NGO LOBBIES FOR WOMEN ENTRANCE INTO POLITICS

MALAWI: GENDER/MBC/19/7/18 SABANews 1

Female politicians call for enough backing in campaigns (Pic. MBC News)

NKHOTAKOTA – The GENDER GOVERNANCE JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE in MALAWI says there is need to train women for competition in the political arena.

Programs Officer GRACE MAKUTI has addressed delegates in NKHOTAKOTA Town this week at a training for women aspiring to compete for positions in the 2019 General Elections.

She says her group wants to propel more female politicians to decision-making positions in Parliament as well as councils, and the training aims to teach them effective ways to compete.

MBC News quotes Ms MAKUTI as also saying the strategy of having more women candidates will allow the electorate to have a wider choice during voting.

However, she has dismissed statements from some commentators who say grooming more women aspirants will divide the vote for female candidates.

Ms MAKUTI says they are working with FIVE main political parties including the ruling DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY, in order to fish out the best persons.

The other FOUR are opposition MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY; UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT; both former ruling groups, PEOPLES PARTY, and ALLIANCE FOR DEMOCRACY.

NKHOTAKOTA Boma Ward Councillor SPIDER NKHOMA says it is time communities understood women should get chances to take leading roles, and men should support them as well.

The Councillor, who says he is not standing this time around, to allow a female contestant space, says women should in turn learn to appreciate they can shine through their friends; because the pull-down syndrome will not take them anywhere.

MBC News also says ONE of the female aspirants for BUA Ward, CORTESHER MBEWE, has asked people of goodwill to support women with resources for conducting campaigns.

She says they are competing with men who have adequate funds to convince people, so women need backing to win people over.

The national broadcaster says 42 female politicians have shown interest to contest as councillors and MPs in NKHOTAKOTA Town during the 2019 elections.

The Central MALAWI district currently has only TWO female Members of Parliament, while all councillors are male./Sabanews/cam

GOVERNMENT DOWNPLAYS SERIOUS FUEL SHORTAGES

SWAZILAND: FUEL/TIMES OF SWAZILAND/19/7/18 SABANews 1

Mbabane City (pic. Agencies)

MANZINI – The government of SWAZILAND has pacified alarmistic reports of a serious shortage of fuel in almost all its administrative structures.

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says Public Works and Transport Permanent Secretary MAKHOSINI MNDAWE has told the media it is common for petrol and diesel to be in short supply from time to time.

He says the government supplier delivers fuel at national depots in a rotational manner, and stations complaining of being dry may be crying for a commodity that is on its way.

Nevertheless, the TIMES says EMASWATI should get ready for an absence of public service delivery because the authorities seem to be facing their worst fiscal challenges.

It quotes unnamed sources well placed within the administration as alleging the government is fast running out of fuel due to debts it has not settled with certain dealers.

They claim the national fuel tanks at the Central Transport Administration are running dry, and the situation has forced some ministries to ground a number of vehicles.

If the situation continues, they say it is most certain all government cars will soon go aground, affecting essential services like the police, health, Fire and Emergency, and others.

The TIMES quotes the same insiders as saying the shortage of fuel has been due to national cash flow challenges affecting the country since the economic meltdown started years ago.

Essential service officials who have also withheld their names agree there is a crisis, which may cause difficulties in public services.

The TIMES quotes some of them as saying they at times have to drive from the Central Transport Administration in the capital, MBABANE, to MATSAPA Town.

However, the more than 32 kilometres journey does not guarantee joy, as MATSAPA Depot can declare empty tanks; and if not, chances are one may get far much less than a tank.

The sources claim government vehicles take turns to refuel, like the Royal ESWATINI Police Service – which refuels on FRIDAYS, while other departments need a memorandum to fill up.

The TIMES further quotes more unnamed sources within the force as admitting the shortages have reached near-crisis levels, because their station depots have also run dry.

They say fuel tanks within the police stations fill up only on specific days, meaning a car cannot just refuel at anywhere else except at its authorised place and on the designated days.

The government of SWAZILAND has not issued any further responses to the question of the alleged serious fuel shortages reportedly threatening a stoppage in public service provision./Sabanews/cam

KHOMAS LAUNCHES PRE-LAND CONFERENCE CONSULTATIONS

NAMIBIA: LAND/NBC/19/7/18 SABANews 1

Equitable distribution of land remains a pipe-dream (Pic. Agencies)

WINDHOEK – KHOMAS Region in Central NAMIBIA has kicked off public consultations ahead of the forthcoming SECOND National Land Conference within the next THREE months.

NBC News says the authorities have launched the TWO-day-long process this THURSDAY morning.

The exercise involves gathering ideas for inclusion onto the agenda of the Conference from different demographic groupings, communities, and political parties in KHOMAS.

Provincial Governor LAURA MCLEOD-KATJIRUA called on residents to take part openly and make contributions that will help make the expected vital land discussions a success.

She says land is a critical component in efforts to address past social injustices and improve the economic well-being of citizens, hence the need for proper management and distribution.

Governor MCLEOD-KATJIRUA says in order to speed up land reforms and redistribution, the country needs to find out what has worked and what has not, before coming up with resolutions.

She has therefore, appealed to people attending the consultation meeting to come up with concrete recommendations that will help shape the outcome of the SECOND National Land Conference in OCTOBER.

Land has remained a hot issue in NAMIBIA since liberation from apartheid rule in MARCH 1990, after the willing-buyer-willing-seller plan that was part of the independence deal failed to work over the years./Sabanews/cam