OPPOSITION OFFICIAL REVEALS STUNNING PLOT TO DESTABILISE NATION

ZIMBABWE: VIOLENCE/SABANEWS/28/11/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – New revelations have cast shadows on efforts by leaders of the opposition MDC ALLIANCE in ZIMBABWE to distance themselves from violent acts.

The Spokesperson of the MDC T claims the ALLIANCE, grouping SEVEN political parties, sent youths for training in SOUTH AFRICA and ZAMBIA ahead of elections on 30 JULY.

LINDA MASARIRA has appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into the violence that rocked the capital, HARARE, in which SIX people were killed on ONE AUGUST.

Linda Masarira (Pic. The Herald)

She alleges MDC ALLIANCE leaders held election campaigns during which they encouraged their supporters to engage in violence if their candidates did not win.

Ms MASARIRA says it would be naive for anyone to think the group does not have a radical and militant youth wing, trained under the civil society, which are stakeholders of the ALLIANCE.

She emphasises there are TWO groups trained to lead protests, although the leaders claim they learnt to up-rise non-violently; which is contrary to the vicious acts of ONE AUGUST.

Ms MASARIRA says the MDC ALLIANCE believes it can force the ruling party into a Government of National Unity through illegal demonstrations.

She says the ALLIANCE leaders believe in hate speech and insults; terrorising women; and in the suffering of the masses as way to win protest votes, and they have all lied under oath.

Her testimony seems to agree with comments by former Home Affairs Minister OBERT MPOFU, who has also told the Commission of Inquiry the ALLIANCE is violent.

Obert Mpofu (Pic. Agencies)

The official, who is also Secretary for Administration in the ruling ZANU PF Party, says it is clear the violent demonstrations of ONE AUGUST had been planned over some time.

Mr MPOFU says he feels, from a well-informed view, there were snipers that had been planted around the capital, HARARE, and some buildings in the city.

He says somebody then created a scene and directed that there be some firing to paint the Government in bad light.

Mr MPOFU says while the opposition leaders deny any involvement in the destructive protests of the fateful day, he saw their protestors from his office at ZANU PF Headquarters.

He says they chanted MDC ALLIANCE slogans, with some wearing the party regalia; and the protests had a source, because the way they gathered showed they had logistical support.

The former Interior Minister, a former guerrilla fighter trained during the liberation struggle in TANZANIA, says the people were not marching from nowhere. They came from the MDC ALLIANCE Headquarters.

Mr MPOFU has also told the Commission, as Home Affairs Minister at the time, he had called Mr CHAMISA urging him to contain his supporters – but he got no cooperation.

However, the opposition leaders have disowned the violent protestors and instead called on the international probe team to summon President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to testify.

They say the inquiries should focus on the person who ordered soldiers to shoot at unarmed civilians during the protests, which they insist were peaceful and constitutionally correct.

President MNANGAGWA set up the Commission of Inquiry, headed by former SOUTH AFRICAN President KGALEMA MOTLANTHE, after the violence in HARARE.

The Commission of Inquiry into the deadly post-election violent protests in ZIMBABWE has interviewed a cross section of people from almost all walks of life as the team seeks to establish the facts before compiling its report./Sabanews/cam

SUSPECTED IRANIAN DRUG DEALERS FURTHER REMANDED

SEYCHELLES: DRUGS/SNA/27/11/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Magistrate’s Court has remanded until 28 NOVEMBER EIGHT IRANIANS arrested on drug-related charges.

An Iranian dhow intercepted in December (SNA)

The Anti-Narcotics Bureau and the Coast Guard have issued a statement saying they intercepted the vessel, a dhow, in the SEYCHELLES waters.

They say they managed to seize some 500 grams of what they suspect to be cannabis resin and TWO-POINT-FIVE grams of heroin during the exercise.

SNA says only EIGHT out of the 10 IRANIANS appeared in court on MONDAY together with TWO SEYCHELLOIS who were arrested last SATURDAY in connection with the case.

