NEW BOOK TO EASE UNDERSTANDING OF PLANTS IN BOTANICAL GARDENS

SEYCHELLES: BOTANICS/SNA/3/10/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – STEEN HANSEN, a DANISH national, has written a new book on the biodiversity of the tropical plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens on the MAHE Island.

Seychelles botanical gardens guide (Pic. SNA)

SEYCHELLES News Agency says visitors to the park, situated in the capital, VICTORIA, can now gain better insights into the plant community of the garden, thanks to the guidebook.

It says the publication is already on sale at the ANTIGONE Bookshop in VICTORIA at 26 US dollars a copy.

The book focuses on the ethno-botanical aspects of the garden, with details of the origin and names of the existing plants as well as the level of global threats they face, and how they can be of use as food, medicine and in craftsmanship.

Mr HANSEN says his work can give readers an insight of the international plant community because it is an environmental book with information on the importance of conservation and what it is there left to be preserved.

He also says the plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens, in the central district of MONT FLEURI, are very rich and important, as they have rare qualities – while some are unique to the place and the island nation.

Mauritian Agronomist RIVALZ DUPONT established the 15-acre garden as a botanical station in 1901, making it ONE of the oldest national monuments of SEYCHELLES.

The authorities transformed it into a proper botanical garden in the late 1970s, and it is now under the management of the National Botanical Gardens Foundation.

SNA also says the botanical is a living green heritage providing a quiet, green getaway with a 20-minute walk from the busy VICTORIA CBD; and it is ONE of the must-see places in the 115-island archipelago, for tourists and locals with a love for nature.

Mr HANSEN says due to climate change and other negative impacts on the environment, it remains a relief to find such places like the Botanical Gardens still exist – with a preserved array of plant and animal species.

The DANISH author, who has been living in SEYCHELLES since 2005, has already launched THREE other books: THE FLORA OF THE SEYCHELLES, the STRIKING NATURE OF CURIEUSE ISLAND, and more recently THE TEA FACTORY.

As something new compared to his previous book collections, the new publication has an appendix giving all the different plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens since 2016./Sabanews/cam

MILITARY EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT MEDIA ALLEGATIONS

ZIMBABWE: ARMY/THE HERALD/3/10/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – The ZIMBABWE Defence Force has described as malicious and outrageous recent media reports alleging its soldiers are harassing civilians in the capital, HARARE.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces before changes (Pic. Agencies)

The Director of Public Relations has issued a statement saying the stories aim to tarnish the image of the military and influence ongoing investigations into post-election political violence in the city.

THE HERALD says comments by Colonel OVERSON MUGWISI come after the privately owned DAILY NEWS and NEWS DAY publications put out alarming reports about alleged terror by uniformed forces.

A late SEPTEMBER report in the DAILY NEWS claims what it calls some rogue elements within the security sector are engaging in human rights violations similar to abuses allegedly witnessed during the rule of former dictator ROBERT MUGABE.

The paper says the purported abuses have prompted a group known as VERITAS, which claims to monitor the work of Parliament, to complain against perceived State delays to set up a committee to probe such matters.

A similar report by the NEWS DAY also alleges rogue soldiers have been terrorising civilians in the dormitory city of CHITUNGWIZA, although both papers give no names of sources of their information.

The government has a Commission of Inquiry probing the violent protests that broke out after opposition supporters besieged HARARE Central Business District and started burning and looting both private and public property.

President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA set up the team after SIX people were killed by a member of the military group helping the police to end the violence opened fire on the then retreating demonstrators.

The Commission comprises prominent persons from ZIMBABWE, the SADC Region, the COMMONWEALTH, as well as the BRITISH legal fraternity, who are yet to hand over their report to the Head of State.

Meanwhile, the SADC country is under attack by a deadly cholera outbreak that has seen the government declaring a State of Emergency after the death of FIVE people in a short time in TWO suburbs of HARARE. The figure has since risen to at least 49 deaths.

Cholera has brought immediate misery to thousands of homes (Pic. News24)

The MEDICAL XPRESS online science publication says the State has launched a massive vaccination drive as it battles the cholera outbreak.

It quotes Health Minister OBADIAH MOYO as saying the campaign, with help from the WHO, is targeting more than 500-THOUSAND people between this WEDNESDAY and SUNDAY.

He says another ONE-MILLION will receive vaccines from next week, with reports saying the disease has infected more than NINE-THOUSAND people, mostly in the capital, also amid fears of a repeat of 2008 when cholera killed more than FOUR-THOUSAND persons.

Media commentators say the privately owned media, instead of demonising the government in support of the opposition, should help to fight the serious humanitarian crisis facing the country as well as to revive the economy and assure foreign investors.

They say the current bad relations between the authorities and the opposition-associated papers and broadcasters show ZIMBABWE still experiences serious media polarisation./Sabanews/cam

HUNDREDS ATTEND NATIONAL LAND CONFERENCE

NAMIBIA: LAND/NBC/3/10/18 SABANews 1

WINDHOEK – At least 800 people from different sectors of society are attending the SECOND National Land Conference of NAMIBIA in the capital, WINDHOEK.

Second National Land Conference underway (Pic. NBC)

The gathering comes amid high hopes of finalising the major grievance that caused the SOUTH WEST AFRICA PEOPLE’S ORGANISATION, SWAPO, to wage war against colonialism.

NBC News says delegates are to review progress made in the implementation of the FIRST Conference held in 1991, ONE year after independence from apartheid SOUTH AFRICA.

It says their task includes revision of the willing-seller-willing-buyer principle the State has followed to acquire farms for poor black communities, as well as the issues of ancestral land.

The willing-seller-willing-buyer concept requires the authorities to buy farms from commercial farmers for allocation to previously disadvantaged people

The government says it has spent some THREE-COMMA-THREE-BILLION NAMIBIA dollars (about 230-MILLION US dollars) on work meant to address the matter so far.

Land Reform Minister UTONI NUJOMA says the authorities spent the money on acquiring 549 farms measuring a combined total of THREE-POINT-TWO-MILLION hectares.

He has told delegates to the SECOND Land Conference the government bought the farms through the willing-seller-willing-buyer and Affirmative Action Loan Scheme programs.

Minister NUJOMA says they managed to resettle FIVE-THOUSAND-338 families, as well as register 119-THOUSAND-227 customary land rights and ONE-THOUSAND-204 leasehold rights.

The NAMIBIAN Member of Cabinet says the 24 resolutions of the 1991 Conference and the land guidelines in the Constitution have directed the work of his ministry all along./Sabanews/cam