MASERU – The LESOTHO Government has dismissed as false information alleging Prime Minister THOMAS THABANE has been in poor health, saying he is alive and healthy – with no signs of illness.

The Press Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office says the allegations are just propaganda by opposition parties to discredit the Premier.

THABO THAKALEKOALA says Prime Minister THABANE has been attending the Universal Exposition 2020 in DUBAI, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

In another development, the Deputy Prime Minister has told delegates to a Cabinet Retreat in the capital, MASERU, creation of jobs, especially the youth, should be at the heart of government plans.

MONYANE MOLELEKI says the past has been painful for the nation – as it was marked by political instability, unemployment, and human harassment, which led to the current economic fragility.

He says the authorities should be determined to make a positive difference as challenges that also include insecurity and polarisation in politics left many BASOTHO vulnerable.

Deputy Prime Minister MOLELEKI says the Cabinet Retreat shows ministers are determined to achieve a peaceful environment for all.

He says a well-planned budget will allow the country to reach expected constitutional, security and media reforms; and at the end of the Retreat, they will have basic knowledge of the procedures that guide budget preparations.

The author of WHY AFRICA IS POOR – AND WHAT AFRICANS CAN DO ABOUT IT, GREGORY MILLS, has made a presentation at the gathering.

He says the nation must deal with its central challenges that include an unstable political system and a concerning security environment, in order to position LESOTHO for prosperity.

Mr MILLS says LESOTHO should consider its proximity to SOUTH AFRICA as a chance for growth and it must capitalise on its great natural wealth like water, which has the capacity to contribute to development.

The LESOTHO Cabinet Retreat was to come up with ideas for the National Strategic Development Plan Number TWO to be implemented in the next FIVE years; and to approve the priorities for the 2018 to 2019 National Budget./Sabanews/cam


Epilepsy patient killed and burned on suspicion of being a bloodsucker


LILONGWE – Widespread claims of bloodsuckers continue to haunt Southern MALAWI despite pledges by traditional leaders to end the controversial practice, which they believe is taking place.

However, the NYASA TIMES says some donors and church leaders have rubbished such declarations as mere folklores that people should dismiss.

It quotes GERMAN Ambassador JURGEN BORSCH as saying the myth is affecting development because since the claims started making rounds donor works have been unable to reach the affected areas.

The GERMAN Envoy, the DANISH CHURCH AID, and the NORWEGIAN CHURCH AID, have joined the EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAWI to condemn the killing of some people suspected to be bloodsuckers.

The TIMES says they have spoken on the side-lines of an information dissemination conference for the NZATONSE Project in the capital, LILONGWE, saying MALAWIANS should work together to ensure they demystify bloodsucking allegations.

Ambassador BORSCH says there is no doubt this is just a myth, and there is need to work together and say the same message that there are no bloodsuckers because the allegations are also threatening the security of many.

Country Directors of the DANISH CHURCH AID and the NORWEGIAN CHURCH AID have concurred with him, saying the allegations have the potential to spread nationwide and bring fear among the people.

They say it is vital for conferences where there are a variety of stakeholders from different backgrounds to start condemning and telling people the truth that these allegations are just mere fabrications.

A Spokesperson for the TWO religious aid groups, FINN PETERSEN, says there is completely no proof that MALAWI is having bloodsuckers.

EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAWI Secretary General Reverend FRANCIS MKANDAWIRE says MALAWIANS should FIRST address the root causes of the allegations to ensure they do not resurface in future.

The MALAWIAN Cleric has further suggested a commission of enquiry be instituted to established the root cause and lasting solutions to the bloodsuckers story, which has seen mobs of scared villagers killing suspected vampires./Sabanews/cam


The banned daily


DAR ES SALAAM – The government of TANZANIA has banned a daily newspaper and its on-line service for lying about the levels of HIV infections in the SADC country.

The DAILY NEWS says the TANZANIA DAIMA will not be operating for the next THREE months after it claimed 67 percent of the population was living on ARVs.

Information Services Department Director and Government Spokesperson HASSAN ABBASI has revealed the move in a statement in the commercial capital, DAR ES SALAAM.

He says the TANZANIA DAIMA Editor has apologized for publishing the misleading information, but the Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports has had no choice except to act because of past events.

Mr ABBASI says the State has been issuing a number of reminders to the publication to respect the national laws and the basics governing the profession of journalism, after committed many offences.

In DECEMBER last year, had a headline saying DANGOTE Aivuruga Serikali, (kiSWAHILI for ‘DANGOTE Confuses the Government’) and told lies about the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment – and failed to validate the information.

In mid-MAY this year, it carried yet another provocative article headed Mchanga Hofu Tupu, which defamed and mocked the government – pretending to quote Attorney General GEORGE MASAJU.

The DAILY NEWS says the TANZANIA DAIMA Editor then wrote a letter apologising to the authorities, admitting the quotes were not the words of the Attorney General.

Nevertheless, the Editor published yet another story in AUGUST this year – with a headline saying Polisi Wasaka BOMBADIER kwa LISSU (meaning ‘Police search for BOMBARDIER at LISSU’s premises’).

The headline insinuated the law-enforcement agents had gone to the home of opposition MP TUNDU LISSU to search for an aircraft, BOMBADIER Q-400, that the State bought but was seized in CANADA – which was a mockery of the government and its police force.

The authorities demanded an apology to be published on 25 AUGUST 2017, but the Editor of TANZANIA DAIMA only decided to do so on 26 AUGUST this year.

The government of TANZANIA says it has, this time, had to invoke the relevant legal instrument after the daily newspaper suggested only 37 percent of the population was free of HIV, as the rest of TANZANIANS were on ARVs./Sabanews/cam


Healthy eating requires lots of vegetables


VICTORIA – SEYCHELLES is the most vegetarian-friendly country, according to a new Global Vegetarian Index by OLIVER’S TRAVELS, an online villa-booking website.

The researchers have calculated the index based on the national meat consumption per person each year and the number of vegetarian restaurants in relation to population size.

The study, to identify the most-vegetarian countries, as OCTOBER is the World Vegetarian Month, places the SADC island nation FIRST ahead of THAILAND and MALAYSIA.

SEYCHELLES News Agency, SNA, quotes a nutrition expert from the Ministry of Health as saying the country has raised a lot of awareness on healthy lifestyles and a balanced diet among the people.

STEPHANIE DESNOUSSE says the exercise has no doubt, transcended in the food that families eat every day and in the restaurants as well; although there is need for caution with the rating.

She says SEYCHELLES has a wide variety of vegetables and fruits available but it is most likely more travellers are dining in restaurants than the locals do because of the high prices of such foods.

SNA says ONE of the hotels promoting healthy living is LE MERIDIEN FISHERMAN’S COVE located at BEL OMBRE in the northern parts of MAHE, the main island.

It quotes the Food and Beverage Manager as saying they provide a vegetarian option on all their menus and make a special dish for a guest according to his or her dietary requirements.

JULIEN JACQUIN says the hotel further offers a salad bar and vegetable soup every day, while their chef meets up with guests who have dietary requirements so they can discuss; a personalized service.

A lover of gastronomy (art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food), SONY ANTAT, has told the news agency fine dining experience in SEYCHELLES varies from ONE restaurant to another, and most of them serve vegetables with almost every meal./Sabanews/cam