SCHOOLS TO CLOSE EARLY DUE TO FORTHCOMING POLLS

ZIMBABWE: ELECTIONS/THE HERALD/15/6/18 SABANews 1

Polling stations open on 30 July (Pic. The Zimbabwean)

HARARE – The government of ZIMBABWE says schools across the SADC country are this term closing as early as 11 days from now due to the forthcoming general elections.

The votes for councillors, members of the TOW houses of the National Assembly, as well as a State President are taking place on the 30TH of this month.

THE HERALD newspaper says Primary and Secondary Education Secretary SYLVIA UTETE MASANGO has issued a statement today.

She says the authorities have decided to bring forward the THIRD Term to the FOURTH of SEPTEMBER to make up for the lost time. But there has not yet been any comment from teacher organisations on the issue.

The announcement comes as 15 presidential aspirants have so far registered with the national Electoral Commission, with FIVE-MILLION-524-THOUSAND-188 voters registered nationwide.

The major contestants are President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA of the ruling ZANU-PF, NELSON CHAMISA of the MDC ALLIANCE and THOKOZANI KHUPE of the MDC-T.

NOAH MANYIKA, VIOLET MARIYACHA, EVERISTO CHIKANGA, BRYAN MTEKI, LANGTON TAUNGANA, DIVINE HOVE, BLESSING KASIYAMHURU, and JOICE MUJURU have also registered for the race.

The last FOUR are KWANELE HLABANGANI, MAPFUMO GAVA, LOVEMORE MADHUKU, and NKOSANA MOYO .

Electoral Commissioner QHUBANI MOYO says the nomination process went on well throughout the 10 administrative regions of the SADC country.

ZIMBABWE is this year holding general elections for the FIRST time without the 94-year-old former dictator ROBERT MUGABE, who is reportedly backing ONE of the opposition groups.

President MNANGAGWA has departed from the political practices of his predecessor and invited almost everyone throughout the globe to come and observe the ballots, which has seen no inter-party violence from the start.

Media reports say the EUROPEAN UNION is for the FIRST time in 16 years deploying its teams to monitor the voting process in the country.

The EU imposed what it called smart sanctions against ZIMBABWE in FEBRUARY 2002 after the MUGABE Administration kicked out the leader of the group’s election monitors, SWEDISH Diplomat PIERRE SCHORI.

However, it was clear from the start the embargo was due to the massive land invasions that displaced the FOUR-THOUSAND-500 white settler farmers; who occupied almost all of the arable land to resettle millions of impoverished indigenous blacks.

Political commentators say the UNITED KINGDOM would not have bated an eye had it not been the affected were BRITISH emigrants or their descendants, who had enjoyed the riches of the country since colonisation in 1890.

ZIMBABWE has also received voter observation pledges from regional and continental economic blocs including the AU, SADC, COMESA, as well as so-called pro-democracy organisations./Sabanews/cam

EFFORTS TO EMPOWER WOMEN REACHES PEAK IN LEGAL CIRCLES

TANZANIA: GENDER/DAILY NEWS/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Gender based violence, a world problem

ARUSHA – The issue of women empowerment has reached high levels among different players in legal and other sections of society in TANZANIA.

The development comes amid reports saying gender-based violence remains a significant problem in the country, with the State agreeing it has the potential to cripple the national economy, health, and social welfare systems.

Researchers say the brutality takes many forms, like physical, sexual, psychological, and economic violence, mainly performed against women and girls.

A number of groups have launched awareness campaigns, advocacy, and mass mobilization with local government leaders, the police, health workers, and others, to help people respond to gender-based violence.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Minister JOHN PALAMAGAMBA KABUDI has recently addressed a Joint Conference on Gender and the Judiciary in AFRICA.

The gathering, organised, by TANZANIAN Judiciary in partnership with the WORLD BANK, has taken place at the SIMBA Plenary Hall at the ARUSHA International Conference Centre.

Minister KABUDI says the State remains committed to address gender-based violence through empowerment of judges, magistrates and other judiciary staff.

He says their ARUSHA meeting is a vital effort in issues related to the role of the AFRICAN courts.

The DAILY NEWS says Vice President SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN opened the THREE-day-long gathering, running under the theme: ‘Building an Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Judiciary.