It quotes the lawyer of the IRANIAN suspects as saying the other TWO IRANIANS failed to appear because they are in hospital after being badly beaten by officers who conducted the search on the boat.

CLIFFORD ANDRE, who was lobbying the court to release the IRANIANS on bail, says the heroin was found on only ONE suspect for his own consumption, and there is no reason to remand all the suspects on the same grounds.

The legal practitioner representing the TWO SEYCHELLOIS, NICOLE GABRIEL, says there is no reason to remand the suspects, because they have been brought before the court on the basis of conspiracy.

He says until now nothing has come forward to justify the link between the IRANIANS and the SEYCHELLOIS, who were found in the vicinity in their own boat during the operation.

SNA says this is not the FIRST time IRANIAN nationals have been arrested in the SEYCHELLES’ waters on drug-related cases.

It says in JANUARY, the Supreme Court of SEYCHELLES sentenced TWO IRANIANS, EMAM BAKHSH TARANI and HATTAM MOTHASHIMINA to life in prison for the importation of heroin and opium.

Both IRANIANS and NINE other crew members were arrested on board a dhow, a type of sailing vessel common to the GULF ARAB states, in mid-APRIL 2016.

Their capture followed a joint operation by the SEYCHELLES Coast Guard and the former National Drugs Enforcement Agency.

The other crew members were found not guilty and released by the court late in 2016, but the EIGHT IRANIAN were repatriated to their country in JUNE last year.

Legal experts say for a small island state like SEYCHELLES, where tourism is the economic pillar, any challenge becomes a tourism industry problem, and heroin abuse poses a threat to the sector./Sabanews/cam

OPPOSITION LEADERS ABANDON DEMONSTRATING SUPPORTERS

ZIMBABWE: VIOLENCE/THE HERALD/27/11/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – Leaders of the opposition MDC ALLIANCE in ZIMBABWE have rejected their supporters who staged violent protests in which SIX people were killed on ONE AUGUST in the capital, HARARE.

ALLIANCE President NELSON CHAMISA and Deputy National Chairperson TENDAI BITI have this week appeared before a Commission of Inquiry into the post-election disturbances.

Nelson Chamisa (Pic. Agencies)

Mr CHAMISA says his hands are clean because his party had not organised the violent demonstrations that almost shut down the city TWO days after the 30 JULY General Elections, whose results he still reject though.

He says the people who were demonstrating or protesting on the fateful day were not doing so on the instruction of the MDC, its organs, or its leaders; and all of them should have been behind bars by now because they destroyed property.

Mr CHAMISA also says a reportedly militant group under his party youth league comprises young people who are not violent and who do not own firearms; although he says they have the capacity.

However, witnesses accuse the group of unleashing violence on anyone who challenges him and it attempted to burn MDC-T President THOKOZANI KHUPE and other party officials.

Ms KHUPE and her colleagues had sought refuge in a village hut during the funeral of their Party Leader MORGAN TSVANGIRAI in the south-eastern district of BUHERA when the violent youths descended on them.

Mr CHAMISA has instead challenged the Commission of Inquiry to summon President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to account for the deployment of the army on ONE AUGUST.

He says the Head of State, whom he does not recognise as such, despite a Constitutional Court ruling, should be held accountable for the SIX deaths that occurred during the riots.

Meanwhile, Mr CHAMISA says his party still believes it won the 2018 General Elections and he should be the President of ZIMBABWE – failing which he will be staging demonstrations this THURSDAY to force the government to negotiating table.

On the other hand, Mr BITI, who tried but failed to secure political asylum in neighbouring ZAMBIA after the demonstrations, has also denied inciting the tragic violence.

Both men, the only ones to appear with their lawyers before the Commission so far, have further dismissed even campaign video evidence showing them threatening violence if they lost the JULY polls.

They have appeared before the NINE-member international team after turning down invitations to do so in the past weeks during which they unsuccessfully made a number of demands for them to comply.

