Malawian businessman-cum-politician Sidik Mia expresses support for both Muslims and Christians (Pic. Nyasa Times)

BLANTYRE – A member of the opposition MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY has called on the ruling DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY, DPP, to apologise for what he describes as dangerous hate speech.

The FACE OF MALAWI publication says business tycoon MUHAMMAD SIDIK MIA has demanded the DPP withdraws remarks by its Eastern Region Governor attacking MUSLIMS in the country.

The online publication and others say Governor JULIUS PAIPI allegedly called ISLAM evil, saying electing the MCP with Mr SIDIK MIA as its member is like voting for war in 2019.

The remarks even angered the ruling party Campaign Director in MANGOCHI area of the SOUTHERN REGION, WELLINGTON MANGULENJE, who tendered his resignation from the DPP this SUNDAY.

Mr SIDIK MIA has written on social media saying he is shocked over the remarks, and he wants an apology.

He says BAKILI MULUZI, who was Head of State for TWO consecutive terms, is a MUSLIM but he never caused war in the country.

Mr SIDIK MIA describes MUSLIMS as tolerant of other religions, saying he is working so comfortably with MCP President LAZARUS CHAKWERA, himself a CHRISTIAN.

He says he even attends CHRISTIAN gatherings when invited and they equally attend important ISLAMIC functions when invited.

The politician says MUSLIMS and CHRISTIANS live peacefully together and must not let misguided individuals like Governor PAIPI sow seeds of hatred and discord in their country.

Meanwhile, the MALAWI VOICE says the ruling DPP has distanced itself from the remarks by the Regional Governor; saying the party has always embraced and enjoyed coexistence of different beliefs.

It has issued a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary FRANCIS KASAILA saying it is investigating Governor PAIPI, who will receive disciplinary measures if found guilty.

The ruling party says it acknowledges the support it has been receiving from Brothers and Sisters from the MUSLIM community, and wishes to assure them it will always respect their values and beliefs.

People in MALAWI are looking forward to tripartite elections on 21 MAY 2019, when they will choose councillors, members of the National Assembly and a President./Sabanews/cam



Angolan President Joao Lourenco, SADC Double Troika Chair

LUANDA – The SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY, SADC Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government has commended events in troubled countries of the region.

President JOAO LOURENCO of ANGOLA, who heads the Double Troika, says he believes the steps taken in the DRC and LESOTHO can contribute to political confidence and stability of the TWO countries.

He has addressed delegates to the gathering held this TUESDAY in his capital, LUANDA, commending the move by DRC President JOSEPH KABILA to implement key aspects like scheduling the date for elections to 23 DECEMBER this year.

President LOURENCO says such actions are signs that may contribute to the urgent easing of internal tensions, to strengthen mutual trust between the government, the opposition, and civil society.

He has appealed to the parties involved in the process to show wisdom, patriotism, and maximum restraint in the most critical moments, looking FIRST at national interests.

The new climate, he says, will help tackle differences and ensure convergence that paves way for peace, security, stability, and national reconciliation.

However, President LOURENCO has expressed concern about the situation in Eastern DRC, where rebel groups like the DEMOCRATIC FORCES ALLIANCE continue to kill women and children.

Nevertheless, he says the SADC Double Troika welcomes the efforts made by the local active forces in the situation in LESOTHO for the full political stability of the Kingdom.

President LOURENCO says ANGOLA has a deep sense of duty as part of the military contingent of the regional group tasked to ensure the political and military stability of LESOTHO under the UN and the AU.

The SADC Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government aims to seek peaceful ways to help the DRC and LESOTHO overcome their political and social crises as well as consolidate democratic processes in the Region.

ANGOLA chairs the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; while ZAMBIA is the incoming Chair; and TANZANIA is the outgoing Chair of the Organ responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC Region.

SOUTH AFRICA Chairs the SADC Bloc, with NAMIBIA as the Deputy Chair and SWAZILAND as the out-going Chair, while representatives of the DRC and LESOTHO have attended the LUANDA Summit as guests./Sabanews/cam



Swazi future leaders struggle at South African Embassy (Pic. Times of Swaziland)

MBABANE – SWAZI students studying in different countries of the SADC Region have accused their government of neglect due to unpaid college fees and accommodation rentals.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the situation remains a nightmare for the undergraduates, as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has still not paid some of them their allowances.