The meeting brought together Chief Justices, Judges, Magistrates and concerned stakeholders to discuss ways for the judiciary to guarantee the rights of women to live free of injustice and violence, as well as promote their role in social and economic development.

TANZANIAN Chief Justice IBRAHIM HAMIS says female citizens of his country start facing serious problems once their husbands die, when relatives pounce to grab property and other inheritance.

He says such are times when people get to hear women accused of killing their husbands with witchcraft, simply to smear their names in attempts to disqualify the widows from inheriting their husbands’ wealth.

Chief Justice HAMIS says there comes a time when relatives also snatch away children from their mothers, after realising the deceased would have left his fortunes to his offspring.

A 2013 report by the UN World Health Organisation says violence against women says about 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual intimate-partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetimes.

It says some 45-POINT-SIX percent of women 15 years and older in AFRICA have suffered intimate-partner violence, physical and/or sexual, or non-partner sexual violence or both, the highest prevalence in the world.

The WHO study says violence can affect the physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health of women, and may increase their exposure to HIV and AIDS./Sabanews/cam

REVIVAL OF OLD MINE BRINGS HOPE TO COASTAL AREA

NAMIBIA: RECONSTRUCTION/NBC/15/6/18 SABANews 1

Mining is the biggest contributor to Namibian economy in terms of revenue (Pic. Namibian Sun)

WINDHOEK – The NORTH RIVER RESOURCES mining company in NAMIBIA is hard at work reviving an abandoned lead and zinc mine near the coastal city of SWAKOPMUND.

NBC News says the organisation aims to start exports next year, and a ground-breaking ceremony for the clean-up and reconstruction of the NAMIB Lead and Zinc Mine took place TWO days ago.

It says once operational, the facility is expected to ship out some 10-THOUSAND tonnes of zinc and lead concentrate per month.

The previous owners of the mine, located 25 kilometres outside SWAKOPMUND, abandoned it overnight 27 years ago, leaving behind an environmental mess.

NAMIBIA URANIUM ASSOCIATION Director GABRIELA SCHNEIDER says the clutter has ben hazardous to biodiversity, tourists, and the DOROB National Park.

She has commended the new company for cleaning up the environment and reviving the mine.

NBC News says NORTH RIVER RESOURCES is the property of UNITED KINGDOM-based GREENSTONE Resources and CASTLE LAKE.

It says at least 10 percent shares in the NAMIB Lead and Zinc Mine will go to the 150 workers the company will employ and to a community empowerment trust.

ERONGO Governor CLEOPHAS MUTJAVIKUA says his office has been instrumental in bringing about the broad-based shareholding in the mine.

The NAMIBIAN mining venture has a lifespan of about NINE years, but exploration work is ongoing to extend its continuity./Sabanews/cam

INDUSTRIAL ACTION LIKELY TO CAUSE POWER CUTS NATIONWIDE

SOUTH AFRICA: STRIKE/SABC/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Eskom offices at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg (Pic. EWN)

JOHANNESBURG – The standoff between the SOUTH AFRICAN power utility, ESKOM, and its workers continues amid no indications of a compromise.

However, the organisation has assured consumers it will monitor the situation overnight to see if SOUTH AFRICANS need to brace themselves for another bash of load shedding tomorrow (FRIDAY).

SABC News says the power company had earlier implemented load shedding nationwide from just before SIX up to EIGHT O’clock in the evening.

It quotes ESKOM Spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE as saying the national grid capacity is constrained due to acts of sabotage and intimidation earlier today by members of the trade unions.

He says the power stations that are worst-affected by the industrial action are HENDRINA, CAMDEN, KENDAL and ARNOT, and ESKOM has asked SOUTH AFRICANS to lower power consumption.

SABC News also says in MPUMALANGA, members of the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS and the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA have demonstrated at the DUVHA Power Station in EMALAHLENI.

It says they have blockaded the main gate demanding a salary increase from the employer, and they have vowed not to return to work until management meets their demands.

The NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA is the biggest single trade union in the country, with more than 338-THOUSAND members.

It has united with the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS, which has a membership of 300-THOUSAND and is the largest affiliate of the CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS.

The national broadcaster says members of the TWO groups have come together to press for their demand of a no less than 10 percent wage increases, a FIRST of its kind by the rival trade unions.

