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 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held at MKUMBA Primary School Grounds in Traditional Authority ZULU, saying the same parents are also victims of some outdated cultural and religious beliefs.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.
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
WINDHOEK – An instructor with the NAMIBIA Airforce School of Airpower Studies has successfully developed and introduced a locally manufactured computer into the market.
NBC News says the National Assembly has welcomed this FIRST ever locally assembled machine built on what is known as the Psychology Experiment Building Language, PEBL.
Designers say PEBL is a free psychology software for creating experiments that allows you to design your own experiments or use ready-made ones, and lets you exchange experiments freely without license or charge.
NBC News says VINCENT VAN WYK, a Chief Instructor at the NAMIBIAN Air Force School of Air-power Studies, started the PEBL project in 2015 and released it onto the local market ONE year later.
It says ruling SWAPO Parliamentarian PENDUKENI IIVULA-ITHANA has presented the computer in the National Assembly, describing it as a high tech central processing unit developed for all IT-related needs.
The national broadcaster also says the low-cost high tech computer will help ensure all NAMIBIAN children have access to ICT facilities, even in rural communities.
It says Information and Communication Technology Minister STANLEY SIMAATA has called on government departments to use the locally manufactured computer in their executive services.
He says the Public Procurement Act demands special treatment of domestic products, but some State institutions still import tools that are available locally.
Prime Minister SAARA KUUGONGELWA-AMADHILA has also added her voice to the call for use of locally made products.
She says the government has a policy that specifically directs the support to such goods, while developing their capacity to market them regionally and internationally.
The authorities in NAMIBIA have now developed a national plan to open a processing plant next year to enable local production of the PEBL based computer./Sabanews/cam
JOHANNESBURG – The SADC Region continues to run program aimed to bring awareness about malaria, ONE of the biggest killer disease in Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA.
The 16-member economic bloc commemorates the SADC Malaria Day on SIX NOVEMBER each year in a bid to reduce infections by the life-threatening disease.
SABC News says the SADC Malaria Day, according to the SOUTH AFRICAN Government website, aims to mobilise communities to take part in anti-malaria campaign programs.
The authorities expect the activities to help people recognise signs and symptoms of malaria, provide more home-based treatment, or seek treatment when ill, and use personal protective measure.
The WHO says malaria is a life-threatening illness caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
It says the about THREE-POINT-TWO-BILLION, almost HALF the world population, are at risk of malaria.
Young children, pregnant women, and non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected.
However, malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
The World Health Organisation says Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA carries a high share of the global malaria burden; and in 2015, the region recorded 89 percent of malaria cases and 91 percent of malaria deaths./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – Police in ZIMBABWE have arrested a Member of Parliament for alleged corrupt activities during his tenure as Cabinet Member under former dictator ROBERT MUGABE.
NYANGA SOUTH Legislator SUPA MANDIWANZIRA, who is former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister faces allegations of criminal abuse of office.
THE HERALD says Mr MANDIWANZIRA has handed himself over to authorities soon after his return from an overseas trip.
It says the National Police Spokesperson has confirmed the arrest of the politician, saying he will spend tonight at MATAPI Police Station before appearing in court tomorrow (WEDNESDAY).
Assistant Commissioner PAUL NYATHI says Mr MANDIWANZIRA faces TWO counts of criminal abuse of office under the Criminal Law, Codification and Reform, Act.
The suspect allegedly engaged MEGAWATT Company to do consultancy work for NET-ONE, a parastatal, without going to tender and directed NET-ONE to pay FIVE-MILLION US dollars to the said company.
His arrest comes amid what looks like a serious drive by the EMMERSON MNANGAGWA Administration against widespread white-collar crimes in both the public and private sectors of the battered economy.
In a related development, the High Court has issued a warrant of arrest against former Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister GODFREY GANDAWA.
The accused, who is facing 14 counts of fraud and criminal abuse of office, has been due to appear before Justice TAWANDA CHITAPI for trial but failed to turn up for his trial.
