OPPOSITION LEADER DISCOURAGES GOVERNMENT FROM CULLING HIPPOS

ZAMBIA: WILDLIFE/LUSAKA TIMES/24/5/18 SABANews 1

North Luangwa National Park hippos (Pic. Agencies)

LUSAKA – The opposition GREEN PARTY President PETER SINKAMBA of ZAMBIA has urged the government to abandon plans to kill hippos in the LUANGWA Valley.

He says there are more civilized ways for sustainable management of wildlife than culling, which he describes as a primitive conservation strategy.

The LUSAKA TIMES newspaper says Mr SINKAMBA has been reacting to news about alleged State plans to proceed with an aborted 2016 program.

It says the government scheme had aimed to get rid of some TWO-THOUSAND hippos in the LUANGWA Valley, allegedly for overpopulation.

However, the GREEN PARTY Leader says ZAMBIA needs to learn from other countries like KENYA and TANZANIA about actions to take when faced with wildlife overpopulation and drought conditions.

Mr SINKAMBA says relocation of entrapped animals is ONE modern conservation tool, but the trouble with the PATRIOTIC FRONT Government is lack of leadership with environmental consciousness.

He says what is more appalling is the LUANGWA Valley is not overpopulated as the authorities claim, because the hippo numbers have dropped by about 14 to 20 percent in the last 20 years.

The LUANGWA Valley has THREE national parks including SOUTH LUANGWA National Park, NORTH LUANGWA National Park, and LUAMBE National Park.

Mr SINKAMBA says it is not the only game park in ZAMBIA, which has about 20 national parks and more than 30 game reserves, most of which, in fact, require restocking.

He says a serious environmentally conscious government will opt for relocation than culling, just like nations such as KENYA and TANZANIA relocate their animals when conditions dictate.

Mr SINKAMBA says hippos are not exclusively for LUANGWA Valley, as they can easily be relocated and live anywhere in other parts of the country.

He has offered to help the government organise resources like he has done in the COPPERBELT Environment Project and ZAMBIA Environmental Restoration Project.

Mr SINKAMBA says the State needs to realise mining has run its race and is no longer as beneficial to the nation as it used to be; which makes high-value agriculture and eco-tourism the next most viable sectors.

The ZAMBIAN opposition political leader says the culling policy is motivated by pure greed, because how can you promote eco-tourism when you cull the very animals tourists are expected to come and watch?/Sabanews/cam

MUGABE FAILS TO APPEAR BEFORE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

ZIMBABWE: CORRUPTION/THE HERALD/24/5/18 SABANews 1

Robert Mugabe, liberation hero turned villain (Pic. Agencies)

HARARE – Former President ROBERT MUGABE of ZIMBABWE has failed to appear before a legislative team scheduled to question him on large amounts of missing diamond money.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy says it will have to send the former dictator yet another invitation to come and give oral evidence on the issue.

Mr MUGABE shocked the nation in 2016 when he revealed the country had lost some 15-BILLION US dollars through pilferage of gems from the CHIADZWA diamond fields in the eastern district of MARANGE.

He told the national broadcaster in his 92ND birthday interview the State treasury received less than TWO-BILLION US dollars over the FIVE to SIX years of mining by private firms.

Mr MUGABE resigned from office following great pressure from the opposition, liberation war veterans, his own ruling ZANU PF party, and the army, which pacified other security agencies to allow protesting masses onto the streets.

His exit last NOVEMBER opened up his close allies in his former government to the laws of the land, with a number of them, including former ministers, having skipped the border and went on self-imposed exile.

The Parliamentary committee chaired by independent Legislator TEMBA MLISWA this WEDNESDAY waited in vain for more than TWO hours for the former strongman to arrive.

Media reports say the National Assembly team has deliberated and resolved to delay the hearing to MONDAY, 28 MAY 2018.

Mr MLISWA has told journalists at Parliament Building in HARARE the committee is of the view perhaps NINE O’clock in the morning is too early, considering the 94-year-old former leader used to start Cabinet at 12 Noon.

However, he says if they do not get cooperation from him, Parliament has powers to take action; but they would not want to get to that, as they expect he will attend.

Mr MLISWA says the National assembly will also deal with the issue of former Mines Minister, now Home Affairs Minister, OBERT MPOFU, who has since refuse to testify before the committee.

Minister MPOFU says he will not cooperate with the National Assembly team unless Chairman MLISWA, a former colleague in the ZANU PF Central Committee, recuses himself.

Mr MUGABE, who received no sympathy worldwide for his humiliating ejection from power, is accused of presiding over an administration that FIRST destroyed national infrastructure and later heavily looted the economy.

The former ZIMBABWEAN dictator has dismissed his ouster as a military coup de tat that ushered in an illegitimate government, but the world has disagreed with him bluntly – as his successor receives State invitations from all over./Sabanews/cam

TANZANIA INVITES MNANGAGWA FOR A STATE VISIT

Mnangagwa welcomes Chama Cha Mapinduzi Secretary-General Abdulrahman Kinana at his offices (Pic. The Herald)

HARARE — TANZANIA has invited President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA of ZIMBABWE for a State visit to the fellow SADC member country.

