MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE KILLED ON LAKE VICTORIA

TANZANIA: DISASTER/TBC/21/9/18 SABANews 1

LAKE VICTORIA – More than 100 people have been killed after a boat in which they were travelling capsized on Lake VICTORIA in TANZANIA.

Hundreds are feared dead in  ferry capsize on Lake Victoria (Pic. Agencies)

RADIO TANZANIA says Police Chief Inspector General SIMON SIRRO has revealed the shocking figure at the scene during a rescuing exercise.

With a surface area of about 68-THOUSAND-800 square kilometres, Lake VICTORIA is the largest water body in AFRICA and the world’s largest tropical lake.

It also ranks as the world’s SECOND largest fresh water lake by surface area, after Lake SUPERIOR in North AMERICA; but it is has claimed thousands of lives over years.

Witnesses to the current tragedy say the MV NYERERE capsized close to the landing stage on UKARA Island, just a few meters before reaching its destination.

RADIO TANZANIA says the ferry may have been carrying as many as passengers double the ferry recommended capacity.

It quotes people who claim to have seen the accident as saying the boat toppled after passengers rushed to ONE side in readiness to disembark as they approached the dock.

The MWANZA Regional Police Commissioner, who is at the scene, has told the national broadcaster they found 42 bodies this FRIDAY morning, in addition to another 44 picked up the day before.

JOHN MONGELLA says the number of survivors has also increased from 37 to 40, but it is unclear whether, or not, the Police and Army divers have found any others since resumption of rescue operations this morning.

Media reports say about 200 people were killed in another major accident last year off the coast of ZANZIBAR: although hundreds others survived, with some found clinging to mattresses and fridges in the waters.

Earlier in 1996, TANZANIA had seen more than 800 people killed in ONE of the worst ferry disasters of the last century after the MV BUKOBA capsized on Lake VICTORIA./Sabanews/cam

GOVERNMENT, CIVIL SOCIETY AT LOGGERHEADS OVER CORRUPTION

MALAWI: POVERTY/SABANEWS/20/9/18 SABANews 1

BLANTYRE – The HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION of MALAWI has abandoned talks with the State ahead of a planned demo against corruption this FRIDAY.

Malawi April 2018 mass demos (Pic. CHRR)

MBC News says the decision by the group has disappointed the government, whose officials have waited in vain for delegates from the Coalition for the SECOND time now.

It says Information and Communications Technology Minister NICHOLAS DAUSI has issued a statement accusing the Coalition of obstructing to discuss pressing national issues.

He says the State is deeply concerned with what he describes as the uncivil manner and deliberate antagonist approaches by the groups under the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION.

Minister DAUSI says the organisation simply wants to frustrate government intentions to deepen democracy and development through dialogue.

He says a 15-member delegation from the State assembled at the Office of the President and Cabinet, at the time the civil society groups had suggested, but they did not show up – yesterday and the day before.

Minister DAUSI has told MALAWIANS the government is further surprised by the excuses from the organisation about what they call the rules of engagement for the dialogue process.

He the TWO sides should ordinarily develop, negotiate and adopt such issues in a collective manner – and no one side should impose them like civil society wants to do.

Minister DAUSI says the government is committed to talk on mutually satisfactory terms without the sense of civil society dictatorship, as shown in the clear egos of the Coalition leadership.

He says dialogue is a give and take process, where engagement is on the table and nowhere else; and the discussions are a chance for civil society to engage public workers in a healthy conversation that brings results for advancing national interests.

The Cabinet Minister says the Coalition leaders should remember their claim as champions of human rights loses meaning the moment they begin to carry a know-it-all attitude, pretending to be above anyone else as far as matters of national interests are concerned.

Media reports say Coalition leaders have told the media in the capital, LILONGWE, their decision comes after the authorities ignored their proposal to include President PETER MUTHARIKA or ministers in the discussions.

The NYASA TIMES says they have since written to the Chief Secretary to the Cabinet, LLOYD MUHARA.

It says Coalition Chairperson TIMOTHY MTAMBO has accused the State of secretly trying to cripple their planned demonstrations against corruption and impunity, set for this FRIDAY across MZUZU, LILONGWE, BLANTYRE, and ZOMBA cities.