Prosecutor CLEMENT CHIMBARI applied for Mr GANDAWA’s arrest, before the Court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant.
Defence Lawyer BERNARD CHIDZIVA has told the High Court Judge he last saw his client before the general elections held on 30 JULY this year.
The Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Mr GANDAWA last year together with ZIMBABWE Manpower Development Fund, ZIMDEF Principal Finance Director NICHOLAS MAPUTE.
The authorities accuse the TWO men of stealing more than 400-THOUSAND US dollars from the parastatal, in a case that also involves former Higher Education Minister JONATHAN MOYO.
Scores of former as well as current ministers and officials have reportedly milked the ZIMBABWEAN economy dry under the watch of the past government, which was toppled by military-backed mass protests last NOVEMBER./Sabanews/cam
DAR ES SALAAM – The authorities in TANZANIA say they have not chased the EUROPEAN UNION Ambassador out of the country as reported in the media.
Foreign Affairs and East AFRICAN Cooperation Minister AUGUSTINE MAHIGA says the EU has recalled ROELAND VAN DE GEER after discussions between the TWO sides, but he does not give details.
RADIO TANZANIA says his statement comes as a response to news reports this weekend claiming the State had sent the vocal EUROPEAN UNION Envoy packing, for undisclosed reasons.
Minister MAHIGA has broken the silence on the saga in the commercial capital, DAR ES SALAAM, shortly after addressing a meeting of international organisations working in the SADC country.
The news of the sudden departure of Ambassador VAN DE GEER, who also doubled as the EU Representative to the EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY, broke last FRIDAY night after widespread rumours since midweek.
The national broadcaster says the word quickly spread and attracted wide debate on different platforms, with commentators offering divergent views about the manner in which the Envoy left the country.
A Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations, BENARD ACHIULA, has agreed with the Minister saying the recall of Ambassador VAN DE GEER is a normal embassy development.
RADIO TANZANIA says he will be the SECOND high-ranking diplomat to leave in recent years, following the expulsion of UNITED NATIONS Development Program country boss, Ms AWA DABO, in APRIL 2017.
The EU has recalled its official, allegedly, after what it calls the decline of the human rights and rule of law in TANZANIA, where ONE regional official has called for the exposure and arrests of homosexuals.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS quotes an EU statement as saying it will be carrying out a broad review of ties with the JOHN MAGUFULI Administration, but the group does not mention the issues of concern.
However, the development comes amid fears of a looming crackdown against homosexuals after DAR ES SALAAM Commissioner PAUL MAKONDA addressed the media in the city.
He has called on citizens to look out for suspected gays and lesbians and report their activities to the police; but the government says his statement is his own opinion, not State policy.
The authorities say they will continue to abide by all global accords on human rights to which it has committed, and it protects all human rights guaranteed in the National Constitution.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS also says an official with the TANZANIA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION has condemned the call by the DAR ES SALAAM Commissioner.
It quotes ONESMO OLENGURUMWA as saying the call by Mr MAKONDA for a crackdown on gays and lesbians violates the right to privacy and infringes on basic human rights.
Nevertheless, Commissioner MAKONDA has told journalists he aims to end homosexuality and prostitution in the country, and members of the public have already sent names of more than 200 suspected homosexuals to the police.
Homosexuality is a crime in TANZANIA and as well as many other AFRICAN countries, whose people often see the practice as something being imported from the WEST./Sabanews/cam
CHIPATA – The government of ZAMBIA says it is very concerned about the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the EASTERN Province.
Health Minister CHITALU CHILUFYA has revealed the region recorded alarming numbers of new infections in the recent past, with CHIPATA and PETAUKE areas leading the rest.
He says there is need to screen, test, and treat more people to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, which the Joint UNITED NATIONS Program on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS, and its partners launched in 2014.
The scheme aims to diagnose 90 percent of all HIV-positive persons, give antiretroviral therapy, or ART, for 90 percent of diagnosed cases, and achieve viral suppression for 90 percent of treated patients by 2020.
