafening noises as hundreds of thousands of people pour into
                                                    the city to try to make a living.

                                                    During peak hours, roads from townships leading to the city's main
                                                    streets become clogged with traffic that range from minibuses, trucks,
                                                    bicycles and a sea of pedestrians.

                                                    Road accidents are common and vary from five to ten a day in the city,
                                                    according to the police.

                                                    Back in the 1980s, peak hours in Blantyre hardly resulted in traffic
                                                    jams unless, of course, if the convoy of the late dictator Hastings
                                                    Kamuzu Banda was passing-by and roads had to be cordoned off by order.

                                                    Now Blantyre's landscapes are changing. The latest United Nations
                                                    Centre for Human Settlement (UNCHS) study on urbanisation shows that the
                                                    city of Blantyre and other trading centres in the northern and central
                                                    regions of Malawi are becoming noisier, thanks to rapid urbanisation.

                                                    The study, which was released this month, says Malawi, a tiny,
                                                    landlocked and impoverished southern African nation of about 13 million
                                                    has emerged as the fastest urbanising country in the world with an urban
                                                    population growth of 6.3 percent, compared to 0.5 percent in rural
                                                    areas.

                                                    According to the study, three million people now live in urban areas
                                                    compared to 260,000 in 1966, something which represents a 25-percent
                                                    growth.

                                                    The study, which has tipped Malawi to score highly in urbanisation in
                                                    the next 15 years, concurs with an earlier study by the UK Department
                                                    for International Development (DFID) that 44 percent, or more than 5
                                                    million people would live in towns by 2015.

                                                    It says three-quarters of Malawi's population lives in the main urban
                                                    centres of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba.

                                                    The findings of the two studies prompted Malawian authorities and civil
                                                    society Tuesday to convene a meeting in the administrative capital,
                                                    Lilongwe to debate how to meet the challenges of urbanisation in the
                                                    next 15 years.

                                                    The stakeholders, meeting under the theme "Malawi is World Champion in
                                                    Urban Population Growth", admitted that urbanisation was the main
                                                    contributing factor to land and housing shortages, congestion, squatter
                                                    settlements, crime, HIV/AIDS infection and unemployment.

                                                    Malawi's economy depends on agriculture and shortages of land have in
                                                    recent years contributed to perennial food shortages, which refuse to
                                                    ease. In 2002, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation
                                                    (FAO) and other aid agencies estimated that more than three million
                                                    Malawians needed emergency food. This year, the agencies have projected
                                                    that more than one million people will starve if food aid is not
                                                    provided.

                                                    Economists fear that the need to import the staple maize this year
                                                    could cause depreciation of kwacha as the country's foreign exchange
                                                    cover is low. Donors are withholding aid, citing fiscal indiscipline by
                                                    Lilongwe.

                                                    Apart from food insecurity, HIV/AIDS infection has emerged as the most
                                                    appalling crisis to hit the urban areas. Malawi's HIV infection
                                                    prevalence hovers at 14.7 percent, according to the latest UN Joint
                                                    Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report.

                                                    Of the one million people infected, the Malawi National AIDs Commission
                                                    (NAC) estimates that 25 percent, or 250,000, are in urban areas compared
                                                    to 13 percent in the rural areas.

                                                    The commission estimates that AIDS has created about 600,000 orphans.
                                                    As a result, orphanages are now overwhelmed.

                                                    "Most of the orphans end up on the streets as beggars and grow up into
                                                    thugs," says Bertha Bonongwe of Chisomo Care Group, an orphanage at
                                                    Ndala Village in the outskirts of Blantyre.

                                                    City officials say urbanisation is also leading to squatter
                                                    settlements, which cause congestion and sanitation breakdowns. According
                                                    to UNCHS, 71 percent of residents in Blantyre live in squalid and
                                                    unplanned settlements.

                                                    City officials blame utility companies for providing installations in
                                                    areas that are not fully developed.

