September 2002 - Click on the country title above theheadlines for the entire article.
UNHCR seeks protection of women, children refugeesfrom abuse
SADC Youth Programme expected to boost tourism
Free movement in East African Community awaits national IDs
Partners hail Nacala corridor initiative
SA, Lesotho to discuss security matter
Expulsion of Angolans from Portugal
Possible return of 10,000 ex-Buffalo soldiers from South Africa
UNHCR to repatriate Angolan refugees
Electric fence likely to reduce foot and mouthoutbreaks
German national sentenced on immigration charges
Action needed to minimize nurses, health professionalsresignations, says Minister
Parr's Halt border post re-opens
German in court for alleged illegal entry
Zimbabwean women to appear in court for stealing
"We'll sue", say family of dead detainee
Exit, entry point for stolen motor vehicles on border with SouthAfrica
Foreigners accused of majority of crime
Patients advised to carry identity cards to clinics
Study finds foreign control of tourist industry
Desist from selling land to foreigners, says MP
Zimbabwean immigrant deported after accident
Police probe border gun-running
Lesotho says no to bribery
Migrant labour identified as cause of high HIV spread
Construction contractors demand foreigners' phaseout
Malawians encroach on Mozambican land
Burundian refugees clash at camp in Mozambique
Zim farmers are investors, not refugees, says Chissano
Border violators die crossing into South Africa
Maputo probes claims of abuse at border post with Zimbabwe
Mozambicans accuse Zimbabwean border officials of abuse
20 Zimbabwean farmers working in Mozambique
Foreign ownership of land further restricted
Dordabis detainee still not free
South African man on the run in Namibia
Namibia and Lusaka strengthen ties
Namibian wrongly detained as an 'Angolan rebel'
Government to ship maize via Namibia
Foreigners face farmland squeeze
Namibians mistreated in Angola
Second man arrested for tourist's murder
Government condemns tourists murder
Passport scam see ministry official suspended
Fears that new army base will hit tourism in the Caprivi
Child sex scandal rocks embassy in Pretoria
Health department drives out doctors, says intern
Respected Mpumalanga official an unauthorized immigrant
Chilean arrested at Earth Summit faced extradition
Report on medical tourism to South Africa
Immigration law set to begin in early 2003
Immigration regulations to be published by October 31, saysButhelezi
Rural tourism receives a boost
Home Affairs officials probed in marriage scam
Omar launches cross-border awareness month
Zimbabwean teachers seek jobs in South Africa, says Asmal
Grass not always greener outside South Africa for contractors
Only five Zimbabwean refugees since April 2000
South Africa attracts good Zimbabwean teachers, says Asmal
South African tourism still increasing
South African criminals are 'killing investment' from Taiwan
Israeli forces take over Wits
UCT to set up global South African 'diaspora network'
Cuban doctor claims victimization
Top Home Affairs man held over marriage scam
Ambrosini rejects ANC call for investigation of his role
Greenpeace 'invaders' face one-way ticket home
Parents living abroad send kids here for education
Swazi thieves ship to South Africa
ID cards already being issued
Swaziland deports 65 refugees
Refugees accuse army of blocking escape toTanzania
22 post-graduate students to study in UK
New influx of Burundi refugees
Barber charged with illegal stay
Fate of five Tanzanian stowaways uncertain
Ex-Zimbabwean farmers make a mark in Lusaka
Informal sector takes over border town
Controversial MP warms Zambia over white farmers
Magistrate fines eight for illegal entry
UNHCR to begin repatriation of refugees in Zambia
Zambia welcomes evicted Zimbabwean farmers
Two South African truck drivers in court
Refugees denied right to information
Tourism industry is operating below its potential
Refugees won't get GM food, says Zambia
US company searching for nurses from Zambia
Tourism sector set to grow
Government allows GM food aid for refugees
Livingstone cross border traders protest
Zimbabwean farmers seek greener pastures
125 white Zimbabwean farmers seek land in Zambia
Forex crisis fuels cross border trading
Banker on list of officials denied entry into US
Zimbabwe won't host British jurists
Rushinga residents duped in cross border scam
Exodus of skilled people accelerated
Plight of Malawian immigrants
Citizen Act amendment
South African farmers in Zimbabwean court on land charges
State acts on citizenship
Another foreign journalist forced to quit
Judge orders return of deported Libyan spy
South Africa will protect its citizens in Zimbabwe
AFP journalist told to leave
Police order farmers off land
Farm evictions pick up speed
Military academy to enrol foreign trainees
South African farmer takes Mugabe to court
White Zimbabwean farmers head for Zambia
Future looks bleak for hungry Zimbabweans
Mugabe's cronies get seized farms
UNHCR seeks protection of women, children refugeesfrom abuse (Zamnet, 19/09) - Refugees have the right tobe protected from sexual and gender based violence, said UnitedNations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) countryrepresentative Ahmed Gubartalla yesterday. Officially launchingUNHCRs sexual and gender based violence awareness campaignin Lusaka, Gubartalla disclosed that his commission hadintroduced new guidelines on protection of women and childrenrefugees. We have organised this workshop in order tofamiliarise our officers, government officials and other relatedNGOs with the mechanism put into place to address the problem ofviolence against children and women refugees, he said. Heexpressed his satisfaction with the level of attendance of theparticipants, drawn from government departments, UNHCR and NGOs.Gubartalla praised the Zambian government for maintaining itsinitial spirit of looking after the 270, 000 refugees across thecountry. According to Gubartalla, the awareness campaign would beextended to all the refugees. UNHCR co-ordinator of childrenrefugees Christina Linner said lack of adequate support for therefugees contributed to cases of exploitation of women andchildren refugees.
SADC Youth Programme expected to boost tourism(BuaNews, Pretoria, 18/09) - A regional initiative toinvolve youth from the Southern African Development Community(SADC) in tourism is underway in Limpopo. The SADC youthdevelopment exchange programme will culminate in the officiallaunch of the SADC youth co-operation agreement in Polokwane onFriday night. Our programme ties in with the new partnership forAfrica's development (Nepad) and we look forward to developingtourism on the African continent for the economic benefit of allher people, said Mr Kenneth Thlaka, chief executive of theEstablishment for Comprehensive Youth Development (ECYD) inLimpopo. The ECYD, Limpopo youth commission and Limpopo tourismand parks board were responsible for developing the SADC youthexchange programme. The programme will be hosted in Limpopo thisyear and then rotate to other participating countries infollowing years. The initiative will encourage young people toparticipate in tourism initiatives. It will also encourageinformation sharing around tourism. Chief executive of theLimpopo tourism and parks board Edgar Mushwana said involving theyouth in entrepreneurial development would create a firm basis tounlock the tourism potential of all countries involved in theprogramme. An entrepreneurial workshop will be held on Friday aspart of the province's activities for tourism month. SouthAfrican Tourism chief executive Cheryl Carolus and chiefexecutive of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, DrTanya Abrahamse, are expected to attend the workshop. Delegatesfrom Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana and Limpopo will visitentrepreneurial tourism projects in the province this week. Theywill also visit travel and tourism school programmes. They willfamiliarise themselves with tourist attractions such as theKruger National Park and African Ivory Route. The initiative isfunded by the Dutch embassy, the Dutch funding organisationCordait, the Limpopo premier's office and Limpopo tourism andparks board.
Free movement in East African Community awaitsnational IDs (The Guardian, 16/09) - Member-states ofthe East African Community will start registration and issuing ofidentity cards for their nationals within the next two years tofacilitate free movement of East Africans within the sub region.This is among many resolutions reached at the fourth meeting ofthe Council of Ministers of the East African Community, which washeld in Arusha on Saturday. "On the free movement ofpersons, labour services, right of establishment and residence,the ministers called for administrative measures to be taken inthe partner states to facilitate the implementation of movementof persons, goods and services rending the establishment of theEast African Common market," said EAC Public RelationsOfficer Alot Magaga in a statement issued at the end of theone-day gathering. The meeting was chaired by the interimchairman of the East African Council of Ministers, Tanzania'sFinance Minister Basil Mramba on behalf of the out going-councilchairman, Tanzania's Minister of Foreign Affairs andInternational Cooperation Jakaya Kikwete who is in New Yorkattending the annual United Nations General Assembly session. Inthe course of the meeting, Mramba handed over the mantle ofleadership to the third Deputy Prime Minister and ForeignMinister of Uganda, James Wapakhabulo, who will chair councilsessions next year. In his statement, Wapakhabulo said the EastAfrican regional integration was gathering momentum and thevision of the community was being translated into real benefitsto the people of the East African sub-region. "With theoperations of the East African Legislative Assembly, the voice ofthe people was being clearly heard in the councils of thecommunity," he said. He said this was having an impact onthe progress being made towards timely implementation of the EastAfrican Treaty. The ministers also reviewed the activitiesundertaken in the period under review in the sectors of legal andjudicial affairs, monetary affairs, Lake Victoria developmentprogramme, trade, industry, defence, energy, transport,communications, meteorology and agriculture.
Partners hail Nacala corridor initiative (The Nation,12/09) - Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africahave called for a fast implementation of the Nacala DevelopmentCorridor; an initiative they said will help to boost economicactivities in southern Africa. Transport minister KaliyomaPhumisa said there was need to speed up the implementation of thecorridor to provide stimulus and impetus to more economicintegration and cooperation in the region. The corridor isintended to increase cross boarder trade, improve foreign directinvestment and encourage local participation in our economicdevelopment, said Phumisa in Lilongwe yesterday at anational stakeholders workshop intended to generate inputs fromstakeholders on the draft paper on the format and content of theinvestors conference and the quality and quantum of Malawicorridor projects. He said the initiative is an integrativeprocess aimed at stimulating trade and investments in the areas.Investments such as agro-industry, mining, tourism and otherresource-based activities cannot thrive without adequateinfrastructure systems, Phumisa said. He said the corridor wantsto develop adequate, cost effective efficient and reliabletransport, telecommunications and energy systems, which will makeit a competitive investment area in the region. South Africadeputy high commissioner Lucas Mokwena said the corridor is partand parcel of Nepad which, when completed, will improve theeconomy of the countries that are part of the initiative.Its something that is really big. Its part ofthe poverty eradication programmes. This is the beginning of thedream that we have as a continent to take part in the developmentof the global economy, he said. Mokwena, whose country isfunding the countrys secretariat for the corridor, saidonce completed the initiative will provide employment to 75percent of the people along the corridor. Mozambique HighCommissioner Jorge de Souza Mateus said his government willcontinue working hard to make the corridor a uniform and viabledevelopment initiative for the partners, especially the peopleleaving along the corridor itself. Zambian acting highcommissioner Peter Akupela said once implemented, the corridorwill give an opportunity to countries in the southern Africanregion to tap the potential. The corridor will help todevelop the livelihoods of people in the partner countriesespecially our people (Zambians) living along the corridor.Zambia will participate fully in the development of thecorridor, he said.
SA, Lesotho to discuss security matter (Maseru, Sapa,11/09) - Lesotho's Home Affairs Minister Tom Thabaneannounced on Wednesday that South African and Lesotho ministersresponsible for security would meet in Pretoria on September 23for talks on matters of mutual concern. Thabane was addressing apress conference convened by the Lesotho Cabinet committee onsecurity in Maseru. A delegation of security officers, includingLesotho Defence Force commander Lieutenant-General MakhulaMosakeng, and Police Commissioner Jonas Malewa attended the pressbriefing. Thabane said the Lesotho government had launched amajor offensive to "deal a deadly blow" to increasingincidents of stock theft, armed robbery, car theft, daggatrafficking and illegal use of firearms. The police had beenordered to take tough action against offenders with the supportof the army if necessary. The courts would also be expected todeal effectively and expeditiously with cases of a seriousnature. Thabane said the authorities were aware of existingcriminal syndicates operating across the South Africa-Lesothoborder, and vowed to smash them through co-operation between thetwo countries' armed forces. South Africa and Lesotho had signedan extradition treaty to facilitate the transfer of criminalswanted in each country. The two countries have also entered intoa legal assistance agreement to enable on-the-spot policeinvestigations of escaped criminals.
Expulsion of Angolans from Portugal (Luanda, AngolaPress Agency, 27/09) - The General Consul of Angola toLisbon, Mrs Elizabeth Simbrao, Friday expressed displeasure atconstant expulsions of Angolan citizens in Portugal. Mrs Simbraowas reacting upon news published on Thursday by "DiŖrio deNot›cias" newspaper, which said that an unknown number ofAngolans are included in a list of illegal immigrants who arecandidates for expulsion. The news say the Angolans make up alist of six nationalities, such as Rumanian, Cape Verdean,Ukrainan, Russian and Moldavian, who will be expelled allegedelyfor drugs trafficking, paper forgery and illegal stay. Data fromthe Foreign and Border Office, from January to August, finger outthese three reasons as being the main causes for the working outof those administrative dossiers. Visibly disappointed with suchsituation, the diplomat said many expulsion orders are issuedbefore the citizens arrive in Portugal. She added that there isneed to find a way of cooperation between Angola and Portugal, soas to avoid this problem.
Possible return of 10,000 ex-Buffalo soldiers fromSouth Africa (Luanda, Angola Press Agency, 19/09) - Angolangovernment is creating the necessary conditions for return toAngola of nearly 10,000 military of late "Buffalo"Battalion resident in South Africa. Addressing press at the endof a meeting with a group of former Buffalo soldiers Angolan WarVeterans Minister, Pedro Van-Dunem, said that the conditions arebeing put in place to integrate the military from"FNLA" ex-Army that after its extinction were used bySouth African apartheid regime to perpetrate actions againstAngola. In his turn Buffalo Battalion team Spokesman, FredericoNgondua, said that the soldiers and their families want to returnhome owing to bad living conditions in South Africa. He statedthat most of them do not even have money to pay the fees of theirchildren what makes difficult their access to schools, asking theAngolan government to create the necessary conditions for theirreturn as soon as possible. During the meeting both interlocutorsalso analysed issues related to the latest events in Angola,namely peace process and the country's democratization. The WarVeterans Minister advised the Buffalo Battalion members not topay attention to defamatory campaigns carried out by someinternational circles that just want to stain image of theAngolan government abroad. He said that in Angola there is aclimate of mutual trust and divergences existent between thegovernment and Unita before signing of April 4 ceasefire accordare now groundless. While in Angola the Buffalo Battalion teamalso met ruling Mpla party Secretary General, Jo„o Lourenco, andsome senior government officials. The delegation has already leftfor South Africa.
UNHCR to repatriate Angolan refugees (Johannesburg,Irin, 18/09) - The office of the UN High Commissionerfor Refugees (UNHCR) in Zambia expects to repatriate about 40,000Angolan refugees next year. UNHCR Zambia spokesman Kelvin Shimotold IRIN that the voluntary repatriation was likely to beginwhen the rainy season ends. Prospects for voluntary repatriationof refugees were good following the signing of a ceasefireagreement between the Angolan government and former rebel groupUNITA on 4 April, he said. "UNHCR in Zambia is workingclosely with other UNHCR offices in the region to put together aplan for voluntary repatriation. We've projected [voluntaryrepatriation is] likely to commence next year April, after therainy season, as it's very difficult to move people during therainy season," Shimo said. UNHCR estimates there were about100,000 Angolan refugees in camps in Zambia. "Ourprojections are that we'll move about 40,000 refugees next yearand in 2004 we expect about 30,000 refugees will be moved [backto their places of origin]," Shimo said. Presently, Zambiahosts refugees from Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congoand the Great Lakes region. Many of these refugees havespontaneously settled in villages and on land in Zambianterritory bordering their own countries. "According togovernment figures, there are 124,000 Angolans who spontaneouslysettled within the Zambian border, in villages etcetera,"but UNHCR was only repatriating refugees in camps, Shimoexplained. "We are still working out our budget, which willprobably be consolidated into a regional budget. Meanwhile, theoffice in Zambia has already started to [engage] the donorcommunity and all the various stakeholders, including the Zambiangovernment, on this matter," he added. An estimated 9,000refugees, 4,000 of them from Meheba and Mayukwayukwa camps innorthern and western Zambia, and others spontaneously settledalong the border, have crossed back into Angola since the end ofAngola's long civil war. UNHCR projects "that another 5,000may repatriate spontaneously to Angola ... bringing the estimateof spontaneous repatriation to about 15,000 this year forZambia," Shimo had earlier told IRIN.
Electric fence likely to reduce foot and mouthoutbreaks (BOPA, 25/09) - An electrified fence is to beerected parallel the border between Botswana and Zimbabwe as aveterinary disease control measure. Assistant Minister ofAgriculture, Pelokgale Seloma said this on Monday during kgotlameetings at Matsiloje, Matshelagabedi and Matopi villages in theNorth East. The fence is also intended to prevent furtheroutbreaks of animal diseases such as the foot and mouth diseasethat originated early this year from neighbouring Zimbabwe. Henoted that the fence has been designed to deter even small stocksuch as goats and sheep. He said by erecting the fence thegovernment was responding to a national request to rid bordercommunities, in particular, of illegal cross border activities.The fence would stretch 500 km from Tuli Circle in Bobirwa toZibanane settlement near Maitengwe village in the TutumeSub-district. He said the project had been d ivided into twoparts, explaining that one part, stretching 300 km is to beundertaken by government through the Ministry of Agriculture,while private contractors have been invited to tender for theremaining 200 km. Seloma said the fence would be 2.4 metres highand will run parallel to rivers that act as internationalboundaries between Botswana and her neighbour. He said the highsecurity fence will have high voltage passing through it andadvised border communities to use designated points for accessingthe river. Seloma assured the communities of Jackalas Two, Siviyaand Senyawe that gates will be established at strategic points toallow them access to the Ramokgwebana River. He however, observedthat the gates will not necessarily be convenient for everyfarmer. The residents could not hide their appreciation andgratitude as they ululated and chanted with approval.
German national sentenced on immigration charges(BOPA, 24/09) - A German national, Martin Hohmann, 43,was on Friday sentenced by two Lobatse magistrates foroverstaying in Botswana, working without a work permit andtrading without a licence. Hohmann was fined a total of P10 236,80 or four and-a-half years' imprisonment in default of payment.However, the jail terms are to run concurrently in the event hefails to pay the fines. Hohmann, who was initially charged forviolating immigration, labour and trade acts, got a surprise whenhe was served with summons under urgent application from one ofhis customers while the initial trial was at recess at lunchbreak. Hohmann, who is the director of Mave Investment inLobatse, had failed to deliver a P4 236 80 computer bought fromhim by one of the customers. Lobatse chief magistrate TerrenceRanoaane did not waste time when the urgent application came andimmediately availed himself to try the matter while therespondent was about to continue in another court room on adifferent matter. Rannoane dealt with the civil matterimmediately, ordering the respondent to supply the applicant withthe same computer he had ordered or refund him the same amountwithin two working days. He was also ordered to immediatelyattach to the court immovable property of the same amount assecurity while looking for the money in the two working days.Earlier, Hohmann had argued that the lawsuit could not be servedon him because he was not the sole owner of the company, sayinghe was only a technical director owning 50 per cent shares. Hesaid there were other three shareholders of the company. He saidthere were other three shareholders of the company. He did notdeny that he received the money from the applicant. However,Rannoane dismissed that in his ruling, saying Hohmann was the onewho received the money from the applicant and that he failed tonotify him that he was operating as a company with otherdirectors. It is alleged that some of the shareholders are oneBotswana Defence Force (BDF) lieutenant colonel, senior officerwith Botswana Insurance, senior officers at Air Botswana and somebusinessmen in Lobatse. When asked whether he was in a positionto refund the applicant, Hohmann, who appeared in person in thisparticular matter in the company of his embassy officials, headedby German deputy head of missions in Botswana, said he hadcontacts in Botswana who could refund the applicant in the eventhe was deported. As if it were not enough, after the civilmatter, when Hohmann tried to switch to another courtroom tocontinue with the initial case, his workers and several peoplewho had taken their computers for repair at his business,approached him demanding salaries and their computersrespectively. There was not much that he could tell them apartfrom informing them that he was still in custody and there wasnot much he could do to assist them. His employees approached himwith letters from the Labour Department in which they weredemanding their salaries for the days they have worked thismonth. According to the employees, they have not been aware thatthe company was not registered with Registrar of Companies andthat it was operating illegally. Meanwhile, in the initial casein which Hohmann was facing three counts of overstaying inBotswana, working in the country without working permit andtrading without a licence was fined a total of P6 000 on all thecounts he faced. The accused had pleaded guilty to all of them.When passing sentence, Lobatse senior magistrate Lorraine Makatisaid she had taken into account the fact that the German was afirst offender and that he was the sole breadwinner of hisfamily, but said the offence he had committed was serious.Hohmann was represented by Helbert Sikhakhama while the state wasrepresented by inspector Molwantwa Malokwane.
Action needed to minimize nurses, health professionalsresignations, says Minister (BOPA, 24/09) - Proactiveaction is needed to minimise the spate of resignations by nursesand other health professionals from the public sector to othersectors and countries in search of greener pastures. Officiatingat the graduation ceremony of 652 graduates from the Institute ofHealth Sciences (IHS), finance and development planning ministerBaledzi Gaolathe said the situation is aggravated by HIV/AIDS. Ittends to exacerbate the low morale among health workers as aconsequence of the "burn-out" syndrome, said theminister. However, Gaolathe told the graduates that society isexpecting "a reasonable rate of return from its investmentsin you." He urged them to make a contribution to theimprovement of the health services of the country in an exemplaryfashion. Of the 652 graduates, there are 462 general nurses', 150post basic nurses, 12 pharmacy technicians, 13 medical laboratorytechnicians, five dental therapy technicians, and 10environmental health technicians. "Whilst at independence in1966, there were six doctors and 25 nurses per 100 000 people,these ratios have since risen significantly to 28 doctors and 297nurses per 100 000 people in 2001," said Gaolathe. He saidthe current ratios compare favourably with those of developingcountries, but are still significantly lower than those of thedeveloped countries. "Accessibility to health facilitiesalso improved significantly since independence, with over 85 percent of the population now living within 15 kilometres of aprimary health care facility," said Gaolathe. The financeand development planning minister said the theme of this year'sgraduation "Botswana's health care system: Responding toemerging health issues", is appropriate as the country isfacing tough health challenges such as HIV/AIDS, rising healthcosts, low quality service delivery; and high turnover of healthpersonnel.He added that the distress at personal, household andcommunity levels due to HIV/AIDS related conditions place onerousdemands on facilities and the limited financial and humanresources. Gaolathe outlined efforts by government to mitigateagainst HIV/AIDS such as the establishment of the National AIDSCo-ordinating Agency, the treating of opportunistic illnessessuch as TB, and the setting up of the Botswana-HarvardPartnership for research and education, as well as the provisionfor anti-retroviral therapy. "The planned construction andupgrading of health facilities during NDP 9 at an estimated costof over P3 billion is a further testimony to the government'scommitment to the improvement of health services in thecountry," he said. He said his ministry is to establish aunit to monitor the implementation of cost recovery measuresduring NDP 9. These would include fees and charges for publiclyprovided services to ensure budgetary sustainability. Gaolathesaid Batswana who can afford to pay, irrespective of whether theyare in formal or informal employment, "should be encouragedto join medical schemes in order to contribute towards theirmedical costs."
Parr's Halt border post re-opens (BOPA, 23/09) - Parr'sHalt Border Post, which was closed about two years ago, has beenreopened due to presentations made by members of the Makudomaassociation. The association is comprised of members of the fourvillages of Makwate, Kudumatse, Dovedale and Mmaphashalala. Italso has some commercial farmers from the surrounding areas asmembers. Speaking as a guest of honour during the openingceremony, Kgosi Selelo Moroka said the association has done agood job of convincing the government about the need to reopenthe border. The border post, which is close to the four villages,serves as the gateway to South Africa for the farmers and theresidents. Moroka said the association was not formed for anypolitical motives but for development purposes. Moroka alsothanked the government for being attentive to its citizens'grievances. For his part, the association's chairperson OreeditseMolebatsi said they formed the association because they realisedthat their villages lagged behind in developments. He cited thelack of telecommunication and electrical facilities as prove thattheir villages were neglected.
German in court for alleged illegal entry (BOPA,20/09) - Lobatse magistrate's court on Wednesdayremanded a German national in custody untiltoday for enteringBotswana through ungazetted point. The prosecution alleges thatthe accused person, Martin Hohmann, 43, on September 16 enteredthe country through an ungazetted point near Lobatse. Hohmann,who has been remanded in custody to allow the police to completetheir investigations, is the Director of Maven Investment inLobatse. The prosecution informed the court that the police werelikely to bring more charges of working in the country without awork-permit. The prosecutor further said the police were stillchecking with the German Embassy to confirm that he was thatcountry's citizen. The court also heard that the accused was alsowanted by the Gaborone police on different matters. Further theprosecution said the accused person did not have any valid traveldocuments that could be surrendered to the police so that hecould not skip bail since he was a foreigner. For his part,defence counsel Hebert Sikhakhana said the reasons advanced bythe prosecution did not have weight to warrant the continuedincarceration of his client. He said there was no prove that hisclient was charged with additional counts, saying even a chargesheet was not produced before court as a proof. He further saidthe offence committed by the accused person, if convicted couldbe fined P200 or three months imprisonment or both, saying it wasnot a serious offence that warrants the accused to be remanded incustody. Sikhakhana informed the court that Hohmann was currentlyon bail granted by a Gaborone magistrate. He said his client wasstanding trial in a different matter in Gaborone. He saidcontinued incarceration of the accused person would affect hisfamily since he was the sole breadwinner with four children, theyoungest being four months. He alleged that his client did nothave travelling documents because his passport was stolen whentheir house was broken-into, the case he said his client reportedto the police. He said Hohmann was about to approach his embassyto seek assistance. He said his client had business in Lobatseand employed seven people. Sikhakhana wondered why the police didnot check with the airport immigration where his client informedthem he entered the country. Although the prosecution has appliedto the court that the accused be remanded for 14 days while theirinvestigations continued, Lobatse senior magistrate LorraineMakati reduced that to two days and ordered police to completetheir investigations within 48 hours.