Minister CHILUFYA says the primary concern of the ZAMBIAN Government is human capital, hence the need to have a healthy workforce for economic development.
ZNBC News says the Cabinet Member has made the comments in CHIPATA Town during the launch of the 2018 to 2019 HIV Epidemic Control Surge Campaign.
It says Senior Chief MADZIMAWE of the NGONI people of CHIPATA has commended the government and cooperating partners for their efforts towards the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The national broadcaster also quotes UNITED STATES Ambassador DANIEL FOOTE as saying Human Immuno-deficiency Virus, which causes AIDS, is no longer a death sentence like before.
The AMERICAN Envoy says the infection has now become a chronic condition under which a person can lead a healthy life.
A 2016 report by the OPEN AIDS JOURNAL says world trends in HIV infection show an overall increase in frequency and substantial declines in AIDS related deaths largely due to the survival benefits of antiretroviral treatment.
With more than 70 percent of the global infections, and despite scaled up treatments, Sub SAHARAN AFRICA accounted for 74 percent of the ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION AIDS related deaths in 2013.
Research shows SWAZILAND, with more than 27 percent of the population living with HIV and AIDS, has the highest rate of infection worldwide, while BOTSWANA, with about 22 percent of the population living with the disease, has the SECOND largest prevalence rate globally./Sabanews/cam
WINDHOEK – The government of NAMIBIA has finally released the full list of people who have benefitted from the national land reforms since independence in MARCH 1990.
The Ministry of Land Reform document says out of a population of TWO-POINT-ONE-MILLION, only FIVE-THOUSAND-731 people benefited from the National Resettlement Program schemes carried out on 494 farms.
NBC News quotes Ombudsman JOHN WALTERS as saying his Office has received the list, as Minister UTONI NUJOMA promised at the recent SECOND National Land Conference, to which leading groups like the NAMIBIAN AGRICULTURAL UNION also contributed.
The broadcaster says Ombudsman WALTERS is scheduled to go through the record before making it available on the official website.
It says the latest development follows continuous calls before, during, and after the SECOND National Land Conference for the government to reveal names of people who have benefitted from the land reforms so far.
Ombudsman WALTERS has described the Conference as a success, saying despite most of the views from delegates being of a general nature, discussions were inclusive and created a window for everyone to speak.
Like other nations such as TANZANIA, ZAMBIA, ANGOLA, MOZAMBIQUE, and ZIMBABWE, NAMIBIA was under colonial rule for more than a century – during which thousands of its people were killed as they fought for freedom.
Yet, some 134 years after the seizure of residential and farmlands from black communities by foreign settlers, and 28 years after independence, the SADC country still has to solve the major grievance of the liberation struggle – the land.
With the conclusion of the SECOND National Land Conference and the release of the full list of the resettlement program beneficiaries, questions rise about how effective will be the new approaches (if any) to the matter.
Nevertheless, observers can benefit from TWO academics who may have managed to capture the major problems facing the authorities and the rest of the nation.
KAZEMBIRE ZEMBURUKA, a communications practitioner and lecturer in broadcast media, as well as YARUKEEKURO NDOROKAZE, a lawyer with the High Court and broadcaster, shared their views in the media TWO months ago.
Their article in THE PATRIOT newspaper says the so-called FIRST Land Conference of JUNE to JULY 1991 took place about 16 months into independence, with national reconciliation seemingly being the buzzword.
It says while the Conference accepted there was injustice regarding land acquisition and resolved practical moves be made, no specific action was agreed on – which means it is still work in progress.
Additionally, ancestral land claims are complicated issues due to overlapping boundaries of the different communities, which make restitution impossible: and the FIRST Conference failed to find a lasting solution.
Foreign ownership is a different matter because the Conference agreed foreigners should only get access to use and develop the land for investment purposes: but foreigners own large tracts of farmland, which means the resolution was not complied with.