When ONE of the Commissioners asked if Mr CHAMISA respects the national legal structures, and that the Constitutional Court ruling is final, he agreed; but still says he does not accept the ruling it made in favour of President MNANGAGWA.

The opposition leaders have appeared before the Commission after military and police chiefs have testified in the ongoing inquiries, which are sometimes broadcast live on national television, dismissing reports claiming their soldiers killed civilians during violent protests.

The Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force, who is also the Presidential Guard Commander, says he was in charge of the military operations to reinforce the police on the fateful day.

Brigadier-General ANSELEM SANYATWE has told the Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances his troops only fired warning shots into the air, not at the rioting crowds scattered around the city.

Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe (Pic. The Herald)

He says the videos circulating in the media, showing a soldier kneeling on the ground and appearing to be firing at the rioters, are not proof that the military killed anyone on the day.

He says the soldiers were under the command of high ranking and experienced officers who are aware of the rules of engagement, either during civil unrests or in real combat, and had they fired AK-47 rifles there would have been more than the SIX dead bodies.

Despite denials by the opposition leaders, the army says it cannot rule out the possibility that the SIX people who were killed in the ONE AUGUST post-election violence could be victims of a militant group in the ALLIANCE.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the group, known as the VANGUARD, is violent and obviously includes trained former members of the national army and police, who are able to use firearms.

He says what also further shows his soldiers killed no one during the demonstrations is that a number of journalists decided to report the events while taking cover behind the military lines, and no dead body was pictured lying in the streets.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the reporters should have been able to capture people falling from AK-47 bullets and bodies lying in pools of blood if the troopers really opened fire into the crowds.

He says he does not give much consideration to the video clip that has gone viral on social media, because no civilian has the guts to film such military operations.

Defence Forces Commander General PHILLIP VALERIO SIBANDA agrees with his officer, accusing the MDC ALLIANCE of preaching violence before, during, and after the 30 JULY General Elections each time they addressed their rallies.

Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda (Pic. The Herald)

General SIBANDA says they have reason to suspect the opposition leaders had planned to plunge the country into bloody clashes if they lost the polls; and when they realised they were losing, they sent riotous youths into the streets of HARARE on the day.

He says the police had to call for help from the military after the violent crowds, who were now burning and looting in a bid to shut down the city, had overpowered the law-enforcement agents.

General SIBANDA says anyone, members of the public, observers who witnessed the ballots, as well as journalists who covered them, who have evidence of his soldiers killing people, should come forward with it.

The 2018 Post-Election Violence Commission of Inquiry in ZIMBABWE is interviewing a cross-section of people from mid-OCTOBER, but it is not likely to conclude its work soon – given the bulk of evidence the team has to consider before reporting./Sabanews/cam

GOVERNMENT WORRIES OVER GROWING XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS ON CHINESE

ZAMBIA: CHINA/ZNBC/27/11/18 SABANews 1

LUSAKA – The Government of ZAMBIA has warned its nationals to avoid involvement in efforts to eject CHINESE investors from the country through violent actions.

Justice Minister GIVEN LUBINDA says there is an economic war against CHINA, and it is wrong for nationals of his SADC country to join such a fight.

He has described it as unfortunate that some ZAMBIANS are taking the law in their own hands by attacking the foreigners who have come into the country to invest.

Minister LUBINDA says recent xenophobic attacks on CHINESE nationals are unfortunate, and he has urged citizens to use better means to channel their grievances if they have any.

However, he says ZAMBIA has adequate laws to guarantee the safety of investors, domestic and foreign.

Minister LUBINDA says it is saddening some political leaders are inciting ZAMBIANS to rise against the State decision to engage the CHINESE in some developmental projects.

He has made the statement in the ETHIOPIAN capital, ADDIS ABABA, shortly before going to ROME for 10TH Anniversary of the Campaign against the Death Penalty.