The rights campaigner claims the Government of MALAWI, which says it remains ready for dialogue, is simply playing games with civil society as it continues taking the suffering and voices of MALAWIANS for granted./Sabanews/cam

NATIONAL BROADCASTER PLANNING TO RETRENCH MASSIVELY

SOUTH AFRICA: LABOUR/SABC/20/9/18 SABANews 1

JOHANNESBURG – The SOUTH AFRICAN Broadcasting Corporation says it plans to invoke the Labour Relations Act to retrench hundreds of workers to cut costs.

South African national broadcaster (Pic. SABC News)

However, SABC News says an urgent request by the National Assembly Communications Committee has secured approval to call the SABC Board before Parliament.

It says the Chairperson of Committees, CEDRIC FROLICK, has confirmed the meeting will take place next week.

SABC News in action (Pic. SABC News)

It quotes him as saying he has agreed to the request of the Communications Committee to call the SABC Board for an urgent meeting this coming TUESDAY.

Mr FROLICK says the only outstanding thing is the approval of the Chief Whip, because lawmakers are currently in their constituencies for the next TWO weeks.

The proposed talks come after the public broadcaster revealed intentions to use Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to lay off a large number of employees as a cost cutting measure.

Communications Committee Chairperson HUMPHREY MAXEGWANA says they want the SABC Board to present the turnaround strategy for the public broadcaster.

Yet, he says the Committee only learnt about the retrenchments through the media – while the Board has not even presented its turnaround strategy as demanded.

ONE news report says Communications Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE has already condemned the SABC planned retrenchments, despite its cash-flow problems.

The SOUTH AFRICAN national broadcaster, employing FOUR-THOUSAND workers and an annual salary bill of THREE-POINT-ONE-BILLION rand, reportedly recorded a loss of 622-MILLION rand last year./Sabanews/cam

CROSS BORDER TRAVELLERS GO UNDER THOROUGH CHOLERA SCREENING

SADC: CHOLERA/THE HERALD/SABANEWS/19/9/18 SABANews 1

CHIRUNDU – People travelling from ZIMBABWE to ZAMBIA are reportedly undergoing thorough, and sometimes humiliating screening for the deadly cholera disease.

Temporary base at Chirundu Border Post eight months ago (Pic Star FM)

THE HERALD newspaper in ZIMBABWE says the authorities on the ZAMBIAN side of CHIRUNDU Border Post across the ZAMBEZI are giving laxatives to incoming travellers.

Medical experts say laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and sufficiently high doses of the drugs may cause diarrhoea.

THE HERALD says ZIMBABWEANS going to ZAMBIA, especially passengers travelling on buses, are given laxatives to force them to defecate and facilitate stool testing.

It says the exercise is causing congestion at the border post, as travellers have been seeking to use the toilet before the authorities let them through after the humiliating tests.

Officials in the Ministry of Health and Child Care have taken up the issue with their Permanent Secretary.

MASHONALAND WEST Provincial Medical Director WENCESLAUS NYAMAYARO says he has received a report about the screening by ZAMBIAN authorities at CHIRUNDU.

The latest development comes as the authorities in the ZAMBIAN capital, LUSAKA, are appealing to religious groups to help fight cholera.

The national broadcaster quotes LUSAKA City Council Public Health Acting Director EDGAR MULWANDA as saying groups such as churches should promote the spirit of hygiene among their members.

ZAMBIA has been on high cholera alert since last year, with a report from the International Federation of the RED CROSS in JUNE saying the disease is endemic to the country.

It says outbreaks occur almost every year in the LUSAKA, SOUTHERN, NORTHERN and LUAPULA provinces.

The study also says this year, the outbreak happened just before the rainy season – which is unusual, but it followed a period of inadequate water supply during summer period , which forced more people to use unsafe sources.

In ZIMBABWE, the disease broke out this month in the GLENVIEW and BUDIRIRO high-density suburbs; killing up to 30 people countrywide so far.