As for abandoned and underutilised commercial land, the Conference resolved to reallocate and productively use it: but the government has failed to do so or to help communities trying to take action.
The academics say virgin land in the OTJOZONDJUPA, OMAHEKE, and KAVANGO WEST regions, as well as other pockets elsewhere, have always been seen as the answer to overgrazing in communal areas, but there seems to be little appetite to develop the areas.
They say the authorities are even ignoring the drilling of boreholes and finding a permanent solution to the gifblaar, a perennial shrub that is deadly poisonous to stock, or at least provide practical ways to co-habitat with the plant.
Absentee landlords also remain untouched despite the Conference resolution to expropriate their land, after the expropriation attempts stopped following a High Court ruling in the matter between GUNTER KESSL and the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement.
Nonetheless, the High Court provided guidelines on lawful expropriation and no subsequent attempts were made: and, given the nationalities involved and the political sway of their countries on domestic policy, the intervention may never see the light of day.
KAZEMBIRE ZEMBURUKA and YARUKEEKURO NDOROKAZE say the Conference agreed on banning occupation of large pieces of land and multiple ownership of farms.
They say no limit was set on the size of a farm per person, yet it would have been easier to limit the number of properties per person if there had been maximum farm sizes, and as long as such a position had the support of the necessary legal framework.
The 1991 Land Conference introduced land tax for commercial farmland and there might have been implementation challenges on the right level of taxation and the grace period, but the government deserves maximum points on the resolution.
The TWO academics also touch on other issues like Technical Committee on Commercial Farmland, Land Tenure, Farm Workers, Assistance to Commercial Farmers, and the Future Role of the Communal Areas.
Given the token successes of plans under the resolutions from the FRIST Land Conference, there are calls for the authorities in NAMIBIA to take seriously the declarations from the SECOND National Land Conference to avoid continued civil unrest./Sabanews/cam
LILONGWE – Experts from the SADC Region have this month met in MALAWI to discuss ways to coordinate activities in FOUR major sectors that can help end the scourge of poverty in member countries.
The ZAMBEZI Watercourse Commission, ZAMCOM publication, THE RIPARIAN, says discussions have been on the inter-linkages between the economic divisions of water, energy, food, and environment.
It says MALAWIAN Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister JOSEPH MWANAMVEKHA graced the annual gathering of the experts and ZAMBEZI River Basin stakeholders.
THE RIPARIAN also says delegates to the 2018 Forum had their focus on the theme: Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystms, WEFE, nexus for socio-economic benefits in the ZAMBEZI River Basin.
It says the ZAMCOM has collaborated with its partners to organise the TWO-day-long event from the EIGHTH to the NINTH of this month at the UMODZI Park in the MALAWIAN capital, LILONGWE.
More than 100 delegates from the ZAMBEZI River Basin states, partner organisations and their constituents, as well as regional and international cooperating partners have attend the Forum.
A cross section of stakeholders including academics and the private sector from the Southern AFRICAN Region and other parts of the world also were in LILONGWE.
The 2018 event has brought together agents of stakeholders with interests in the management and development of water as well as related resources in the Basin to share knowledge and experiences.
THE RIPARIAN says their discussions have mainly aimed to provide advice and inputs that contribute to ZAMCOM initiatives and the ZAMBEZI Basin developments.
The publication says the WEFE Nexus Approach is a fairly new concept that looks at the inter-linkages between sectors and explore the best way to the coordinated approach to address challenges.
It says with a changing climate, increased population, and demand on depleting natural resources, coordinated planning and implementation of development initiatives is increasingly becoming important.
Already, recent droughts have had a huge impact on energy and food security in the riparian nations and the rest of the SADC Region; as these sectors depend on water and ecosystem services, clearly showing the need to coordinate programs against the challenges.
The FOURTH SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management recognises the WEF connection as a key approach to achieving water, energy, and food security.