It says ESKOM Chief Executive Officer PHAKAMANI HADEBE has braved a hail of insults to come and receive the memorandum by the demonstrators, whom he told the company is now willing to make them an offer.

Meanwhile the JOHANNESBURG City Power, in the SOUTH AFRICAN commercial capital, says it is currently not load shedding but will do so if ESKOM directs it to do so; but any of its customers without electricity should call./Sabanews/cam

MINISTER OF CULTURE HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF CHIEFTAINS

ANGOLA: TRADITION/ANGOP/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Traditional leaders play vital roles in Angolan communites (Pic. New Era)

LUANDA – A Cabinet member in ANGOLA has described traditional authorities as instutions that play an important role in the resolution of social problems in communities.

Culture Minister CAROLINA CERQUEIRA has made the remarks in the south-western region of CUANDO CUBANGO, saying chiefs are the bond between the people and the government.

National news agency, ANGOP says she has met with the King of the CUCHI Region, CARLOS KANGANDZI MUKUVA FIVE, ONE of the authorities in CUANDO CUBANGO.

Minister CAROLINA CERQUEIRA says traditional leaders work as messengers reporting the concerns of communities and offering the best ways to sort out such difficulties.

King CARLOS KANGANDZI MUKUVA FIVE has requested the Minister to intervene essentially for the improvement of the education and health sectors in the region.

Researchers say ANGOLA has more than 100 separate ethnic groups and languages or dialects.

They say while PORTUGUESE is the official language, for many black nationals in the SADC country it is a SECOND or even THIRD language.

There are THREE dominant ethnic groups, the OVIMBUNDU, MBUNDU, or AMBUNDU, who speak KIMBUNDU, and the BAKONGO.

ANGOLA further has small numbers of MESTICO, who are of mixed AFRICAN and EUROPEAN descent, as well as ethnic white EUROPEANS; and the State considers traditional leaders very vital./Sabanews/cam

OIL YIELDS MORE THAN 253-BILLION KWANZAS

ANGOLA: OIL/ANGOP/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Chevron is Angola’s largest foreign oil industry employer, with more than 89 percent of the workforce in the country being Angolan (Pic. Chevron)

LUANDA – ANGOLA has earned more than ONE-BILLION-59-MILLIONS-273-THOUSAND US dollars from oil exports in MAY this year.

National news agency, ANGOP says the SADC country managed to sell 49-MILLION-800-THOUSAND barrels of crude on the global market.

It quotes a report from the Ministry of Finance on revenues generated by oil production as saying the oil was fetching an average price of 68 US dollars 90 cents per barrel.

ANGOP says compared to the same period last year, there has been a substantial increase in both oil revenues and exports.

It also says with the country collected some 124-POINT-NINE-BILLION kwanzas from the sale of 47-MILLION barrels of crude at an average price of about 50 US dollars 95 cents per barrel.

The news agency says in APRIL this year, the State earned 233-POINT-SEVEN-BILLION kwanzas after exporting of 46-MILLION barrels, at an average price of 65 US dollars 50 cents per barrel.

The government has also collected taxes on oil income, oil production, and oil transactions from 13 operators in the country.

ANGOLA is said to be the THIRD-largest trading partner of the UNITED STATES in Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA, largely because of its petroleum exports.

Records show AMERICA imports SEVEN percent of its oil from ANGOLA, about THREE times as much as it imported from KUWAIT just prior to the GULF WAR in 1991./Sabanews/cam

DIRECTORS FIRE 12 SENIOR OFFICERS FROM STUDENTS LOAN BOARD

TANZANIA: DEVELOPMENT/DAILY NEWS/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister Joyce Ndalichako in 2016 sacked the Higher Learning Students Loans Board Executive Director George Nyatega (Pic. The Citizen)

DAR ES SALAAM – The TANZANIA Higher Education Students’ Loan Board has fired SIX senior officers on charges of gross incompetence.

The DAILY NEWS says the dismissed TWO Directors, THREE Assistant Directors, and a Chief Internal Officer allegedly caused the State losses of up to THREE-MILLION-124-THOUSAND US dollars.

It says the Board, chaired by WILLIAM ANANGISYE, initially suspended them between 2016 and 2017 to pave the way for investigations into their alleged misdeeds.