ZIMBABWEANS have been crossing the ZAMBEZI almost daily into ZAMBIA over the years to sell different goods and to buy mostly clothing materials for resale back home due to difficulties in their country./Sabanews/cam

CITY FATHERS INVITE RELIGIOUS GROUPS TO HELP FIGHT CHOLERA

ZAMBIA: CHOLERA/ZNBC/19/9/18 SABANews 1

LUSAKA – The authorities in the ZAMBIAN capital, LUSAKA, have appealed to religious groups to help fight cholera, a deadly diarrhoeal disease wreaking havoc in neighbouring ZIMBABWE.

Cholera treatment centre in Zambia (Pic. Zambia Business Times)

LUSAKA City Council Public Health Acting Director EDGAR MULWANDA says organisations such as churches should promote the spirit of hygiene among their members.

He has told ZNBC News in the city the trend of shaking hands is back in the country, but people should continue to wash their hands frequently.

The national broadcaster says Mr MULWANDA has further appealed to schools to sensitise their pupils on the importance of observing the highest standards of cleanliness.

Grave digger at Granville Cemetery in Harare, Zimbabwe (Pic. The New York Times)

Meanwhile, LUSAKA Water and Sewerage Company Marketing and Public Relations Manager PATSON PHIRI has also spoken with ZNBC News in LUSAKA.

He says the UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND, UNICEF has released 10-MILLION kwacha (about 896-THOUSAND-500 US dollars) for the expansion of water supply systems in areas around the municipality.

Mr PHIRI says the authorities plan to extend the water supply system to KALIKILIKI, KALINGALINGA and MTENDERE areas, and experts have completed the diagrams for laying out pipes and other installations.

Health Minister CHITALU CHILUFYA has in turn urged members of the public to drink chlorinated or boiled water, and wash their hands with soap before touching food.

The health campaign in ZAMBIA comes amid reports of a serious cholera outbreak that has killed at least 30 people across the ZAMBEZI in ZIMBABWE, which 10 years ago recorded 98-THOUSAND-592 cholera infections and FOUR-THOUSAND-288 deaths.

Cholera, an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called VIBRIO cholerae, can lead to serious dehydration and even death if untreated.

In urban areas like the capitals of both ZAMBIA and ZIMBABWE, cholera mainly breaks out due to very poor sanitary conditions under which residents go for weeks without piped water – with streams of raw sewerage flowing in front of houses./Sabanews/cam

STATE WARNS PEOPLE AGAINST INTERNET ABUSE

ZAMBIA: INTERNET/ZNBC/19/9/18 SABANews 1

LUSAKA – Communications Minister BRIAN MUSHIMBA of ZAMBIA has advised people to avoid the habit of abusing Information Communication Technology, ICT platforms.

Communications Minister Brian Mushimba (Pic. ZNBC)

He says anyone who wrongfully uses the Net will face the full wrath of the law, because the digital society the government has launched aims to help create jobs and wealth.

Minister MUSHIMBA says the facility is not for promoting anarchy in the country.

He has directed the ZAMBIA Information and Communications Technology Authority to invest more in changing the mind set of ICT users, to ensure they use the platforms for national development.

Minister MUSHIMBA has made the remarks in a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary, MISHECK LUNGU, at the ZAMBIA ICT Talent Development Summit and the HUAWEI ICT Competition Launch in the capital, LUSAKA.

CHINESE Ambassador LI JIE says CHINA has committed itself to help the SADC country develop the ICT sector, as it has a lot of potential for development.

Cabinet Deputy Secretary MARTINE MTONGA, who is also Smart ZAMBIA National Coordinator, has appealed to citizens to appreciate State investment in the sector by taking it seriously.

INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA President ALICK SIANKUMO says there is need to pay attention to ICT as ONE sector that can spur economic development.

HUAWEI ZAMBIA Country Director MARTIN ZHONG has in turn called for continued investment in the Information Communication Technology sector for a better ZAMBIA./Sabanews/cam

MINISTER DEFENDS ECONOMIC AND EMPLOYMENT SCHEME

NAMIBIA: DEVELOPMENT/NBC/19/9/18 SABANews 1

WINDHOEK – Finance Minister CALLE SCHLETTWEIN of NAMIBIA has defended the Targeted Intervention Program for Employment and Economic Growth in his country.

Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein (Pic. Agencies)

He says the scheme has not been a total failure like some people suggest, as it has created more than 15-THOUSAND permanent jobs and 87-THOUSAND part time ones.