Zimbabwean women to appear in court for stealing(BOPA, 18/09) - A 47-year-old man of Gaborone Northfarms is lucky to have recovered his money from two illegalimmigrants he employed as domestic workers. According to SirSeretse Khama Airport Police Station Commander SuperintendentCounsel Moyo the two Zimbabwean women were arrested and are toappear before a magistrate court. It is alleged that the twostole P170 from the house while the man had gone out anddisappeared. After investigations the police recovered P169 fromthem. In other weekend incidents, Gaborone West Police recovereda vehicle that was stolen on Friday night within 24 hours of itsdisappearance at Gaborone West Phase Four. AssistantSuperintendent Mokwadi Willie said the car was found abandoned atBlock Five. He said his office is also investigating twoincidents in which two men were attacked by a group of people atnew Lobatse road, and that of a middle-aged woman near JuliaMolefhe Clinic. He said the two men were attacked when they wereon their way to Phase One but managed to escape although one ofthem was robbed of P70. Willie said the woman was attacked afteralighting from a taxi and had her handbag, cell phone and P65taken away from her. He further added that eight vehicles werealso broken into between Friday and Sunday at different places inGaborone and some radios and coins were stolen. At Old Naledi,the police say two robberies were reported on Saturday. A youngman had his cellular phone, a necklace and P75 stolen, andanother man was also robbed of his cell phone.
"We'll sue", say family of dead detainee(The Botswana Gazette, 18/09) - The family of MotlatsiDavid Mafoyane, who died at the Princess Marina Hospital recentlyafter a long illness and while detained in connection with armedrobbery, say they will take the South African government to courtfor unlawfully handing him over to the Botswana Police.Mafoyane's sisters, Shweshwe Elizabeth Mafoyane and SarahNthabelang Mafoyane, claim that he was kidnapped by the Botswanaand South African police and brought to Botswana where he wasdetained. In affidavits they filed before he died, Mafoyane'ssisters insisted that the Botswana Police release him back toSouth Africa, his home country. While they conceded that theirparents were Basotho, they claim that like them, he was a SouthAfrican citizen who had a valid South African identity card andan expired South African passport. Sarah claimed that her brotherwas staying with her and never left South Africa in December 2000(when the robbery took place), because he did not have a validpassport. But the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr ThebeyameTsimako, told The Gazette that as far as they know, Mafoyane wasa Lesotho national and not a South African. He was arrested twoyears ago after he and a local man, Bareetsi Moalusi, allegedlyrobbed a Bureau De Change in Gaborone of P171 0000. Moalusi is inpolice custody awaiting trial. The police say P13 000 wasrecovered. According to the police, when asked what hisnationality was, Mafoyane claimed that he was from Good Hope andhad relatives in Matsiloje. They found out that he was lying andhe was remanded in custody. Speaking in a telephone interview,Mafoyanes family attorney, Gavin Dooling, confirmed that theywere planning legal action against the South African government.Nthabelang Mafoyane said her brother will be buried in Lesotho atthe weekend, near his deceased parents.
Exit, entry point for stolen motor vehicles on borderwith South Africa (BOPA, 17/09) - Tlhareseleele, avillage close to the South African border in the Barolong farms,is one of the major illegal exit and entry points for stolenmotor vehicles and livestock into South Africa. Officiating at acrime prevention seminar for the youth over the weekend at thevillage, Barolong Land board Chairperson Phetlhu Phetlhu saidpolice have recorded more cross border crimes at the village thanat any other village in the area. He said most of the criminalactivities involved out of school youth, adding that from lastyear to date, Ramatlabama police have recorded 314 criminal casesinvolving the youth. Phetlhu said the government was concernedabout the involvement of the youth in criminal activities such asrape, robbery and murders. He appealed to the youth to refrainfrom crime and instead assist the police to bring criminals tobook. He further said a partnership between the police and thecommunity could promote peace, safety and security. He warned theyouth to refrain from conniving with foreigners to commit crime.Phetlhu also encouraged the youth to avoid drugs and alcoholabuse. He said drunken driving, speeding and driving withoutdrivers' are major concerns. He further appealed to parents notto engage on criminal activities with the youth, noting thatpolice records show that some parents connived with the youth incriminal activities. Phetlhu also urged the youth to change theirsexual behaviour to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. He advisedthem to utilise counselling centres such as Tebelopele to learnmore about HIV/AIDS. Another speaker, Immigration OfficerBoikaego Galeage appealed to Barolong to apply for passports. Hesaid many people living along the border preferred to cross atillegal points when visiting their relatives in South Africa. Healso urged them to avoid forging passports, adding that culpritscould be fined P1 000 or one year imprisonment or both. He saidillegal immigrants should not be employed, but should be reportedto the police.
Foreigners accused of majority of crime (Mmegi,13-19/09) - The latest crime statistics in the countryare worrisome to say the least. Botswana is fast becoming a havenfor criminals possibly perpetrated by foreigners and citizensalike. Though we do not say Batswana are not involved in anycriminal activities, foreigners perpetuate the majority of therecently reported petty crime cases with the assistance of localswho know the Botswana terrain. Lately, there have been reports ofarmed robberies targeting expensive vehicles. The majority ofvictims are thought to be rich. What is more worrying is that inmany of these cases, guns were used. This is a clear indicationthat firearms are easily available in our society. Somethingneeds to be done to limit the proliferation of the dangerousweapons. Large sums of money have been stolen from companies atgunpoint. At times we suspect that these are 'inside jobs' -where citizens or employees feed thugs with information. Thissituation does not bode well for a country that is offeringitself as a prime destination for foreign investment. The crimesituation is partly compounded by rising unemployment thatgovernment and the private sector do not seem to be adequatelyaddressing. Due to unemployment, foreigners particularlyZimbabweans, team up with Batswana who are more knowledgeableabout our local situation to carry out It is time government cameout clearly and forcefully to address the issue of unemployment,especially among the youth. Foreign investments alone cannotsolve this problem. This is due to the fact that investment thatcomes through policies such, as the Citizen EntrepreneuralDevelopment Agency (CEDA), has so far not resulted in thenecessary generation and creation of employment. On the contrary,investment that is promoted by CEDA and BEDIA does not lead tomore employment creation because foreign investors who come herebring their own labour and other key workers so that no adequateemployment for locals generated. While CEDA is a step in theright direction, the policy does not focus on sectors thatreadily create more employment. The policy benefits mainly thosewho are already employed. Most firms it funds need skilled andexperienced workers, who are invariably in other existing form ofemployment. CEDA has so far failed to spur new sectors of theeconomy, especially agriculture, which can employ more people.Where agricultural work has become available, we have recentlyseen, as demonstrated by advertisements, the increase in thenumber of foreign agricultural workers. Furthermore, theconstruction boom is not assisting in employment creation aseverybody in the industry prefers to hire foreigners. This allowsthem to side-step the country's labour laws by paying below theminimum wage and other provisions of the law.
Patients advised to carry identity cards to clinics(BOPA, 09/09) - Residents of Motlopi in the BotetiSub-district have been urged to always carry their nationalregistration cards when visiting health facilities. Councillorfor Motlopi Ward Boitshoko Molomemoi told the residents in akgotla meeting on last week at Motlopi that Omang cards would beused at the clinics and hospitals to identify Batswana. As partof cost recovery measures on health facilities, Molomemoi saidforeigners would not pay P2 consultation fee as Batswana. He saidforeigners are to pay for consultation and medication. Molomemoiadvised all Batswana without Omang cards to register so theycould have easy access to health facilities. He told his audiencethat Central District Council would build modern kitchens costingP100 000 each to accommodate the new primary schools menu. Healso cautioned his audience against causing veld fires, saying itdestroys natural resources. He urged people to always participatein extinguishing bush fires. Motlopi residents complained aboutwater shortage in the village and asked council to always informthem whenever there was a problem with the borehole. Residentsalso complained about engagement of lawyers in stocktheft cases.They requested government to help them by introducing a law thatwould bar lawyers from handling stocktheft cases. Motlopi VillageDevelopment Committee requested for a post office in theirvillage, an incinerator at the clinic, teachers' houses and moreclassrooms at the primary school.
Study finds foreign control of tourist industry (TheBotswana Gazette, 09/09) - The domination of the tourismindustry in the Okavango Delta by foreign tour operators hasresulted in money being taken out of Botswana to foreigncountries, says a University of Botswana Research Fellow at theHarry Oppenheimer Foundation in Maun, Mr Joseph E. Mbaiwa. Mbaiwasays his study shows that tourism development in the OkavangoDelta has centred on infrastructure largely owned and controlledby expatriate tour operators and companies. He says tourismdevelopment in the Okavango Delta does not give muchconsideration to issues of sustainable development, which hingeon three main concerns - social equity, economic efficiency andecological sustainability. In his study, entitled "TheSocio-economic and Environmental Impacts of Tourism Developmentin the Okavango Delta, Botswana", sponsored by theUniversity of Botswana's Research and Publications Committee,Mbaiwa says about 53% of the safari companies were found to be100% owned by expatriates; 27.7% were jointly owned(betweenBatswana and expatriates), hence 81% of the companies haveforeign ownership. Non-citizens are directly involved in 11 ofthe 15 concessions areas under the control of the Tawana LandBoard. This means that that foreign companies are involved inover 73.3% of the land leased as concession areas by the Tawanaland Board. Mbaiwa says Botswana retains less than 29% of thetourism revenue generated from this country. He says in 1997tourists who visited Botswana spent an estimated P1.1 billion. Ofthis total, 55% was spent outside Botswana (payment to externalagents), 16% was "first-round leakages ofreceipts"(tourist related imports, of food, equipment andwages of expatriate staff). Only 29% was spent in Botswana onlocal goods, wages, taxes, and other activities. Although tourismcontributes 4.5% to Botswana's Gross Domestic Product and hasbecome second in GDP contribution after diamonds, failure toretain a larger proportion of revenue from the industry does notauger well for sustainable economic development in a developingcountry such as Botswana, says Mbaiwa. Mbaiwa says most of thetourist facilities and services in Okavango are designed to servethe interests of international tourists, especially those fromNorth America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The high costnature of the Delta's tourism industry has led to lowparticipation of local investors and has built barriers thatprevent citizens from visiting the Okavango Delta. A tourismindustry that develops in remote areas such as the Okavango Deltaand excludes local investors and local people from participationand deriving benefits, is described as enclave tourism orinternal colonialism.
The Okavango Delta is a classic case of enclave tourism, whichrecent literature describes as "internal colonialism",whereby natural resources mostly benefit outsiders while themajority of the locals are excluded from deriving benefits.Although attempts have been made to draw local communities intothe benefit stream through community-based tourism, the approachis so far performing poorly. This is because local people lackentrepreneurship and management skills to participate as equalsin the tourism business. This suggests strategies that emphasizefurther local participation and enhance the use of localknowledge, materials and labour in order that local people shouldbenefit from the industry. Local empowerment, especiallyproviding entrepreneurship and management skills that lead togreater local control of resources must be given priority."The old thinking that Batswana cannot deliver while theyare not given the opportunity and incentives to prove themselvesshould be shelved and a positive approach be adopted in anattempt to promote citizen entrepreneurship in the tourismindustry," he says. He says the rights of communities livingin tourism and wildlife designated areas should be recognisedbecause the areas are parts of their ancestral land."Government should recognise existing settlements in tourismand wildlife areas and find ways of making them a part of newtourism development." On the positive side Mbaiwa concedesthat tourism in the Okavango Delta has expanded rapidly in thelast two decades. The Delta is one of Botswana's leading touristdestinations because of the rich wildlife and its scenic beauty.Tourism has stimulated the development of a variety of alliedinfrastructure and facilities such as hotels, lodges and camps;airport and airstrips. The other positive impacts are that theindustry provides employment to local communities and is asignificant source of revenue for Botswana. Mbaiwa'srecommendations for the improvement of the industry include:
* Empowering government bodies - such as the Departments ofTourism, Wildlife and National Parks, Tawana Land Board and tosome extent those of Labour and Waste Management. This should becarried out to promote environmental conservation and sustainabletourism.
* Environmental monitoring and management of tourist activities -Tourist and tourist activities seem to be negatively impactingthe environment through the creation illegal roads, vegetationdisturbance and noise pollution. The problem of failure to followproper waste management guidelines by operators should beaddressed. Liquid waste from toilets and showers isindiscriminately disposed of in the soil, increasing thepossibility of polluting the ground water resources.
* Investigating causes, effects and control of bush fires.
* Improving the living and working conditions of workers - poorworking and living conditions of junior safari workers, such ascrowded accommodation, working long hours without overtime,failure to abide by signed contracts, low salaries, threats ofdismissal - are all common in the Okavango, Mbaiwa says. He sayshe has found evidence of violation of workers rights by theforeign owned safari companies even though the Hotel and TourismAssociation of Botswana (HATAB) denies this exists. He says thereis widespread failure by company owners to respect the right ofspouses and families to live together.
Workers in the Delta are generally not given the opportunityto have adequate training, Mbaiwa says. Short courses andvocational training should be widely available, he recommends.Some of the operators claim the type of training provided by theVocational Training Centres does not meet their needs, while theTraining centres maintain that the tourism industry does not wantto employ their graduates because they do not want to spend moneyon higher salaries.
* The investigation of racism in the tourism sector - Mbaiwa saysHATAB claims to have assessed racism in the safari industry andfound it not to exist. His study on the other hand shows thatracism is a problem in the industry. Tour operators, especiallywhites from South Africa and Zimbabwe, are alleged to beresponsible for racist viewpoints and actions among the localcommunities. Because HATAM members are accused of racism, theirassessment cannot carry much weight as they are the guilty party.An independent investigation of racism in the tourism industrymust be carried out and should lead to recommendations of how itcan be rooted out. Failure to tackle racism in the tourismindustry will stifle the growth of the sector as well as itspotential to contribute to the national economy. "Racism hasthe potential to negatively impacting on Botswanas growingtourism industry. International organisations have the capacityto lobby for the boycott of any visits to the Okavango Delta byforeign tourists, once they confirm racism to be in thisarea," he says.
Desist from selling land to foreigners, says MP (BOPA,06/09) - MP for Sebina/Gweta, Olifant Mfa, has called onthe residents of Sebina and Nshakashogwe villages in hisconstituency to desist from selling land to foreigners. Speakingin kgotla meetings at the two villages on Monday Mfa criticisedthe tendency by Batswana to sell plot to foreigners, particularlyAsians. He observed that foreigners own land in unlikely placessuch as communal areas such as Nata, while a considerable numberof commercial and residential plots in urban areas are in thehands of foreigners. The MP said people have themselves to blamefor the development and should not later turn around and accusegovernment of failing them. Mfa said the practice has potentialto cause disputes when future generations feel robbed and engagein fights to reclaim their birth right. While there was no lawforbidding the sale of their plots, Mfa advised they should be soprudent and sell to fellow Batswana instead of foreigners. Mfacriticised drought relief programme supervisors who employ peoplethrough corrupt practices such as nepotism, friendship, regionand political affiliation, saying the practice should stopforthwith. Residents of the villages complained about watershortage and appealed for bowsed water to be provided as a matterof urgency. They also called for the provision of a policestation as crime was on the increase due to increase ofbusinesses in the area. Nshakashogwe residents requested thefencing of Sebina/Tutume road, an agricultural demonstrator, aveterinary officer, an additional primary hospital in the areaand the development of Shangano CJSS into a unified secondaryschool. Responding to the water shortage problem, the TutumeSub-District Acting Assistant Council, Sydney Manyathelo, saidthe water shortage will be eased by the on-going Goshwe waterdevelopment project. He adding that pipes will be opened at everystage while work on the project continues. This will enablevillages along the pipe line to be supplied with water and notwait for completion of the project. On the provision of a policestation in the area MP said the issue was still underconsideration and that no decision has been reached about theissue.
Zimbabwean immigrant deported after accident (BOPA,06/09) - A Zimbabwean illegal immigrant suffered adouble blow when he sustained minor injuries in an accidentinvolving two cars, and was subsequently arrested and deported.The illegal immigrant, who was passing by the Monarch Bridge, wasa witness and a casualty of an accident involving a taxi and atruck. The 31-year-old taxi driver died in the accident thatoccurred on August 30. A Central Police Traffic Officer,Superintendent Marutha Jersey, said the man was certified dead onarrival at Nyangabwe Hospital. Police investigations arecontinuing. In an unrelated matter, a 20-year-old man ofThemashanga also suffered a similar fate to his Zimbabweancounterpart. Superintendent Jersey said the police were helpingthe man after a car hit him when they found a substance theysuspect is marijuana in his possession. The substance would beforwarded to Gaborone for analysis. Jersey also appealed todriving school owners in Francistown to obtain operating licencesbefore engaging in the business. He also appealed to driversalong the Francistown/Ramokgwebana road to obey road trafficrules, to reduce speeding and to stop driving without licences.
Zimbabweans urged to invest in DRC (Harare, TheHerald, 20/09) - Zimbabweans should not only enter theDemocratic Republic of Congo as traders but also as investors, aleading international business consultant said yesterday. MrGilbert Chibanda of the Big Picture Communication GroupInternational was presenting a paper during a breakfast seminaron opportunities in DRC organised by the national trade body,ZimTrade. He said the DRC market is strategic in that it is in aregion of three countries including Angola and the Republic ofthe Congo and the local businesspeople should strive not just toend in DRC. "From the research I have carried out, I haverealised that there is a lot of potential in the DRC market."The market is unique in that it is not only bound by thegeographical borders but goes across the Congo River into theRepublic of the Congo and Angola," he said. Mr Chibanda saidhe was looking at ways to complement the efforts by Air Force ofZimbabwe by providing transport back to the country. AFZ isoffering the businesspeople a one way flight to DRC. People areworried about how they would get back home. "We need to lookat the issue of transport collectively and at the moment we aremaking arrangements with the Angolan Airlines which flies intothe DRC twice a week and also flies into Zimbabwe once a week sothat it carries some of the people," he added. He said thelink would work to the benefit of the business community sinceAngola is another emerging market. Linking Zimbabwe, a landlockedcountry, and DRC posses a number of challenges because the latterrelies more on water transport than road. The local constructionindustry, which is facing problems, can also take advantage ofthe reconstruction process and take up some of the majorprojects. The meeting challenged local investors and trades tomake quick researches and establish markets. "One can sellanything in DRC from foodstuffs to cosmetics, building materials,electrical appliances and computer consumables. "At themoment tourism in that country is on its way up and the localinvestors can make some projects there. "DRC being close tothe great Congo River offers a potential for investment intolodges and boats like is the case in Cairo at the NileRiver," Mr Chibanda said. Speaking during the same occasion,the DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mwana Nanga Mwampanga, urgedlocal investors including banks, those in mining and agricultureto take advantage of the abundance of resources in his country."The price of goods in DRC is three or four times as much asit costs here in Zimbabwe and the local businesspeople shouldtake advantage of such huge price gaps and demand. "Thereare towns like Mbuji Mayi which import almost everythingincluding eggs, bread and sugar and these are some of the areaswhere businesspeople should invest or establish markets,"the ambassador added. He took a swipe at the local businesscommunity for the cold feet approach to the issue of establishingmarkets in the country. "Some people are already taking theopportunity to establish themselves while you are stillpondering. "Please wake up," he said. Mr Mwampanga toldthe businesspeople that the country was currently encouragingpartnerships between the local people and foreign investors. Hesaid there is an abundance of rain in the country because it isalong the equatorial region where it receives rains for thegreater part of the year. DRC, emerging out of a four-year civilwar, has a number of opportunities for the local investors andtraders. It has a population thrice Zimbabwe's and thegeographical size of the country is equal to that of westernEurope. One major impediment is the unavailability of a good roadnetwork in the country and many people describe it as an airportcountry because of the number of airports connecting the cities.There is, however, a sufficient railway network and watertransport is also used. ZimTrade is expected to establish twobonded warehouses in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi in DRC before theend of the year.
Bodies of soldiers killed in DRC start arriving inZimbabwe (The Daily News, 20/09) - Mbonisi Gatsheni, theZimbabwe National Army spokesman, said yesterday the bodies ofsoldiers killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) warhave begun to arrive in the country and relatives have beeninformed. He declined to give figures, saying that would be madeknown only when the Minister of Defence, Sydney Sekeramayi,speaks at a parade to mark the return of all the soldiers. About11 000 Zimbabwean soldiers were despatched to the DRC on 2August, 1998 to assist the tottering regime of President LaurentKabila repel an attack by rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda.Commenting on reports that the bodies of many soldiers killed inthe four-year-old civil war had been brought to Manyame Airbase,Gatsheni said: "The position is that there are repatriationsof bodies. What your sources told you is true. "TheCommander-in-Chief will let the public know what exactly happenedin the DRC. We do not need to hurry." He said PresidentMugabe, the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,would make a public announcement on the number of casualties inthe DRC since the deployment in 1998. Gatsheni said the publichad to be aware the repatriation of bodies took place wheneversoldiers died from natural or other causes. Asked how and wherethe bodies were kept all these years since the conflict began,Gatsheni said he could not give details, as all that would comeout in due course. He said the repatriation would be completedsoon. Yesterday, relatives of deceased soldiers said there was aparade held at 1 Commando Barracks in honour of the fallensoldiers of the DRC conflict. A relative of Corporal HarrisonMapuranga, who witnessed the proceedings at 1 Commando said therewere scores of bodies at the parade, witnessed by relatives ofother dead soldiers. The relative said Mapuranga went to the DRCon 19 March 1999 but was killed in combat on 21 March the sameyear. Since then, the relatives had been informed by the armythat Mapuranga was missing in action. But the relative said theywere shocked on Tuesday when an army official told them Mapurangahad been confirmed dead. Mapuranga's wife received her husband'smonthly salary for that period because the army had reportedlynot confirmed his death. Mapuranga was expected to be buriedtoday at his rural home in Rusape. The relatives said the funeralarrangements would be handled by the Tsanzaguru-based 3.2Infantry Battalion in Rusape. A relative of Corporal HarrisonMapuranga, who witnessed the proceedings at 1 Commando said therewere scores of bodies at the parade, witnessed by relatives ofother dead soldiers. The relative said Mapuranga went to the DRCon 19 March 1999 but was killed in combat on 21 March the sameyear. Since then, the relatives had been informed by the armythat Mapuranga was missing in action. But the relative said theywere shocked on Tuesday when an army official told them Mapurangahad been confirmed dead. Mapuranga's wife received her husband'smonthly salary for that period because the army had reportedlynot confirmed his death. Mapuranga was expected to be buriedtoday at his rural home in Rusape. The relatives said the funeralarrangements would be handled by the Tsanzaguru-based 3.2Infantry Battalion in Rusape.
Police probe border gun-running (Pretoria, The NatalWitness, 24/09) - Syndicates dealing in weapons,especially AK47 assault rifles, are operating along SouthAfrica's border with Lesotho, Safety and Security MinisterCharles Nqakula said on Monday. "We have information at ourdisposal of big syndicates trading and transporting assaultrifles, small firearms and drugs in that area," he said inPretoria. Speaking at a meeting between South Africaninter-ministerial security committee members and their Lesothocounterparts, the minister said it is not known at this stagewhere the weapons come from. "We are aware that during thewars in the Southern Africa Development Community region, likethe liberation armed conflict in South Africa, most of theseweapons were used," he said. "But we are investigatinga possibility that these weapons are stored within ourshores." Nqakula said yesterday's meeting looked at how thetwo countries can co-operate to deal with, among other things,rampant stock theft and passport scams. "South Africa has sofar resolved to step up security in that area," he said. Hesaid security personnel deployed at the border will be changedbecause some of them have become corrupt. "Thieves,especially stock thieves, who come illegally over the bordersomehow have relations with our authorities there." Nqakulasaid there have been incidents of violence relating to stocktheft. "We have discovered through our investigations thatthis matter is no longer about small and petty thieves who goacross and steal livestock. "If someone, for instance, wantsto buy dagga and does not have cash, they steal livestock and useit as a measure of exchange for that dagga," Nqakula said."When they undertake such an exercise they are wellarmed." He said the question of small arms used during stockthefts also received some attention at the meeting. Nqakula saidpolice will be responsible for border gate duties. Army unitswill assist them from time to time. "We are going to putpeople there who understand the necessity of the deployment,people who are going to have high levels of commitment andloyalty." He said the security ministers' cluster will visitthe border soon. Acting president, Home Affairs MinisterMangosuthu Buthelezi, also participated in the meeting.
