High Court of Swaziland

EZULWINI – The authorities in SWAZILAND say lack of a laboratory to carry out DNA analysis in rape cases is ONE of the major reasons why suspects escape the arm of the law.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says Principal Judge QINISILE MABUZA has revealed the information during a workshop place at the HAPPY VALLEY Resort in EZULWINI Town.

It says the gathering has been discussing ways to enhance redress and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence in the Kingdom, where she detailed some of the challenges judges face whenever they deal with such cases.

The TIMES says Justice MABUZA has shared her own experience during a case she once dealt with; saying years went by without a DNA analysis, which forced her to acquit the perpetrator.

She says another weak link is while the police always do a commendable job in their investigations, there are problems when they got to the hospitals and hand over the survivors to doctors.

Justice MABUZA says no one educates the doctors on what the courts expect and police officers compile the dockets without reading the medical reports to determine whether the laid charges can be sustained, which ends up disturbing the cases.

She says it is worrying that when the DNA analysis evidence goes to neighbouring SOUTH AFRICA it sometimes takes long to return; and the suspect she mentioned escaped because it was already THREE years when the profiles returned.

Justice MABUZA says the delays are often because the lab in PRETORIA has a backlog as it has to service the whole of SOUTH AFRICA and other countries such as LESOTHO, BOTSWANA, and now ZIMBABWE.

She says there is need to lobby the government to consider construction of a big laboratory, which can benefit the country handsomely as it will also service other nations in the Southern AFRICA Region.

Justice MABUZA says judges take the issue of incest seriously and treat it according to the training they received, but there is need for a proper understanding of the term Access to Justice, which she said was TWO-fold.

She says both the perpetrator and the survivor have rights that the courts have to respect, which means judicial officers have to ensure they do a balancing act.

Furthermore, the SWAZI Justice has pleaded with the police and judicial officers to have meetings constantly in order to discuss issues of bail conditions./Sabanews/cam


Women rights are human rights
LUANDA – The Cabinet Council in ANGOLA has this week discussed a draft law to make abortion a crime in the SADC country.
However, Justice and Human Rights Minster FRANCISCO QUEIRÓZ has told the media in the capital, LUANDA, the document, to be submitted to the National Assembly, includes few exceptions.
He says the immunity against the planned legislation relates to cases where the life of a pregnant woman is in danger and the only way to save her is to terminate the pregnancy.
Minster QUEIRÓZ says other exceptional cases include instances where the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest, or when the life of the fetus is impossible according to medical scan.
ANGOLA Press Agency says the present law in force is an 1886 piece of legislation that no longer agrees with the social, political and cultural realities in the country.
The World Health Organisation says an average of 56-MILLION safe and unsafe abortions occurred worldwide each year between 2010–2014.
It says the same period witnessed 35 induced abortions per ONE-THOUSAND women aged between 15 and 44, while 25 percent of all pregnancies ended in an induced abortion.
The rate was higher in developing than in developed regions, with about 25-MILLION unsafe abortions estimated to have taken place worldwide yearly, almost all in developing countries.
Each year, between FOUR-POINT-SEVEN to 13-POINT-TWO percent of maternal deaths can be due to unsafe abortion; while close to SEVEN-MILLION women are admitted to hospitals in developing countries after unsafe abortion.
The global agency says abortions are safe if they are done with a recommended method that is appropriate to the pregnancy duration, and if the person providing or supporting the abortion is trained.
The WHO says women, including adolescents with unwanted pregnancies often resort to unsafe abortion when they cannot access safe abortion./Sabanews/cam



UN SDG Number 5 calls for Gender Balance worldwide

DAR ES SALAAM – Rights campaigners in TANZANIA have commended the country for leading others in the EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY, EAC, in the global program to boost the rights of women.

Their sentiments come after a report by the INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION, IPU, saying TANZANIA, also a member of SADC, now has a good number of women leading different sectors.

Records show the IPU is a global inter-parliamentary institution set up in 1889 by FREDERIC PASSY of FRANCE and WILLIAM RANDAL CREMER of the UNITED KINGDOM, as the FIRST permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations.

It was initially for individual parliamentarians, but has now become a world grouping of the lawmakers from sovereign nations.

Parliaments of 178 countries are members of the IPU, which has permanent observer status at the UN General Assembly, while 12 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members.

The TANZANIA GENDER NETWORK PROGRAM, TGNP MTANDAO says the country is yet to attain the desired 50-50 ratio, but it is happy the number of leading women is convincing.

TGNP MTANDAO Executive Director LILIAN LIUNDI has made the comments when she addressed the Women Leadership Summit 2018.

She says TANZANIA ranks number 25 worldwide, with women forming 36-POINT-NINE percent of parliamentarians, compared to neighbouring RWANDA, which tops the list with 61-POINT-THREE percent.

Nevertheless, Ms LIUNDI has expressed dismay that political groups still lack trust for women as none of the registered parties has a female chairperson, yet the country ratified the international and regional protocols.

She says TANZANIA is signatory to conventions including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the SADC Gender and Development Protocol.

Number FIVE of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals calls for Gender Equality, demanding an end to all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

Countries should abolish all violence against women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual, and other types of exploitation; as well as practices like child, early, and forced marriages, including female genital mutilation.

SDG Number FIVE also recognizes and values unpaid care and domestic work, and it calls for the delivery of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies, as well as promotion of shared duties within the household and the family.

It says countries should ensure women take part fully and effectively, with equal chances for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.

The Goal further demands total access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, reforms women rights to economic resources, access to ownership and control of land and other property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, under national laws.