Minister SCHLETTWEIN has responded to claims by POPULAR DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT President MCHENRY VENAANI.

The opposition leader alleges the authorities failed to implement the project fully and most of the funds were stolen.

Mr VENAANI has told journalists at a media briefing earlier this week the program was a total failure, which may have worsened the current economic slow-down.

He says most of the money for the Targeted Intervention Program for Employment and Economic Growth was stolen, and the State should avoid such a scheme in the future.

The opposition politician also says the benefits from project do not correspond with the billions of NAMIBIA dollars the Government pumped into it.

The government introduced the Targeted Intervention Program for Employment and Economic Growth during the 2011 to 2012 financial year.

Authorities say the plan has been to stimulate long-term economic growth by creating jobs in infrastructure development and other sectors.

The NAMIBIAN Government had earmarked some 13-THOUSAND NAMIBIA dollars for the scheme, but at least ONE-COMMA-SEVEN-BILLION dollars returned to the Treasury./Sabanews/cam

ANOTHER SADC COUNTRY UNDER DIARRHOEA ATTACK

SWAZILAND: DIARRHOEA/TIMES OF SWAZILAND/14/9/18 SABANews 1

MANZINI – The government of SWAZILAND has warned members of the public to take care when handling food and drinking water following a recent diarrhoea outbreak.

Hlangano Health Centre at work (Pic. Agencies)

The TIMES OF SWAZILAND says the alert comes when the Kingdom, now re-named ESWATINI, is reeling under serious economic difficulties, which have led to a health crisis.

It says the disease is currently affecting children below the age of FIVE and the outbreak has been detected mainly in the SHISELWENI and HHOHHO Regions.

The publication quotes what it refers to as sources within the health sector as saying medical workers started recording cases of diarrhoea in the SHISELWENI Region early last week.

However, the most affected area so far is said to be NHLANGANO, where the disease has killed SIX children under the age of FIVE since last WEDNESDAY.

The deaths occurred at the NHLANGANO Health Centre, which is admitting another 13 patients: while a number of other kids of the same age group have had to be treated and discharged due to a shortage of wards.

According to the same sources, medical experts at the MBABANE Government Hospital in the capital have recorded an increased number of children with diarrhoea – although they have released no figures.

Health Ministry Principal Secretary DR SIMON ZWANE has confirmed the outbreak of the deadly, yet preventable, disease: but says such an epidemic is common during this time of the year.

He says the Kingdom starts to receive flood rains around these months, as it happened last week, and it is when chances of the outbreak of such diseases become high.

However, Principal Secretary ZWANE says the current epidemic is coming when the country has been on high alert – given the reports of cholera in some countries in the SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY Region.

The TIMES quotes him as saying the diarrhoea affecting his country is unrelated to cholera, and people can prevent it by washing hands with clean water and soap before touching food and after visiting the toilet.

The situation in SWAZILAND comes as countries like ZIMBABWE have issued state of emergency declarations following serious outbreaks of cholera, which authorities fear may spread throughout the SADC Region through cross-border activities.

In a separate incident, a number of unknown assailants have this past TUESDAY tried to kill the whole family of a Chiefdom Councillor, Bucopho MDUDUZI MNDZEBELE.

The local politician, who won as a Bucopho under the MAFUTSENI Constituency in Primary Elections more than TWO weeks ago, had to be rushed to MKHIWA Clinic after collapsing in MANZINI City.

Bucopho MNDZEBELE, who says he does not have a suspect in mind yet, explains how he had left home on the same morning going to drop off some documents at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in the commercial capital.

He says he only drank some water from an outside tank used by the whole family before leaving, but he started shivering, vomiting, and collapsed after seeking medication when he had felt weak in the body.

The SWAZI local politician says the suspects had poisoned the water tank at night, because he woke up to find himself admitted together with the whole family including wife, brother, grandmother and a THREE-year-old child./Sabanews/cam

MINISTRY EMBARKS ON FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM TO LOCALISE EYE SURGERIES

SEYCHELLES: HEALTH/SNA/14/9/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Ministry of Health is localising eye surgery services in partnership with the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION of SWITZERLAND.

