Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: news

Expand Messages
  • Paul Dever
    Reply to: RE [ujeni] news These wouldn t be the same religious groups which transfer their personnel as they become pregnant, or impregnate students???
    Message 1 of 1046 , Jan 10, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      Reply to: RE>[ujeni] news
      These wouldn't be the same religious groups which transfer their personnel
      as they become pregnant, or impregnate students???

      Whatever happened to the idea of taking photos of the ministers and their
      cars as they cruised by the HIV Bar???

      --------------------------------------
      Date: 1/10/00 4:01 PM
      To: Custodian
      From: ujeni@onelist.com
      From: "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@...>

      Religious Groups Reject Use Of Condoms In Anti-AIDS
      Move

      All Africa News Agency
      January 7, 2000
      By Brian Ligomeka In Blantyre

      Blantyre January 10 - Major religious
      organisations in Malawi have rejected the use
      of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids
      epidemic as advocated by the
      government and some manufacturers of the
      condoms.

      The congregations including the Catholic
      Church, the CCAP Livingstonia Synod,
      Seventh-Day Adventist SDA and the Muslim
      Association of Malawi, said the
      campaign for the use condoms to fight Aids
      promoted promiscuity.

      In a statement issued recently after the
      country's deputy Minister of Health Phillip
      Bwanali complained that churches were
      frustrating government efforts in promoting
      good health, Father Andrew Timpuza of the
      Catholic Church condemned the use of
      condoms by Christians saying this was against
      Church rules.

      Adventist Education and Community Director
      Pastor Kenn Bilima said before New
      Year that the stand of the churches did not
      constitute a war against the
      government policy on health services.

      Bilima said the Seventh Day Adventist church
      did not encourage the use of
      condoms except by married couples who use them
      in birth control or on medical
      advice after contracting Aids.

      National Dawah Co-ordinator for the Muslim
      Association of Malawi Sheikh
      Mohammed Osman said Koran 15 indicates that God
      discourages promiscuity
      because it brings along dangerous diseases and
      that encouraging people to use
      condoms was going against God.

      "We can't start encouraging the faithful to
      intensify the use of condoms since God
      is against immorality. Condoms encourage this
      bad tendency and it's not proper
      for us to stand up and encourage people to use
      them," said Osman.

      A pastor with Livingstonia Synod of the Church
      of Central Africa Presbyterian, who
      insisted on anonymity, said his church's stand
      was that the use of condoms
      should not be encouraged except on medical
      grounds.

      "Aids or no Aids, the church is against the
      advertising of promiscuous tendencies
      and the church will never change its stand on
      that the church has to guard against
      immorality," said the clergyman.

      *****

      Anxiety Over Rains Mounts In Malawi

      Panafrican News Agency
      January 7, 2000

      Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - Malawi's National
      Disaster and Relief Committee meets
      next week to work out strategies to counter the
      effects of the projected drought
      due to lack of rains.

      Lucius Chikuni, the Commissioner for Disaster
      Preparedness, Relief and
      Rehabilitation, said the cabinet had asked the
      committee to draw up a contingency
      plan to reduce the effects of the anticipated
      drought.

      "We are very concerned with what is happening
      because some parts of the country
      are yet to receive rain," he told PANA.

      Chikuni criticised the Meteorological
      Department which has been assuring farmers
      that Malawi will receive enough rain this
      season.

      Donald Kamdonyo, director of the Meteorological
      Department, said in an earlier
      interview that although rainfall would be
      erratic this season there should be no
      cause for alarm as rainfall will be "normal to
      above normal."

      He repeated the same optimism Friday, saying
      some parts of the country are
      receiving rains but warned that the rains will
      abruptly cut off by March. But Chikuni
      was not convinced, charging that "so far what
      the Meteorological Department has
      said about the rains is untrue since everybody
      can see clear signs of a drought."

      "You don't have to be a meteorological expert
      to tell there is a drought," he added.

      Malawi's rain season normally starts between
      October and December but this
      season, a week into January, most parts of the
      country are dry.

      In a radio and television address Thursday
      night, Aleke Banda, the agriculture and
      livestock development minister, urged farmers
      who had already planted to replant
      as soon as rain start falling again.

      Government is currently distributing free seeds
      and fertiliser to farming households
      in a donor-funded "Starter Pack" scheme.

      Many people in Malawi say this season's drought
      is reminiscent of the historical
      1949 drought where virtually no crop was
      harvested and several people died as a
      result.

      Chikuni said he was old enough then and could
      indeed draw parallels to the
      historic drought.

      "I was old enough in 1949 and I have spoken to
      traditionalists. What is happening
      now is exactly what happened in 1949," he
      added.

      Meanwhile, government has set up a National
      Food Reserve Agency to intervene if
      drought really strikes.

      *****

      Malawi Police Clampdown On Unroadworthy Vehicles

      Panafrican News Agency
      January 8, 2000
      by Raphael Tenthani

      Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - The Malawi police
      said it has collected at least 267,820
      kwacha (about 6,000 US dollars) from road
      traffic fines in an effort to clear off the
      roads of unroadworthy vehicles to which it
      attributed escalating numbers of road
      accidents in the country.

      The exercise, carried out in all major urban
      centres over the Christmas and new
      year festivities, netted mostly passenger-
      carrying minibuses.