Lesotho says no to bribery (Johannesburg, SundayTimes, 22/09) - The corruption honeymoon in SouthernAfrica is over, top officials in Lesotho warned this week, urgingforeign companies doing business here to clean up their businesspractices. Their comments followed a landmark decision by theMaseru High Court ruling that an agent of Canadian-basedengineering firm Acres International had bribed the former chiefexecutive of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project with the fullknowledge of the company. Sentence is to be passed on October 7,but Acres has already indicated its intention to appeal . Companyofficials pleaded guilty to the two charges, involving more thanR5-million, and said they had acted "in good faith andretained a highly regarded Lesotho engineer as [the company's]independent local representative ". Without Acres' knowledgehe had "secretly paid part of his fee" to water projectdirector Masupha Sole. The two officials' version of events wasspecifically rejected by newly appointed Chief Justice MahapelaLehohla, who found the company's credibility had been "leftin tatters" by the case. Sole has since been sentenced to 18years in jail for charges related to accepting bribes from anumber of firms, several of which are now being tried forcorruption. Reacting to the Acres judgment, Lesotho's Minister ofNatural Resources, Monyane Moleleki, said it was often assumedthat corruption thrived in the Third World and that it was aparticularly "African" problem. "This case showssuch a perception is incorrect. It takes two to tango . . . Thecase should show the rest of the world Lesotho had to be takenseriously "by its friends in the First World" and that"we can do business with integrity and decency". SouthAfrica's Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Ronnie Kasrils,said the outcome of the case demonstrated that "much of thecorruption with which Africa is so often associated is actually acontagion from the rich world".
Migrant labour identified as cause of high HIV spread(Mopheme/The Survivor, 05/09) - Jabulani Mkhize wheels atruck into the Maseru bridge, parks it along the fence andsettles himself in his drivers seat. "Just a beginning ofyet another night at the bridge," he sighs to himself. Hiscolleague Thateho Molahloe looks around as other truckers movetheir trucks alongside. Slowly from the Lesotho side a smallcrowd of young girls move towards the trucks and one by one thedoors of the trucks parked at the border gate open and swallowthem. The door on Mkhize's side also opens and a girl of about 16years greets him with a wide smile. Mkhize is a 29 year old truckdriver who for the past three years has been traveling in an outof Lesotho and other Southern African countries delivering fuel.They tell a lot of stories about life on the road. He is atypical example of life in the trucking business. Many prefer tostay at the border gates to avoid paying for boarding, chances ofbeing robbed or high-jacked. The other bargain that comes withparking their trucks at the gate is that sex workers come cheapcompared to the city centre. There is not much competition forsex workers and the market is wide and fresh. For a night theystill pay M50.00 if they use a condom and M100.00 if they do not.This means that they pay for a night, the value they wouldprobably pay for a single round in the city. The fee paid forcesmany of the girls who serve them to drop the condom face andsettle for a hundred Maloti fare. At the end of the week if wellattending, a girl still collects seven hundred Maloti. The faregoes higher if the girls agrees to travel the entire trip withhim. Investigations by the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) inLesotho indicate that in Maseru and Maputsoe miners, taxi driversand truckers are important bridge population in the sexualnetwork linking transient and residential communities. Theinvestigations done revealed that there was an exceptional HIVvulnerability at each of the sites investigated, a socioculturalcontext of casual and commercial sex exacerbated by profoundmobility. Truckers, bus, and taxi drivers, traders, soldiers,migrant labour and transient sex workers move from town to townputting partners at risk by engaging in unprotected sex, UNAIDSreported. Everyday at the Maseru and other busy border towns,more than ten trucks cross into the country at each boder gate.According to the investigations, interventions are urgentlyneeded in Maputsoe, Maseru, Katse Dam and Mohale Dam. It wasfound that the viral vulnerability of young women includingschool children and young vendors seeking employment was high.Both urban and rural communities, according to investigationsexpressed concern about young women having to take commercial sexas a way of supporting their families. Sexual networks do notonly involve drivers, but men in other occupations visit sexworkers and thus sharing the networks of sex workers andtruckers. Interventions include improving distribution, promotionand easy availability of both free condoms and condoms on sale.Though free condoms are available and distributed by healthservice areas and NGO's, massive social marketing is also neededto cover all groups in Lesotho and South Africa who might beexposed to Sexually Transmitted Infections and the HIV/AIDS. Inthe country, migrant labour should be specific targets of condomdistribution campaigns, since they travel regularly away fromhome and have a higher risk of being infected and bringing backthe diseases to their partners.
Construction contractors demand foreigners' phase out(The Nation, 19/09) - Local contractors say thedominance of foreign contractors in Malawi's constructionindustry threatens the indigenous civil and building companies'future. The National Construction Industries Council (NCIC) saysit is time local contractors were fully involved in the industryto end almost 30 years of foreign firm dominance. "But itmust be emphasised that the trend cannot be reversed at theexpense of quality workmanship. And it must also be born in mindthat only those who can excel in delivering at a competitivelevel can excel, bearing in mind the high competition in theindustry," said NCIC vice chairman, Fenneck Gunda in aninterview after presiding over a training session for civil andbuilding contractors in Mzuzu. He said the council has embarkedon a programme to enhance the capacity of local contractorsthrough training. He said: "Training and providing thecontractors with the necessary skill and discipline has beenrecognised by both NCIC and government as one of the tools toequip contractors to improve and sustain commendable levels ofproduction." Gunda said small and medium contractors areblamed for the poor delivery of services in the constructionindustry. This, he said, led to the preference of foreigncontractors, which was in many ways marginalising the localindustry. He said: "It is our vision to replace foreigncontractors with our indigenous ones, we are determined that thiswill be done in the next 10 years." Polytechnic head ofcivil engineering department Grant Kululanga said in a separateinterview it was sad that foreign contractors were enjoyingprominence in the Malawi construction industry. Said Kululanga:"But Malawians must be competent and efficient if they areto enjoy the same dominance of the foreign contractors."
Malawians encroach on Mozambican land (Maputo, Agenciade Informacao de Mocambique, 27/09) - Malawian farmershave been accused of removing posts that mark theMozambique/Malawi border in the western province of Tete, inorder to extend their farms into Mozambican territory, reportsFriday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias". TheMalawian encroachment is reported in the districts of Angonia andMoatize - but the Tete provincial director of agriculture, GasparSemente, declined to confirm or deny the allegations. He said hisinstitution is investigating the matter. Semente noted thatsituations of border violation are also reported from some areasin Magoe district, also in Tete, by Zimbabwean farmers. Followingreports by residents of the border areas, the Tete provincialLand Registry Services (SPGC) launched an inspection of theborder markers a month ago but, according to Semente, this is atime consuming job, because of difficult access to certain areas."Some of the marks are placed in the mountains",Semente said. The issue of border violation by farmers fromneighbouring countries is not new. There have also been suchreports from Mossurize district, in central Manica province,blamed on Zimbabweans, particularly on the "Tanganda TeaEstates" company, which is said to have occupied a largechunk of Mozambican agricultural land, to extend its plantation.This case is said to have been a matter brought up in discussionsbetween Mozambican and Zimbabwean government officials who met on5 June in Chimoio, the Manica provincial capital, where theydecided to set up a joint technical team to study the issuefurther. During this meeting, the two parties also acknowledgedthe existence of land mines planted along the border. They agreedto exchange information on this matter, and to carry out jointdemining work.
Burundian refugees clash at camp in Mozambique(Maputo, Sapa-AFP, 25/09) - Ethnic violence has brokenout among Burundian refugees at a camp in northern Mozambique, astate newspaper reported Wednesday. Noticias said the unrest atthe Maratane camp near Nampula had sown fear among the more than1,600 refugees at the camp, mostly from central Africa's GreatLakes region. A humanitarian worker at the camp, Tomaz Avilauane,told the paper that several people had been injured and severalpeople were arrested. One refugee from Burundi's civil war,identified as Bizimana Jimy, said his hut was burned down byanother Burundian because he is a Tutsi. "I was beaten upand my hut burned down because they hate me," he toldNoticias. Burundi's civil war, which broke out in 1993, pits thearmy, dominated by the central African country's Tutsi minority,against Hutu rebel movements. The coflict has claimed more than aquarter of a million lives.
Zim farmers are investors, not refugees, says Chissano(Oporto, Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, 23/09) - MozambicanPresident JoaquimChissano has reiterated that the Zimbabweanfarmers now working in central Mozambique are investors, notrefugees. Speaking in the Portuguese city of Oporto, where he isvisiting his wife, Marcelina, who is undergoing medical treatmentthere, Chissano told reporters "we have a Foreign InvestmentCode, and we are willing to consider, case by case, allforeigners who want to invest in Mozambique, in accordance withour investment legislation". Cited in a dispatch from thePortuguese news agency, LUSA, he stressed that Mozambique wantedto attract more foreign investment and so offered attractiveconditions for investors. "People of Zimbabwean nationalityhave appeared, and they want to invest", Chissano said."We don't ask if they're running away, if they've got someproblem. We don't get involved in that". "We are notreceiving refugees from Zimbabwe, we are receivinginvestors", he stressed. So far about 20 Zimbabweancommercial farmers have moved to the central Mozambican provinceof Manica and are farming there. There is a queue of some 50requests from other Zimbabweans. Chissano arrived in Portugal onThursday, and has had courtesy meetings with Portuguese PresidentJorge Sampaio, and Prime Minister Durao Barroso, who were bothattending a business congress in Oporto.
Border violators die crossing into South Africa(Maputo, Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, 18/09) - Atleast seven people die every month, victims of wild beasts,including lions, elephants, and buffaloes, when they illegallycross the border between Mozambique and South Africa, through theKruger Park, reports Wednesday's issue of the daily paper"Noticias". The commander of the border guards atMassingir, in Gaza province, Ibraimo Faki, said that peak timesfor illegal crossings are usually in May and June, whenMozambicans try to slip into South Africa, to seek employment inthe sugar cane plantations and orange orchards, during theharvest season. He said that most illegal immigrants come fromInhambane province, but Gaza residents also cross the border formedical care and to visit relatives. There are also reports ofSouth Africans crossing illegally into Mozambique, mostly forinitiation rites, being held by their relatives on the Mozambicanside. The Kruger Park border has a fence which is not currentlyelectrified. Border violators manage to clamber over the fence,or cut holes in it. The closest plantations, on the South Africanside of the border, are at Letaba, about 25 kilometres fromMassingir, and Satar, at 17 kilometres from Mapulanguene. TheMozambican border guards at Massingir have to patrol 75kilometres of border, and complain of shortage of resources,particularly transport, to do their job properly. Illegalimmigrants take advantage of this weakness.
Maputo probes claims of abuse at border post withZimbabwe (Maputo, The Daily News, 12/09) - TheMozambican government has launched an inquiry into claims thatZimbabwean border officials have abused Mozambicans crossing intothe country to trade, a senior Mozambican official has said.Soares Nhaca, governor of Mozambique's central Manica provincewhich borders Zimbabwe, told state television the alleged abuseswere reported to him by residents of the Machipanda border areaduring his recent tour there. "We are now in contact withthe government of Manicaland in order to clarify thisissue," Nhaca said. He said Machipanda residents reportedthat they are excessively checked and sometimes beaten andsexually abused by Zimbabwean border guards. "I don'tunderstand why they are doing this when we have helped theZimbabweans in many ways, from their country's independencewar," one woman trader said. Hundreds of informal traderscross between Mozambique and Zimbabwe every day, but Zimbabwe hastightened the screws on cross-border trade amid drastic foodshortages in the country. Zimbabwe's State-imposed price controlson basic foods like sugar, cooking oil, salt and other productshave made those goods far cheaper there than the prevailingmarket rates in the region. Zimbabwe has tightened bordercontrols to stop the loss of scarce food products to neighbouringcountries, while at the same time limiting what foods can beimported to Zimbabwe because of the government monopoly on thesale of grain.
Mozambicans accuse Zimbabwean border officials ofabuse (Maputo, Sapa-AFP, 09/09) - The Mozambicangovernment has launched an inquiry into claims that Zimbabweanborder officials have abused Mozambicans crossing into theneighbouring country to trade, a senior Mozambique official hassaid. Soares Nhaca, governor of Mozambique's central Manicaprovince which borders Zimbabwe, told state television lateSunday the alleged abuses were reported to him by residents ofthe Machipanda border area during his recent tour of the area."We are now in contact with the government of Manicaland inorder to clarify this issue," Nhaca said. Nhaca saidMachipanda residents reported that they are excessively checkedand sometimes beaten and sexually abused by Zimbabwean borderguards. "I do not understand why they are doing this when wehave helped the Zimbabweans in many ways from their country'sindependence war," one woman trader told TVM. Hundreds ofinformal traders cross between Mozambique and Zimbabwe every day,but Zimbabwe has tightened the screws on cross-border trade amiddrastic food shortages in the country. Zimbabwe's state-imposedprice controls on basic foods like sugar, cooking oil, salt andother products have made those goods there far cheaper than theprevailing market rates in the region. But the system has alsocontributed to shortages in Zimbabwe, as the state-mandatedprices are often lower than the cost of producing the products.When the products are available, traders from neighboring statestry to buy the goods cheaply in Zimbabwe and take them home tosell at a profit. Mozambican companies producing commodities suchas sugar, beer and cement have complained that such competititionis unfairly eating into their markets and hurting the southeastAfrican nation's attempts to rebuild an economy devastated bycivil war in the 1980s. Zimbabwe has tightened border controls toprevent the loss of scarce food products to neighboringcountries, while at the same time limiting what foods can beimported to Zimbabwe because of the government monopoly on grainsales.
20 Zimbabwean farmers working in Mozambique (Maputo,Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, 05/09) - So far 20Zimbabwean commercial farmers are working in Mozambique, underthe country's investment legislation, according to AgricultureMinister Helder Muteia, interviewed in Thursday's issue of theBeira daily paper "Diario de Mocambique". All thesefarmers are operating in the central province of Manica, and thetotal area being worked is between 15,000 and 20,000 hectares."We are not authorising more than 1,000 hectares each",said Muteia. "These are farmers who must respect ourinvestment law, they must have their own financial resources, andthey must have an approved project", he added. Muteia saidthat Mozambique needs investment in the countryside, but thismust be "socially sustainable investment that does not leadto conflict, investment that brings jobs, investment that is aplatform for development". "That is why we are beingrigorous in selecting the farmers who want to work with us",he said. "And regardless of their nationality, if they meetthe requirements of our legislation, we are authorisingthem". The minimum investment required, he continued, was50,000 US dollars, and any project must provide at least 100jobs, if it is to be approved. The investor must also provide anenvironmental impact study. So far the Zimbabwean farmers haveinvested in maize, sunflower, tobacco, and cattle. Muteia alsoexpected Mozambique's first tobacco processing plant to resultfrom further Zimbabwean investment in the near future. This willfree Mozambican tobacco producers from their current reliance onMalawi to process their crop. Initially, a group of Zimbabweanfarmers had requested a block of land of 400,000 hectares. TheMozambican government rejected this, said Muteia, "and theZimbabweans understood, because we don't want to import theproblems they have in Zimbabwe. We said that each farmer shouldmake an individual request, and each request would be analysed indetail". Muteia wanted the Zimbabwean farmers to bescattered across the territory, rather than all concentrated inone place. "That way they can easily understand Mozambicanreality", he said. "The way in which Mozambique dealswith racial factors or phenomena is different. In Mozambiquethere is greater co-existence between people, between races, andwe would like them to learn about that too, since it's one of thegreat gains of our Mozambican society". Muteia said therewas a "waiting list" of about 50 other Zimbabweanfarmers. "Some of them have had their projects rejected, butwhen we rejected them we told them what pre-conditions theyneeded to meet", he explained. "We didn't say "Goaway, and never come back". We said: "Look, these arethe requirements you haven't yet met". Muteia said that theZimbabwean farmers should also ensure that the local Mozambicancommunities benefit from their presence. He noted that some ofthe farmers have established partnerships with Mozambicans. Asfor the Zimbabwean government's current expulsion of largenumbers of white commercial farmers from their land, Muteia said"That's a problem of Zimbabweans that must be solved byZimbabweans". "Diario de Mocambique" noted thatconsumers in the Manica provincial capital, Chimoio, arebeginning to eat cheap food grown by the Zimbabweans. Thuspotatoes grown by a Zimbabwean farmer are much cheaper thanimported potatoes. A 15 kilo sack of imported potatoes costs120-130,000 meticais (about five US dollars). But 15 kilos ofpotatoes grown by a Zimbabwean farming in the district of Baruesell for 70,000 meticais. Another Zimbabwean farmer brought aherd of 25 milk cattle across the border, and these produce 300litres of milk a day, sold in Chimoio and Beira. But when thisfarmer, encouraged by his success, went back to Zimbabwe to pickup more cows, the Zimbabwean government refused to allow a singleanimal to leave the country. Nonetheless, this farmer hopes todiversify his production, and set up a factory for dairy produce,such as butter and cheese. A third investor has planted flowerson 50 hectares of land for export to Europe. The first exports(to Holland) should take place in November. To preserve theflowers, he hopes to install a cold system at Chimoio airport.According to the provincial governor, Soares Nhaca, otherZimbabweans hope to produce tobacco and mangoes for export, whileothers want to grow vegetables, which will then be dried forpackets of soup, intended for the British market.
Foreign ownership of land further restricted(Johannesburg, Irin, 26/09) - A proposed amendment toNamibia's land policy is expected to make it harder for foreignnationals to own land in the country. The Namibian newspaperreported that Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation MinisterHifikepunye Pohambe officially introduced the amendment in thenational assembly on Wednesday. "One of the loopholes in thecurrent law is that landowners have avoided offering land to thestate ... by registering their farms under close corporations(CCs) thus making it possible for foreign nationals to continuepurchasing agricultural land in Namibia," the newspaperquoted Pohambe as saying. Namibia's SWAPO government is committedto the principle of "willing buyer/willing seller" -which means no one is forced to sell up, but if they do the stategets first refusal. Frans Tsheehama, permanent secretary in theMinistry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation told IRIN thatunder the proposed changes the government would now closelymonitor the transfer of land to a CC or private company. "Wehave suspected for a long time now that farmers had beentransferring ownership of land to foreign nationals without theknowledge or consent of the government. From now on, if acontrolling interest of a firm that owns farmland changes, itwill have to be reported to the government. The amendment willsimply do away with the loopholes in the Act," Tsheehamasaid. Redistribution was a key aspect of Namibia's liberationwar. Most agricultural land is in private hands with 20 percentof the population owning about 75 percent of the land. Theamendment to the Act would also make it illegal for people whohave been resettled on the land to buy and sell it whenever theywished. "We are therefore of the opinion that state land,which is acquired for the purpose of land reform, should not befor sale. It should rather serve as a place where some futurepotential commercial farmers should graduate from and be able toacquire their own agricultural land," Pohambe said. However,analysts and the country's largest farmer's union said it wasstill unclear how resettled farmers with limited resources wouldbe turned into commercial farmers. "It is unlikely that theresettled farmers would become commercial farmers. They simply donot have the support or assets. The land they are given is merelyfor subsistence farming. So it is a bit idealistic to think thatthese farmers would be able to compete with establishedcommercial farmers," director of the Namibia AgricultureUnion, Gert Grobler, said. Wolfgang Werner, a land specialist atthe Namibia Policy Research Unit told IRIN that most of the landbought by the government for resettlement was unsuitable forextensive commercial farming. "Resettled farmers findthemselves on land that receives low and variable rainfall whichis only suitable for livestock farming. There is no support forthese farmers except when there are water shortages and then thegovernment steps in to assist," Werner said. Resettledfarmers are given between 1,000 ha and 3,000 ha. Tsheehama said30,000 people have so far been successfully resettled. Thegovernment wants to resettle a further 243,000 people and hassaid it wants to acquire 9,5 million ha of land for itsprogramme. Land reform will cost about N$900 million (US $90million), Tsheehama said. The land reform debate resurfacedfollowing comments by President Sam Nujoma at the Earth Summit inJohannesburg last month. Nujoma said he supported the landseizures being carried out by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe."Frustrated with the slow pace of land reform, the moreradical elements within the trade unions and civil society havecalled for land redistribution without compensation. This isobviously very worrying for the government. It [the government]has to be seen to be doing something about the land issue,"Werner said. Over N$20 million (US $2 million) was being spentevery year to buy farms for redistribution, Tsheehama said.However, although hundreds of farms had been offered to thegovernment for purchase, only a fraction had been bought. Askedwhy the government had not been able to buy more farms forredistribution, Werner said: "Of the 173 farms offered tothe government during the 2000-2001 financial year only 18 werepurchased. The government said the rest were unsuitable forresettlement. Part of the reason could be the lack of funding.Twenty million [Namibian dollars] does not buy a lot of land. Butalso, the administrative capacity within the ministry is verylimited."
Dordabis detainee still not free (The Namibian, 25/09)- A Namibian held with suspected Angolans as a politicalprisoner is still in Police custody though authorities last weeksaid Daniel Johannes has been granted his freedom following morethan two years in captivity. A Police spokesperson confirmedyesterday that Johannes was still in detention at Dordabis, 100kmsouth-east of Windhoek, where he is being held with 78 otherpeople accused of being Unita "soldiers andcollaborators". The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry ofHome Affairs Niilo Taapopi said on Friday that they had orderedJohannes's release after making certain that he was a Namibianand not an Angolan as was believed when he was arrested in themiddle of 2000. Johannes was among 82 men rounded up in May, Juneand July in the Kavango region as Namibian security forces madesweeping arrests in an attempt to quash banditry that increasedwith intense fighting between the Angolan army and Unita. Taapopisaid last week that Johannes would be reunited with his family.But Chief Inspector Hophni Hamufungu could not say why Johanneshad not yet been released. It is believed that a breakdown incommunication between the Police, who are holding the detainees,and other Government agencies is responsible for Johannes'scontinued detention without trial. Officials at the AngolanEmbassy in Windhoek said yesterday they were awaitinginstructions from Luanda on what to do with the 78 alleged Unitasoldiers and sympathisers. Namibian authorities have expressedfrustration with the slow response of the Angolan government,which is dealing with the resettlement of 3,5 million peopledisplaced by the 25-year civil war. Amnesty International hasexpressed concern at the "long-term detention without trialof the people detained as Unita members in Dordabis sincemid-2000". In a statement sent to The Namibian yesterday,Amnesty said: "The organisation urges the Namibianauthorities to co-operate with the United Nations HighCommissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in arranging the repatriationof those who wish to return to Angola. Those who do not wish toreturn should be given the opportunity to seek asylum or, for anywho fulfil the conditions for Namibian residency or citizenship,to legalise their status in Namibia." The human rights bodysaid that all the detainees should be given the opportunity toseek legal advice before making the decision about whether toreturn to Angola.
South African man on the run in Namibia (The Namibian,23/09) - South African national, Richard Jakobus, isbeing sought by arresting authorities in connection with a caseof fraud which he allegedly committed in his country. Althoughthe Namibian Police did not provide further details over theweekend on the alleged crime, the victim is believed to be hidingin Namibia. He is also thought to use three different names.
* Meanwhile, two Angolans (aged 30 and 35) died at Rundu afterthe vehicle in which they were travelling left the road andoverturned on Thursday night. The incident took place at around20h30. One of the Angolans died on the scene while the othersuccumbed to his injuries at the Rundu State Hospital. Thevehicle in which the two were travelling left the road and hit atree. Some of the passengers and the driver sustained injuries.
* At Onawa village in the Outapi area Teofelus Katjinaani (47) ofOjituuo in the Otjozondjupa region died on the spot after thetruck in which he was travelling collided head-on with anothertruck belonging to the Road Contractor Company. The accidentoccurred at Siya Village about 30 km west of Rundu at around17h15 on Thursday.
Namibia and Lusaka strengthen ties (The Namibian,23/09) - The presidents of Namibia and Zambia heldbilateral talks at Zambezi Lodge here on Saturday to strengthenexisting political, economic and social ties. Presidents SamNujoma and Levy Mwanawasa held in-depth discussions on possibleareas of co-operation especially in the field of agriculture. Thetwo presidents agreed on the need for the two ministries ofagriculture to establish a joint technical committee of expertsto implement a joint agricultural production venture. Thetechnical committee, according to the official communique, wouldconsider aspects such as production modalities, areas to be setaside for production, financing arrangements and the requiredmachinery and equipment and inputs to base on a joint venture.The initial location would be in Zambia, while further prospectsof ventures would be undertaken in either country. The communiqueexpressed hope that the joint venture in agriculture would startoff many initiatives between the two countries. In the same vein,the presidents also discussed Namibia's desire to tap water fromthe Zambezi river for irrigation purposes, especially for theplanned sugar cane project in Caprivi. he heads of state agreedthat the project is important to Namibia and to the country'seconomy and that it would assist in employment creation for theyouth. They also discussed the need for the finalisation of theZambia-SACU (Southern African Customs Union) trade agreement toenhance trade between the two countries. Energy needs were alsoon the two leaders' agenda. The heads of state appreciated theprogress made by power utilities Zesco and NamPower in dealingwith the issue of increasing electricity supply to Katima Mulilothrough the new Victoria Falls-Katima Mulilo interconnectionproject.