THE HERALD says President JOHN MAGUFULI has commended ZIMBABWE for the unparalleled peaceful transition that took place in last NOVEMBER to end the ROBERT MUGABE rule.

The TANZANIAN Leader’s invitation has come with ruling CHAMA CHA MAPINDUZI Secretary-General ABDULRAHMAN KINANA, who met President MNANGAGWA in the capital, HARARE.

Mr KINANA has been in the company of Women’s Wing Chairperson GAUDENSIA KABAKA, Parents Wing Chairperson EDMUND MNDOLWA, and Youth Wing Chairperson KHERI JAMES.

Mr KINANA says TANZANIA and ZIMBABWE, through CHAMA CHA MAPINDUZI and ZANU PF, have historical ties from the time of CHIMURENGA.

He has commended ZIMBABWE for what he describes as an incident-free transition that led to the resignation of former 94-year-old President MUGABE.

Mr KINANA says TANZANIA notices ZIMBABWE has gone through a transition that was very peaceful and exemplary, something that has never happened in the world.

He says his team also knows of the forthcoming general elections in ZIMBABWE, and President MNANGAGWA has assured them the ballots are going to be peaceful, free, and fair to all the ZIMBABWEANS.

Mr KINANA has met with ZANU PF Politburo members OBERT MPOFU, LOVEMORE MATUKE, and SIMBARASHE MUMBENGEGWI.

Mr MPOFU says TANZANIANS are perennial friends to ZIMBABWE, all of whose liberation war fighters trained in TANZANIA.

He says the visitors have had some visits to the National Heroes Acre and other areas they requested to see.

Mr MPOFU says the TWO sides have discussed their ideological institution and the ties between their nations, especially the annual meeting of secretaries-general of liberation movements.

The ZIMBABWEAN official says his country and TANZANIA have new views that warrant formalisation, including strengthening parties and harmonising some policies politically to ensure people do not lose sight of the past./Sabanews/cam

EBOLA PATIENTS DIE AFTER ESCAPING FROM HOSPITAL

DRC: EBOLA/SABC/24/5/18 SABANews 1

Health workers push a wheeled stretcher holding a newly admitted Ebola patient (Pic. ITV)

MBANDAKA – THREE patients of the deadly EBOLA virus have sneaked out of an isolation ward at a hospital in the MBANDAKA City of the DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.

The Head of the DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS Mission in MBANDAKA says the incident comes as medics race to stop the disease from spreading in the busy river port.

SABC News says HENRY GRAY has revealed TWO patients left the hospital on MONDAY, before being located the following day.

It quotes World Health Organization DRC Representative YOKOUIDE ALLARANGAR as saying ONE was found dead, and another was sent back to hospital but died shortly after.

Mr ALLARANGAR has told journalists in the CONGOLESE capital, KINSHASA, the TWO patients had left the hospital with the help of family members before heading to a place of prayer.

SABC News says Health Ministry sources who asked not to be named have revealed TWO police officers had been deployed to help track them down.

It says yet another patient left on SATURDAY, but was found alive the same day and is under observation.

The Health Ministry sources say they are running a hospital, not a prison, and they cannot lock up everything.

Another World Health Organisation Spokesperson TARIK JASAREVIC says health workers have redoubled efforts to trace contacts with the patients.

They have drawn up a list of 628 people who have had contact with known cases who will need to be vaccinated against the scaring disease.

Mr JASAREVIC says it is unfortunate but not unexpected, because it is normal for people to want their loved ones to be at home during what could be the last moments of life.

The cases are a setback to costly efforts to contain the virus, including use of experimental vaccines, showing old customs or scepticism about the threat it poses can hamper efforts to stem its spread.

The report has come as another WHO official warns the fight to stop the DRC NINTH confirmed outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever has reached a critical point.

Emergency Response Chief PETER SALAMA says the next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if the authorities will be able to keep it under control.

Health officials’ main concern is the presence of EBOLA in MBANDAKA, a crowded centre upstream from KINSHASA, a city of 10-MILLION people.

They have received an alert from the KINSHASA main hospital about a patient, who is not yet a suspected EBOLA case, and TWO or THREE other such alerts that have turned out to be false alarms.

The WHO says the DRC EBOLA outbreak was FIRST spotted near the town of BIKORO, about 100 kilometres south of the city, and is believed to have killed at least 27 people so far.

It says health workers are following up on THREE separate transmission chains for cases in WANGATA area of MBANDAKA, ONE linked to a funeral, ONE to a church and another to a rural health facility.

WHO Emergency Response Chief SALAMA says it is really the detective work of epidemiology that will make or break the response to this outbreak.

The disease is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea; and authorities FIRST discovered it in the DRC in the 1970s.