However, the Board Chairperson has told the media the directors and assistant directors can still appeal against their dismissal within 45 days.

Mr ANANGISYE says they have directed the Executive Director of the Higher Education Students’ Loan Board to inform other government institutions of the decision for further measures – just in case there is need for any.
The SIX officials are Loan Recovery Director JUMA CHAGONJA, Loan Allocation and Distribution Director ONESMUS LAIZER, and Loan Allocation Assistant Director JOHN ELIAS.

The others are Loan Recovery Assistant Director ROBERT KIBONA, Chief Internal Auditor HERI SAGO, and Loan Allocation Assistant Director CHIKIRA JAHARI.

While it is not clear what crimes the officials specifically committed, a statement by the Board says the fired senior officials showed gross incompetence and violated the Public Service Act.

It says the authorities formed a probe committee comprising legal, financial, and public service experts to probe the allegations and question the officials.

The investigations produced a report that went before the Board, which concluded the findings it contained warranted the dismissal of the affected employees.

The TANZANIA Higher Education Students’ Loan Board says it wants to supervise the management to ensure it performs effectively, and has advised other employees to work in line with the laws./Sabanews/cam

CIVIL SERVANTS UNFIT FOR POLITICAL OFFICE UNLESS CLEAR OF DEBT

SWAZILAND: POLITICS/TIMES OF SWAZILAND/14/6/18 SABANews 1

Parliament of Swaziland in session (Pic. Apanews)

MBABANE – Civil servants who wish to run for political office in SWAZILAND have been advised to ensure they pay back monies they owe the government.

Public Service Ministry Principal Secretary EVART MADLOPHA says public workers have taken loans for study purposes, to buy cars, as advanced pay, and for a number of other reasons.

He says recovery of such money will help the Kingdom to provide efficient services to the people.

Mr MADLOPHA says it will be wise for employees planning to join the forthcoming parliamentary race to pay before nominations at their royal kraals, since the dates are already public.

He says the government has allowed civil servants to make commitments because it is aware some of them owe huge amounts they cannot pay back before the start of the elections.

The official also says many public employees have shown interest to join the legislative polls this year, with some applying even before the votes were talked about.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND quotes him as saying they expect to receive more applications for leave of absence because many more people want to try their luck.

Civil servants wishing to take part in elections should be prepared to contribute 20 percent to the SWAZILAND National Provident Fund, as the employer will not be contributions during their leave of absence.

The government also says the aspiring candidates should submit their applications for leave of absence on time, in order to avoid inconveniences while preparing for the polls.

It says workers who fail to make it at the ballots can still notify the government and return to work because the law allows them to do, just like the successful ones can also return after FIVE years – although with the same rank.

However, the President of the NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE AND ALLIED WORKERS UNION says the government is oppressive to the workers.

AUBREY SIBIYA says as far as the union was concerned, civil servants should take part in the elections without being forced to make the so-called convincing commitment to their employer.

He says the authorities should not view things as if the aspiring candidates are joining the elections to generate money.

Mr SIBIYA says parliamentarians and civil servants are benefiting from ONE source, which was why his Union believes the government should continue to deduct the loans without forcing people to make commitments.

The labour leader says when civil servants get salary reviews, so do the politicians; which shows they serve ONE government, and the only difference is politicians benefit more than civil servants.

The Parliament of SWAZILAND, also known as LIBANDLA, is bicameral, comprising a lower chamber (the House of Assembly) and an upper one (the Senate).

Election is by secret ballot in a FIRST-past-the-post system of voting under which some of the members of both chambers are elected, and the King appoints the rest.

Members of both chambers serve FIVE-year terms after having run on a non-partisan basis, as political parties are banned in the Kingdom of SWAZILAND./Sabanews/cam

UNION PLEDGES NO SHUTDOWN AT ESKOM DURING DEMO

SOUTH AFRICA: LABOUR/SABC/13/6/18 SABANews 1

Eskom workers protest against cameras in their cars, earlier (Pic. Yuri Madonsela)

JOHANNESBURG – The NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS in SOUTH AFRICA says there will not be a total shutdown at the national power utility, ESKOM, tomorrow (THURSDAY).

However, the group says its members will still march in a mass demonstration to the company headquarters in the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG, to hand over a memorandum.