Namibian wrongly detained as an 'Angolan rebel' (TheNamibian, 23/09) - At least one man among dozensdetained for two years without trial for being Angolan rebels isin fact a Namibian, the Government has conceded. Daniel Johanneslanguishes in Police cells at Dordabis, 100km south-east ofWindhoek, with the other detainees, accused of being Unitasoldiers and collaborators. Eighty-two men were rounded up duringsecurity sweeps in the Kavango region in June and July 2000 andwere transported the following month to Dordabis, where they werekept secretly, making them the longest prisoners held withoutcharge in Namibia since independence in 1990. Permanent Secretaryin the Ministry of Home Affairs Niilo Taapopi on Friday disclosedthat of the original 82 men, one had already been handed over tothe Angolan authorities. He did not say when or why the unnamedman was singled out, or whether the International Committee ofthe Red Cross (ICRC) or the United Nations High Commissioner forRefugees (UNHCR) was involved. Two of the detainees died ofillnesses in custody last year. At least 78 men are still indetention at Dordabis months after the death of Unita leaderJonas Savimbi, which ushered in fresh hope of lasting peace inthe war-weary country. Namibian authorities say they have beenwaiting to hear from the Angolan authorities what to do with themen, who were to be deported, though some of the detainees insistthey are Namibians. They were detained at the height of theAngolan civil war which spilled over into Namibia afterauthorities in Windhoek agreed to let the Angolan army useNamibia as a springboard to dislodge Unita from bases in southernAngolan. Robbery, murder and looting carried out mainly at nightby armed bandits in Namibia's northern regions intensified as theAngolan army, at times with support of the Namibian DefenceForce, squeezed the rebels. When asked whether Government wasadamant that all those detained were Unita rebels, Taapopiadmitted on Friday that Government had ascertained that Johanneswas indeed a Namibian as he had maintained since his detentionwithout charge two years ago. "The Red Cross indicated thatone person is adamant that he is a Namibian. We know that he is aNamibian and [know] how he ended up in Unita hands," Taapopisaid without elaborating. But other detainees, he insists, areall Angolans, though some claim to be Namibians. Some of those indetention say they had lived in Namibia for many years. "Wehave got one Namibian," he said, "and we have giveninstructions that he must be released. I hope our security peopletook him so that he can be re-united with his family."Apparently some of the detainees have indicated that they want tojoin relatives at Osire or elsewhere in Namibia. Despiteassertions at the time that the men had confessed to "haveperpetrated terrorist activities against our people in theKavango region" and that "the law will take itscourse", none of the people had ever been charged with acrime. On Friday The Namibian was unable to determine whetherJohannes had been released and taken home to his family. Anarticle in The Namibian in September 2000 revealing 'Government'sBig Secret' at Dordabis, prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs toadmit that "82 Unita soldiers and collaborators" werein detention without trial. Taapopi said at the time of thedetentions in 2000: "I want to assure you that those 82 weare talking about were proven beyond doubt they are not Namibiansand they are not ordinary illegal immigrants." Despite thealleged confessions, Government insisted on deporting thedetainees rather than putting them on trial as would be expectedof anyone committing a crime in Namibia. Namibia's Constitutionstates that accused persons be charged within two days or setfree. Plans to hand over the detainees to Angolan authoritieswere halted for fear that the men could be summarily execution bythe Angolan army or persecuted. International agencies werecalled in to help find a third country to which they could besent. After Savimbi's death, talks to repatriate them wererevived. Asked why the men remain behind bars after two years,Taapopi said the Angolan embassy had not advised what should bedone with them. "These people were kept here as Unita. Theyare not different from those who are being integrated in society[in Angola]. The ball is in the court of the Angolan authorities.Whatever they come up with, we have no problem at all ... becausefor us it's just to open the cell doors. But now it ispathetic." A representative of the ICRC in Windhoek saidthey regularly visit the detainees and are ready to help thosewilling to go to Angola. Angolan authorities have had their handsfull resettling about 3,5 million people displaced by the civilwar that has lasted more than 25 years. A staff member at theAngolan Embassy said they could only comment today becausemilitary officers had gone to Dordabis on Friday.
Government to ship maize via Namibia (The FinancialGazette, 19/09) - The government plans to move some ofits imported maize through Walvis Bay in Namibia, citinglogistical problems and congestion at South African andMozambican ports which it says are delaying the shipment of maizeto starving Zimbabweans. But officials in the shipping industrysaid moving grain through Walvis Bay was not only uneconomic butalmost impossible as the Namibian port did not even have thecapacity to handle large shipments. The government on Mondaydispatched officials from the state-run Grain Marketing Board andthe ministries of agriculture and transport to Namibia to explorethe possibility of using Walvis Bay. "There are a lot oflogistical problems we are facing in Mozambique and South Africawhich have caused us problems in maize imports," a Ministryof Agriculture official told the Financial Gazette. "We hopeto ease the shipment problems by bringing in some of the maizethrough Walvis Bay, hence the need to send officials to explorethat possibility." Unofficial figures show that thegovernment has so far imported up to 500 000 tonnes of maize butit was not possible to establish this week if all the maize haslanded in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is facing unprecedented foodshortages blamed on chaotic land reforms, bad planning and adrought that has hit five other southern African nations. Thecountry needs urgent food imports to feed six million people,mostly villagers. An official at South African-owned Spoornetrailways in Harare said Walvis Bay had no bulk handlingfacilities to handle large quantities of grain. But mostimportantly, the official noted, there were very few bulk wagonsbetween Walvis Bay and Windhoek to move the maize, meaning thatZimbabwe would have to move its own wagons, which it does nothave, from Bulawayo to Walvis Bay. The other option was to usethe road, but only a limited amount of cargo could be moved at atime this way.
"The way I personally see it is thatWalvis Bay has many constraints because it is small," theofficial said, preferring not to be named. "You might needto use road, which is still very far but then you cannot carrythat grain in bulk but in small amounts, which is a minus whenyou want to move it speedily to starving people." WhileSouth Africa's ports of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East Londonare very far, there is Durban and Richard's Bay and Mozambique'sMaputo and Beira, all of which have a railway network and bulkhandling facilities and are easily accessible. This makes iteasier to move grain by rail straight to silos in Bulawayo,Chinhoyi, Rutenga, Mutare and Harare, where it is bagged anddistributed. Renson Gasela, a former GMB chief executive and nowopposition MDC MP, said Zimbabwe had not fully explored itsoptions in using Durban, Richard's Bay, Maputo and Beira, addingthat Walvis Bay was not geared for large volumes of goods. Gaselasaid in 1992, when Zimbabwe also needed large amounts of maizefollowing another drought, the government had even mooted movingmaize through the Tazara railway line from Tanzania throughZambia because Walvis Bay could not handle the large maizeimports. "This (proposed use of Walvis Bay) is madness andtotally uneconomic. How do you move the maize by road?"Gasela asked. "Walvis Bay is a small port compared toDurban, Beira and Maputo which are nearer and have not been fullyexplored. "Ten years ago, the GMB was able to move much moremaize using only part of the very same system that the governmentnow says is congested." The chairman of the nationaltaskforce on drought relief, Nicholas Goche, was quoted by stateradio earlier this week as saying the government had secured onemillion tonnes of maize and 50 000 tonnes of wheat and suggestedthat some of it would be shipped via Namibia. He did not say whenor where the grain was bought and how much it cost.
Foreigners face farmland squeeze (The Namibian, 18/09)- The law dealing with commercial farms is to be changedto make it harder for foreigners to own agricultural land inNamibia. In what may be interpreted as part of Government's driveto speed up land reform in the country, Deputy Minister of Lands,Resettlement and Rehabilitation Isak Katali yesterday introducedin Parliament a long list of amendments, most of them aimed atclosing loopholes in the Agricultural (Commercial) Land ReformAct of 1995. The amendments were introduced in the last sessionof the National Assembly but withdrawn because there was notenough time for discussions. With the changes, it will become acrime to sell land to non-Namibians and "nomineeowners" without the permission of the Minister of Lands."The person who sold or otherwise disposed of thatagricultural land to the foreign national or nominee owner shall... be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a finenot exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a term notexceeding five years or to both," reads the proposed law.The proposed changes also make it compulsory for the Registrar ofCompanies to inform the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry ofLands when the controlling shares of a firm or close corporationowning agricultural land fall into foreign hands. But even whenthe majority shares of a firm that owns land are to fall intoNamibian hands it also has to have the approval of the Minister.Land on sale must first be offered to Government and can be soldor transferred to someone else only if the State does not buy it.The changes also put pressure on Government, however. In someinstances the period in which the State should indicate itsintention to buy land has been restricted to three months. Incase the seller is not satisfied with the decision of theMinister of Lands they can appeal to the Lands Tribunal forredress. Katali, who said the changes to the commercial farminglaw were in the pipeline long before last month's Swapo Congress,conceded that the issue of non-Namibians owning agricultural landwas in line with the ruling party's push for land reform. Swapolast month decided that 192 farms owned by absentee landlordswill be expropriated. The Namibian Constitution provides for theforcible taking away of land, but with "faircompensation". The party also said the amount set aside inthe national budget for the buying of farms for resettlement mustbe increased from N$20 million a year to N$100 million. This isdespite the fact that only two-thirds of the money made availablewas used between 1996 and 2001.
Namibians mistreated in Angola (The Namibian, 18/09) -Traditional leaders in the Kavango Region yesterdayalleged that some Angolans, including FAA soldiers, aremistreating Namibians crossing into Angola. The Tribal Chief ofthe Mbunza people, Alfons Kaundu, told Nampa that he received aletter from a certain headman in southern Angolan on Sundaywarning Namibians to stop crossing into Angola with theirlivestock. Kaundu added that on Sunday afternoon three armedAngolan soldiers shot dead a cow belong to a Namibian villager atSigone village approximately 20 kilometres west of Rundu. TheChief said the cow was among cattle that had crossed into Angolato graze. According to the chief, the three armed FAA soldierslater threatened to shoot three Namibians who were fishing on thebank of the river on the Namibian side. The soldiers forced thethree to carry the carcass of the cow that was shot dead intoAngola. The Chief of the Sambyu tribe, Angeline Matumbo Ribebe,said that two weeks ago Angolan soldiers apprehended two of hersubjects after they were found cutting grass on the Angolan sideof the Kavango river. Although the two were released later, thechief pointed out that residents are still living in fear."Angolans are moving freely in Namibia so why should ourpeople be treated that way?" Ribebe asked. Both traditionalleaders encouraged their subjects to refrain from crossingillegally into Angola as this may endanger their lives. However,they called on the two governments to look seriously intoimproving security for people living on the border. The borderbetween the region and Angola has been officially closed since1994. Some Namibians living along the Kavango river said it wasdifficult to control livestock from crossing into Angola due tothe low level of the river in some areas.
Second man arrested for tourist's murder (TheNamibian, 16/09) - A second suspect was picked up onFriday in connection with the recent murder of a German touristat a guest farm near Usakos, Police sources said yesterday. Butfurther details were not available as Police spokesperson ChiefInspector Hophni Hamufungu could not give further details. OnThursday the Police picked up a 22-year-old suspect while he wasfast asleep in a vehicle parked outside a house in Ausab townshipat Karibib. The suspect allegedly confessed to the crime andnamed his accomplice who had already left town. During his arrestdetectives seized an R-4 rifle that was reportedly stolen from afarm and an unlicensed pistol. German tourist Ingeborg RenateGruber, who was shot dead while travelling with her husband nearUsakos a fortnight ago.
Government condemns tourists murder (The Namibian,04/09) - A government spokesperson yesterday condemnedas "senseless" a murderous gun attack on a Germancouple near Usakos. German tourist Renate Engeborg Grube (48)died on Monday morning after the couple's vehicle came underfire. Police sources said two men were involved in the shooting.Renate's husband, Helmut Gruber (58), sustained shot wounds tothe legs during the ambush, which took place about threekilometres from Ameib Ranch Guest Lodge, some 25 km from Usakos.Gruber was airlifted to Windhoek and is hospitalised at the RomanCatholic Hospital in the capital where he is recuperating fromhis injuries. Police are still hunting for the gunmen. In astatement yesterday, Mocks Shivute, Permanent Secretary at theMinistry of Information and Broadcasting, said: "It isinexcusable that criminal elements murdered and maimed tourists,or for that matter anybody, for personal gain." Shivuteconveyed Government's condolences to the bereaved family andwarned that "no stone will be left unturned to apprehend theculprits and let justice take its course". "Members ofthe Namibian Police Force have been deployed in the Usakos areain their search for the attackers of the Gruber couple. Theattack on the Gruber couple is viewed in a very seriouslight," he stressed. The Information and Broadcasting PSsaid the attack "holds far-reaching implications forNamibia's thriving tourism industry, which could easily benegatively affected if the international community overreacts tothis very unfortunate and isolated c riminal attack".Initially the Police said an AK-47 rifle was used but Shivutesaid it was an R-5 rifle. The exact weapon used would only beestablished after forensic tests had been carried out, the Policesaid yesterday. Gideon Shilongo, Chief Executive Officer atNamibia Tourism Board (NTB), yesterday condemned the attack as"despicable". The couple, who were ambushed whiletravelling in a Toyota Condor, were from Munich. Police sourcessay the murder is now being investigated by detectives from theSerious Crime Unit in the Erongo Region. Several efforts over thepast two days to obtain comment from the German Embassy inWindhoek have proved fruitless. The Matron at the Roman Catholic,Sister Marita Haarmaan, said Gruber, who was shot in both legs"is in a very stable condition". She said he was beingtreated in the high care unit because he had lost a lot of blood.She quoted Gruber as having said he was driving from Ameib RanchGuest Lodge when "suddenly he saw two men in the bush, hesped away and they started to shoot. He drove out of their reach... he drove till he fainted (from blood loss)." The Matronsaid Gruber was found by a group of German tourists in the areawho immediately summoned help. It is not known if the latestdeadly attack is linked to a series of armed robberies in theUsakos-Karibib area earlier this year. In late July the Policesaid they were pursuing two armed robbers who held Dutch touristsa gunpoint near Karibib. The millionaire and his wife wereambushed near a gate that the couple had to open beforeproceeding with their trip. The couple were robbed of belongingsand cash with a combined value of over N$80 000. The robbersthrew the key of their vehicle into the bush, but the touristsmanaged to retrieve it. On July 12, the same two robbers arebelieved to have targeted the farm Ombujomenge, 30 km south ofKaribib. They held two farmworkers at gunpoint and demanded thekeys to the house and safe, just after the owner Bennie de Bruynhad left the premises. However the duo fled when the workersstarted fighting back. On July 3 the same duo are suspected tohave held Walvis Bay businessman and the owner of the farmOkatjimukuyue, Freddie Meyer, at gunpoint. The farmer wasreturning to his farm, which is about 10 km from Karibib, when hestopped to close a gate he had left open earlier. The two stolemore than N$1 000 from his wallet, his 18-carat gold watch worthN$6 000, his ring and other small items.
Passport scam see ministry official suspended (TheNamibian, 03/09) - The Ministry of Home Affairs hassuspended a senior official in connection with a scam involvingthe issuing of Namibian passports to foreigners. Acting Directorof Immigration, Citizenship, Alien and Board Control, NkrumahMushelenga, also announced yesterday that a two-week moratoriumon new passports had been lifted. Stricter measures on theissuing of passports had now been put in place, he said.Mushelenga told The Namibian that the suspended official had beenstrongly implicated in the scam. The scheme reportedly alsoinvolved an Angolan pastor arrested recently for allegedlyissuing false birth certificates to enable foreigners to getNamibian passports. He said the Ministry was shocked when itlearned that a "trusted" supervisor in the passportsdivision was allegedly "colluding with foreigners to issueforged passports". Mushelenga declined to name the official.The Namibian has been reliably informed that the official wascaught with several passports and birth certificates in hisbriefcase on the day the Ministry launched a surpriseinvestigation two weeks ago. "These [the documents found inhis briefcase] are not our main evidence. We have more watertightevidence ...," said an official. Mushelenga also accusedseveral private agencies of helping foreigners obtain passports."The business of immigration consultants is growing and theyare doing anything for money. We are going to check on those whohave been colluding in these criminal activities," he said."As a result the Ministry has decided that all agents willno longer liaise with the Ministry on passport matters. They areonly allowed to liaise with the Ministry on visas and permitissues. The Ministry will institute serious action against someof these agencies involved in this crime," Mushelenga added."As from now on the submission of passport applications andthe collection of the passports should be done by the applicantand not by somebody else," he said.
Fears that new army base will hit tourism in theCaprivi (The Namibian, 02/09) - A number of tourismoperators in the Kongola area in the Caprivi have expressedconcern about the impact of a new army base at Kongola. Localconservationists are also concerned that heavy armoured vehicleswould damage the environment. The area where the military base isto be established is part of a pristine nature conservation areawith a large variety of wildlife such as elephants, buffalo,hippos, lions, leopards and different species of antelopes. TheNamibia Defence Force is building a camp to protect the"strategic" Kongola Bridge. The Ministry of Defence hasconfirmed that it is clearing the forest at the junction of themain Trans-Caprivi highway and the track leading south to the oldKoevoet camp (Doppies camp) on the western bank of the Kwandoriver. Sources said the base was likely to house at least aplatoon of NDF troops. Tourism operators are concerned that thecamp will scare off visitors as it would create an impressionthat the area is not safe. The camp will be established within afew metres of the only access road to tourist camp sites and alodge south of the bridge. There is already a military fort sometwo kilometres away on the eastern side of the river while thearmy maintains a presence at a checkpoint on the bridge. EmilyKazapua, spokesperson in the Ministry of Defence, said Kongolawas a "strategic" bridge and needed protection."The idea is to cover the whole area in the region. Even thetourists need to feel covered," she said. Tourism operatorand medical doctor Andre Birkenstock from Katima Mulilo said hewas puzzled as to why the military camp was only beingestablished now - months after Unita leader Jonas Savimbi died,and the rebel forces were demobilised. He said tourism hadstarted picking up in the region following the downturn caused byUnita attacks and the 1999 separatist raids launched bysupporters of Mishake Muyongo. "Questions must also beraised about the presence of the NDF in an environmentallysensitive area such as the Bwatabwata Park Core Area when thereis evidence that members of the NDF have been responsible forpoaching over the past few years," Birkenstock told TheNamibian. He said wildlife north of the main highway has almostdisappeared since the NDF became involved in the Angolan conflictalthough very few cases of poaching had reached court.Birkenstock said they were not unappreciative of the presence ofthe army, but wanted the NDF to show more sensitivity to otheractivities that would promote economic development in the area.
Child sex scandal rocks embassy in Pretoria(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 27/09) - The SouthAfrican police have launched a high-level probe into allegationsof sex slavery and prostitution at the Myanmar embassy inPretoria. The probe was launched after a 15-year-old Asian girlinformed police last week that she had been sexually andphysically abused there. The girl is now under the care of thechild protection unit (CPU). The Mail & Guardian was told shewas brought into the country when she was eight. SeniorSuperintendent Mary Martins-Engelbrecht, a police spokesperson,this week confirmed that police were investigating the matter.Martins-Engelbrecht said the case would be referred to the seniorpublic prosecutor or the director of public prosecution after theinvestigation. "We cannot divulge any further informationregarding the ongoing investigation because the case is stillsub-judice and it is not considered to be in the best interest ofjustice to elaborate on the allegations or the investigation atthis stage," she said. A police report leaked to the M&Gthis week, however, gives a detailed account of the policeinvestigation into the alleged sexual abuse at the embassy. Thereport, dated September 20, was compiled by Superintendent AWiese, commander of the CPU. It was submitted to the Pretoriaarea police commissioner, the national head of the unit thatliaises with international police, and the national head of thefamily violence unit. The report says the Pretoria districtsurgeon who examined the girl found that she had been"sexually abused and possibly been misused for the purposeof prostitution". According to the report the girl escapedfrom the Myanmar embassy two weeks ago. She was found atEersterust, in Pretoria, last week by a community member. Thecommunity member contacted Eersterust police after the girlrevealed that she had escaped from the Myanmar embassy and thatshe was "sexually and physically" abused there. TheEersterust police contacted the CPU and the child was handed overto the unit. The report states that Myanamar diplomats, led byHla Myint, a minister counsellor at the embassy, tried to get thegirl returned to the embassy, claiming she had run away. The CPUrejected their request. Speaking to the M&G this week Myintdenied that the girl had been sexually abused at the embassy."Your allegations are shocking to us. We are diplomats andwe do not sexually abuse women," he said. "We havenever had a female Asian working here. How can we sexually abusea girl at the embassy? We have two female staff and both arelocals," he said. Myint also denied that there was a policeinvestigation into the matter. "Which police officer isinvestigating that? I do not understand why you are talking of aninvestigation because no one has been sexually abused here. Weonly have male staff members here and how can we sexually abuse agirl here?" he asked again. But Ronnie Mamoepa, theDepartment of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said his departmenthas been informed of the alleged sexual assault of the15-year-old Asian girl at the Myanmar embassy. "We takethese allegations very seriously and are following the matterclosely. Because the matter is in the hands of the police -- wedo not want to pre-empt the outcome of the investigation byprejudging the matter. "Because the young lady in questiondoes not have a good command of English, the department assistedthe police in securing the services of an interpreter to assisther during the police investigation," Mamoepa said. Askedabout the diplomatic and legal implications of the case, Mamoepasaid: "Because the matter is still under investigation wecannot go into any detail about the implications as yet".But a senior official at the Department of Foreign Affairs thisweek said allegations against the Myanmar embassy are likely tostrain relations between South Africa and the Southeast Asiancountry. He said charges of child molestation against the embassywould force Pretoria to act "decisively" against theembassy officials. The officials may be deported. "We callit demarche. It is the highest action that the department cantake. We call the ambassador in and then give him 24 hours toleave the country. The justice aspect would normally have to takeits course in Myanmar," he said. Myanmar, which is alsoknown as Burma, is a signatory of a United Nations treaty againstsex slavery. It is ruled by a military junta that has beenaccused of gross human rights abuses. The country is thesecond-largest producer of illicit opium after Afghanistan. Ithas full diplomatic relations with South Africa. The diplomaticrelations were established in April 1995 and the Myanmar embassyin South Africa was opened in June 1996. South Africa also has adiplomatic mission in Myanmar. Total South African trade withMyanmar was R1,8-billion in 2001. South Africa mainly exportsbase metals, chemical and mineral products to the country andimports mostly footwear, vegetable products and machinery fromMyanmar.
Health department drives out doctors, says intern(Johannesburg, Mail & Guardian, 27/09) - Much hasbeen made of the mass exodus of trained professionals, especiallydoctors, from South Africa. For the most part, why doctors leaverests on factors outside the realm of the Department of Health,and include the high crime rates and uncertain economic prospectsin this country. However, the actions of the Department of Healthtoward doctors in their first two years out of medical schoolonly compound this problem. I am working as an intern at agovernment hospital in KwaZulu-Natal and, although my owncircumstances for next year have worked out favourably, thetreatment of many of my friends and collegues has prompted thisletter. At the end of medical school one has to complete a yearof internship, followed by one year of community service to thestate before being allowed to register as a doctor. Theinternship year tends to take place at a more central hospitalwhere supervision is guaranteed while the community service yearcan be at a more peripheral hospital/ clinic. The problem startswith the recent departmental ruling that each internship hospitalmust have the same number of interns from each medical school.This means that most junior doctors have to "leavehome" to a different major centre even though in previousyears most were accommodated in the city of their choice. Theadministration of the applications for community service has alsobeen ridiculously inefficient. For starters, two days before thefinal applications had to be submitted in Pretoria, interns inKwaZulu-Natal had not received their application forms. Despitethis, most doctors applied on time but this rush does allow lesstime to research the various hospitals available. Having receivedthe applications, the Department of Health was supposed to informthose interns who weren't placed in the first round by July sothat they might reapply in the second round. More than two monthslater and this time with only one day to apply, applications forthe second round were delivered. The manner in which posts areallocated for community service is also frustrating. An intern inDurban who failed to be placed in the first round saw one of heroriginal choices on the second-round list. She was told thatdemographic quotas prevented her from being placed. In this case,she was Indian and the department feels that Durban isoversubscribed with regard to Indian doctors. In other words, afemale member of a previously disadvantaged group was preventedfrom occupying a place that nobody else wanted -- because of herskin colour. In all, the way which the department conducts itsaffairs is an avoidable factor in the reasons why doctors seekbetter options overseas.
Respected Mpumalanga official an unauthorizedimmigrant (Nespruit, African Eye News Service, 26/09) - Mpumalanga'srespected head of consumer affairs in the department of economicaffairs and finance has been found guilty of having lived andworked in South Africa illegally for the past nine years. TheNelspruit magistrate's court found last week that SibusisiweMgodla Khumalo, 57, used a false South African identity book andordered that she be deported to Zimbabwe. Khumalo was sentencedto three years in jail, but the sentence was suspended oncondition she not return to South Africa illegally in the nextfive years. She was also sentenced to 18 months in jail, but thesentence was suspended for five years as long as she's not caughtwithout a residence permit when in South Africa. Khumalo wasarrested on September 2 after the department of home affairsalerted Nelspruit police that Khumalo was using a false ID book.Her residency permit had also expired on August 2, 1993. Khumalopleaded guilty to charges of the illegal possession of a SouthAfrican ID documents and of illegally residing in the country.She told the court she has a diploma and B.Com degree from theUniversity of Rhodesia and Nyassaland and that she was driven toSouth Africa by circumstances in her country. She said she'd losttrack of her family in the 1980s after they were abducted duringthe political turmoil of that time. The provincial department offinance and economic affairs hired her as assistant director in1995 and she was appointed head of consumer affairs the followingyear. Khumalo argued that it was through her efforts that between1999 and 2001 she helped consumers resolve disputes involving R15million. She also facilitated staff training because there wereno trained inspectors in the department. She said that throughher efforts the department now had metrology inspectors whoprevented bakers from selling underweight bread. The consumeraffairs' directorate was also a finalist of the premier's awardsand, because of her efforts, the province's consumer court willbe established on November 2. Department spokeswoman ChristabelHlatshwayo confirmed Khumalo's achievements and said her arrestcame as a great shock. Khumalo's position is currently empty.