The police have reportedly arrested the opposition UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT leader for allegedly encouraging attacks against CHINESE nationals.

Media reports say HAKAINDE HICHILEMA, who last year spent FOUR months in detention for alleged treason, has since been set free.

They quote COPPERBELT Provincial Police Chief CHARITY KATANGA as saying the politician allegedly accused the State of selling a national timber company to the CHINESE.

The official says the statement caused street protests in the SECOND largest city, KITWE, where some CHINESE businesses were looted before the arrest of scores of protesters.

News agencies say anti-CHINESE sentiments in ZAMBIA have increased over lucrative contracts CHINA is securing from the government, which is also borrowing heavily from BEIJING.

Other earlier reports say the ZAMBIAN Mission in CHINA has dismissed a story about a ZAMBIAN student allegedly was brutally beaten and is battling for his life in the ASIAN country.

They say Acting Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary WINNIE CHIBESAKUNDA has trashed the allegations after having contacted the ZAMBIAN Mission in BEIJING.

The developments in ZAMBIA come amid heightening anti-CHINESE propaganda casting CHINESE nationals in bad light following a ruthless global economic war for influence between CHINA and the WEST.

In JULY this year, the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST reported the engagement with AFRICA has fast-tracked over the decades as the CHINA eyes the world’s SECOND largest continent for chances for economic growth and geopolitical influence.

It says the visits by President XI JINPING to SENEGAL, RWANDA, SOUTH AFRICA, and MAURITIUS were his FIRST overseas trips in 2018, aimed to build ties as well as extend CHINESE influence in AFRICA.

CHINESE investments in ZAMBIA range from mining interests in the COPPERBELT to assets in agriculture, manufacturing, as well as tourism; and as of FEBRUARY 2011, CHINESE are running a total of 25 farms in ZAMBIA./Sabanews/cam

REGION PAYS MORE ATTENTION TO LAWS AS PEOPLE DEMAND EQUITY

SADC: REGULATION/NBC/27/11/18 SABANews 1

SWAKOPMUND – The SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General is this year meeting in NAMIBIA.

SADC Legal Committee members (Pic. SADC)

The gathering in the NAMIBIAN coastal city of SWAKOPMUND comes amid increasing demand for justice in different social areas within member states and across borders.

NBC News says the delegates aim to implement the regional action plan designed to deal with a host of burning legal matters in the 16-member economic bloc.

It says issues to receive attention at the meeting are money laundering and terrorism funding; child abduction; human trafficking; gender-based violence; other organised crime, as well as regional, mutual legal cooperation.

The Acting Senior Legal Counsel of the Committee, NTHABISENG LIPHAPANG of LESOTHO, says the delegates will come up with recommendations on how to implement such pressing matters.

The official says their proposals will in turn help the SADC Secretariat and member states with a clear direction on the way forward.

Secretariat Legal Matters Chairperson BERDINE FOURIE of SOUTH AFRICA has handed over the chair to in the NAMIBIAN Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary ISSASKAR NDJOZE during the meeting.

Meanwhile, NAMIBIA has been hosting the Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General meeting at a time it is facing serious legal problems regarding the distribution of land in the country.

Most of the cases are linked to the events dating as far back as 1884, when GERMANY colonised the territory; during which the black population lost its homes and became farm labourers for the invaders or simply wondered from ONE place to another.

This week the WINDHOEK High Court has started hearing a case by EIGHT members of the HAI||OM SAN community, the largest and most widely dispersed SAN population in NAMIBIA.

NBC News says the complainants are seeking permission from the judges to apply for a Class Action Lawsuit on behalf of their ethnic community against the Government.

It says they are reclaiming ownership of the land covering the ETOSHA National Park and the MANGETTI WEST area north of TSUMEB Town in OSHIKOTO Region.

Long displaced San community living destitute lives (Pic. Agencies)

The national broadcaster says the majority of the people now live as farm workers, and they are demanding compensation or land measuring the size as the MANGETTI WEST and ETOSHA National Park.