It says the affected are mainly FIRST Year individuals enrolled at the different universities; who have to stress about the allowances as landlords also demand rent.

Some of the children studying in SOUTH AFRICAN colleges moved into flats at the end of JANUARY, and have been struggling to pay their rentals since then.

The TIMES says parents have found themselves in a difficult situation as their children are complaining about home owners who are threatening to evict them if they do not pay up.

It says just a few months ago, SWAZI students were going through the headache of failing to get study permits from the SOUTH AFRICAN High Commission.

The situation was so serious they had to spend nights sleeping on the floor at the NEW MALL in the capital, MBABANE, because the Commission closed early and only attended to a specific number of students per day.

The situation at the foreign mission has been blamed partly on government negligence, since some students needed to present proof of payment before getting the permits.

Interviewed SWAZI students have told the media they are disappointed with the authorities in the Kingdom, who they feel does not care about their welfare./Sabanews/cam



Renewable energy may be the way for Africa to go

LUSAKA – GERMAN investors have expressed interest to invest in the ZAMBIAN energy sector, amid reports saying global financiers have set up schemes to help the AFRICAN continent.

The ZAMBIAN Ambassador to GERMANY, ANTHONY MUKWITA, says the business people have recognised the efforts the country is making to improve power supplies.

He says the EDGAR LUNGU Government decision to remove energy subsidies has made the sector attractive for private investment and expansion.

Ambassador MUKWITA says the situation is the reason the SADC country has been invited to attend the forthcoming 12TH GERMAN-AFRICAN Energy Forum in GERMANY.

He says the massive planned gathering will attract 400 national and international delegates as well as business associations in the energy sector.

Meanwhile, an earlier report by RENEWABLES NOW says the EUROPEAN Investment Bank, GERMAN Insurer MUNICH RE, and the AFRICAN Trade Insurance Agency have a new initiative.

It says the THREE organisations have launched a joint political risk reinsurance facility targeting to support the clean energy sector in AFRICA.

The AFRICA Energy Guarantee Facility aims to attract about ONE-POINT-FOUR-BILLION USD dollars of private investments in the renewable energy, efficiency, and access in 25 Sub-SAHARAN AFRICAN countries.

It will offer long-term insurance against non-payment under power purchase deals; expropriation and breach of contracts; currency inconvertibility; war; civil unrest, and arbitration award default.

Authorities expect the initiative to have a major impact on business, since firms are usually cautious to launch fresh energy projects unless assured of long-term protection for their money against changing political environments.

MUNICH RE Chief Executive Officer JOACHIM WENNING says the AFRICA Energy Guarantee Facility will remove a major obstacle for renewable energy investments on the AFRICAN Continent./Sabanews/cam



Madagascar turns violent after electoral law changes (Pic. Agencies)

ANTANANARIVO – SADC is witnessing yet another mass uprising against a sitting president and electoral reforms, as opposition supporters have clashed with the police in MADAGASCAR.

SEYCHELLES News Agency quotes media reports as saying thousands have this MONDAY taken to the streets to protest against the president and a deadly crackdown by security forces.

It says yesterday protests come after armed police units reportedly killed TWO people and injured at least 16 others on SATURDAY in the capital ANTANANARIVO.

President HERY RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA has denounced the weekend demonstrations by the about ONE-THOUSAND protestors as an attempted coup.

MONDAY has seen large crowds gathering to honour the victims parading quietly past the coffins of the TWO deceased placed in MAY 13 Square, the symbolic heart of the capital.

The SEYCHELLES national news agency says security forces had been blocking access to the city centre by SUNDAY morning, but later retreated to allow protesters to gather peacefully.

It says Defence Minister General BENI XAVIER RASOLOFONIRINA has told reporters they left to avoid violent clashes, which could cause great damage among the MALAGASY.

However, he says protesters should know the police will never accept any state institution set up outside the election process, because such developments are against the Constitution.

The MALAGASY opposition supporters have been protesting against new electoral laws they claim are likely to block some candidates from standing in the upcoming presidential vote.

Media reports say MADAGASCAR may hold general elections in late NOVEMBER or in DECEMBER, although President RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA, elected in 2013, has not yet revealed whether or not he will stand.