Chilean arrested at Earth Summit faced extradition(Johannesburg, SABC News, 24/09) - Lawyers for a Chileanrights activist accused of murdering a general during thePinochet era has appealed for his release from a South Africanjail where he is facing extradition. Academic Jaime YovanovicPrieto, 54, was arrested at Johannesburg airport in early Augustas he arrived to attend the U.N. Earth Summit held in SouthAfrica. He is wanted in Chile in connection with the 1983assassination of General Carol Urzua, a top military commander inAugusto Pinochet's junta regime. A spokesman for South Africa'sJustice Ministry said Prieto was being detained under aninternational arrest warrant while the Chilean governmentprepared its extradition application. Prieto has spent more thansix weeks in jail awaiting a ruling by a South African court onwhether he can be ordered back to Chile. Johannesburg lawyerssaid that depended upon whether the murder had politicalcharacter. If so, it would stump the extradition case. Prieto hadfaced extradition from Italy in 2000, but was released after ashort period of detention. His lawyer George Bizos said he wassuffering from severe arthritis in his fingers, toes, andshoulders -- all of which were crushed by torturers duringPinochet's rule. "He has developed a very serious arthriticcondition and he is in great pain," said Bizos, a veteranhuman rights lawyer whose previous clients included NelsonMandela. Johannesburg's legal community has called on JusticeMinister Penuell Maduna to release Prieto, saying the murders ofUrzua and his two bodyguards were politically motivated."The act itself was a political assassination," Bizossaid, adding that South Africa was bound by a Victorian-eratreaty with Chile to refrain from extraditing those charged withpolitical offences. More than 3000 people died or disappearedunder Pinochet who ruled Chile with an iron fist from 1973 to1990 when he returned the country to democracy. Three members ofthe rebel Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) were convictedof the shooting of Urzua and his two bodyguards and sentenced todeath. Their sentence was later commuted to life in prison. In aletter to South Africa's justice minister, Prieto said he was amember of MIR at the time of the killings, but was not involvedin the attack on Urzua. Prieto left Chile in 1984 and was laterimplicated by one of the MIR members convicted for Urzua'smurder. The MIR member later withdrew the allegation, saying thearmy had coerced him. Prieto said he believed the Chileanmilitary court seeking his extradition was part of a campaign bythe military to justify atrocities committed during the Pinochetera. "I strenuously deny that I was involved in thekillings," Prietro said in a draft letter to South Africa'sJustice Ministry.
Report on medical tourism to South Africa (FinancialMail, 20/09) - Increasing numbers of foreign tourists -mainly from the US and UK - are taking advantage of the low randand SA's medical excellence to jet in for such pressing medicalemergencies as excessive flab, wrinkles and the known ailments ofage. Tourism based on the internal buying power of our currencyis familiar. Less so is the surge of a subset of foreignvisitors, medical tourists. SA has become a magnet for those insearch of (relatively) cheap elective procedures such as tummytucks, liposuction, laser eye surgery, rhinoplasty and breastenhancement. More critical surgical work - including hip and kneereplacements, or, indeed, cardiac operations - are also on offerfrom a rising number of SA-based sources; but cosmetic surgery isthe main drawcard. There are no fixed prices for elective surgeryand clients should beware of those that seem too low. As abenchmark, though, a breast augmentation operation that costs £3000-£5 000 in the UK and US$10 000 in America is quoted by oneSA company at £1 800 ($2 500). And local prices, listed inpounds or dollars, generally include some or all components oftravel fares, food, hospital and hotel admission; even a gametour. A facelift in England costs £5 000-£9 000 (depending onwhere you have the surgery) and in the US, $20 000; in SA, withsome extras, it is priced at £2 800 ($3 900). A knee operationat a private hospital in the UK costs £10 000 - £7 000 in SA.Patients can evaluate different packages for themselves; andsince exchange rates and other costs can rise or fall,comparisons are inevitably fluid. The trend towards"meditourism" is triggering new investment - a Europeangroup is funding a R200m cosmetic surgery hospital in the WesternCape's Winelands area, planned for 2004 and offering five-starhotel service. So, how many patients are being enticed? LorraineMelvill, CE of Johannesburg-based Surgeon & Safari, says:"We have 20-30 clients here a month, in Cape Town andJohannesburg. On average, each spends R80 000, which goesdirectly into the following sectors: medical, hospitality andgeneral tourism. The average stay is seven to 12 days."Melvill started Surgeon & Safari after she suggested that avisiting relative (a man) look no further than SA for hisfacelift. Making the arrangements, a light went on and a businesswas born. Surgeon & Safari works with skilled surgeons, andhas a business arrangement with the Orient Express hotel group(The Westcliff in Johannesburg and Mount Nelson in Cape Town) tomake recovery a delight. But, initially, the process isInternet-driven. Melvill, a dynamic former marketing executive,founded Surgeon & Safari in 1999. Its primary focus is on theUK. Her first target audience was people in search of electivesurgery, but she believes "medical insurers overseas are thenext market". Earlier this month she spoke at SA House inLondon at a promotional press conference that drew considerableattention from the British media. She has set up a UK office.There are broader aspects of the meditourism trend. Some may feelthey cannot wait for (say) 18 months in Britain for a NationalHealth Service booking, and may choose to travel here to shoparound among SA's first-rate medical corps for a swiftalternative. Or an Internet search could unveil the servicesoffered by Surgeon & Safari, Health Hopper Holidays,Mediscapes, Far South Life, Safricare, Surgical Adventures - anda growing number of public companies (Afrox and Netcare) andprivate doctors such as plastic surgeons, joint-replacementspecialists, and dentists.
Any patient, naturally, must apply the caveat emptor rule.Since initial consultations are conducted in cyberspace, criticsfeel that essential face-to-face evaluation cannot be up toscratch. Dr Tom Ford, president of the Association of Plastic& Reconstructive Surgeons of SA, comments: "Anyoneseeking plastic surgery in SA should make sure they choose asurgeon who is subject to peer review and an accredited member ofthe association." He notes, too, that would-be patientsshould beware of the pressure to proceed with an operation ifthey arrive here and then have doubts. Melvill rebuts any tacitaccusation of unprofessionalism: "When you are innovative,you break new ground all the time. You have to keep your processliquid to benefit from opportunities, improve and be open tochange - creating new standards and requirements." She adds:"The final decision for both client and surgeon is reservedfor face-to-face consultation which fine-tunes the process - weoffer consultation in London on a monthly basis, allowing pre-and follow-up consultations." She also has her eye on theUS. Then there is the boon of social concealment, as reflected inthis comment by "Dan" of the US, which Surgeon &Safari lists as not untypical: "Every person who hastravelled to SA in the past year is suspected of having had someplastic work done. Indeed you may have blown my cover . . . [If]Surgeon & Safari are all over the world news, where does thatleave us? Actually, my two sons did not notice that I had had anysurgery, so, in that respect, it was a complete success. I amhappy." The subtext here is that Dan - 14% of cosmeticsurgery patients in the US are men - need not fear squiffy looksfrom his friends, family, neighbours or fellow workers; themedical care is good, the recuperation spent, if the patient sochooses, in a tranquil game lodge or a classy hotel. No telltalebruises or scars give the game away on his return. Dan's fearsabout his "cover" arise because Surgeon & Safarihas gained considerable attention abroad - it has been thesubject of reports on CNN and the BBC, and been profiled inLongevity, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the Wall StJournal and Forbes. Though elective surgery in SA has been on themap since at least the 1980s, the current upsurge in interest hasbeen strongly promoted by Melvill. She and others in the fieldhave had assistance not just from a falling rand, but from theescalation of medical costs generally. On top of that, and ofsome significance, has been her carefully shepherded introductionof foreign patients to the more familiar reasons for visiting SA- the natural beauty, the lions - rather than allowing what shedescribes as "negative perceptions" of crime andThird-World conditions to sway choices. So far as the FM cangauge, the reputable meditourist operators take care to play bythe rules . Their doctors take assessments seriously, retainingthe right to decline to perform procedures on those for whom, oncloser inspection than an e-mail correspondence, surgery is notrecommended. Dr Michael Verrier of Knysna, for example, offersorthopaedic surgery, joint replacements, spinal surgery,arthroscopy and other treatments for ailments like arthritis. Hebases his services on "the failure of most countries toprovide an adequate and effective government-run medicalsystem". In a disclaimer, he asserts: "What ispresented on this website is entirely my own approach andrepresents my own opinions, and therefore may differ from theapproach or opinions of other orthopaedic surgeons . . . I amhappy to recommend other surgeons for second opinions whenrequested to do so . . ." That SA has also failed to provide"an effective government-run medical system" speaks foritself. But the reputation of our medical profession is high andSA has many centres of excellence, such as the cardiac unit atGroote Schuur. The hospital has in fact set aside a ward forprivate patients - and is involved in negotiations with the UKNational Health Service to refer patients for cardiac surgery toCape Town. Meditourists in local beds are set to increase. It isalso the case that a number of key doctors linked to Surgeon& Safari (and other companies) regularly travel overseas tovisit their patients for after-care or further consultation. Suchprofessionalism, of course, pays off: hotel-linked surgerybookings currently show a 200% annual increase. And doctors whoare part of the meditourist schemes report that up to 50% oftheir patients today are from abroad; it was 10% a few years ago.Melvill says repeat clients are "now SA's best ambassadors -and so future tourism. This is why it's important to maintain thehigh standard of service." Is the war against theconsequences of age, rich food and gravity a little strange inour dislocated society? Probably: but that's the way that marketsare supposed to work.
Immigration law set to begin in early 2003 (The DailyNews, 19/09) - The controversial Immigration Act is tocome into operation in the first quarter of next year andregulations for the implementation would be made public beforethe end of next month. Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezimade this promise in parliament on Wednesday after beingcongratulated on the smooth operation of his department duringthe Johannesburg Summit. Buthelezi also hinted that flawedaspects of the Bill could be amended soon after the regulationswere gazetted next month. The problem clauses led to an agreementof understanding between political parties that some amendmentswould have to be made to the Act, which took five years tocomplete. "Once we promulgated the regulations, I hoped wecould start working on the amendments of shortcomings," hesaid. "But in terms of other shortcomings, we will have toconsult and take the amendments to the cabinet." TheImmigration Act was passed by parliament in May after lengthy andintense battles in parliament's home affairs committee betweenthe ANC and opposition parties the IFP and the DP. The ANC urgedButhelezi to draft amendments to the law, which replaced theapartheid-era Aliens Control Act, as soon as possible after itwas passed by parliament. In its rush to meet a constitutionalcourt deadline, the ruling party withdrew last-minute amendmentsto the Bill which it had tabled after Trade and Industry MinisterAlec Erwin complained about a confusing clause dealing with workpermits. ANC MP Loretta Jacobus said at the time that parliamentran the risk of creating a constitutional crisis.
Immigration regulations to be published by October 31,says Buthelezi (Parliament, Sapa, 18/09) - Immigrationregulations will be published before October 31 this year, HomeAffairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi told Parliament onThursday. He hoped the Immigration Act would come into operationin the first quarter of 2003, he told MPs during question time.Earlier this year, Buthelezi told Parliament that last-minutechanges to the then Immigration Bill could be resolved throughthe use of regulations, without the need to return to Parliamentonce the legislation was enacted for amendments. He wasreferring, among other things, to the quota system for foreignwork permits introduced by the African National Congress.
Rural tourism receives a boost (Middelburg, AfricanEye News Service, 17/09) - Rural tourism in Mpumalangareceived a boost on Tuesday with the launch of a regional tourismroute in Botshabelo near Middelburg. The Cultural Heartland, aproject of the Mpumalanga tourism authority and provincialfinance and economic affairs department, is similar to the gardenroute in the Cape and aims to promote and market the diversity ofthe Highveld region. Regional route markers have been placed tohighlight tourist attractions and accommodation sites in thearea, which includes the town of Middelburg, Hendrina,Groblersdal, Marble Hall, Roossenekal, Witbank, and the Dr JSMoroka and Thembisile municipalities in the former KwaNdebelehomeland. A tourism map book has also been published to helpvisitors chart their journey. "The region boasts anabundance of historical and cultural heritage sites, arts andcrafts, wildlife, fauna and flora and enchantinglandscapes," said organisation chairwoman Anna-Marth Ott.The area is home to artist Ester Mahlangu whose striking Ndebeledesign was chosen to decorate the tail of a British Airwaysairplane and a BMW sedan. The area boasts many examples of thetraditional Ndebele houses and art. "The idea is to createawareness of the importance of rural tourism," Ott said.Amongst the activities in the area are nature trails, horsesafaris, hikes and game viewing. The route is one of sevenplanned for the province.
Home Affairs officials probed in marriage scam (TheDaily News, 16/09) - Detectives investigating a marriagescam have uncovered an international racket in which illegalPakistani immigrants are being given a safe haven at a house inChatsworth, while corrupt home affairs officials process theirdocuments. Also under investigation is a priest who has beenmarrying illegal immigrants and issuing them with a marriagecertificate which is presented to Home Affairs officials whenapplying for permanent residence in the country. At the weekend,detectives from the Organised Crime Unit (OCU) arrested aPakistani national and his "wife of convenience" at ahouse in Chatsworth. He is alleged to be an agent with contactsin Karachi. Detective Inspector Mtu Mbhele from the OCU saidpolice are investigating about 300 cases in which foreigners haveentered into marriage with South Africans to stay in the country."We have cases involving Pakistanis, Nigerians, Russians andChinese. The main culprits in the marriage scam arePakistanis," explained Mbhele. Mbhele also said that thePakistani arrested at the weekend was the main player involved inthe scam. "He was the main agent in Durban with contacts inKarachi. Pakistanis without proper immigration papers would leaveKarachi and arrive in Maputo, Mozambique. There they would beissued with Mozambican passports and visas at a Home Affairsoffice that closed down a long time ago. These people would thenmake their way illegally into South Africa and would be met bythe agent. "They paid about R5 000 to register a marriage toa South African so that they could get permanent residence. Thewoman who agreed to marry the foreigner received R500 and corruptofficials at the Home Affairs office were also paid well. Thelion's share of the R5 000 is kept by the agent," saidMbhele. Mbhele added that the Pakistani arrested was livingillegally in South Africa and operates several restaurants inDurban. "This man, who is 50 years old, married a30-year-old security officer for R500. They have never livedtogether. The woman is now co-operating with the police. We arealso investigating a priest who married these foreigners andissued them with marriage certificates which were then presentedto Home Affairs to get 'proper documents'," said Mbhele.Mbhele added that a senior Home Affairs official was arrestedlast month. Police had received numerous complaints from SouthAfricans who had discovered they were married to people they hadnever met. Police appeal to members of the public with anyrelevant information to contact Inspector Mbhele on 073 241 6903.
Omar launches cross-border awareness month (BuaNews,16/09) - Transport minister Dullah Omar today launchedthe Cross-Border Awareness Month in Musina in the Limpopoprovince. The Cross-Border Awareness Month will continue tillmid-October. During the Awareness Month, the department inconjunction with the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA)will be focusing on spreading road safety messages to allmotorists at all the country's border posts, with more emphasison trucks, buses and minibus taxi operators. Agency chairpersonGeorge Negota said during focus would also be on educating peopleabout HIV/AIDS. 'We will also be educating people interested inbecoming involved in the transport sector, advising them what todo and where to go for financial assistance,' said Mr Negota.During the awareness month, the department will also be lookingat possible ways of addressing congestion at border posts. Heavyvehicle operators will also be given tips on how to cope withstress on long journeys.
Zimbabwean teachers seek jobs in South Africa, saysAsmal (BuaNews, 11/09) - Education minister Kader Asmalsays there is an increasing number of Zimbabwean teachers seekingteaching posts in South Africa. Addressing the fifth nationalcongress of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in Durbanyesterday, the minister said many of the these teachers were wellqualified in maths and science. The minister was speaking againstthe background of the increasing global market for newly trainedteachers, which continues to 'poach' teachers from South Africa,especially to the UK, the US and the Middle and Far East, wherecompetency in English was a valued asset. He said the fact thatZimbabweans were looking for jobs in this country was less talkedabout. 'We have also received requests from Mozambique forteachers of English, to support their campaign to drop Portugueseas the lingua franca and replace it with English,' said ProfAsmal. He said in this regard, ways had to be considered on howto respond to this, 'and the starting point must be that wecannot afford to be isolationist in our approach'. Instead, headded, this opportunity could be used fruitfully, so thatteachers who taught elsewhere were able 'to access developmentopportunities and return as better teachers.' 'In line with thisapproach I have recently secured an agreement with the ScottishPrime Minister to initiate teacher exchanges, which willhopefully be of mutual benefit to ourselves and the Scottishschools.' In terms of recruiting potential to the profession inthe country, Prof Asmal said the education department hadconsulted teacher unions to embark on a campaign to increase therecruitment of teachers into initial training programmes. 'Thedepartment will be using the Government Imbizo week, which willrun from 7 to 13 October, to speak to children and studentteachers about career prospects in education.' Similarly, a jointroad show would be mounted next year, to promote the professionand increase recruitment.
Grass not always greener outside South Africa forcontractors (Johannesburg, Business Day, 11/09) - Althoughthe grass may appear greener across SA's borders, it may turn outto be a desert for contractors. Cross-border work is fraught withdanger if contractors are unfamiliar with the peculiarities ofthe country they are working in. Typical risks includecorruption, difficulty shipping plant in and out and sourcing asuitable workforce. Obstacles may be put in the way of setting upand disestablishing, unless appropriate palms are greased. Thebusiness culture of the country involved must be thoroughlyunderstood. This may require forming relationships withestablished organisations, and this in turn requires research. Anumber of SA contractors have found to their cost that theirinitial choice of business partner has been unsatisfactory.Working cross-border places SA contractors in a new category ofinternational contracting. However, not all contracts areinternational in the sense that they require internationalfinancing and resourcing. This means contractors must pay specialattention to complying with local laws and negotiations, and thenecessity should disputes arise of recourse to frequentlyunfriendly and inefficient court structures and legal systemsthat may be quite unlike SA's. Contractors should ensure thatdispute resolution clauses in contracts are carefully drawn upand evaluated before finalising their tenders they may find theminvaluable. Other problems contractors face include collectingpayment, particularly where contracts are undertaken forgovernments with autocratic approaches, and which may not evenremain in power for the duration of the contract. Binnington isMD of construction contract specialists Binnington Copeland &Associates.
Only five Zimbabwean refugees since April 2000(Parliament, Sapa, 11/09) - A total of 132 Zimbabweanshad applied for asylum in South Africa since April 2000 and fiveof them had been granted refugee status, Home Affairs MinisterMangosuthu Buthelezi said on Wednesday. Replying to a questionfrom Mannetjies Grobler (DP), Buthelezi said he would notinvestigate the granting of refugee status to all Zimbabweanfarmers and farmworkers seeking that status in South Africa."If they do apply their applications would be consideredindividually." Applications would usually be finalisedwithin 180 days. Meanwhile, Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didizasaid South Africa would not consider inviting farmers who hadbeen forced off their land in Zimbabwe to assist South Africanemerging farmers. South Africa had enough experienced farmers ofits own who were already engaged in co-operative ventures withthe emergent sector, she said in reply to Dan Maluleke (DP).
South Africa attracts good Zimbabwean teachers, saysAsmal (SABC News, 10/09) - Although South Africa islosing its teachers to the developed countries, the country isstill attractive to good maths and science teachers fromZimbabwe, Kader Asmal, the Minster of Education, has told theSouth African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) congress inDurban today. Asmal also says South African teachers may have tohelp in Mozambique where they are ditching Portuguese forEnglish. "We must consider how we respond to this, and thestarting point must be that we cannot be isolationist in ourapproach. Instead we must make this market work for us." Inan expected move, Willy Madisha, Sadtu's president and ThulasNxesi, the union's secretary-general, have retained theirpositions unopposed. Their victory follows corruption allegationsthat resurfaced a few days before the congress. Final electionsare expected to take place tomorrow.
South African tourism still increasing (Parliament,Sapa, 10/09) - Although tourism to South Africacontinued to increase compared to many other destinations, anumber of challenges remained, SA Tourism CEO Cheryl Carolus saidon Tuesday. Briefing the National Assembly's environmentalaffairs and tourism committee on the tourism growth strategy, shesaid this had been founded on a set of five key objectives. Thesewere increasing total tourism volume at high and sustainablerates, increasing spending by tourists and their length of stayin the country, achieving better tourism distribution around thecountry and less seasonality, and promoting transformation andblack economic empowerment. Carolus said tourism growth dependedon all of these and the focus could not be on one at the expenseof another. This was because, among other things, whilebackpackers toured almost the whole country, they did not spendas much money as tourists who visited Cape Town or Gauteng onlyand ignored other parts. Seasonality also affected the viabilityof many smaller and emerging industry participants, she said. Inmarketing South Africa abroad, SA Tourism had to make a series oftough strategic choices. South Africa did not have the resourcesor capacity to market in the "100-plus countries in theworld that are attractive". "This is why we had to makesome careful choices around what would deliver on our five keyobjectives." Carolus said South Africa was defying worldtrends, as tourism to the country continued to grow whiledropping elsewhere in the wake of attacks on the United States onSeptember 11 last year and a global economic decline. Theseevents particularly affected the world's two largest outgoingtourist markets - the United States and Japan. While there wereless visitors from certain countries in Africa and South America,overall tourism to South Africa had grown by 7,5 percent to Junethis year, compared to, among others, a decline of 11 percent inAustralia. Visitors from the United Kingdom increased by about 20percent, Germany by about 19 percent, France about 14 percent andItaly by about eight percent. Although the figure for the US wasonly around 0,1 percent, this was better than other destinations,most experiencing decreases in the number of US visitors.Tourists to South Africa from, among others, India and China alsoincreased by 22 and 27 percent respectively, Carolus said.
South African criminals are 'killing investment' fromTaiwan (IOL, 09/09) - Criminals have cost South Africaan estimated 20 000 Taiwanese investors, according toTaiwan's Foreign Minister, Fu Mei Chang. At one time there were30 000 Chinese investors from the Democratic Republic ofChina in South Africa but now that number had been drasticallyreduced. Some of them have relocated to Lesotho, she told anAmity Conference at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban at the weekend.Chang said she was addressing the issue with the Minister of HomeAffairs, Mangosuthu Buthelezi. She said the investors were verykeen to come to South Africa, especially KwaZulu-Natal. "Butthe wanton violence and crimes against our people have led manyinvestors to go to other African countries and presently Lesothois benefiting greatly from activities which could easily havebeen South Africa's," said Chang. She said that Taiwan wasover-populated and that people with expertise and powerfuleconomic muscle were keen to come to South Africa. "Onlyrecently in Mpumalanga, a busload of our people who were on theirway to Swaziland to meet our president was hijacked and robbed."A man in police uniform stopped the bus and, afterhandcuffing the driver, drove the bus with everyone on board to asecluded spot and robbed them of everything. This did so muchdamage to South Africa," said Chang. After addressing themeeting, during which she conferred on Buthelezi a special awardfor his friendship shown to "Chinese people", Changsaid that the personal safety factor was vital. She said theimpression abroad was that South Africa was not safe and thatpeople should not come here. "It is a pity because this is avery beautiful country and there is a bright future here foreveryone. "The authorities must act against criminals andstamp out the violence which is destroying many lives," saidChang. She added that while 300 delegates, all of them Chinese,attended the Amity Conference, many others feared for theirsafety and did not attend. This, too, was a loss to the economyof Durban because delegates had major spending power. Residentsof Taiwan were world travellers and many of them went on holidaysabroad and South Africa was an ideal destination, but personaland public safety had to be considerably improved.