It says the HAI||OM claim their ancestors are the original inhabitants of land of both the ETOSHA NATIONAL Park and MANGETTI WEST, before colonial governments forcefully evicted them without any alternative land to settle on.

There are about SIX-THOUSAND-500 HAI||OM SAN community members scattered across the country, and some TWO-THOUSAND-476 of them have agreed to support the plea to be represented by the EIGHT persons to restore their ancestral land rights.

Researchers say like many other SAN peoples in Southern AFRICA, the HAI||OM were dispossessed, marginalised, and discriminated against by other groups and by the colonial state.

They say the SOUTH WEST AFRICA Administration in 1949, appointed a Commission for the Preservation of the BUSHMEN under a former STELLENBOSCH University Professor, PIETER JOHANNES SCHOEMAN.

P J Schoeman, one of the architects of apartheid in SOUTH AFRICA (Pic. Agencies)

Professor SCHOEMAN is reportedly ONE of the architects of apartheid in SOUTH AFRICA, and the final report of his Commission that came out in 1953 ignored the HAI||OM, because he did not see them as authentic BUSHMEN.

Legal commentators say it is high time regional gatherings like the Committee of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General meeting in NAMIBIA come up with practical ways to correct such gross legal imbalances in the SADC countries./Sabanews/cam

ISLAND DOES AWAY WITH DIESEL FUEL FOLLOWING SOLAR COVERAGE

SEYCHELLES: ENERGY/SNA/16/11/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The largest photovoltaic, PV, farm in SEYCHELLES has now completely solar powered the isolated island of ALPHONSE.

Island nation taken over by solar power (Pic. SNA)

SNA quotes a top official of the Islands Development Company as saying the development means people here no longer need diesel fuel to make electricity.

The national news agency says the firm has installed a total of TWO-THOUSAND-220 dual glass high-efficiency solar panels on ZERO-POINT-SEVEN hectares of land: HALF towards the east and the other HALF towards the west, to produce electricity for the whole island.

The project is an initiative of the Islands Development Company as a source of alternative energy to cut costs and reduce the amount of heavy diesel fuel used to power TWO generators.

SNA says the scheme will also help to protect the environment from pollution, quoting Chief Executive Officer GLENNY SAVY as saying it is a real cost efficient plan that will save the ALPHONSE Island a lot of money.

He says they have used only FIVE barrels of fuel to power the standby generators for the past months as compared to FIVE and SEVEN barrels of fuels used every day previously.

Located 400 kilometres south-west of MAHE, the main island, the ALPHONSE atoll is part of the ALPHONSE group including ST FRANCOIS and BIJOUTIER, and the island has a single resort comprising beach bungalows and suites.

The authorities say their Green Energy Project is a combination of solar panels and lithium batteries for storage, covering 90 percent of the island’s energy use.

They say the solar panels produce around 800 kilowatts of electricity per day, more than 50 percent above the normal total power used daily on ALPHONSE.

Mr SAVY says the initiative will not only save money they pay for fuel consumption but also that which is going towards the transportation of the fuel to the island.

He says the Islands Development Company is making a profit by selling the electricity that it is producing, and the money will go towards infrastructure development on the island.

Financed by a SOUTH AFRICAN company METTLE SOLAR INVESTMENTS, the PV farm cost ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION US dollars – with the Islands Development Company injecting a total 37-THOUSAND US dollars.

Environment, Energy, and Climate Change Minister WALLACE COSGROW says the project is ONE that other islands, as well as Mahe, which can ONE day be fully powered by renewable energy, can follow.

Besides ALPHONSE, a similar photovoltaic farm will be set on ASTOVE and FARQHUAR islands by MARCH 2019 and the bigger one on DESROCHES island by JULY next year.

SNA says by early 2020, all islands under the management of Islands Development Company will be 90 percent powered by green energy.