TWO former heads of State, MARC RAVALOMANANA, who ruled from 2002 to 2009, and ANDRY RAJOELINA, who removed Mr RAVALOMANANA in a coup, say they are contesting.

They were barred from running in 2013 and their parties have been involved in the current protests, while both leaders attended the MONDAY gathering to honour the SATURDAY victims.

Disturbances in MADAGASCAR come as SADC has witnessed the fall of TWO presidents, ROBERT MUGABE in ZIMBABWE and JACOB ZUMA in SOUTH AFRICA; who both were pushed out due to poor governance./Sabanews/cam



Farm Africa trained farmer demonstrates simple but effective sesame seed planter (Pic. Jonathan Banks)

DAR ES SALAAM – TANZANIA says it is working to strengthen bilateral relations with ISRAEL to help boost its own agriculture and other strategic economic sectors.

ISRAELI Justice Minister AYELET SHAKED has been visiting the SADC country, and has attended the TANZANIA-ISRAEL Business and Investment Forum in the commercial capital, DAR ES SALAAM.

She has commended host President JOHN POMBE MAGUFULI for seeking stronger ties with her country, saying the relations are strategic for both TANZANIA and ISRAEL.

Minister SHAKED says TANZANIA is also opening its Embassy in ISRAEL next week; a development she says is a symbol of what the TWO countries can do together.

The DAILY NEWS quotes her as saying ISRAEL is superior in technology and TANZANIA is the superpower in natural resources, endowments that they can combine.

Minister SHAKED says ISRAEL possesses high technology in agriculture, medicine, irrigation, security, and pharmacy.

TANZANIAN officials like the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment have displayed excitement at the prospect of increased cooperation with the ISRAELIS.

CHARLES MWIJAGE has told reporters the government has been discussing with ISRAEL issues of agriculture, a sector that is highly developed in ISRAEL.

He says the ISRAELIS are capable of farming even in the desert and producing more crops than people cultivating arable land.

Minister MWIJAGE says TANZANIA wishes for farmers from ISRAEL to help ensure efficient production; given the highly needed ISRAELI expertise in science and technology.

TANZANIA Private Sector Foundation Board Member FELIX MOSHA says the MIDDLE EASTERN country is far ahead in technology and agriculture.

The TANZANIAN official says it will be a great opportunity for local producers to partner ISRAELI farmers.

The FARM AFRICA organisation says most people in TANZANIA are rural small-scale farmers, but about 35 percent of the population does not have enough nutritious food to eat.

It says villagers in the large forests rely on selling timber products like firewood and charcoal to make money, which calls for higher and more sustained agricultural growth to reduce overall poverty.

Expected ISRAELI expertise comes as FARM AFRICA has since 1990 sent out teams to help small-holders, pastoralists and forest communities in TANZANIA become food self-sufficient./Sabanews/cam



WINDHOEK – Police in NAMIBIA have impounded a number of taxis after stopping protesting drivers from besieging the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Disgruntled taxi drivers abandon vehicles in Hosea Kutako Drive (Pic. The Namibian)

NBC News says the authorities seized the abandoned vehicles along the HOSEA KUTAKO Drive in the capital, WINDHOEK.

It says the protestors wanted to confront the Transport Ministry to demand a response to their petitions, which they had filed last month and this week.

They allegedly abandoned their vehicles on the road near the City Police Head Office, where the law-enforcement agents had intercepted them before reaching the Ministry.

NBC News says the NAMIBIA TRANSPORT AND TAXI UNION has been demanding for reduced traffic fines, a 20-percent rise in fares and for government recognition of the group.

It says Union President WERNER JANUARY has told a gathering of about 300 taxi drivers they can sue the government with help from a SOUTH AFRICAN sponsor.

The organisation had given the authorities some TWO hours to respond to its demands before the confrontation with the police and the subsequent seizure of the vehicles.

The national broadcaster quotes a media statement by Transport Minister JOHN MUTORWA as saying he is ready to engage the NAMIBIA TRANSPORT AND TAXI UNION.

However, he says the President of the labour group never wrote or spoke to him but he is ready to listen to any grievances from all stakeholders.

The Minister says the NAMIBIAN Government intends to work with people involved in the taxi industry to find amicable solutions, which are in line with relevant laws./Sabanews/cam