Israeli forces take over Wits (Mail & Guardian,08/09) - Israeli security personnel occupied, controlledand policed a University of the Witwatersrand campus for severalhours on Monday this week, the Mail & Guardian hasbeen told. The Israeli embassy in Pretoria denies this. TheIsraeli occupiers and the South African Jewish Board of Deputiesthreateningly interrogated and denied access to Wits staff andstudents -- particularly any who were Muslim-looking or black,according to eye witness accounts given to the M&G.The Wits College of Education in Johannesburg exploded intoviolence on Monday afternoon in the run-up to Israeli ForeignMinister Shimon Peres's address in the campus's LinderAuditorium. South African police used water cannons and batons intheir clashes outside the campus both with demonstratorsprotesting against Peres, and -- eyewitnesses say -- innocentWits staff and students. Several people were badly injured in theclashes and hospitalised. Police laid charges against 16 people-- including two minors. Among those charged was Salim Vally,acting director of and senior researcher in the Wits educationpolicy unit, whose premises are on the College of Educationcampus. "Domestic violence" and "assault" arespecified on his charge sheet. "The campus was in ourcontrol" until mid-afternoon, Wits vice-chancellor ProfessorNorma Reid Birley told the M&G. "But it was thenvery quickly taken over. By the time I got there -- a littlebefore 5pm -- the campus was completely sealed off. It wasclearly a highly planned operation. I could not enter the campusin my car via the main front entrance, and had to enter via aback pedestrian entrance." Reid Birley then attempted toascertain who was in control. "I identified myself toseveral personnel, who wouldn't tell me who they were workingfor. I could find no one who claimed authority. It was clearly aprivate security operation: personnel were in plain clothes, butall of the same sort. "Clearly, a large number of thesecurity personnel were not South African police. A number ofthese refused to speak to me and walked away. "Peres's ownsecurity were running the show," Reid Birley said. "I'mvery upset. I still don't know who took over our campus. Therewas categorically no liaison between the security who took overand our [Wits] security. The Israeli embassy has not been intouch with me at all [since these events]. "What happenedhere was a complete takeover of our campus without our consent orknowledge." Other eyewitness accounts refer to securitypersonnel with foreign accents and broken English who wereoperating both inside and outside the auditorium. They also saysecurity appeared to be targeting black people while waving whitevisitors through. "Israeli security with Mr Peres was notinvolved in the pre-event procedures," says Daniel Pinhasi,first secretary at the Israeli Embassy. "That was theresponsibility of the South African police, with some cooperationfrom Mr Peres's people." Peres's security was operating bothinside and outside the auditorium, says Yehuda Kay, director ofthe Jewish Board of Deputies, which organised the event."But staff and students were not denied access to the campus-- I strongly deny that." Asked about allegations of racialtargeting by security personnel, Kay told the M&G:"Well, I'm sorry there are no Indian-looking Jews." Theallegations are "unfair" and a "low blow", hesaid. Controversy is also boiling over the manner in which theJewish Board of Deputies booked the Wits venue. The M&Ghas a copy of the booking form the board submitted to theuniversity. Peres's name appears nowhere on it, and the spaceunder the heading "Full details of function" is blank.The form says the booking is from 2pm to 8pm on September 2 for a"public lecture". "The booking was done through ajunior administrator," Reid Birley says, "and did notpass through Wits management." Asked how an application withincomplete information could have been sanctioned, she said:"I'm asking that question myself." Reid Birley's firstintimation that Peres was to speak at the college came at about2.30pm on Monday, she says. She then obtained confirmation ofthis from the Jewish Board of Deputies, who told her the board"had arranged security without reference to Wits". Kaysays there was "no intention to deceive Wits", but hecould not comment on why the space on the application form askingfor details of the function was left blank. Reid Birley says themain issue is "the abuse of the rights of staff andstudents, in particular their freedom of movement and right tostudy, and the takeover of our property". She has written toMinister of Education Kader Asmal asking for ministerial action.
UCT to set up global South African 'diaspora network'(Cape Town, Business Day, 04/09) - The World Bank hascontracted the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Graduate School ofBusiness to establish an international "diasporanetwork" of SA professionals living abroad, part of a bankinitiative to boost economic growth and investment in developingcountries. The thinking is that whereas entrepreneurs indeveloping economies are often constrained by a lack of marketknowledge and the high cost of entering new markets, people whohave left those countries accumulate business, networking andmarketing skills that can help reduce such barriers andfacilitate market penetration. Two pilot projects have beenlaunched, in SA and Armenia, with the aim of enabling executivesto take advantage of global opportunities by linking up withtheir expatriate compatriots as a source of advice, mentoring andeven potential business partners and offshore finance. MikeHerrington, the director of the UCT Graduate School of Business'sCentre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, says the centre hasan established web of local and international contacts that areinvolved in assisting new business start-ups, "so we arewell placed to set up and administer the diaspora network".According to World Bank figures, the "brain drain" isby no means an exclusively SA phenomenon. Emigration to richnations has reached a record high of between 2-million and3-million people a year. However, World Bank senior countryeconomist Lev Freinkman says the potential inherent in thesenumbers is "grossly underutilised" and the influence ofdiasporas on business development and growth has, up to now, beenlimited. "This makes the issue of considerable interest tothe World Bank and others who are involved in developmentassistance. SA presents a very interesting opportunity foranalysis of the potential of diasporas because the SA diasporahas considerable business skills and is well organised andtightly linked." Herrington led a fact-finding mission tothe UK in June to lay the groundwork for the network, and hasmade contact with former South Africans in Washington, Dallas andPortland in the US. Expatriate alumni of both the UCT andStellenbosch University business schools have been contacted, ashave the 450 active members of the London-based SA Business Club.Herrington describes the response as "overwhelming",with a number of prominent business people expressing theirwillingness to be a part of the initiative and no sign ofnegativity towards the country. "Generally speaking, theyhave a great passion for SA they want to help and are quitewilling to donate their time." "The network willincrease the quality of international market and competitorinformation available to these businesses, and open the way formore joint ventures with overseas companies and encourageinvestment in SA businesses." A constitution and plan ofaction will be presented to network participants early in the newyear, by which time Herrington hopes to have identified"between four and six businesses that are ready to takeadvantage of whatever opportunities may arise". The UCTGraduate School of Business formed a centre for leadership andpublic values which aims to use mentorship to assist aspirantleaders in business, government and civil society this year as ajoint venture with the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policyat Duke University in North Carolina in the US.
Cuban doctor claims victimization (IOL, 04/09) - Aformer Cuban doctor recruited and registered to practise in SouthAfrica in 1996 in terms of an agreement between the governmentsof the two countries, believes KwaZulu-Natal's health authoritieshave declined to extend his registration because he has married aSouth African and has taken up citizenship and permanentresidence in this country. Dr Raul Rodrigues Vazquez said inpapers before the Pietermaritzburg High Court he believed he wasbeing victimised at the instance of the Cuban government todissuade other Cuban doctors from seeking to remain in SouthAfrica. "There is apparently some understanding between thetwo governments, which they are unwilling to disclose, that hasled South African officials to try and make it difficult for meto continue to be employed - even though there is a need for myservices and I am providing an essential service, am married to aSouth African and have become a South African citizen." DrVazquez, who is employed as principal medical officer forobstetric and gynaecological services at C J Crookes Hospital inScottburgh, obtained a court order by consent on Wednesdayordering health authorities to show cause on October 3 why thedecision not to extend his registration should not be found toconstitute "unlawful administrative action" and shouldnot be renewed by Medical and Dental Professional Board; why theKwaZulu-Natal health department should not apply for the renewalof his registration and directing that if he is required to meetany further requirements for continued registration he must benotified in writing and afforded a reasonable opportunity ofcomplying. Pending a final decision in the case, the authoritieswere further ordered to extend Vazquez's registration and to lifthis suspension from duty on grounds that he was not registered.He revealed in his affidavit that he had been told he was to havebeen put on leave without pay. Prior to this, his registration asa medical practitioner in the public service had been extendedannually almost "automatically", he said.
Top Home Affairs man held over marriage scam (IOL,02/09) - Months of painstaking investigations have ledto the arrest of a "kingpin" in a KwaZulu-Natalmarriage scam involving senior Home Affairs department officialsand foreigners. Detectives from the Organised Crime Unit arresteda senior Home Affairs marriage officer and two Sri Lankans whowere allegedly involved in the racket. Inspector Mandla Mkhwanazisaid police were "quite excited" at the arrest of themarriage officer, who was based at the department's Umgeni Road,Durban, office. "The person we arrested is a very seniorofficial. He is a supervisor of others and is one of the mainplayers in the marriage scam. We expect to make more arrestssoon." Mkhwanazi and his colleague, Inspector Mntu Mbhele,have been working for months on a special project involving themarriage scam. "We have arrested several Home Affairsofficials in Durban and Pinetown recently but we are slowing now,getting to the main players. "In the latest incident ourinvestigations revealed that the temporary resident permit of oneof the Sri Lankans was about to expire. He offered a 17-year-oldgirl R500 to marry him out of convenience so that he could thenapply for permanent residence. "It appears that Home Affairsofficials are offered large amounts of money as bribes tosolemnise marriages," said Mkhwanazi. In some cases, singleSouth African woman have discovered that they have marriedstrangers whom they have never met.
Ambrosini rejects ANC call for investigation of hisrole (Cape Town, Sapa, 02/09) - Mario Ambrosini, aspecial adviser to Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi,has dismissed an African National Congress call for his positionto be probed by the public service ministry. Instead, he accusedthe ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday of making defamatorystatements and questioning his professional integrity. The ANC inKwaZulu-Natal at the weekend issued a statement accusingAmbrosini of acting as an Inkatha Freedom Party spokesman overthe party's legal battle with the Truth and ReconciliationCommission. It urged Public Service Minister GeraldineFraser-Moleketi to probe Ambrosini's actual role in the homeaffairs department, saying the IFP appeared incapable of drawinga distinction between the state and its party. The ANC accusedthe IFP of wilfully using state resources to fund its partypolitical objectives. "The IFP's seemingly unlawful use ofpublic servant, Mario Ambrosini, is a case in point. Ambrosini isappointed as a special adviser to Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi, inButhelezi's capacity as Minister of Home Affairs."Ambrosini's sizeable monthly salary is paid for bygovernment using taxpayers' money, so as a public servantAmbrosini is obliged to confine his public duties to governmentmatters pertaining to the Department of Home Affairs." Inhis reaction, Ambrosini said on Monday the statement erroneouslyalleged that he had acted as an IFP spokesman. "Thestatement is in error. I am not a civil servant and I have notspoken on behalf of the IFP. "Albeit my position iscontemplated in the Public Service Act, I am not part of thepublic service and my duties and responsibilities are defined notby the public service regulations but by my government-approvedcontract." Amb!kesman for Buthelezi which was"consistent with my contract and internationalpractice". In most established democracies, a ministerialadviser, a personal secretary or chief of staff could express aminister's view on strictly non-departmental matters in respectof which the department's spokesman was not suited to speak, hesaid. "That is also the case in South African law andpractice. "One cannot but regret the gratuitously defamatorystatement of the ANC. Since it seems to be motivated on politicalrather than factual grounds, I shall not comment on it."Ambrosini, an Italian-American, has been at the centre of severalstand-offs between Buthelezi and the ANC. Cabinet even sought tostop the appointment of foreigners as special advisers toministers and government departments, but after protests fromButhelezi, Ambrosini stayed on.
Greenpeace 'invaders' face one-way ticket home (IOL,02/09) - Twelve Greenpeace activists have been fined atotal of R84 000 in the Atlantis magistrate's court, Cape Town,after scaling the pumphouse at the Koeberg nuclear power stationon August 24. Six of them were also fined under immigration laws.Magistate Marius Albertus sentenced each of the activists to R4000 or 12 months' imprisonment for contravening the National KeyPoints Act by scaling the pumphouse at Koeberg and unfurling abanner reading "Nukes out of Africa". Each was fined R1000 for contravening visa conditions, while six of the 12 weresentenced to a further R4 000 or five months' imprisonment forcontravening the Aliens Control Act. The court also requested theimmigration authorities to consider repatriating all 12activists.
Parents living abroad send kids here for education(Johannesburg, Sunday Times, 01/09) - Wealthy SouthAfrican expatriates and foreigners are sending their children toelite private schools in this country at a fraction of the priceit would cost them back home. At one of Durban's leading privategirls' schools, Britons and former South Africans are forking outR107 000 a year so that their children can enjoy school under theAfrican sun, including expeditions to game reserves, mountainsand beaches, and four free flights back home. St Mary's, foundedin 1906, has 800 pupils and charges £6 500 a year - about thesame as the cost of only one term's boarding fees at most leadingBritish schools. Eton and Charterhouse charge £17 600 (aboutR290 000) a year. Jeremy Sabine, headmaster of St Mary's, saidthere had been a steady stream of inquiries from British parentssince he went to Britain on a recruitment drive three weeks ago.At least six British pupils and a German are among the 128 newpupils registered at the 7ha school near Kloof, which hasproduced some of the country's top professionals. "Privateeducation in Britain is very expensive, between £16 000 and £19000 a year," he said. "There have been manyprofessionals from South Africa, who are emigrating, people whowould have ordinarily sent their children to private schoolshere. "But in the UK, school fees are expensive and SouthAfrican expats and other British parents prefer to have theirchildren educated here, for less money." Sabine said theschool's reasonably priced package included long weekends at gamereserves, mountains and beaches, and free flights to Britainevery quarter. "South African qualifications are equivalentto Scottish Highers and qualify one for entrance into any Britishor Irish university," he said. "This new trend is apackage that South Africa can export. Our standard of educationis very, very high. We still have things some children in the UKmight find old-fashioned, like values and manners. "Somemight also see it as being 6 000 miles away, but we prefer to seeit as just a 10-hour flight." Sabine said that of all theinquiries he had had so far, only one had asked about safety inthe school grounds, which has around-the-clock security andclosed-circuit television cameras. A Grade 12 pupil and mathsboffin, Robyn Abbott, 17, said she was unimpressed with Britishschools after her mother emigrated there three years ago. "Iwanted to stay in South Africa and complete my studies because inthis country we have a very good academic record. "I'veheard a lot about British schools and was not impressed when Ivisited a few. They looked good but could not be compared to StMary's." She said her mother phoned her weekly and they keptin touch via e-mail. Although unsure of which career to choose,Abbott plans to study at Oxford or Cambridge next year. Anotherpupil, Jennie Solomon, 16, moved to Britain with her parents butreturned to SA after six months. "I found that the othergirls' attitude were very different. I always had the idea thatschool comes first, but at my English school, education was asecondary thing, something to fill in time. "All the girlsin England were interested in was finding a nice husband. Unlessyou had a boyfriend, it was difficult to be accepted as part ofthe group." Iain McMillan, director of development at HiltonCollege, said his school had also attracted pupils from Britain."There has also been an effort on our part to let peoplethere know about schooling here in South Africa. "Theprocess at Hilton started within Africa when we had Kenyans,Tanzanians and Ugandans coming here. Schools in South Africa arecomparable to the best in the world," McMillan said.
Swazi thieves ship to South Africa (Mbabane, SwaziTimes, 17/09) - Some of the armed robbers who wereinvolved in the Malkerns E1 million heist are walking freely inSouth Africa and allegedly enjoying the loot they made away withhere. The alleged thugs are said to have skipped the country toSouth Africa and despite that their addresses are known thechallenge is on how to arrest them. Fugitives who skip thecountry for South Africa are enjoying that country'sconstitutional rights which makes it hard for South Africanpolice to arrest them for crimes or offences committed in foreigncountries. So much is the challenge facing local police thatdespite feeding their counterparts with valid information as towhere to locate these fugitives, the South African PoliceServices (SAPS) had difficulties how to help the local force."Not that they don't want to co-operate with us, but theproblem is their constitution, which makes it almost impossiblefor us to promptly and speedily make those arrests," said apolice source. "The process of extradition takes a longtime. In fact, it can take about six months to get a suspectusing extradition protocol. Such a long time is not helping thepolice as in the process the papers may get lost," added thesource. "A classic case is that of the suspect murders ofthat Mbikwakhe women (Fanny Magagula) who handed themselves overto Durban police but couldn't be arrested because the police feftthey had no right by South African law to make any arrest. Evenif one were to push for their arrests, those people couldchallenge their arrest that side and the court would rule intheir favour," and informed official on the matter said. Toppolice officers of Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa metlast Friday to look into the above challenges and it is gatheredthat the South African police are said to have impressed the needto review that constitutional bearing which hinders theco-operation between these neighbouring states. The emphasis ofthe meeting was on cross border crime and was held in PietRetief, according to police PRO Vusie Masuku, who howeverdownplayed the challenge faced by the country on fugitivesuspects. "One of our top officers, Mr Ndlangamandlaattended the meeting whose main objective was to strengthenco-operation between neighbouring countries. They covered a lotof issues on cross border crime like stock theft, drugtrafficking or smuggling and car thefts. "When speaking tohim, he didn't express any concerns so far as the way thecountries co-operate and we hop we are still doing well infighting cross border crimes," Masuku said. He said onissues of extradition as police they involve the ministry offoreign affairs, which is responsible for looking into suchissues. "But as a country that still has capital punishment,it is difficult to get a fugitive who is wanted for murderrelated offences which may see him/her convicted with murder. Buton other cases, we get good co-operation from them," hesaid. About five members of the crime gang that looted the E1million are still at large. The suspects were found to have usedmotor vehicles, a white BMW and a truck -- which carried fakelocal registration numbers. Both vehicles were reported stolen inSA at the beginning of this year.
ID cards already being issued (Mbabane, Swazi Times,09/09) - Government has already begun to issueidentification (ID) cards to those who have already registered.About 47 of these cards have been issued already. The ministry ofjustice registrar general Anthony Masilela confirmed that IDcards are being issued and those who have them have their own pinnumbers. Besides the pin, the card also shows a passport sizephotograph of the person. To get more personal details about theID possessor, government would only enter the pin number into themain computer system and every information about the person willbe displayed. However, people under the age of 16 years cannotapply for the ID cards. It was said that about 14 000 people fromall parts of the country have already registered for the ID cardsand indication that the exercise was not going fast as it shouldhave been. "People are indeed turning up in their largenumbers to register, that is how it should be. The ID concept isnot only for Swazi people but it is for everyone who resides inthe Kingdom. People should not be misled then," Masilelasaid. He further explained that it was a must for foreignersresiding in the country to have an ID card. "But to obtainthe card, they also have to apply and submit the necessarydocuments such as a residence permit or a work permit, etc."said the registrar general. Swazis have to submit their birthcertificates and graded tax certificates.
Swaziland deports 65 refugees (Mbabane, Mail &Guardian, 04/09) - The government of Swaziland onTuesday expelled all refugees from the country after a disputewith them over their monthly assistance. The decision came afterconsultations between the representatives of the refugees; thehome affairs minister, Prince Sobandla; and officials of the UNHigh Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) failed to solve a standoffthat had been going on for more than a month. The government didnot give any indication as to where the refugees would go, buttheir next destination might be South Africa before they are sentto countries of their choice. The 65 refugees, including womenand children, are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwandaand Somalia. The situation started to deteriorate when therefugees abandoned their camp at Malindza, 67 kilometres east ofthe capital of Mbabane about a month ago and marched to theMinistry of Home Affairs, where they demanded to have an audiencewith the minister. They complained that since the closure of theUNHCR offices in the country two and half years ago, theirmonthly allowances had been stopped, leaving them with nothing tolive on. The refugees were arrested, and after two weeks in cellsat a police station, they were transferred to a maximum-securityprison on the outskirts of Mbabane. As pressure mounted fromcivic organisations within Swaziland and outside the country, theminister of home affairs invited officials from the UNHCR inPretoria to help arbitrate the matter. However, on Thursday, thenegotiations broke down, paving the way for the expulsion of therefugees. On Tuesday, the refuges were taken from the prison tothe Ministry of Home Affairs, where they were served with letterswithdrawing their privileges and told to leave the country.
Refugees accuse army of blocking escape to Tanzania(Irin, 20/09) - The Burundian army is reportedlypreventing civilians who are fleeing fighting between rebels andgovernment forces from crossing the border into Tanzania, aspokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, told IRIN onFriday. Ivana Unluova said new arrivals in Tanzania had toldUNHCR that the army was "actively stopping" civiliansfrom crossing the border especially in Kibuye, central Burundi,from where large numbers were attempting to flee. "As aresult, they are camping in the bush and just waiting for theirchance to cross," she said. Some of the refugees had comefrom Gitega where the massacre of over 170 civilians (accordingto government figures) took place on 9 September. While therefugees said they had fled attacks by the army, it was unclearwhether the new arrivals had witnessed the killings, Unluovaadded. Refugee camps in Kibondo, western Tanzania, have received997 refugees since the beginning of the month. Although thesefigures were much higher than in recent months, UNHCR did notconsider the situation to be "dramatic", Unluova said.In the past numbers had reached 3,500 a month and there werestill more refugees being repatriated than were fleeing toTanzania, she added. Humanitarian agencies have warned, however,that if the rate of arrivals continues at 150 a day, the recentinflux would amount to a "considerable number".
22 post-graduate students to study in UK (TheGuardian, 13/09) - The number of students who are goingto United Kingdom (UK) for post graduate courses has increased to22 students this year, up from 13 students last year. This wassaid by Mkono Babili, an assistant training officer with theBritish Council in an exclusive interview with The Guardian inDar es Salaam yesterday. "22 students went to UK onWednesday last week. They will take Post-Graduate Diploma,Masters, PhD and Advanced Diploma courses. Their passes for thebachelors degree should be not less than uppersecond,"Babili said. The scholarships were sponsored byChevening-(5 students), Commonwealth Scholarships (9 students),Bank of England(2), DANIDA(2). Some 18 students have already gonewhereas four students will leave later this year. "BritishCouncil does not offer sponsorship, but rather it is doingadministrative facilitation of the student's trips. We arrangethe tickets, passport, visa and give them details about England-that is, the lifestyle of England and how they will cope with it.The British Council can assist students to find the college andadvice them on the kind of course they should take according totheir academic backgrounds," he said. There are traininglinks for higher learning institutions between Tanzania andEngland whereby they exchange student's visits. Some of thestudents form England come to Tanzania and teach to our collegesand universities while Tanzanians go to England for studying.Some of the Tanzanian colleges and universities which havestudying links with UK are: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College(KCMC) which has links with the UK-based Nottingham University,Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology(DIT) which has links withLeeds University, University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) which haslinks with Oxford University and Sokoine University ofAgriculture which has links with Glasgow University, he said.
New influx of Burundi refugees (Irin, 13/09) - Followinga recent increase in fighting in Burundi, over 300 refugees havecrossed the border into western Tanzania over the last threedays, a humanitarian agency told IRIN on Friday. This influx ofrefugees, most of whom are young men, is the biggest in severalmonths and corresponds with recent reports of further clashesbetween the forces of the transitional national government andHutu rebels, said Jesse Kamstra, project coordinator forTanganyika Christian Refugee Service in Kibondo. "Theserefugees started arriving a few days after reports of increasedfighting," Kamstra said. "From the initial impressionwe are getting, there are some women and children, but 65 percentof these refugees are young men, about 18 years old, or evenyounger." "They are from both sides - rebels that arelosing and the also the national army. It appears that PresidentPierre Buyoya's army is using many of the young men asfrontliners and when they get a chance to, they flee." Thissurge of Burundians follows a period of relative calm, duringwhich the number of new arrivals in Kibondo had been as low as 25a month and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) had been able tofacilitate the repatriation of a number of refugees to Burundi."There is definitely an influx. We have handled much largernumbers in the past - up to a 1,000 a day - but if thiscontinues, there will be thousands more," Kamstra warned."Among those that came, there were several that hadrepatriated in May or June, but, because of the increased levelsof violence, had felt that it was not safe to stay." Therenewed level of uncertainty comes just days before the nextround of peace talks are due to begin in the Tanzanian commercialcapital, Dar es Salaam, on 16 September.
Barber charged with illegal stay (The Guardian, 13/09)- A Congolese Emmanuel Mukendi (24), was yesterdaybrought before Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar esSalaam, facing charges of living and working in the countryunlawfully. Mukendi, who is a barber and resident of KimaraMwisho in Dar es Salaam, was charged with unlawful presence inthe country as the first charge. Public Prosecutor, Hope Kawawa,alleged before Senior District Magistrate Alimas Mafuru that onSeptember 11, 2002 Mukendi was found living in United Republic ofTanzania without permission. "On the said date, at MagomeniMapipa in Dar es Salaam, Mukendi was found in the country,lacking neither a valid passport nor residence permit allowinghim to stay in country, which is unlawful act," alleged PPKawawa. PP Kawawa said it is an offence for a foreigner to engageoneself in an occupation without being in possession of aresidence permit or any pass issued to for that. He allegedbefore the court that on the same date and area Mukendi was foundengaged in an occupation as a hairdresser at a saloon, withouthaving a resident permit. Mukendi denied all charges and insistedthat all his documents including passport were destroyed when thehouse he was living in burnt down. The accused was denied bailand remanded in custody. The case comes for another mention onSeptember 23, this year.
Fate of five Tanzanian stowaways uncertain (The EastAfrican, 09/09) - Tanzanian police have requested fordetails from Interpol about five Tanzanian stowaways allegedlytossed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Senegal in July.Director of Criminal Investigation Adadi Rajabu told TheEastAfrican that Senegalese police are also expected to givedetails on the fate of the five, who were allegedly told to swimto the shore when they were found aboard the Turkish cargo vesselmv Pinar. The ship sailed from Cape Town, South Africa, on July16. "We are making a very close follow-up. We have notreceived any response yet but I know they will act soon," MrRajabu said. The Tanzanian stowaways, who wanted to reach Spain,were ordered offboard as the ship approached Ngor, a fishingvillage close to Dakar, on July 31. The youths were told they hadreached their destination. According to reports from Dakar, it isfeared that one of the five, Said Shembea of Dar es Salaam, whocould not swim, might have drowned. However, the body has notbeen recovered. His friend, Dotto Yusuf Naan, escaped from policecustody while the other three - Hamed Hlaid alias Kamchala andSuleiman Hassan, both of Tanga, and Amiri Mhini of Dar es Salaam- are being held at the Ouakam gendarmerie brigade in the suburbsof Dakar. Mr Latif Gueye, the head of the non-governmentalorganisation Africa Helps Africa, said it planned to start legalproceedings against the owner of mv Pinar, a Captain Tanglu ofIstanbul, Turkey. "African governments must take firm actionagainst such odious practices," he said. The organisationplans to base its case on the statutes of an agreement ratifiedby 47 African states. In 1999, a report by the Merchants NavyOfficers Association named Tanzania as having the highest numberof stowaways in sub-Saharan Africa. It said more youths wererunning away from biting economic hardships in the country. In1998, Tanzania was second on the list of 245 African stowaways,accounting for 33. Morocco led with 67 stowaways last year,accounting for 28.3 per cent of the continent's total. Algeria isranked third and is followed by Ghana and Guinea. The reportfurther says that Tanzania recorded 2,270 stowaways, mostlyyouths, between 1968 and 1998. There were 334 stowaways from thecountry last year and the report warned that the figure couldrise. Few Tanzanian stowaways reached their destinations, mainlyin Europe as many were cast adrift in coastal waters or tossedinto the high seas and left for dead.