The SADC country, a group of 115 islands on the western INDIAN Ocean, relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for power generation and transportation; and only TWO-POINT-FIVE percent of its electricity is from renewable sources.

The national news agency also says the authorities expect the TWO-POINT-FIVE percent to increase to FIVE percent in the coming THREE years, with a number of renewable energy projects.

SEYCHELLES is also planning to install AFRICA’s FIRST utility-scale Floating Solar Photovoltaic system on the lagoon at LE ROCHER, in the district of LES MAMELLES./Sabanews/cam

PRESIDENT URGES FARMERS TO ADOPT CONSERVATION PRODUCTION

ZAMBIA: AGRICULTURE/ZNBC/15/11/18 SABANews 1

LUSAKA – President EDGAR LUNGU of ZAMBIA has called on agricultural producers in his country to adopt good farming practices in the wake of erratic rainfall patterns.

President Edgar Lungu admires a healthy maize crop (Pic. ZNBC)

He says communities should take up conservation farming and other modern forms of production to help mitigate the effects of Climate Change.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation says Conservation agriculture involves resource-saving, crop production that achieves acceptable profits.

The concept further promotes high and sustained production levels, while at the same time protecting the environment.

Zambians adopting conervation farming (Pic. ZNBC)

President LUNGA says shifting weather patterns have seen the northern HALF of the SADC country receive favourable downpours, while the south is experiencing erratic rains.

ZNBC News says he has launched the 2018 to 2019 Planting Season in the MWINILUNGA District of the NORTH WESTERN Province, pledging to accelerate development of the agriculture sector in area.

It quotes the Head of State as saying the region is blessed with rich soils as well as abundant rains, and the government wants to exploit the situation for the benefit of the whole country.

President LUNGA says his vision is to transform the NORTH WESTERN Province into the national food basket, calling on residents to use the good natural resources and the favourable rainfall patterns to increase agricultural production.

He also says traditional leaders should embrace both domestic and foreign investors who may be interested in funding agricultural production.

Comments by the ZAMBIAN Leader come amid reports saying most of the SADC Region is likely to receive normal to below-normal rains between OCTOBER and DECEMBER, with above normal rainfall over the northern HALF of TANZANIA.

The SADC Secretariat says JANUARY to MARCH 2019 period will witness normal to below normal rainfall for most of the 16-member economic bloc.

It says Northern ANGOLA, Central DRC, South-western TANZANIA, Northern MALAWI, and the islands states of COMOROS, MAURITIUS, Eastern MADAGASCAR and SEYCHELLES are likely to receive normal to above normal rainfall throughout.

Mean temperatures will be normal to above normal for most of the 2018 to 2019 season over the entire SADC Region, except for North-eastern DRC, North-western TANZANIA, Southern MOZAMBIQUE.

Other SADC countries likely to have above normal temperatures are ESWATINI, Central and Eastern SOUTH AFRICA, Northern LESOTHO, South-west of BOTSWANA, Southern NAMIBIA, and North-western SOUTH AFRICA.

Climate Change, resulting from the warming up of the globe due to the depletion of the ozone layer (a thin blanket protecting the EARTH from the direct rays of the SUN) through gaseous pollution, has not spared Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA./Sabanews/cam

MILITARY BLAMES MAIN OPPOSITION FOR POST ELECTION VIOLENCE

ZIMBABWE: POLITICS/SABANEWS/15/11/18 SABANews 1

Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe (Pic. The Herald)

HARARE – Military officials in ZIMBABWE have dismissed reports claiming their soldiers killed civilians during violent protests that nearly shut down the capital, HARARE, on ONE AUGUST.

The Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force, who is also the Presidential Guard Commander, says he was in charge of the military operations to reinforce the police on the fateful day.

Brigadier-General ANSELEM SANYATWE has told the Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances his troops only fired warning shots into the air, not at the rioting crowds scattered around the city.