The UNITED NATIONS says EBOLA has killed more than 11-THOUSAND-300 people between 2013 and 2016 in the West AFRICAN countries of GUINEA, LIBERIA and SIERRA LEONE./Sabanews/cam

AUTHORITIES CLOSE DOWN TAXI RANK AFTER DEADLY SHOOTINGS

SOUTH AFRICA: VIOLENCE/SABC/24/5/18 SABANews 1

Tsakane Taxi Rank to remain closed indefinitely (Pic. SABC News)

JOHANNESBURG – The GAUTENG Transport Department in SOUTH AFRICA has ordered immediate closure of a taxi rank in the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG, following deadly shootings.

The authorities have shut down TSAKANE Taxi Rank after the murder of FOUR taxi drivers and the injury of SEVEN others early WEDNESDAY.

SABC News says the police have arrested EIGHT security guards in connection with the shooting, and they have seized about 10 firearms.

Police say the drivers came under fire from security guards allegedly hired by officials of the GREATER BRAKPAN TAXI ASSOCIATION, with whom they had scheduled to meet and discuss taxi routes.

The law-enforcement agents also say THREE drivers were killed at the scene and another one died on arrival at the hospital.

GAUTENG Transport Department Spokesperson MELITA MADIBA says no taxis will operate from the TSAKANE Rank, which will remain closed until the security situation stabilises.

The SOUTH AFRICAN municipal official says the authorities will further deploy more police officers to monitor the taxi rank./Sabanews/cam

STATE JOINS OTHER MEMBERS TO LOBBY FOR FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

SEYCHELLES: TUNA/SNA/24/5/18 SABANews 1

Seychelles pushes for better share of Indian Ocean (Pic. SNA)

VICTORIA – SEYCHELLES has joined NINE other countries to propose the allocation of fishing opportunities for the INDIAN Ocean Tuna Commission species at the 22ND Session this month in THAILAND.

The authority responsible for the management of tuna species in the INDIAN Ocean says all countries should have a fair share of the saltwater fish, extensively fished commercially, and is popular as a game fish.

The national news agency says SEYCHELLES Head of delegation, NIRMAL JIVAN SHAH, has disclosed the issue lies in the way quotas are allocated to each nation.

The official, who is also Chairperson of the SEYCHELLES Fishing Authority, says the main principle is to base the allocation on historical catches within a national Exclusive Economic Zone.

However, the problem is most coastal states, including SEYCHELLES, have never had historical catches because they did not have a local fleet catching tuna.

Mr SHAH says distant water fishing nations want 90 percent of what they have caught to be theirs and the coastal countries to get 10 percent, which will leave them with low allocations.

It is not only a disadvantage to SEYCHELLES but also to present and future generations, who will presumably want the tuna fisheries to be sustainable and continue to earn them money.

SEYCHELLES, an archipelago in the western INDIAN Ocean, with an Exclusive Economic Zone of ONE-MILLION-370-THOUSAND square kilometres, has fisheries as the SECOND top contributor to its economy.

The 10 countries are proposing for all historical catches taken inside an Exclusive Economic Zone of a country, irrespective of who caught it, to be attributed to the coastal state and all historical catches taken on the high seas, to the catching state.

SEYCHELLES is party to the INDIAN Ocean Tuna Commission, an intergovernmental grouping that co-ordinates the regulation and management of tuna in the INDIAN Ocean territory./Sabanews/cam

PARLIAMENT APPROVES RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL

SEYCHELLES: LEGISLATION/SNA/23/5/18 SABANews 1

More access to information now guaranteed

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES National Assembly has approved a bill giving people the right to access information held by public bodies.

Vice President VINCENT MERITON has tabled the proposed law in Parliament, saying government officials should become more open and accountable to the population.

He says SEYCHELLOIS have had comparatively easy access to information but there have still been talks about people having not been able to exercise the right easily.

SEYCHELLES News Agency says when President DANNY FAURE signs the Bill into law, it will apply to institutions performing government functions, bodies such as parastatals, and non-governmental groups financed directly by the State.

It quotes a journalist from the TODAY newspaper as saying she has observed accessing information has become easier for independent media houses in the past THREE years.

SASHA-LEE MARIVEL says much will depend on the information officers, as they will be the people mandated to be the bridge between the information and the public or journalists.

She says the Bill is useful if journalists are willing to put in the research and work behind the data, because information is useless if it is not studied, contextualised, and given meaning.

MARIVEL says real journalism is about ethics, and information for the sake of information alone is not good enough. Reporters need to put it together in a way that will benefit the reader, not some political agenda or personal mileage.

Meanwhile, Vice President MERITON says although the Bill provides for disclosure of information from relevant authorities, it also exempts some classes of information from disclosure.

He says the exemptions include information that might comprise State security, endanger the life and safety of an individual or cause damage to the national economic model.

Vice President MERITON says the new law also aims to counter corruption and malpractices by facilitating transparency, good governance, and accountability.

Public bodies will have to ensure access to their data by revealing information within 30 days of it being generated, provide employee directories yearly, travel and hospitality expenses, budget, revenue and expenditures, as well as details of processes and procedures.

SEYCHELLES Government offices will also report to the Information Commission to be created under the Access to Information Act./Sabanews/cam