THE RIPARIAN says a number of partners in the ZAMBEZI River Basin have started looking at the Nexus Approach in the context of the basin.
It quotes a water expert, ANDREW TAKAWIRA, as saying the Nexus Approach promotes maximising interdependencies and synergies between the THREE sectors in order to increase efficiencies, viability of projects and ensure sustainability.
The THIRD Forum has thus aimed to build on SADC Regional processes and ZAMBEZI River Basin activities to identify opportunities of a Nexus Approach to address poverty, social inclusion, gender equity, and economic development.
Authorities had expected the Forum, after considering things like decision support ways for WEFE security; nexus chances and investments; ecosystem management for water, energy, food security; and nexus governance, would address a number of issues.
They wanted ideas on how to raise awareness and enhance knowledge on how the WEFE Nexus Approach can address development challenges in the basin and support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the ZAMBEZI River Basin.
Delegates have been expected to open channels for sharing experiences and opportunities of the WEFE Nexus Approach in shared river basins, as well as identifying gaps, challenges and chances in the implementation of the WEFE Nexus Approach.
Such channels would further help develop strategies and actions to facilitate the practical application of the NEXUS Approach by ZAMBEZI River Basin stakeholders and initiate a process to identify nexus investments in order to contribute to the ZAMCOM Vision.
ZAMCOM is a major river basin organisation set up in 2014 as an intergovernmental establishment that brings together EIGHT Riparian States in AFRICA.
The Riparian States are ANGOLA, BOTSWANA, MALAWI, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, TANZANIA, ZAMBIA, and ZIMBABWE.
The basis for their cooperation is the Agreement on the Establishment of the ZAMBEZI Watercourse Commission, which was signed in 2004 and came into force in 2011, with its headquarters in HARARE, ZIMBABWE./Sabanews/cam
BLANTYRE – With the global security situation ever declining, the AFRICAN UNION looks set to ensure its borders become more secure – while maintaining stability within member countries.
AFRICA now has in place a formidable tool to deal with conflicts within the 54 member nations and globally, with each of its FIVE regional groupings take turns to head the AFRICA Standby Force, ASF.
The ASF came into being under the AU protocol on the creation of the Peace and Security Council of the continent, which the leaders signed in JULY 2002 before it entered into force in DECEMBER 2003.
In recognition of the roles of regional communities in promoting peace and security, the final concept for the grouping provides for the FIVE regional standby brigades.
The command of the ASF rotates among the North AFRICA Regional Standby Brigade, NASBRIG; the East AFRICA Standby Brigade, EASBRIG; the Force Multinationale de L’AFRIQUE Centrale, FOMAC; the SADC Standby Brigade, SADCBRIG; and the ECOWAS Standby Brigade, ECOBRIG.
The AU Peace and Security Council document defines SIX ASF deployment scenarios, while the AFRICAN leaders have agreed on force levels of about 15-THOUSAND soldiers for the whole continent.
The SOUTHERN AFRICAN RESEARCH AND DOCMENTATION CENTRE, SARDC, says the SADC Region has started trainings in MALAWI for its own Standby Brigade to take over the command of the ASF after ECOWAS.
It says the Exercise UMODZI, MALAWIAN chi-CHEWA for solidarity, partnership, and oneness, aims to prepare military, police and civilian personnel for the task ahead – as from JANUARY next year.
The ASF is a global, continental, and multidisciplinary peacekeeping force with military, police as well as civilian contingents under the direction of the AU, to be deployed in times of crisis in AFRICA.
It has its Force Headquarters in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, with DOUALA, CAMEROON, serving as the site of the AU Continental Logistics Base.
The arrangement aims to ensure the military, police, and civilian contingents deployed respond swiftly to a crisis without any disturbances from heavy political and instrumental burdens.
The ASF became fully operational in 2016 and is based on standby arrangements among the FIVE sub-regions: North AFRICA, East AFRICA, Central AFRICA, West AFRICA and Southern AFRICA, each of which leads the force every SIX months./Sabanews/cam