                                                    "Installations such as water and electricity in underdeveloped places
                                                    attract people to go and settle in such areas," says Sophie Kalimba, the
                                                    chief executive of Blantyre City Assembly.

                                                    Masauko Ngwaluko, spokesperson for the Lilongwe Water Board, says
                                                    vandalism of plastic water pipes has been on a steady increase in recent
                                                    years. The pipes are used for making teapots and other domestic
                                                    appliances, which are on high demand in the city.

                                                    "We're losing about K650,000 (6,000 United States dollars) every month
                                                    to repair vandalised installations," he says, adding that such
                                                    disruptions were leading to failure by the board to provide
                                                    uninterrupted services to residents.

                                                    The country's sole power utility, the Electricity Supply Corporation of
                                                    Malawi (Escom), is also feeling the pinch of urbanization. Its
                                                    installations, such as transformers, are targeted by residents who
                                                    extract the oil for unknown use, it says.

                                                    Critics say Malawi has become poorer in the past 10 years of
                                                    re-introducing multiparty democracy. Before 1994, Malawi had been a
                                                    one-party state for more than 30 years under Banda. Over 65 percent of
                                                    the population now lives below the poverty line of one dollar a day,
                                                    according to the World Bank.

                                                    In April, a study by Khwima Nthara, an economist with Deloitte and
                                                    Touche firm revealed that Malawi's Gross National Income - that is
                                                    earned by individuals in a country - has fallen from 220 dollars in 1997
                                                    to 160 dollars now.

                                                    Economists and UN agencies believe poverty is the main driving force
                                                    behind the rural-urban migration in Malawi. "The influx of people from
                                                    rural areas is directly linked to increasingly harsh conditions many
                                                    families are facing in outlying areas of Malawi," says the UNCHS study.

                                                    To address the problems faced by the urban poor, the Secondary Centres
                                                    Development Project (SCDP) - a German funded project - is servicing
                                                    unplanned housing sites with access to clean water, drainages, roads and
                                                    processing land ownership certificates.

                                                    Charles Mkula, the projects' communication officer, says SCDP has
                                                    processed 8,900 title deeds for the poorest households in urban areas.

                                                    "Due to urbanisation, poverty is increasing in urban households with
                                                    homeless migrants living in slums not fit for human habitation," Mkula
                                                    told IPS.

                                                    Like it or hate it, rapid urbanisation looks irreversible in Malawi.

                                                    "Evidence shows urbanisation cannot be stopped whether by law, policy
                                                    or development projects targeting the poor. The best thing to do would
                                                    be to let public investment follow the people," argues Mtafu Zeleza
                                                    Manda of the Malawi Institute of Physical Planners (MIPP), which pools
                                                    the country's engineers, architects, and planners.

                                                    *****

                                                    Malawi clerics caught canoodling

                                                    By Raphael Tenthani
                                                    BBC correspondent in Blantyre

                                                    A Catholic priest and nun have been arrested in Malawi for making love
                                                    in an airport car park.
                                                    The 43-year-old priest and 26-year-old nun were caught "in the act" in
                                                    a tinted saloon car parked at Lilongwe International Airport.

                                                    "It was a bizarre spectacle, the public alerted airport police after
                                                    noticing the car shaking in a funny way," police spokesman Kelvin Maigwa
                                                    told the BBC.

                                                    The pair is due before a magistrate in the capital, Lilongwe, on
                                                    Thursday.

                                                    Abandoning pastoral duties

                                                    When the police arrived, catching them in the act, the two were
                                                    promptly arrested and charged with indecent behaviour in a public place,
                                                    Mr Maigwa said.

                                                    They were detained overnight at a police station near the airport.

                                                    The charge is a misdemeanour and, if convicted, the pair may get away
                                                    with a small fine.

                                                    The two were first noticed by eye-witnesses as they parked the car and
                                                    wound up the tinted windows.