Seychelles opens first surgical service on the island nation (Pic. SNA)

The INDIAN Ocean island country has a five-year plan aimed to stop external attention for different ailments of the eye, and the State has managed to open its FIRST domestic surgical facility.

SEYCHELLES says ONE of the services now available is vitreoretinal surgery, which involves surgical procedures on the retina at the back of the eye.

It says Health Minister JEAN-PAUL ADAM has addressed the media this week, saying with this latest development, the country is on track with its vision to domesticate all eye surgeries within FIVE years.

He says the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION is not only helping with a donation of medical equipment, but also with training to build the capacity of staff at the new unit.

Minister ADAM says they have a long-term partnership with the SWISS-based Foundation, which has made it possible for the Ministry to carry out the vitreoretinal surgery locally.

He has also commended the dedication and work of Professor CYRUS TABATABAY, Founder and President of TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION.

The veteran surgeon this month undertook his THIRD consultative trip to the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital; TWO years after the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in 2016.

SNA says the Professor normally makes TWO visits per year to SEYCHELLES, and during the latest leg, he helped to set up the service as well as with the FIRST FOUR procedures.

The Consultant in Charge of the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital, ROLAND BARBE, has explained some of the immediate benefits of the vitreoretinal operations.

He says the service will help address the large number of diabetic patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who need such attention, unlike the present situation where they have to go to INDIA or SRI LANKA.

The SEYCHELLES Health Minister says the process is lengthy and dedicated, but the State has long term plans to do most vitreoretinal surgical cases locally; with only the most complex cases referred for overseas treatment./Sabanews/cam

CAPITAL CITY GETS ONE-MILLION US DOLLARS TO FIGHT CHOLERA

ZIMBABWE: CHOLERA/THE HERALD/13/9/18 SABANews 1

Uncollected garbage is now common site in Harare CBD and residential areas (Pic. The Herald)

HARARE – The government of ZIMBABWE has released ONE-MILLION US dollars to the City of HARARE for the capital to fight a serious cholera outbreak.

The money, coming after the killer disease has already claimed 25 lives, aims to help the municipality to repair or upgrade collapsed sewerage systems in most high-density areas.

THE HERALD says the city itself, which has an open budget towards the program, has also deployed teams from other areas to assist in the poverty stricken western suburbs.

The State-controlled newspaper says the authorities have further stopped disconnecting water to ensure residents have continuous clean supplies in the wake of the cholera outbreak.

Acting Town Clerk HOSIAH CHISANGO, who has visited some areas in GLENVIEW and KUWADZANA suburbs, says the council is also clearing rubbish dumps in the affected places.

He says their teams have been to areas of GLENVIEW, BUDIRIRO, KUWADZANA and MUFAKOSE since last week, repairing and upgrading some collapsed sewer portions.

Patients get attention at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital (Pic. The Herald)

The development comes after the government has declared the HARARE cholera outbreak a state of emergency, following the detection of more than TWO-THOUSAND-300 cases in the neglected capital alone.

Areas like the central province of MIDLANDS, the south-eastern region of MASVINGO, the eastern highlands of MANICALAND, and the northern region of MASHONALAND CENTRAL have reported isolated cases of the disease.

THE HERALD says Health Minister OBADIAH MOYO has addressed the media in the capital after visiting the BEATRICE Road Infectious Diseases Hospital, ONE of the treatment sites in the city.

It quotes him as saying declaring the outbreak an emergency has allowed the State to organise resources quickly to contain the disease in HARARE, which has been the source of all cases reported countrywide.

Minister MOYO says the government will also be able to contain typhoid in the city as quickly as possible, to avoid further loss of life to such preventable diseases.

He has condemned the HARARE City Council for failing to attend to sewer bursts in GLEN VIEW for the past TWO months, resulting in the contamination of boreholes.

Minister MOYO says someone slept on duty, ONE of the problems the country must fight to ensure people work.

He says the whole outbreak is a result of blocked sewers, which residents reported, and which the council never repaired since JULY; and it now has the whole of GLEN VIEW and BUDIRIRO affected.

The ZIMBABWEAN Health Minister says the authorities will discuss to find a permanent solution to continued problems of the blocked sewer systems in the capital city of more than ONE-MILLION-600-THOUSAND people./Sabanews/cam