Governments need to enhance use of mainly information and communications technology to promote women empowerment, while they adopt and strengthen policies that promote gender equality and empower all women and girls at all levels.

The TANZANIAN GENDER NETWORK PROGRAM Executive Director says AFRICA is losing 105-MILLION US dollars every year by failing to engage women in economic activities./Sabanews/cam



Zambian Police launch war against ritual killers

LUSAKA – Police in ZAMBIA have seized an undisclosed amount of cooked human hearts and livers, as well as other uncooked body parts, during investigations into ritual killings in the country.

Home Affairs Minister STEPHEN KAMPYONGO says the team has managed to carry out the job while working with ONE person suspected to be the mastermind.

He has told the National Assembly in the capital, LUSAKA, the authorities have since submitted the recovered parts to the forensic laboratory for professional examination.

Minister KAMPYONGO says they suspect some neighbours of the accused person are likely to have eaten the human flesh without knowing.

He says the investigations are still ongoing and the suspect is scheduled to appear in court soon, while the police have intensified security measures to curb the spate of ritual murders.

Minister KAMPYONGO says such killings are a result of false beliefs promoted by some traditional herbalists who claim use of human meat can help people accumulate wealth.

He has called on communities to help bring the culprits to book, although members of the public should avoid taking the law into their own hands.

The ZAMBIAN Cabinet member says his country has recorded SEVEN suspected ritual killings of men between the age of 25 and 40 since 21 OCTOBER last year.

Nigerian ritual killer (Pic. Agencies)

Researchers say ritual killings and human sacrifice take place in almost all AFRICAN countries, with cases reported in BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, SOUTH AFRICA, SWAZILAND, ZAMBIA and ZIMBABWE.

They say ZAMBIA has recorded cases in which human heads were found in ASIAN-owned shops, while some politicians in SWAZILAND allegedly commission ritual killings so they can win elections.

The numbers of ritual murders is quite scary, as the bodies of victims are mutilated and certain parts go missing; and in SOUTH AFRICA body parts can be sold for as little as THREE-THOUSAND rand (about 230 US dollars)./Sabanews/cam



Africa shaking off the Dark-Continent label

LIVINGSTONE – ZAMBIA has called on the SADC countries to ensure cooperation between TWO major forums in the region if the economic bloc is achieve success in its energy programs.

ZAMBIAN Energy Minister MATTHEW NKHUWA says the Southern AFRICAN Power Pool, SAPP, and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency should work together.

ZNBC News says he has made the call in a speech read on his behalf by SOUTHERN PROVINCE Minister EDIFY HAMUKALE, at the 50TH SAPP Management Committee Meeting in LIVINGSTONE Town.

It quotes Minister NKHUWA as saying energy efficiency and renewable energy are areas that SADC values.

However, he says the region depends heavily on hydro generated power that leaves it exposed to inconsistent supply of electricity due to Climate Change effects.

The Managing Director of the ZAMBIA Electricity Supply Company says his country now has a national Grid Code, which enables it to offer choice of supply for customers and ensure competition among producers.

VICTOR MUNDENDE says most domestic private enterprises continue to take part in the electricity supply industry through power purchase agreements or power supply agreements with his institution.

COPPERBELT Energy Corporation Managing Director OWEN SILAVWE has also attended the 50TH SAPP Management Committee Meeting, and has pledged his firm’s commitment to help increase electricity generation capacity in the country.

The SADC Summit held in AUGUST 1995 in SOUTH AFRICA created SAPP, after member governments, excluding MAURITIUS, signed a deal to form the Power Pool.

Energy ministers also approved the formation of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and decided it would be hosted by NAMIBIA./Sabanews/cam



President Mutharika

LILONGWE – The government of MALAWI has reacted angrily to what State House says is deliberate campaign against President PETER MUTHARIKA and FIRST Lady GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA.

MBC News says the authorities have especially issued a stern warning against an individual who has taken the lobby to the social media platform WHATSAPP.

It says the character, going under the name SUANDERS JUMAH, is allegedly attacking the FIRST Family and spreading false reports on the widely accessed telephonic medium.

His latest claim purports FIRST Lady MUTHARIKA has used an employee of the Revenue Authority, named as ROZA MBILIZI, to steal money from the national entity.

The JUMAH character, presumably a man, claims the money would then go into a company allegedly owned by the FIRST Lady, going under the name the BEAUTIFY MALAWI.

However, the national broadcaster says Mr JUMAH admits in the posting he does not have any evidence to support the accusations against FIRST Lady MUTHARIKA.

It quotes the State House as saying the FIRST Lady, a former Member of Parliament between 2009 and 2014, has no business ties with any ROSA MBILIZI, and neither does she run a firm called BEAUTIFY MALAWI.

The statement says the 58-year-old FIRST Lady is actually Patron of the Beautify MALAWI Trust, a charity group with no links whatsoever with the said ROSA MBILIZI.

Meanwhile, State House has accused the MALAWI NEWS and DAILY TIMES newspapers of acting as political propaganda mouthpieces of the opposition, and former ruling, MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY.

The authorities say the media outlets have completely thrown journalistic ethics to the wind, choosing to commit space to damage the character of President MUTHARIKA and selected legislators.

MALAWI NEWS allegedly lied the government released more than 55-THOUSAND-100 US dollars’ worth of projects to 86 MPs, as reward for voting against an Electoral Reforms Bill last DECEMBER.

It claims the money comes after an agreement the lawmakers allegedly reached with the Head of State when they met him before tabling of the then proposed law.

However, State House MALAWI says it is disturbing because the workers at the publication have circulated the distortion due to lack of knowledge that the President does not allocate any national project funds./Sabanews/cam