                                                    "We thought they could be rushing for a plane that was about to take
                                                    off but we were surprised that they never got out of the car," said a
                                                    taxi driver.

                                                    After being arrested, the nun was allowed to put on her habit, Mr
                                                    Maigwa said.

                                                    The priest was dressed in civilian clothes, he said.


                                                    *****

                                                    Zambia cracks down on hackers

                                                    Dickson Jere | Lusaka, Zambia

                                                    29 July 2004 13:58


                                                    Zambia's government is to present a tough Bill on cyber crime to
                                                    Parliament on Friday that will see convicted hackers and other offenders
                                                    face harsh sentences ranging from 15 to 25 years in jail.

                                                    The Computer Misuse and Crimes Bill enjoys strong backing from bankers
                                                    and the Computer Society of Zambia, a group of professionals promoting
                                                    computer use, who say hacking into dormant accounts has become a problem
                                                    in this poor Southern African country.

                                                    "We feel this law will help to deal with the increasing number of
                                                    electronic frauds and hacking especially in the financial sector," said
                                                    Milner Makuni, president of the Computer Society of Zambia.

                                                    The most famous cyber offence in Zambia was committed by a young
                                                    computer wizard who hacked the State House website and replaced the
                                                    picture of then president Frederick Chiluba with a cartoon.

                                                    He was arrested and charged with defaming the head of state but the
                                                    case failed to succeed because there was no law in Zambia that deals
                                                    with cyber crimes.

                                                    "The Bill, once passed, will help to deal with high-tech cyber crimes
                                                    that our current legal system cannot address," said Bob Samakai, a
                                                    Ministry of Communication permanent secretary.

                                                    But some cyber experts worry that the measure is likely to be abused by
                                                    the authorities to curb access to the internet.

                                                    "It is difficult to regulate the use of computers and internet because
                                                    we are dealing with a world wide web," said Brenda Zulu, a renowned
                                                    cyber journalist who specialises in online reporting.

                                                    She said the country should first develop a policy on information
                                                    communication technology (ICT) before rushing to enact legislation on
                                                    computers.

                                                    Currently, the Zambian government is seeking public input in its draft
                                                    ICT policy, which is yet to be adopted.

                                                    "This law is very vague and not necessary for Zambia at the moment,"
                                                    said Lloyd Himambo, an editor of Zambia's online newspaper The
                                                    Watchdog.

                                                    He said regulating the use of computers will be a difficult undertaking
                                                    and wondered how such a law will be enforced in Zambia, a country where
                                                    computers are a preserve of the rich.

                                                    About one in 1 000 Zambians owns a computer, according to unofficial
                                                    estimates.

                                                    The Computer Society of Zambia agrees that enforcing such a law will be
                                                    difficult, but pledged to help train police officers to understand cyber
                                                    crimes.

                                                    "I think what people should be fighting for is to upgrade their
                                                    security features on their websites to deal with hacking but not to
                                                    criminalise it," said Zulu, adding that hacking a site can be done
                                                    outside Zambia, making it difficult to track the offenders.

                                                    A senior Zambian lawyer who has studied the Bill said it is an "import
                                                    of the British Act" and lacks local input.

                                                    "I think this law is very advanced for the Zambian society and
                                                    government should not rush it through Parliament before reaching
                                                    consensus," he said, on condition of anonymity. -- Sapa-AFP
                                                  • Christine Chumbler
                                                    Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt UN Integrated Regional Information Networks September 20, 2004 Posted to the web September 20, 2004 Johannesburg Malawi s
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Sep 21, 2004
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt

                                                      UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

                                                      September 20, 2004
                                                      Posted to the web September 20, 2004

                                                      Johannesburg

                                                      Malawi's winter harvest should ordinarily ease the country's existing
                                                      food shortage, but there is concern that the new crop could be affected
                                                      by poor summer rains.

                                                      The cultivation of winter crops starts soon after the main summer crop
                                                      has been harvested, usually around July, and takes place in areas where
                                                      there is residual moisture after the end of the rainy season, or farmers
                                                      have access to irrigation facilities.