Ex-Zimbabwean farmers make a mark in Lusaka (Lusaka,The Daily News, 29/09) - Commercial farmers fleeingPresident Mugabe's land reform evictions have started making animpact on Zambia's economy. Reports here say that the agriculturesector recorded the highest investment growth during the month ofAugust 2002. About 2 900 commercial farmers were given a 10August deadline to vacate their properties as part of thegovernment's land reform programme, ostensibly aimed atbenefiting landless black Zimbabweans. Some 125 farmers have leftfor Zambia, where they have been welcomed with open arms. Othershave remained in Zimbabwe, while yet others have left to seekagricultural opportunities in Mozambique, Botswana, Uganda, NewZealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and even Angola.In its latest issue, Zambia's National Mirror, a weeklynewspaper, said although investing in the agricultural sector hasalways been regarded as costly and highly risky, the sectorrecorded the highest investment growth during the month ofAugust. The newspaper quoted the Zambia Investment Centre (ZIC).ZIC's acting director-general, Fabion Lukasi, said the investmentcentre approved nine investment licences for the month of August,representing a total of US$2,8 million (Z$154 million) incommitted investment. Lukasi said the agricultural sectorrecorded the highest investment in the month which representedUS$1,22 million of the total committed investment. This wasfollowed by the manufacturing sector, which had investment ofUS$767 000. Following the controversial land reform programme,ZIC has witnessed a flood of farmers from Zimbabwe. ZIC hasgranted an investment certificate to a Zimbabwean firm,Kleinriver Farming Company. Kleinriver was incorporated in Zambiain June 2002 and is a branch of a Zimbabwe-based company.According to the National Mirror, Kleinriver has made aninvestment commitment of about US$790 000. The company isexpected to be involved in the production of maize, wheat,tobacco and soyabeans. The firm is expected to reach aproductivity level of 15 600 tonnes of food a year in five yearsand also envisages producing an estimated 420 tonnes of tobaccofor export. ZIC also granted an investment certificate to two asyet unidentified Zimbabweans to invest in agriculture. The twoare expected to commit US$429 600 in the development of a tobaccoand maize farm in Chisamba area, north of Lusaka. Zimbabwe is thesecond largest producer of flue-cured tobacco in the world, afterBrazil. The bulk of the flue-cured tobacco is produced bycommercial farmers, the majority of whom have been evicted fromtheir land. Since coming to power last year, Zambia's PresidentLevy Mwanawasa has launched a drive to expand the country'seconomy, by exploring opportunities in agriculture. Zambia usedto rely solely on copper for its foreign currency earnings.Mwanawasa has set aside a fund to help farmers including bothlocal and foreign investors, the bulk of whom are from Zimbabwe.Zambia has always suffered a food deficit because of a shortageof committed farmers.
Informal sector takes over border town (Livingstone,Irin, 26/09) - Livingstone, overlooking the VictoriaFalls on Zambia's southern border with Zimbabwe used to be athriving industrial town, but times have changed. The factoriesthat provided jobs and a sense of pride have collapsed -undermined by Zambia's economic failure in the 1980s, andclosures under a privatisation programme in the 1990s. TheLivingstone Motor Assemblers, which employed 200 people toassemble Fiat cars from Italy, has shut its gates. A once vibranttextile industry has been retrenching under new owners. But thelack of formal sector employment has not stopped the likes ofCoster Nyimba from earning a living. Nyimba, from Malotacompound, Livingtone's poorest shanty area, has taken mattersinto his own hands and turned his bicycle into a money makingmachine. Decked out as a rickshaw, he peddles travellers betweenthe Zambian and Zimbabwean border posts for 3,500 kwacha (US 70cents) a trip. He is representative of the new entrepreneurialspirit in the town. "On a good day I do up to five roundtrips and that way I can make money for mealie meal (staplemaize) for my family," Nyimba told IRIN proudly, as he tooka breather before battling uphill. "That way I can feed mywife and do not have to beg from anyone. It's tough, but it's theonly alternative I have." Across Zambia, a decade offreemarket reforms designed to pull the economy into shape after20 years of a welfare state, have seen the rollback of socialservices and deepening poverty. But with its tourist potential,Livingstone's decline has been much less precipitous than otherZambian towns. It has an additional advantage of being next doorto Zimbabwe, with its larger and more developed economy.Cross-border trade, the most common way of earning a living inLivingstone, has boomed since the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollaron the black market, following the Harare government's fast-trackland reform programme. At the official rate, US $1 is worth Zim$55. On the parallel market the rate is one to 600. Traderschange US dollars for Zimbabwe dollars at the black market rate,which they then use to buy low-priced Zimbabwe goods such assugar, cooking oil and cement which are resold in Zambia at aneasy profit. Zambian manufacturers unable to compete havecomplained, and the government responded in April by banningtrade in Zimbabwean goods for two years. But the ban has hadlittle effect, and instead has created a flourishing smugglingindustry. That includes using canoes to cross the Zambezi, andshinning up cliffs to avoid the customs posts. "If you say,'stop buying and selling goods from Zimbabwe', you are passing adeath sentence on lots of people who survive on cross-bordertrade unless you find them an alternative, such as realemployment creation," said David Moyowambuyu, a trader.Moyowambuyu has both a high school and college education, butcannot find a job in the official economy. On the Zimbabwean sideof the border, the largest supermarket is filled with Zambianwomen, queuing up for the banned products which they intended tosmuggle across. "Most of these are Zambians you areseeing," a Zimbabwean taxi driver explained. "They buyall the groceries, but thank God we have lots of groceries."What he is less happy about is that Zimbabwean fuel is also beingsmuggled into Zambia. "They buy all our fuel leaving us withnothing, that's just the only thing I don't like. You see petrolhere is Zim $74 per litre (US $1.30 at the official rate) whilein Zambia I understand it is much more than that. So the Zambianscome and fill sometimes three-times a day and go and resell, thatis bad." Petrol in Zimbabwe costs the equivalent of 518kwacha per litre at the official exchange rate, but sells for3,800 kwacha in Livingstone. Local legislator Sakwiba Sikota isresigned to the fact that Livingstone's smuggling rackets willcontinue. "It could be a child wanting to go to school or anadult looking at ways of earning a living [that is behind thesmuggling], but whichever way we look at it jobs, and we meanmeaningful well earning jobs, ought to be created in this city toreverse the situation," he said.
Controversial MP warms Zambia over white farmers(Harare, The Herald, 24/09) - Controversial HighfieldMember of Parliament Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai has warned the Zambiangovernment to be careful in handling white commercial farmersseeking to resettle in that country. Mr Gwisai, who wasaddressing University of Zambia students at the weekend, warnedLusaka that the white farmers might turn out to be mercenaries asthey had made their profits on "slave labour and statebonuses". The dreadlocked MDC legislator is quoted by ThePost as saying the Zambian government should not rush into givingthe white farmers land bonuses in the name of rejuvenating thatcountry's agricultural sector. Some white commercial farmersopposed to the land reforms in Zimbabwe have reportedly beenseeking land in neighbouring countries such as Zambia,Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana. Mr Gwisai blamed the currentpoverty and the poor state of agriculture on the removal ofsubsidies at the instigation of the International Monetary Fundand the World Bank. He said many workers in Zambia and Zimbabwehad suffered tremendously because of the IMF and World Bankprivatisation policies. "Actually, commercial farmers inZimba-bwe stopped producing food in the 1980s because food cropsfetched very low prices on the international market and theyinstead went into cotton and tobacco farming. "If they comehere, they might be given incentives just like the capitalists atManda Hill (an upmarket shopping complex in Lusaka) and for them,it might be even more because government is trying to reorganiseagriculture." Mr Gwisai also warned that the white farmerswould take over Zambia's prime land and then challenge existingfood production capacity. His views seem to tally with the stanceby the Zimbabwe Government that the white commercial farmers hadlong abandoned food production in favour of tobacco, horticultureand game. Dispelling the misconception that the drought inZimbabwe was a result of the land reform programme, theGovernment has said small-scale farmers produced more than 70percent of the maize consumed in the country. However, MrGwisai's comments are unlikely to go down well with his party,whose backbone are the white commercial farmers. In February lastyear, Mr Gwisai irked many within the MDC when he said the whitecommercial farmers should not be compensated for land confiscatedby the Government for resettlement. He said the $6 billion theGovernment wanted to pay some white farmers for improvements onthe farms should be channelled to the farm workers. "Ifwhite farmers were paid by their colonial governments, what'swrong with the farm workers receiving money from theirGovernment?" said the MP when debating a motion inParliament. In April, Mr Gwisai threatened to resign from the MDCsaying he had serious ideological differences with the party'sleadership. He said the party had been hijacked by neo-liberalmiddle class and Western interests. He called for more radicalanti-neo-liberal, pro-working people positions and re-orientationof the party back to the people. This angered MDC leader MrMorgan Tsvangirai, who told a rally in Highfield in April that MrGwisai was free to quit the party. But Mr Gwisai has sincechanged his mind about resigning, saying he will fight fromwithin to ensure that the agenda of the workers succeeds.
Magistrate fines eight for illegal entry (Chingola,The Post, 24/09) - Chingola magistrate court has chargedtwo South Africans and six Congolese over K1.2 million foroverstaying and illegal entry into Zambia. Immigration Departmentpublic relations officer Ibvuta Lungu confirming the incidenceyesterday said, on Wednesday another group of four CongoleseJimmy Mulumba, Monica Nzeka, Martilina Mwabile and Mwadi Kabongowere arrested at Kafue road block in Chingola for illegal entryinto Zambia. He said in Mansa 18 Congolese were arrested inMatanda area and surrounding villages in a mini operation cleanup mounted by Luapula immigration officers. And in Kitwe'sBulangililo township the department arrested three Congolese,Illunga Mutuke, David Bangama, Peggy Farawi Wara and fourSenengalese Arusen Ba, Hammed Jah, Ali Demba Thimbo and AdamAbdui Saw for illegal stay in the country. Lungu said in Chirunduone Ghanaian Emmanuel Nkruma and one suspected Nigerian namedYona Willard Nyasulu were arrested as they attempted to leaveZambia for South Africa on forged passports.
UNHCR to begin repatriation of refugees in Zambia(Lusaka, Zambezi Times, 17/09) - The United Nations HighCommission for Refugees (UNHCR) will soon start a voluntaryrepatriation exercise for the refugees in Zambia, said a UNHCRofficial here on Tuesday. UNHCR Country Representative AhmedGubartala said that the agency has embarked on the exercisebecause the peace process in war-torn neighboring countries areprogressing well. Gubartala took Angola as an example, where thepeace process has opened up opportunities for the UNHCR to planfor the voluntary repatriation exercise. Gubartala revealed thatthe repatriation exercise will commence at the offset of thecoming rain season in order to assist refugees to return to theirrespective countries in a more organized manner. He stated thatthe UN agency is working closely with the Zambian government andother stakeholders in a bid to achieve the objective. He alsoindicated that most refugees are eager to return to theircountries in safety and dignity. Gubartala further indicated thatit is the duty of the UNHCR and the respective governments toassist refugees to return home and that the voluntaryrepatriation exercise remains the most preferred solution to theinflux of refugees in the country. He, however, underlinedZambia's excellent record of hosting refugees fleeing conflictsfrom their countries despite limited resources at hand. Atpresent, Zambia hosts a total of 270,000 refugees, with some200,000 from Angola, 60,000 from the Democratic Republic of theCongo and a small number from other Great Lakes countries.
Zambia welcomes evicted Zimbabwean farmers (The DailyNews, 16/09) - Hundreds of white commercial farmersfleeing Zimbabwe's chaotic land reform programme are receivingpreferential treatment in Zambia. President Mugabe's governmentthis year gave a 10 August deadline to 2 900 white commercialfarmers to vacate their farms to ostensibly make way for theresettlement of landless blacks. While about 60 percent of thefarmers faced with evictions have vowed to stay put, 30 percenthave left the country to explore opportunities in neighbouringcountries including Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana, and furtherafield in West Africa, Britain Australia and New Zealand. Britainhas said it would assist its nationals facing eviction from farmsthey own in Zimbabwe. Zambian and Zimbabwean officials atChirundu border post last week said white farmers were havingtheir entry into Zambia fast-tracked with some of the themsailing through without queuing or hassles. "They are beingtreated like kings. Zambian immigration office are coming to askpeople queuing whether or not they are farmers. Once one isdiscovered to be a farmer, one is told to jump the queue and isserved immediately. "The Zambian officials are even sendingvehicles to ferry the farmers to Lusaka where they can registerwith the Zambia investment centre." Asked to comment, a manwho only identified himself as Lungu, the public relationsofficer for the Zambian Immigration Department's main office inLusaka, said: "I am not aware such things arehappening." He refused to disclose his full name, saying:"I do not appear in foreign newspapers." In a telephoneinterview, Peter Musunu director of information in Zambia'sMinistry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, said: "It is nottrue that white farmers from Zimbabwe are being treated as aspecial group. We are also not accepting all of them. "Whilewe sympathise with the situation in Zimbabwe, we do not want ourown locals to be sidelined in land redistribution." Musunuadmitted the farmers were welcome in Zambia and that as soon asthey arrived they were being asked to go through the ZambiaInvestment Centre where they applied to invest in the country."The Investment Centre will interview them and see whetheror not they have the capacity to be investors. "Those whoqualify would be granted an investment certificate." Musunusaid not all the 125 farmers had been issued with investmentcertificates. Some applications were still being studied."Those farmers who are coming to till the land also qualifyto apply for loans just like any other farmer in Zambia."But we will make sure that our people get firstpriority," Musunu said. Zambian Vice-President EnockKavindele was quoted in the state-run Times of Zambia as saying:"I can confirm that we have received about 125 white farmerswho have indicated to government that they want to invest inagriculture. "We believe that their input will add value tothe development of the land." The farmers were last weekexpected to visit Mbala, an agricultural town situated innorthern Zambia, where they would conduct soil tests to determinewhich crops would be suitable to grow, the paper said. Soon afterbeing sworn in as head of state, Zambia's President LevyMwanawasa last year launched a drive to diversify the country'sone-commodity economy from the troubled copper industry, placingagriculture as the focus of future economic growth. Mwanawasa hasconsequently set aside huge funds to support farmers and thisincludes both the locals and any investor who wants to farm inZambia. Zambia has suffered severe food shortages over the years.
Two South African truck drivers in court (Times ofZambia, 16/09) - Two South African truck driversyesterday appeared in the Lusaka magistrates court jointlycharged with two Zambians for allegedly diverting three truckloads of mealie-meal destined for a Zambian company from SouthAfrica. The two drivers, Louis Johanes Botha and JacobusMarthinus Andreas appeared before principle resident magistrateFrank Tembo on a charge of theft of goods on transit. Evidencebefore the court was that on February 6, 2001, while working withZambians, Adrian Banda and Rueben Hampela, they allegedly stole3,520 bags of mealie-meal valued at K95,040,000 from three truckswhich were conveying the bags from Meway Procurement and Tradingof South Africa to C and S Investment in Lusaka. During continuedtrial a witness for C and S Investment Sunday Maluba, the companyaccountant told the court that his firm had ordered themealie-meal from South Africa and confirmed with the suppliers(Meway) that the consignment was being sent. But the drivers uponarrival in Lusaka allegedly off loaded the mealie-meal at awarehouse in Chinika area instead of C and S Investment. MrMaluba said he intercepted the truck on its way back to SouthAfrica without the mealie-meal. He said he questioned the driverson the where about of the mealie-meal who later led him to awarehouse in the industrial area of Lusaka. All the accused areon bail and trial continues on March 25. And a senior manager atSun Hotel in Livingstone who was charged with possession of drugswas yesterday acquitted of the case. Senior resident magistrateChristofer Syachifula, acquitted Bruce Williams , 32, warehousemanager who was arrested on January 17 for allegedly being inpossession of 04g of marijuana and was later released on bond. Inpassing judgment, Mr Syachifula said Mr Williams had beenacquitted because the evidence was based on tip from public andthat no one appeared to adduce evidence. The accused had noknowledge of the drugs, and there was enough evidence to show thedrugs had been planted , as three workers involved had testifiedthat they had been sent to plant the drugs.
Refugees denied right to information (Times of Zambia,16/09) - Government has bemoaned the continuous denialon the right of information and communication to refugees inSouthern Africa by society unknowingly. Information andBroadcasting Deputy Minister Webby Chipili said the refugees havebeen denied information and communication for them to makeinformed decisions. Mr Chipili said though most of the problemsfaced by the refugees such as provision of basics were beingtackled, information on how to deal with poverty, HIV/AIDS,reproductive health, violence and gender imbalance had beendenied. The deputy minister said this during the official launchof the information and communication rights for refugees inSouthern Africa at the Commonwealth Youth Centre yesterday. Theworkshop was organised by Africa Literature Centre (ALC) andfunded by the World Association of Christian Communicators in theAfrican Region (WACC-AR). He said refugees did not even haveaccess to the major sources of information such newspapers,radios and television. Refugees cannot express themselvesto the rest of the world not because they do not want, butbecause they have no access to communication channels, hesaid. He challenged the workshop participants drawn across theregion to seriously address the apparent information imbalancebetween refugees and the rest of the society. He called on allthe co-operating partners to come up with the means to helprefugees get attention from the people in society. And theminister said Zambia currently has 250,000 refugees from Angola,Congo and other war-torn countries. And ALC director JacksonMbewe said the workshop was aimed creating awareness amongsociety on the refugees right to information.Refugees should be afforded the opportunity to expresstheir views on issues that affect them. The three-dayworkshop has attracted participants from Zimbabwe, Lesotho,Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroun,Rwanda and Zambia to work out a lasting solution on the right toinformation.
Tourism industry is operating below its potential (ThePost, 13/09) - The tourism industry is currentlyoperating at 40 per cent of its potential, disclosed TourismCouncil of Zambia (TCZ) executive director Josephine Mehlyesterday. Mehl attributed the low operational capacity toinadequate funding and seasonal accessibility to touristattractions like national parks. "We are confident that wecan do much more than we are performing now," Mehl said."We are growing slowly and the slow pace can be attributedto some facilities' inaccessibility, for instance, you can't taketourists to certain areas during the rainy season." She saidalthough there were interventions under the Poverty ReductionStrategy Paper, much more needed to be done by government topromote the tourism industry. And the National ConstructionCouncil (NCC) has observed that not much has been done to improvethe country's tourism infrastructure. Commenting on the state ofthe industry, NCC stated that despite the government havinghighlighted tourism as among the priority areas in the PRSP therehad not been any concrete measures to address the country's poorand insufficient tourism infrastructure. "Whereas, it isappreciated that the government has targeted the tourism industryas one of the priority industries with which the country has acomparative advantage in both the PRSP and the diversificationprogramme, we note with disappointment that not much has beensaid, let alone been done to improve the country's tourisminfrastructure," the NCC stated. "We join the TourismCouncil of Zambia in calling upon the Zambian government toimprove the country's tourism infrastructure, which is currentlyvery much undeveloped to effectively support the growth oftourism industry." The NCC advised that government had a lotto learn from countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania whichdeveloped some level of road network leading to touristattractions to enable tourists access the sites throughout theyear. "A well planned tourism infrastructure to includeroads, airports among others, are pre-requisites for thedevelopment of a sustainable tourism industry," the NCCfurther stated. They noted that whereas Zambia had the besttourist sites, most of the locations except for the VictoriaFalls could not be accessed throughout the year. And earlieraddressing a press briefing yesterday, Lusaka Inter-Continentalhotel general manager Ian Mchachlan said the Zambia Tourism Exposcheduled for September 21, at Lusaka museum would provide longterm benefits to the local people. Machachlan said over 500people were expected to attend the one day Expo to mark the 23rdWorld Tourism Day which falls on September 27. "There arelong term benefits for such things to be known to thepeople," he said. "We need strategic plans to get tothe people." He said the Zambian tourism industry hadrecorded some tremendous improvement with most foreign and localtourists having access to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks.Organisers of the Expo on behalf of TCZ and tourism ministry,Image promotions' director Lee-Ann Singh said exhibitors from asfar as lower Zambezi, Kafue, South Luangwa national parks and Sunhotels in Livingstone would participate in the event. Singh saida number of travel agencies and tour operators would beexhibiting. "We have people coming in to display Zambianjewellery, candlesticks, wooden carvings, Zambian materials andwall paintings," said Singh.
Refugees won't get GM food, says Zambia (IOL, 11/09) -Zambia's government will not allow the World FoodProgramme (WFP) to feed over 130 000 refugees in the country withgenetically-modified (GM) food, the state-run Times of Zambiareported obn Wednesday. "The position of governmentrejecting GMF was a national one which applies to all categoriesof persons living in Zambia," Home Affairs Minister LucksonMapushi was quoted as saying. "This applies to all refugees,including those living in camps and receiving food aid from theWFP," the minister added. WFP executive director JamesMorris last week announced Zambia had allowed the WFP todistribute GM food to some of the 300 000 refugees living inZambia, provided it milled the grain before distributing it.Zambia, where more than two million people face starvation as aresult of unrelenting drought, has rejected GM food aid, sayingit must first be proven safe for human consumption and theenvironment. When the Zambian government decided to reject the GMfood, the WFP had already distributed over 6 000 tons of thecommodity to refugees, the Times of Zambia reported Mapushi assaying. "It is, therefore, not correct to indicatecategorically that they have been allowed to feed refugees withGMF's," said Mapushi. This week the WFP agreed to try tofind wheat which has not been genetically modified, to feed thehungry in Zambia. Zambia shelters about 210 000 Angolan refugees,more than any other country. Others are from the war-ravagedDemocratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia andEthiopia.
US company searching for nurses from Zambia (ZambeziTimes, 11/09) - RGB Group, Inc (RGB), an experienced andwell-respected professional company in the healthcare industrywill recruit degreed nurses, who are willing to work and residein the United State, from Zambia. This project will begin inSeptember and continue for, at a minimum, during the next fiveyears. The project is focused towards providing an immediate andlong-term solution to the approximate 26,000 nurses shortage inthe State of Florida and RGB is planning to hire at least 1.000nurses. Candidate selection has already begun in South Americancountries such as Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay (where a largeamount of candidates demonstrated great interest and where wehave received great support from the media). Nonetheless, becauseof language specifications, RGB is now focusing its search forqualified English speaking professionals. The minimumrequirements for a qualified candidate include a Nursing Degree,RN and at least two years of professional experience. RGB willprovide our selected candidates with lodging, education andrevalidation tools for their U.S. degrees and licenses, a workingposition, and sponsorship for visa and legal working status inthe U.S. The professionals who are interested in these positionsmust post their resume on the RGB website www.rgbgroup.com, inthe link button Post a Resume. For furtherinformation, please visit our aforementioned website to thebutton labeled International Prospects.
Tourism sector set to grow (The Times of Zambia,09/09) - Sustainable development that ensures thatresources are used equitably and efficiently for both the currentand future generations is the way forward for Zambia. This schoolof thought does not, however, tally with the economic structureof Zambia because for decades the mainstream economic activityhas been mining in which copper mining has been the majoractivity. Copper mining is a wasting asset whose end is imminentalong the way. Fortunately Zambia is endowed with a lot ofalternative economic resource bases in different sectors. Overthe last five to 10 years these sectors have come up as potentialreplacements of the copper industry. The tourism industry is onesuch sector. It is obvious that a lot still needs to be donebefore the sector could compete favourably with well-establishedAfrican tourist industries such as those in Kenya, South Africaand Zimbabwe. An appropriate focus has been established for theindustry. Recent developments and change in Government policy inthe sector have resulted in increased tourist arrivals andinvestment, which have lead to increased employmentopportunities. According to Chief Mukuni of the Toka Leya peoplein Livingstone, Government treated tourism as a stepchild andconcentrated on other economic activities leaving tourism to fendfor itself. Giving a comparison between Zambia's tourist capitalLivingstone and Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe, the chiefexplained that from history Livingstone was an industrial andadministrative base while Victoria Falls town has always been atourist centre. As a result the infrastructure in theneighbouring town is well-developed and accustomed to tourismwith adequate accommodation, and a variety of tourist activities.Zambian tour operators running helicopter flights and otherservices rely heavily on tourist accommodated in Zimbabwe tocross over to use their services. United Air Charters managingdirector Ignatius Lindeque confirmed that a large number of hiscustomers cross over to Zambia from Zimbabwe. But now that theindustrial base in Livingstone has shut down because ofcompetition and the liberalised economy, there is a discernibleshift towards the tourism industry. The establishment of newlodges is ample evidence of this shift.