He says the videos circulating in the media, showing a soldier kneeling on the ground and appearing to be firing at the rioters, are not proof that the military killed anyone on the day.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE emphasises the military details he deployed in THREE sectors in HARARE did not open fire to kill but to disperse the crowd.

He says the soldiers were under the command of high ranking and experienced officers who are aware of the rules of engagement, either during civil unrests or in real combat.

Moreover, given the fact that the soldiers were carrying AK-47 assault rifles, people would have witnessed serious carnage if anyone of them had fired into the crowds – because the gun has serious impact.

Violent demonstrators set Harare on fire (Pic. Agencies)

The army also says it cannot rule out the possibility that the SIX people who were killed in the ONE AUGUST post-election violence could be victims of a militant group in the MDC ALLIANCE.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the group, known as the VANGUARD, is violent and obviously includes trained former members of the national army and police, who are able to use firearms.

He says what also further shows his soldiers killed no one during the demonstrations is that a number of journalists decided to report the events while taking cover behind the military lines.

Therefore, the reporters should have been able to capture people falling from AK-47 bullets and bodies lying in pools of blood if the troopers really opened fire into the crowds.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says he does not give much consideration to the video clip that has gone viral on social media, because no civilian has the guts to film such military operations.

The Commission, set up to probe the cause of the violence and whether or not the reaction by the military was proper, has also head the testimony of Defence Forces Commander General PHILLIP VALERIO SIBANDA.

Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda (Pic. The Herald)

He has accused the MDC ALLIANCE of preaching violence before, during, and after the 30 JULY General Elections each time they addressed their rallies, which led to the ONE AUGUST tragedies.

General SIBANDA says the opposition leader, NELSON CHAMISA, and his colleagues had planned to plunge the country into bloody clashes if they lost the polls; and when they realised they were losing, they sent riotous youths into the streets of HARARE on the day.

He says the police had to call for help from the military after the violent crowds, who were now burning and looting in a bid to shut down the city, had overpowered the law-enforcement agents.

General SIBANDA says members of the National Reaction Force had strict orders never to shoot at the demonstrators, and they never killed anyone.

He has also emphasised if the circulating video was authentic, the soldier shown kneeling and seemingly shooting into the crowd would have killed quite a huge number of people with such rapid fire.

General SIBANDA says anyone, members of the public, observers who witnessed the ballots, as well as journalists who covered them, who have evidence of his soldiers’ killing people, should come forward with it.

Despite having issued a joint media statement with the police to appeal to people with such evidence either vehicle number plates, names of soldiers, or anything, to furnish them with such information, no one has brought anything.

General SIBANDA also says he is disappointed that none of the many foreign observers, foreign journalists, and embassies, who witnessed the elections, ever denounced the pre-election opposition threats of violence.

Only THREE groups visited him, surprisingly to find out if the military would accept MDC ALLIANCE Leader CHAMISA if he won the presidential poll; to which he answered soldiers would abide by the Constitution.

General SIBANDA says the authorities are determined to find out the real architects of the violence as well as the killers of the SIX people, and the culprits will definitely be in police custody eventually.

The 2018 Post-Election Violence Commission of Inquiry in ZIMBABWE has interviewed a cross-section of people from mid-OCTOBER, but it is not likely to conclude its work soon – given the bulk of evidence the team has to consider before reporting./Sabanews/cam

SECURITY AGENTS ARREST FOREIGN ILLEGAL FISHING SHIPS

SEYCHELLES: MARINE/SNA/8/11/18 SABANews 1

Seychelles Coast Guard patrol ship Topaz which together with La Fleche intercepted the two Sri Lankan-Flagged vessels (Pic. SNA)

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Coast Guard has arrested TWO fishing vessels carrying SRI LANKAN flags for alleged marine poaching.

National news agency, SNA says the Captain of ONE of the boats has since appeared in Court, charged with illegal fishing in the waters of the INDIAN Ocean island country.