                                                      Due to a poor summer harvest it is estimated that up to 1.6 million
                                                      people will require food assistance up to March 2005, but aid agencies
                                                      have noted that a bumper winter harvest could narrow the existing food
                                                      gap.

                                                      "In the past few years, the government of Malawi has been encouraging
                                                      winter crop production through various means, and this has resulted in a
                                                      steady production increase," the Famine Early Warning Systems Network
                                                      (FEWS NET) said in its latest country report.

                                                      However, the 2003/04 rainfall "was significantly worse than that of
                                                      2002/03, especially in the winter maize producing areas", FEWS NET
                                                      noted. "This poor rainfall would have resulted in relatively less
                                                      residual moisture and water availability, necessary preconditions for
                                                      winter crop production. The general expectation is that winter crop
                                                      production should be lower than last season, especially in the southern
                                                      region, which was the most hit by the dry spells and shortness of the
                                                      rainfall season."

                                                      The National Statistics Office (NSO) has forecast a winter maize
                                                      harvest of around 225,000 mt, slightly higher than the previous year's
                                                      224,000 mt. However, FEWS NET said the NSO forecast was questionable,
                                                      given the poor rainfall this year.

                                                      "Although the coming winter harvest - around October to December -
                                                      would help improve the aggregate national food availability situation,
                                                      the improvements for smallholders in the southern region will be
                                                      short-lived, and a majority of the households will continue to rely on
                                                      the markets for food," FEWS NET commented.

                                                      But the rising cost of staples has limited household access to food.
                                                      "Prices have already started to rise, consistent with predictions of a
                                                      worse than normal [harvest] year ... continued prices increases will
                                                      adversely affect households' ability to purchase food," the report
                                                      warned.

                                                      It will take an estimated 56,000 mt to 83,000 mt of emergency food aid
                                                      to assist the rising number of households in need until the next
                                                      harvest, FEWS NET forecast.


                                                      *****

                                                      Zimbabwe court drops paper case

                                                      A Zimbabwean court has dropped charges against four directors of the
                                                      banned Daily News newspaper.
                                                      The privately-owned paper was shut down a year ago by police under the
                                                      country's tough media laws.

                                                      The magistrate said there was insufficient evidence to show they had
                                                      published the paper illegally.

                                                      But the publication will stay off the news-stands pending a decision by
                                                      the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the media legislation.

                                                      Zimbabwean and international rights groups have condemned the law,
                                                      which compels all journalists and newspapers to be accredited by a
                                                      government-appointed media commission.

                                                      Magistrate Lillian Kudya said the state failed to prove the paper
                                                      intentionally violated the law, as the paper had won court cases
                                                      granting the paper a licence, AFP news agency reported.

                                                      "We are free. We knew justice was going to prevail," said Samuel Nkomo,
                                                      the paper's chief executive after the ruling.

                                                      Launched five years ago, the Daily News was the country's sole
                                                      privately-owned daily paper and was a persistent critic of President
                                                      Robert Mugabe's government.
                                                    • scottgeibel
                                                      Well that s not good news... let s hope that the colorful Autumn leaves and Spring flowers brighten the moods of Malawi s disappointed farmers. ... existing
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Sep 22, 2004
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Well that's not good news... let's hope that the colorful Autumn
                                                        leaves and Spring flowers brighten the moods of Malawi's disappointed
                                                        farmers.


                                                        "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@d...> wrote:

                                                        > Malawi: Winter Maize Harvest in Doubt
                                                        >
                                                        > UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
                                                        >
                                                        > September 20, 2004
                                                        > Posted to the web September 20, 2004
                                                        >
                                                        > Johannesburg
                                                        >
                                                        > Malawi's winter harvest should ordinarily ease the country's
                                                        existing
                                                        > food shortage, but there is concern that the new crop could be
                                                        affected
                                                        > by poor summer rains.
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