SABC News says the Union and the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA will hold a ONE-day-long strike against ESKOM’s refusal to increase salaries this year.

The national broadcaster says ESKOM has also appealed to its employees to return to work while the company tries to find a solution to the salary crisis.

ESKOM Chief Executive Officer PHAKAMANI HADEBE says his organisation will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its workers.

He says they have activated their emergencies and currently all power stations are operating to ensure they continue to keep the lights on.

Furthermore, they will also consider a court interdict if necessary to protect the interests of the employees and assets, as well as to further ensure the security of supply.

Mr HADEBE says he is humbly appealing to the organised labour, to ESKOM employees to return to work while the company tries to find an amicable solution to the challenge.

Meanwhile, SABC News says ESKOM cannot guarantee the lights are going to stay on in the country.

The groups representing mine workers and metal workers at ESKOM this TUESDAY said they were preparing to go the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for arbitration on the ZERO percent wage impasse with ESKOM.

The SOUTH AFRICAN public power utility, set up in 1923 as the Electricity Supply Commission by the apartheid government, was by 2016 employing some 47-THOUSAND-978 workers./Sabanews/cam

PRESIDENT SHOCKS OTHER LEADERS WITH TRASH FROM SEA

SEYCHELLES: MARIN/SNA/13/6/28 SABANews 1

Seychelles banned use of plastic bags, cups and cutlery long back (Pic. Africanews)

VICTORIA – President DANNY FAURE of SEYCHELLES has shocked the leaders of the Group of SEVEN nations with photographs of the damage to the ALDABRA atoll by plastic pollution and other types of litter from the rest of the world.

ALDABRA is said to be the world’s SECOND-largest coral atoll situated in the ALDABRA Group of islands in the INDIAN Ocean that form part of the Outer Islands of the SEYCHELLES, with a distance of ONE-THOUSAND-120 kilometres.

A statement from State House says President FAURE has addressed delegates from small islands developing states at the GROUP of SEVEN Summit in CANADA.

He says SEYCHELLES and other small island nations already have enough of a challenge managing their own waste, and do not need to take on the rest of the world’s trash.

ALDABRA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in SEYCHELLES, is a remote atoll, a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral, and a clean-up project was launched last month.

The national news agency, SNA, says the scheme will conclude with an expedition to be led by the Queen’s College from the UNITED KINGDOM to remove tonnes of ocean trash.

It quotes President FAURE as saying the islands need help to handle the vast and increasing amounts of marine litter washing up on and polluting their beaches and coasts from way beyond their shores.

The SNA says the Group of SEVEN leaders, CANADA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, JAPAN, the UNITED KINGDOM and the UNITED STATES, have agreed the SEYCHELLES Leader has graphically made his point.

Their roundtable included FOUR island leaders from HAITI, JAMAICA, the MARSHALL Islands and SEYCHELLES to discuss the challenges of small islands developing states.

Canadian Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU invited President FAURE to a special session on oceans at the Group of SEVEN Summit since CANADA holds the presidency for 2018.

The SNA says the session has been held under the theme: Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities.

President FAURE has further spoken about his national innovative financing for the blue economy and ocean sustainability.

When his country graduated to a high-income country in 2015, instead of complaining about losing grant funding, he said the island nation turned to pioneering new innovative sources of financing.

The national news agency says the sources included a FIRST-of-its-kind debt swap for ocean conservation and climate adaptation and the forthcoming and equally novel blue bonds, which fund the development of sustainable fisheries.

However, President FAURE says such new sources of finance will not be enough to meet the small island nations’ sustainable development and climate action obligations under the 2030 Agenda, the PARIS Agreement and the SAMOA Pathway.

He has called on the Group of SEVEN and multilateral partners to agree on a specific resilience index that takes into consideration the unique vulnerabilities to external shocks, be they climate change or economic, of small island states.

President FAURE says islands can no longer afford to see themselves as dots lost in a sea of blue, but as sentinels, the guardians of TWO THIRDS of the Blue Planet, and they must act accordingly.

The SEYCHELLES Head of State has further called on Prime Minister TRUDEAU and CANADA to play a prominent and proactive role in high seas negotiations that begin this SEPTEMBER at the UNITED NATIONS in NEW YORK./Sabanews/cam