Angolan President hosts Venezuelan Foreign Minister
LUANDA – ANGOLA and VENEZUELA have pledged to intensify cooperation in the oil, diamond, education, and air transport sectors of their economies.
VENEZUELAN People’s Power and Foreign Affairs Minister JORGE ALBERTO has announced the development in the ANGOLAN capital, LUANDA.
ANGOLA Press Agency, ANGOP, says he has met with President JOAO LOURENCO and has addressed the media, saying he and the Head of State have discussed the political situation in VENEZUELA.
Research has revealed 2017 media reports saying the VENEZUELAN capital, CARACAS, woke up to violent mass protests almost each day from APRIL to JUNE that year.
They say the opposition parties wanted President NICOLAS MADURO to leave office, accusing him of moving towards a dictatorship, while he accused them of conniving with foreign forces to cause chaos in his country.
The demonstrations reportedly started after the Supreme Court took over the National Assembly following a number of clashes between the TWO bodies.
VENEZUELA is located in South AMERICA, with a total area of 916-THOUSAND-445 square kilometres and a population of 31-MILLION-570-THOUSAND.
ANGOP says the country has a mixed, but oil-dominated economy, with oil accounting for about ONE-THIRD of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
It also says VENEZUELA has since 2005 maintained full diplomatic relations with the AFRICAN Continent, with ANGOLA considered ONE of the most important partners.
Ties between the TWO countries strengthened following the AUGUST 2006 visit by former President HUGO CHAVEZ to ANGOLA.
Meanwhile, ANGOLA and VENEZUELA have signed an agreement to exempt diplomatic and service passport holders from visa requirements./Sabanews/cam



Owls are associated with witchcraft in African communities

MBABANE – A suspected ritual killer from SWAZILAND has appeared on murder charges before the WITBANK Magistrate’s Court in SOUTH AFRICA.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND newspaper says THOKOZANI MSIBI was arrested after allegedly killing TWO minors in the neighbouring country.

It quotes the TIMES-LIVE publication as saying the Court has remanded the suspect in custody, pending a bail application scheduled for MONDAY.

Mr MSIBI allegedly kidnapped and later murdered NKOSIKHONA NGWENYA and GABISILE SHABANI, who was living with albinism.

The authorities suspect he took the kids from their home in HLALAKAHLE and the police discovered the TWO bodies in separate locations‚ after the children were reported missing.

Media reports quote MPUMALANGA Provincial Corporate Communications Officer Brigadier LEONARD HLATHI as saying they are hunting down more suspects in the matter.

He says the minors went missing on 28 JANUARY this year, after THREE armed gunmen broke into their home and forcibly removed them.

In another development, the TIMES says officials and members of the public have come up with different speculations after an owl appeared in broad daylight at the SWAZI High Court.

It says staff at the Court found the night bird at the entrance of the building between 10:30 and 11:00 AM.

AFRICAN communities mostly believe owls are associated with witchcraft, and the presence of ONE at the court premises has led people into suspecting foul play.

However, wildlife experts say not all owls hunt and eat during the night; and if one sees or hears an owl during the day it means it is a diurnal owl that sleeps at night and feeds during the day.

Nevertheless, the High Court event has forced people to conclude there is something out of the ordinary about it.

After its removal from the entrance, it landed midway by the stairs and remained there for the entire day; and even after High Court staff had knocked off, the owl remained on the steps and never moved an inch since morning.

The Chairman of the SWAZILAND WITCHDOCTORS ASSOCIATION, MAKHANYA MAKHANYA, has dismissed claims that the owl was just flying by like any other bird, saying something is happening since there are ongoing cases./Sabanews/cam


People fight a fire in Mulanje District
MULANJE – A fire has burned down a hostel block at the PROVIDENCE Girls Secondary School in the MULANJE District of MALAWI, destroying a considerable amount of property.
The NYASA TIMES newspaper quotes a witness as saying the blaze started at around FIVE O’clock in the morning, consuming part of the BUNDA Hostel.
It says people around the school, the Police, and power supply officials from MULANJE rushed to the scene to help put out the fire, which destroyed belongings such as clothes, books, and bags of some students.
Deputy Headmaster ALLAN KHWISA says the cause of the fire will be established after ongoing investigations, although they suspect it could have emanated from electrical fault.
He says they will also have a list and assess the value of damaged property after the investigations.
SHIRE Highlands Education Division Senior Inspector SAMUEL MANDAUKA has commended fire fighters from BLANTYRE City Council for their rapid response.
The TIMES says there have been calls to have firefighting equipment in all councils, since this is the FOURTH such accident to happen in MULANJE District in recent times.
Different fire outbreaks destroyed a kitchen at MULANJE Secondary School, a hostel at MULANJE District Hospital and the entire MULANJE Boma Market, before the recent incident in the SOUTHERN Region of MALAWI./Sabanews/cam