      Police spokesman Oliver Soko said at least 115
      vehicles were impounded in
      Blantyre, 120 in Lilongwe, and 12 in the
      northern city of Mzuzu.

      "We expect more vehicles to be impounded and
      more revenue to be collected for
      the government," he said.

      The minibuses, used by most low to middle
      income Malawians for transport, were
      seized because of driving without indicators,
      horns, insurance and certificates of
      fitness.

      Some of them, according to Soko, were moving
      with worn-out tires.

      "Some of the drivers did not even have
      passenger service vehicle driving licences
      apart from having no fire extinguishers and
      triangular plates (to mark the road in
      case of accidents)," he said.

      The traffic police were being assisted by
      officers from the Road Traffic Commission
      and the National Road Safety Council of Malawi
      who mounted surprise roadblocks
      for the exercise.

      Police reports indicate that in the first week
      of January alone, at least 19 road
      accidents were recorded with 6 deaths, which
      was attributed to over- speeding,
      general careless driving as most vehicle owners
      drove while drunk.

      However, accidents over Christmas dropped from
      44 in 1998 to 35 in 1999.

      Soko said the tough traffic operations will not
      be confined to festive seasons alone.

      "The inspector general of police has ordered
      continued patrols throughout the
      country to ensure that police presence is felt
      and road accidents are reduced.

      "It is not only during festivities, it is an
      on-going exercise for the good of the whole
      country," he said.

      Malawi has one of the worst road accident rates
      in the southern Africa region.

      In another development, Soko said police
      recovered over 160 stolen vehicles
      through its anti-motor vehicle theft department
      between January and October 1999.
      He could, however, not say how many vehicles in
      all were stolen during the period
      under survey.

      In the past few years car theft cartels have
      infiltrated Malawi, acquiring Malawian
      middlemen who pounce on the cars, dismantle
      them and cart the spare parts to
      neighbouring countries.

      *****

      A BBC story about Gore's expected announcement for AIDS programs in Africa.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_596000/596743.stm

      --------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------

      Get great offers on top-notch products that match your interests!
      Sign up for eLerts at:
      <a href=" http://clickme.onelist.com/ad/elerts1 ">Click Here</a>

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------


      [Message ID: -1264602468]
      [Internet header:]
      Received: from [199.100.250.254] ([199.100.250.254])
      by malinet.ml (8.8.8/8.8.9) with SMTP id PAA11665
      for <ppeace@...>; Mon, 10 Jan 2000 15:11:47 GMT
      Received: from osmail.peacecorps.gov by [199.100.250.254]
      via smtpd (for [208.154.199.1]) with SMTP; 10 Jan 2000 15:39:23
      UT
      Received: from pcfirewall02.peacecorps.gov (209.207.164.227) by
      osmail.peacecorps.gov with SMTP (Eudora Internet Mail Server 2.2.2); Mon,
      10
      Jan 2000 10:23:15 -0500
      Received: from pop1.onelist.com ([209.207.164.227]) by
      pcfirewall02.peacecorps.gov
      via smtpd (for osmail.peacecorps.gov [199.100.193.50]) with
      SMTP; 10 Jan 2000 15:39:12 UT
      Received: (qmail 3044 invoked by alias); 10 Jan 2000 15:24:53 -0000
      Received: (qmail 2901 invoked from network); 10 Jan 2000 15:24:49 -0000
      Received: from unknown (209.207.164.241) by pop1.onelist.com with QMQP; 10
      Jan 2000 15:24:49 -0000
      Received: from unknown (HELO smtp.cdie.org) (199.75.20.131) by
      209.207.164.241 with SMTP; 10 Jan 2000 16:30:43 -0000
      Received: from 1331DO-Message_Server by smtp.cdie.org with
      Novell_GroupWise; Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:23:01 -0500
      Message-Id: <s879b305.021@...>
      X-Mailer: Novell GroupWise 5.2
      To: ujeni@onelist.com
      MIME-Version: 1.0
      Mailing-List: list ujeni@onelist.com; contact ujeni-owner@onelist.com
      Delivered-To: mailing list ujeni@onelist.com
      Precedence: bulk
      List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:ujeni-unsubscribe@...>
      Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:22:41 -0500
      From: "Christine Chumbler" <cchumble@...>
      Reply-to: ujeni@onelist.com
      Subject: [ujeni] news
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
      Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
      Content-Length: 10534
      Status:
    • Christine Chumbler
      ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract by Zainah Liwanda, 22 May 2006 - 06:09:17 The African Development Bank (ADB) has again rejected a proposal by
      Message 1046 of 1046 , May 22, 2006
      • 0 Attachment

        ADB firm on Karonga-Chitipa road contract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        *****

        Chihana operated on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Mughogho is now in charge of the party.

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

        *****

        Pillane proposes presidential age limit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        *****

        Mussa hails new driving licence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        *****

        UDF demands investigation on Kasambara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        *****

        Zambia: Malawians Grab Zambian Land

        The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

        May 18, 2006

        Posted to the web May 19, 2006

        Andrew Lungu

         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        The Zimbabwean traders were warned and cautioned and later released.

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

         

        *****

        Zim unions, MDC still plan anti-govt protests

        Harare, Zimbabwe

        22 May 2006 11:51

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

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

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

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

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

        Opposition protests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Crackdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.