It says another is still under police investigations, according to the SEYCHELLES People’s Defence Forces; which says local fishermen FIRST spotted the vessels around 90 nautical miles south-east of MAHE, the main island.

The Coast Guard Patrol Ship TOPAZ and Patrol Boat LA FLECHE intercepted the TWO boats, arrested and handed them over to the Fisheries Authority and the police at Port VICTORIA, the capital.

The SEYCHELLES Fisheries Authority says the Captain who has appeared in court will remain in custody until 19 NOVEMBER; and the authorities are still probing to see if there is enough evidence for a case against the other suspect.

It says it is assisting the police in gathering evidence as to the species and amount of fish found on board the TWO vessels.

SNA says if confirmed, the case will be the THIRD incident of illegal fishing by SRI LANKAN-flagged vessels this year in the waters of SEYCHELLES.

The news agency also quotes the SRI LANKAN channel, ITN News, as saying a group of SRI LANKAN fishermen has been slapped with a fine of ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION US dollars for violating SEYCHELLES maritime borders.

It says the media house quotes the SRI LANKAN High Commissioner to SEYCHELLES as saying the Courts have also confiscated their boats, but the crimes continue.

The Coast Guard Patrol Ship ANDROMACHE spotted another SRI LANKAN-flagged vessel during a routine patrol in JULY north-west of the main island of MAHE.

A Coast Guard team that subsequently boarded the suspected boat carried out an inspection and discovered evidence of illegal fishing in the SADC nation.

Authorities have difficulties with the vast Exclusive Economic Zone of ONE-POINT-FOUR-MILLION square kilometres, which is hard to monitor for illegal fishing, adding pressure on the available resources.

Fishing is the SECOND top contributor to the economy of SEYCHELLES, a group of 115 islands in the western INDIAN Ocean./Sabanews/cam

RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS BLAME EARLY MARRIAGES ON PARENTS

MALAWI: CHILDREN/MBC/6/11/18 SABANews 1

MCHINJI – The YOUTH NETWORKING AND COUNSELLING of MALAWI has accused parents in the central district of MCHINJI of promoting early child marriages and unplanned pregnancies.

The girl child needs protection so as to complete school (Pic. Agencies)

The group has launched a campaign after realising a number of children are failing to access information on their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights due to parental resistance.

The program, with the theme: Marriage No Child’s Play, aims to bring awareness among children, especially girls, and their parents against such attitudes.

Project Officer TIONGE BANDA says the bulk of parents in MCHINJI are holding their kids from schemes that help prevent practices likely to lead to early and unplanned pregnancies.

He has addressed delegates to a meeting held at MKUMBA Primary School Grounds in Traditional Authority ZULU, saying the same parents are also victims of some outdated cultural and religious beliefs.

Mr BANDA says the YOUTH NETWORKING AND COUNSELLING would like to improve youth access to reproductive health information through the project, which receives funding from the SIMAVI group of NETHERLANDS.

He says the major aim is to raise awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights among young people, as well as strengthen child protection system by engaging key stakeholders.

MBC News says Village Headman MKUMBA has commended the initiative, saying it will help communities come up with holistic measures for the safety of young children.

He says it is also the duty of local leaders to ensure young people in their areas know their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, to reduce early and unplanned pregnancies – including child marriages.

Two victims of child marriages (Pic. Human Rights Watch) The 14-year-old girl in the picture is holding her baby at her sister’s home in Kanduku Village in Mwanza District of Malawi. She married in September 2013, but her husband chased her away. Her 15-year-old sister, in the background, married when she was 12. Both sisters said they married to escape poverty. Source: Human Rights Watch 2014

Given the gravity of the problem, the YOUTH NETWORKING AND COUNSELLING meeting has attracted traditional and religious leaders, as well as parents and young children.

A recent report by the UNITED NATIONS says child marriages are on the increase in MCHINJI District, and the world body predicts as much as 50 percent of children in MALAWI will have been married prematurely./Sabanews/cam