AMTA at work
WINDHOEK – The Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency in NAMIBIA says it has stocks of rotting food surpluses, despite that the State is struggling to feed hungry families nationwide.
Agriculture, Water and Forestry Deputy Minister ANNA SHIWEDA says the bureau has tried over the past THREE years to offer its surpluses, which often go to waste, to the Food Bank.
The Food Bank, a brainchild of President HAGE GEINGOB, feeds 22-THOUSAND-354 households as well as 95-THOUSAND-536 individuals.
NBC News says the State facility distributes handouts from its own reserves, through food donations or has to buy food parcels from major retailers, some of which the Agency can offer freely.
It quotes Deputy Minister ANNA SHIWEDA as saying the Agency wrote to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to enter into an agreement to contribute to the Food Bank, but it has not received any response up to now.
She has revealed the situation during an interview with NBC News during the FOURTH Annual General Meeting of the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency in the capital, WINDHOEK.
The Agriculture Ministry has to ensure food production and security, and supply the Food Bank from its Green Scheme projects or with surpluses from the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency.
Deputy Minister SHIWEDA says the authorities can further supply such foodstuffs towards school-feeding programs, military bases, as well as needy old-age homes.
She says they will in future build additional structures where they will store food to avoid wastage due to rotting.
The NAMIBIA Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency came into existence THREE years ago after the government had created the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare./Sabanews/cam



Drought is the major enemy of livestock producers

WINDHOEK – The government of NAMIBIA has advised farmers to come up with plans to save their livestock in the face of insufficient pastures in the country.

NBC News says the Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer in the Agriculture, Water, and Forestry Ministry has made the call.

It quotes JOHN SHOOPOLA as saying farmers have to plan properly to prevent or reduce the effects of poor rainfall, and ensure their livestock survive the drought.

He says areas south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence, also referred to as the Red Line, have bad pastures due to poor rains recorded; but the northern parts of the country got better rains.

The Veterinary Cordon Fence is a pest-exclusion boundary separating Northern NAMIBIA from the central and southern regions.

Mr SHOOPOLA says even if the affected areas were to receive good rains for the remainder of this season it will be too late for the grass to grow.

He says the situation will put livestock under stress if the farmers do not effectively manage their pastures, or even sell off less productive and old livestock.

Mr SHOOPOLA has further advised producers to ensure their livestock have enough water, feeds, and minerals like vitamin supplements to help them overcome the dry spell.

The NAMIBIAN veterinary expert says farmers should also vaccinate their livestock against all diseases while they are still strong, and feed them continuously to withstand the hardships.

Southern AFRICA has continued to receive heavy rains in MOZAMBIQUE, ZIMBABWE, and parts of ZAMBIA, which have had SEVEN-day-totals of more than 50 millimetres.

SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA, and ANGOLA have had lighter, but still widespread rainfall, which was nearly absent across TANZANIA, the drought-affected areas of MADAGASCAR and across abnormally dry parts of NAMIBIA./Sabanews/cam



Port of Dar es Salaam

DAR ES SALAAM – At least 16 foreign ships have vanished from the INDIAN Ocean waters in TANZANIA, and the State has ordered all security organs to launch a search.

The DAILY NEWS quotes Livestock and Fisheries Minister LUHAGA MPINA as saying the incident comes amid increased scandalous acts involving government officials and foreigners at sea.

The paper says he has revealed the information after inspecting a fishing vessel owned by the XISHIJI 37 Company of CHINA, which recently docked at the DAR ES SALAAM Port.

In this case, Minister MPINA says the authorities had given Deep Sea Fishing Licences to 24 vessels but only EIGHT have undergone inspection.

The rest of them simply vanished, and the government has discovered some of its officials are involved in the disappearance of the ships, as well as in the other criminal activities.

Minister MPINA says the law-enforcement agencies are chasing up the vessels and are certain to catch the suspects, because they have all their registration particulars; and his Ministry will take tough measures against the employees involved.

In another case, he has directed officials to move to DAR ES SALAAM Port a fishing vessel seized from the BUAH NAGA ONE Company of MALAYSIA.

A Special Task Force patrolling the LINDI and MTWARA coastlines arrested the ship on 25 JANUARY after they found it with fins and gills of 30 sharks, as well as FOUR tonnes of protected rare species of the sea.

Minister MPINA says the vessel violated the laws of the SADC country and the State ordered it to pay a fine of 350-THOUSAND US dollars, within SEVEN days after the seizure, which is still outstanding.

He has told his Permanent Secretary YOHANA BUDEBA to seek a court order to confiscate the ship, the 42 tonnes of fish, and the FOUR tonnes of rare species on board for auctioning.

The government has also launched a search for yet another vessel owned by TAI HONG NO-1 Company, which was escaped arrest after officials found 44 shark fins aboard.

It is not clear however, how the Captain managed to pull away and vanish into the ocean before the security could arrest his ship: which they also later found with links to more offences such as environmental pollution.

The Minister says the current government of TANZANIA took office and amended the Deep Sea Fishing regulations of 2009, adding more sections to curb illegal fishing, so that the nation could benefit fully from its resources./Sabanews/cam