In addition, the liberalisation of travelindustry and the prevalence of peace in the country have alsocontributed to increased tourist arrivals. Ministry of financeeconomic reports over the years show that a major constraint inthe performance of the sector has been the deteriorating state ofinfrastructure in terms of tourist access roads, unreliable localair network, and insufficient financial resources. Despite these,however, the trend of tourist arrivals and investments hassteadily increased over the years. Last year's the solar eclipse,as well as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Heads of Statesummit accounted for much of the growth in both arrivals andearnings. In 1993 Zambia registered 582,967 tourist arrivals with415,697 being domestic tourists and 167,271 being internationalvisitors. The sector generated US$ 52.4 million in that year, amodest increase of $ 3 million from the $49.24 million in 1992.In terms of investment the sector received K2.4 billion in 1993with 58 tourism licences issued, registering an increase over the1992 figures when only 34 licences were issued and totalinvestment amounted to K0.5 billion. During the next three yearsthe sector suffered a slump mainly due to a reduction in thenumber of domestic tourist arrivals. For example, in 1995 totaltourist arrivals, both domestic and international, was only108,435 and a year later this number fell further to 95,621. Therevenue generated in 1996 was only US$ 30.9 million. The pledgedinvestment in the sector was slightly over K10 billion with thepotential of creating 582 jobs in the sector. The tourism sectorat this point in the 1990 decade was in recession as allindicators dropped drastically. The drop in tourist arrivals wasa function of the harsh economic conditions experienced duringthe period. This led to the poverty incidence to increase to wellover 70 per cent. Secondly the 1996 presidential and generalelections gave Zambia a poor international standing as a touristdestination. Hence few international arrivals were registered.However, the sector rebounded with the peaceful passing of theelections seeing an increase of international arrivals in 1997 of279,825 representing a 476 per cent increase, although domesticarrivals only grew by 64 per cent to 77,237. The sector revenueaccruals increased by 104 per cent to $63 million in 1997 from$30m in 1996. Interestingly from this point the internationalarrivals in Zambia has far outstripped the domestic arrivals.
The point being that the poverty situationhas not improved among the potential Zambian tourists from thelocal market, in spite of the fact that the image of Zambia as apeaceful tourist destination has improved. International touristarrivals now average 400,000 per year while the domestictourists, because of lack of resources, average 100,000 per year.Chief Mukuni, who has welcomed the recent developments in thetourism sector, believes that the coming of Sun Hotels to Zambiahas helped put the country on the world map. He does not believethat this alone is enough. The chief claims that there are toomany levies on tour operators in the country thus making thetourism product in the country too expensive. The sector in 1999realised revenues totalling $85.2 million, after recording580,781 total arrivals and investment pledges of $64 million. By2000 the tourism industry's value-added increased by 12.1 percent and in 2001 this increased by 24.2 per cent. The revenue in2001 reached US$117.1 million up from the 2000 figure of $111.0million. The sector is poised for growth in the years to come asindicated by these trends. However, a lot more incentives have tobe given to the sector so that the 1993 levels could be attained.Secondly the sector is very volatile as was experienced last yearwhen the terrorists hit New York and international touristscancelled their bookings. This affected the sector adversely butthe domestic clients could have cushioned the impact but for theerosion of effective demand locally. The tourism sector alonecannot attract visitors because many other sectors - botheconomic and social - directly influence a visitor's stay in acountry. These would include security, amenities, andinfrastructure to mention a few. The 2002 budget theme on tourismis to improve on these auxiliary factors which, though not underthe sector, can influence and enhance the performance of thesector. For example, Livingstone District Council director ofplanning Clement Chisanga recognises the role the council playsin the tourism industry. Mr Chisanga says the city council has asolid waste problem and is involving the private sector to tacklethis problem. The council has also prioritised street lights andthe human resource development to ensure that the rightdevelopment projects are being constructed. Tourism as aneconomic sector has proved to be lucrative to the private sectorand has also created a number of jobs. Furthermore, providedthere is adequate control on environmental and ecologicaldegradation, the sector is a renewable resource from which allthe future generations can benefit. This sector could be Zambia'smain economic activity given the necessary incentives. Thetourism development master plan due to be finalised this year,according to the budget speech, could be the way forward topoverty reduction and job creation and sustainable development.
Government allows GM food aid for refugees (The Post,09/09) - The Zambian government has allowed the WorldFood Programme to start distributing genetically modified (GM)food aid to refugees. James Morris, the UN agency's executivedirector, has told the BBC that GM foods were being used to feedabout 130,000 refugees from Angola and the Democratic Republic ofCongo. "They have given us permission to feed refugees herein Zambia and we are now feeding about 130,000," Morrissaid. But the Zambian government is continuing to resist the UNagency's calls to distribute GM aid to nearly 2.5 million of itsown people. Morris, who is touring the famine-stricken region,confirmed that neighbouring Zimbabwe had, in contrast, approvedGM aid for its people. "Zimbabwe has said that they havetaken a cabinet decision to accept commodities which have a GMcomponent," he said. Morris said he believed that theUS-produced GM corn would probably be milled before being allowedto enter the country. He added that he had a "goodconversation" about bringing in non-GM wheat. Morris saidZambian President Levy Mwanawasa had decided to send a team ofscientists to the US and the EU on a GM fact-finding mission. TheWFP executive director said famine could be averted in SouthernAfrica if GM grain was accepted and warned of the dauntingprospects for Zambia if it continued to refuse it. PresidentMwanawasa had during the World Summit on Sustainable Developmentstated that there was no justification for feeding people poison.Agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana in an interview with BBCreiterated the government's fear about the GM food. "Severalcountries, including Europe, are still reluctant, cautious, aboutthe acceptance of GM organisms," said Sikatana."Zambian producers could find their exports to Europeblocked if their crops were found to be growing alongside GMgrains."
Livingstone cross border traders protest (The Post,07/09) - Irate Livingstone cross border tradersprotesting against harassment by customs officers at VictoriaFalls border yesterday passed a vote of no confidence in areaUPND member of Parliament Sakwiba Sikota. The traders allegedthat Sikota has failed to protect them against continuedharassment at the border and he has failed to present theirproblems to government which has now banned some Zimbabweanproducts they sell to feed their families. The protesting traderscarried placards reading: "We have no MP","Sakwiba where are you, we are in problems","Sakwiba are you a Lusaka MP", "Mwanawasa, borderfeeds our families", Miti must go," The traders marchedthrough the town centre to the district administrator's officewhere they were addressed. Esnart Mazyopa, a Livingstone trader,said it was unfortunate that they had to march to the districtadministrator's office to express their displeasure because theyhad no one to represent them as their member of parliament was inLusaka. Mazyopa said it was unfair for the ZRA station managerMiti to harass them at the border as well as charge them veryhigh tax when he was aware that residents depended on crossborder trade to feed their families. She said there was no wayMiti would charge them K72,000 for a crate of soft drinks costingZ$1,000 equivalent to K8,000, which they later sell at K18,000."The charges are deliberate meant to discourage us from thebusiness, now what shall we do Mr. President since our town onlyhas two industries with more than eighty industries and factoriesclosed, twasebana we can't argue. Miti just orders paramilitaryofficers to disperse us and they do that with guns," shesaid. Mazyopa said traders were left with no option and may becompelled to involve themselves in prostitution and criminalactivities for survival. She said there was need for Sikota tospend time in Livingstone and see the problems they are facing."But he is always in Lusaka we only hear about him on newsor when he is in court," she said. Mazyopa said Livingstonewas dead and needed a lot of attention from government which wasnot there because Sikota spent much of his time in Lusaka. PaulSensele, another trader, said Sikota was voted for because theresidents were sure that he would build Livingstone into atourist city. He said he was happy with the free legal servicesSikota offered to ZAWA officers who were accused of beating SunInternational manager Philip Couvaras and urged him to visit hisconstituency and resolve the border issue which affected morethan eighty per cent of Livingstone population. Districtadministrator Alice Simango told the gathering that she was goingto resolve the issue by discussing with the personnel involved."We will contact the Zambia Revenue Authority and see whatwe can do to help normalise the situation, I promise that byMonday things will be okay," said Simango.
Zimbabwean farmers seek greener pastures(Johannesburg, Irin, 05/09) - Zambia on Thursdaycautiously welcomed moves by Zimbabwean commercial farmers toresettle in the country and continue farming. "We have anopen policy toward investors, whoever they may be. Yes, we arepleased that they [Zimbabwean farmers] have expressed interest inour agricultural sector, but we are mindful of the impact thatthis could have on the local population. We certainly don't wantto see a similar situation like that in Zimbabwe," thedirector of national agriculture, Peter Masunu, told IRIN. Thenumber of Zimbabwean commercial farmers seeking greener pasturesin neighbouring countries has reportedly increased as a result ofthe government's land-redistribution programme. Already, 20Zimbabweans are working in Mozambique's Manica Province. Angolaand Botswana have also encouraged the farmers to settle in theirrespective countries. About 125 commercial farmers have expressedinterest in areas in Zambia's fertile Northern Province. Masunusaid the northern agricultural town of Mbala was conducive tofarming because of the "good rainfall and the fishingopportunities". Zambia has the potential to significantlyincrease its agricultural output, analysts say. Currently, only20 percent of its arable land is cultivated. The agriculturesector has suffered from poor rural infrastructure, the lack ofcredit for farmers, and the high price of fertiliser and otherinputs. Some of the Zimbabwean farmers were interested in movingto the Copperbelt region, Masunu said, which was"particularly good for our agricultural development, sincewe are considering diversifying our economy and not just relyingon copper production". However, the Zambian authoritieswould monitor the situation closely "to avoid the landcontroversy in Zimbabwe". "We have made it clear thatthe local population will not be displaced. Like all investors,the farmers will have to create jobs for the local people inthose areas. Also, individual farmers will be prohibited fromowning thousands of hectares at the expense of our own people.They will not be given more land than they can actuallyuse," Masunu said. Prior to Zimbabwe's controversialland-reform programme, in which 2,900 farms have beenexpropriated, white commercial farmers owned the bulk of thecountry's prime land. Mozambican officials have been equallyvocal on the amount of land the commercial farmers would beentitled to. Up to 15O mainly dairy and tobacco farmers fromZimbabwe have expressed interest in relocating to Mozambique."We are not giving more than 1,000 hectares to avoid asocial crisis ... There was a request for 400,000 hectares ...but it would have represented a type of colony, and Mozambiqueimmediately rejected this request," Mozambican agricultureminister, Helder Muteia, told the Portuguese newspaper, Diario deNoticias, this week. "We are settling them throughout [thecountry] to ensure they are not grouped together and cantherefore easily learn about the situation in Mozambique,"said Muteia. The minimum investment required before a project wasauthorised was US $50,000, and each farmer had to create at least100 jobs. Apart from Manica, the government had received requestsfor farming rights in Zambezia, Nampula and Sofala provinces,Muteia said.
125 white Zimbabwean farmers seek land in Zambia(Lusaka, IOL, 05/09) - Zambian vice president EnockKavindele said 125 Zimbabwean white farmers were in Zambia toexplore opportunities after losing their land in President RobertMugabe's controversial land reform campaign. Some Zimbabweanwhite farmers have been seeking to migrate to neighbouringMozambique, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, after their land wasseized by the government for redistribution to landless blacks."We have received 125 white farmers who are looking for landon which to settle and government policy is that we shall welcomeany genuine investors," said Kavindele. The Zimbabweans havebeen sent to the northern region, which borders Tanzania, toexamine tracts of farming land there. A senior official at theZambia Investment Centre said at least 100 farmers had crossedinto Zambia since the August 8 deadline by Mugabe's government to2 900 farmers to vacate their farms earmarked for resettlement.Zambia has nearly 13 million hectares of arable land - and 85percent of it virgin unutilised fields. The country accounts for40 percent total water mass in southern Africa, making irrigationfarming deeply attractive. It has five big rivers, three largelakes, inland streams and dams that offer adequate water foragriculture even during a drought year. Zambia wants to boostfarming in a bid to diversify away from its economic mainstay,copper mining. Kavindele said Zambia would encourage the farmersto grow crops such as tobacco and maize, which had "greatpotential to contribute to economic growth". The ZambiaInvestment Centre official said the number of white farmers waslikely to grow. He said dozens of white Zimbabwean farmers werealso known to have bought land in central Zambia and had alreadyplanted maize. Zambia and Zimbabwe are among six countriesthreatened with severe food shortages and even starvation in thecoming months. Zambia blames drought, but analysts say betterpolicies would have ensured that irrigation farming gave thecountry sufficient food stocks for its people.
Forex crisis fuels cross border trading (ZimbabweStandard, 30/09) - A combination of the effects of pricecontrols and the flourishing illegal forex market has given birthto an influx of cross border traders from neighbouring countries,who are wiping available basic commodities off shops' shelves.The illegal forex exchange rates, which are usually veryexorbitant, attract traders from neighbouring countries who bringin forex to illegal local dealers. It works to the advantage ofthe cross border traders because they get far much more in localcurrency than if they traded using the official rates.Subsequently, they manage to buy large amounts of local goods ata bargain, which they then take back to their countries. AZambian cross border trader, who now regularly make trips to thiscountry where he occupies a permanent residence in Harare'ssuburb of Mbare, described his operations: "I manage to getUS dollars easily in Zambia, which I bring here to trade at verylucrative rates of at times up to US$1 to Z$1 000. As a result Ihave more buying power on the Zimbabwean market. I specialise insugar, cooking oil, soaps and flour." The trader scoffed atthe suggestion that these commodities were increasingly becominghard to get on the Zimbabwean market. "Aaa, of course attimes there are scarcities, but we almost always get our waythough. Personally I have many connections at manufacturers atwholesalers." Another class of illegal traders has alsoemerged, comprising local unemployed people who ferry thecommodities from major markets to border towns. They trade withthose from neighbouring countries, again taking advantage of thedistorted forex rates. In most cases they exchange the goods withforex which they will later trade at the informal market back inthe town and cities, gaining more profit in terms of the localcurrency. A local trader who requested anonymity said: "Weare dealing in various means. We make good profits from tradingcommodities such as sugar. At the same time we can also trade inforex." Border towns such as Mutare, Chirundu, Beitbridge,Victoria Falls and Plumtree have become hives of activity asvisitors from neighbouring countries as well as from major citiesin Zimbabwe come to trade. Investigations by Standard Businessrevealed that underhand dealings within the operations of some ofthe manufacturers, as well as wholesalers and retailers arecontributing to the economic rot. Some employees within theseenterprises are involved in the smuggling of their products intothe informal market. In some cases, the owners of theseenterprises are alleged to be also involved. It is moreprofitable to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers tohave their products auctioned at the informal market. Moreimportantly, it enables them to evade the strangling pricecontrols. It is through the same loopholes that commodities findtheir way onto the local informal market, where they are almostalways available despite critical shortages in the formal market.Although manufacturers and owners of wholesalers who spoke toStandard Business denied or professed ignorance over theunderhand dealings, some of the cross border traders confirmedthat they got their supplies directly from the owners or otherhighly placed officials within the enterprises. Said a prominentwholesaler based in Harare and Mutare: "I can't confirm thatthere are these underhand dealings. However, it is possible inthis tough economic environment that something sinister might behappening within manufacturing companies, wholesalers or retailshops." Commodities which have been severely affected bythis informal market are sugar, mealie meal, cooking oil, flour,as well as fuel. All these commodities are already in scarcitydue to the various factors emanating from President Mugabe'sarchaic economic policies, as well as the drought experiencedlast season. Manufacturers such as Olivine Industries, ZimbabweSugar Refineries, Lever Brothers, Circle Cement and ColgatePalmolive have felt the painful effect of this economic malaiseand are walking on tight ropes. Last year alone more than 500manufacturing companies closed shop as the effects of thevolatile economic environment had already begun to take theirtoll. Many others are likely going to join the graveyard by theend of the year as Mugabe remains obstinate with his disastrouseconomic policies.
Banker on list of officials denied entry into US(Harare, The Herald, 28/09) - Commercial Bank ofZimbabwe chief executive Dr Gideon Gono has been added on thelist of prominent Government officials and businesspeople who canbe denied entry into the United States for actions deemed asthreatening Zimbabwe's de- mocratic institutions. Dr Gonoreceived a notification signed this week by the US AssistantSecretary of State for African Affairs, Mr Walter Kansteiner. Thenotification advised him and his spouse that they would beineligible to receive a visa to enter the US. Part of thenotification read: "On February 22, 2002, the President ofthe US signed a proclamation suspending the entry into the US asimmigrants or non-immigrants those persons responsible foractions that threaten Zimbabwe's democratic institutions."Information available to the US Department of Stateindicates that your actions are such that you may be covered bythis proclamation. Accordingly, you are hereby notified that youand your spouse may be ineligible to receive visas to enter theUS except as provided for by the proclamation's terms." DrGono yesterday confirmed receiving the notification on Thursdayand wondered whether he was being persecuted for his efforts toassist the country in importing maize and fuel. "It is notfor me to judge whether wearing many national hats havecontributed to the well-being or otherwise of the people ofZimbabwe. "If procuring maize and fuel for the country andtrying to rehabilitate Zisco, the Zimbabwe BroadcastingCorporation, and my past efforts to bring discipline anddirection at the University of Zimbabwe are considereddetrimental to the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe, then let itbe so," said Dr Gono. The CBZ chief executive joins the listof people such as President Mugabe and his wife Cde Grace Mugabe,Former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr SimbaMakoni, and the chairman of Africa Resources, Mr Mutumwa Mawere,who have also been advised that they would not be granted visasto enter the US. The addition of Dr Gono on the list comes hardon the heels of a series of articles by the opposition MDCcriticising President Mugabe and Dr Gono for visiting Libya tonegotiate for more fuel imports for the country. The articlespublished in The Daily News last week described Dr Gono as"masquerading as the regime's fixer, enforcer andbanker". "Gono must know that in the eyes ofZimbabweans his degree of moral blameworthiness is extremelyhigh," said one of the articles. A senior Governmentofficial said last night that in view of the role he is playing,it was inescapable for Dr Gono to be left out in theanti-Zimbabwe campaign by the US government. Dr Gono rose toprominence over the last eight years after he successfully turnedaround the fortunes of the CBZ, which is now ranked as the thirdlargest commercial bank in the country after Standard CharteredBank and Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe. CBZ has grown from a size of$779 million in 1995 to $50 billion as at the end of June 2002.
Zimbabwe won't host British jurists (Harare, Sapa-AFP,26/09) - Zimbabwe will not host a special panel ofjurists to investigate the country's judicial independence aslong as it has Britons on it, the official Herald newspaperreported Thursday. "If someone is coming from the UnitedKingdom, the answer is 'no' because they have already made uptheir mind about us," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasatold the paper. "We will only entertain people with an openmind," he added. On Monday the International Commission ofJurists (ICJ) accused the Zimbabwe government of obstructing avisit by one of its fact-finding teams to the country despitehaving been formally invited. "The government's oppositionto any outside scrutiny is a serious blow to the rule of law inZimbabwe," the Geneva-based ICJ said in a statement. Thecommission said it had been invited by Chinamasa last year tovisit the country. Chinamasa told The Herald the governmentwanted to know the composition of the team first. The governmentaccuses former colonial power Britain of trying to recoloniseZimbabwe, as well as reneging on a deal to fund land reform aimedat rectifying colonial-era imbalances that left whites with mostof the prime agricultural land. Concerns have been raised inZimbabwe and internationally over the independence of thecountry's judiciary, and over the government's alleged harassmentand intimidation of judges.
Rushinga residents duped in cross border scam (Harare,The Herald, 24/09) - Hundreds of Rushinga residents wereswindled of thousands of dollars by a man who claimed to be anagent of the Cross Border Traders' Association of Zimbabwe. The'impostor' made them pay membership fees ranging from $1 000 to$64 000 in March on the pretext that they would receive someloans. One of the residents, Mr Charles Kabaya, yesterday said hepaid $55 000 to a man known only as Zimuta. "They came to usduring their Mashonaland Central campaign programmes for theestablishment of local branches and briefed us on how theassociation has helped many residents in small towns," hesaid. Mr Kabaya said following the campaigns, there was a massiveresponse and hundreds of people paid membership fees hoping tosecure loans. "We have no doubt that we were conned, we havenot heard from the committee leaders or the president of theassociation," he said. Some of the victims said they werefrantically trying to communicate with some senior members of theassociation based in Mt Darwin. "The senior members have onfour occasions promised to come and disburse the loans but we arenow tired of waiting," they said. The president of theassociation, Mr Killer Zivhu, yesterday said the man theresidents paid their money to was not employed by theirorganisation. However, he said the man had visited their officesand claimed he had lost records of people who had paid for theirmembership. "Without the records and confirmation that thepeople indeed paid money, we can not give them any loans neitherwill their money be refunded," he said. Mr Zivhu said theyhave held meetings with the MP for the area Cde Lazarus Dokorawho said he would look into the matter. Cde Dokora yesterday saidthere was a possibility that the residents were swindled out oftheir money. "Considering the circumstances, there is noother way of dealing with this issue besides allowing the law totake its course," he said.
Exodus of skilled people accelerated (ZimbabweStandard, 23/09) - As hordes of people continue toinundate Harare International Airport heading for overseasdestinations, especially the United Kingdom and the UnitedStates, the destruction of the country's social fabric gathersmomentum. Bank teller, John Magama, left for the UK in 2000 andwas among the first hordes to flee the suicidal policies thatPresident Mugabe has embarked on in his bid to cling to power. Hewent with the intention of finding any type of job that wouldearn him a decent living. Magama is now working at an oldpeople's home as an aide and he supplements his income by doingmany other part-time jobs. Although he promised to return"soon", news reaching his wife in Harare's high densitysuburb of Mufakose is that Magama is now staying with aZimbabwean woman, Stella, the daughter of a Mrs Rufaro. Theirbaby is said to be due anytime now. Magama's wife said she hasresorted to her "own means" of survival. "Althoughhe occasionally sends money, the fact that he is now staying withanother woman means that he no longer loves me and the family.Waiting for him would be a waste of time. As a result, I haveresorted to my own means of survival." She however, declinedto reveal what those "means" were but did disclose thatshe had plans of her own to "fly" to the USA. "A(male) friend of mine will be sending me a ticket and I will beoff to the USA. I will leave the children with my mother."An uncertain future now awaits Magama's three children. Magama'scase is just one of many which have seen Zimbawean families breakup as spouses join the great trek to the UK, the USA, Canada,Australia and neighbouring countries. Some couples which lefttogether have broken up once overseas. "People have nochoice but to flee the economic terror Mugabe has unleashed onthis country," said an emotional Solomon Hungwe ofHighfield, who added that he was making his own plans to flee tothe UK. The great trek is not confined to one class. The wife ofGerald Ndura, a company executive, left for the UK so that theycould have money to build their dream house. "My wife is asenior nurse who left for the UK last year. It was a welcome movebecause we desperately need to complete the construction of ourhouse at Zimre Park. But I am now worried about the children asthey miss their mother's care. I am finding it extremelydifficult to care for them on my own," he said. Sportsadministrator, Wilfred Pawadyira, who is the former directorgeneral of the sports and recreation commission, went to the UKfor the Manchester Commonwealth Games and never returned home.His family don't not even know where he is at the moment. Lifeoverseas is not all roses, however. Reports reaching the countryare that some of its sons and daughters, out of desperation, areengaging in activities such as pornography and prostitution inpursuit of the pound. Gloom and doom continue to hang over thecountry as things fall apart as some families come under severestrain and others collapse.
Plight of Malawian immigrants (Mail & Guardian,20/09) - Elias Nkawa worked at High Short Farm, 75kmnorth of Harare, for many years. He claims to originate from thesouthern Malawi district of Machika but cannot recall for howlong he lived there. He has nothing to feed his family and lacksshelter since his former employer fled his farm. He believesneither the government of Malawi nor of Zimbabwe are doing muchfor the plight of the immigrants. "Our employers did nothave problems like ourselves when they were forced off theirfarms by the war veterans. They simply jumped into their cars anddrove off. Since our own government cannot process ourcitizenship, and there is no hope that the Zimbabwe governmentwill help, we're really without anywhere to go," Nkawa toldthe Malawi News. A prediction made by analysts earlier in theyear that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's land reformprogramme would affect many people in the region is proving to betrue. Immigrants in Zimbabwe are feeling the pinch of the landcrisis with Malawians the most hard hit. Thousands of people havebecome destitute following an amendment of the ZimbabweCitizenship Act, allegedly designed to target white commercialfarmers. However, Zimbabwe also hosts many immigrant workers fromneighbouring countries -- it is estimated that more than threemillion Malawians live in Zimbabwe and are, therefore, thelargest group affected by the land redistribution unrest. Theamendment stipulates that if a citizen of Zimbabwe was, at thedate of the amendment in 2001, also a citizen of a foreigncountry then they would cease to be a citizen of Zimbabwe. Whatmakes life difficult for the Malawian immigrants is thecorresponding Act in Malawi which states that any person who, atthe age of 21, is both a citizen of Malawi and of another countryshall upon their 22 birthday cease to be a citizen of Malawi.Both the Malawi and Zimbabwe high commission offices promise towork out a solution. The Malawi high commission, however, pointsout that most of the people travelled to Zimbabwe 20 years agowhich makes it difficult to prove they are Malawians. Anotherproblem the Malawian commission has to deal with is that manyZimbabweans experiencing problems travelling to Europe now claimthey are Malawian so that they can obtain another passport.Malawian Home Affairs Minister Monjeza Maluza promises hisgovernment will do everything possible to alleviate theimmigrants' situation: "It is not yet a hopeless situation.There is light at the end of the tunnel because our negotiationswith our counterparts [the Zimbabwe government] are proving to befruitful."
Citizen Act amendment (Harare, The Herald, 19/09) - Theproposal to amend the Citizenship Act yet again to allowZimbabwean-born descendants of nationals of a Sadc state toremain Zimbabwean citizens without having to renounce a possibleforeign citizenship is long overdue. About 10 percent of thepopulation of Zimbabwe is of foreign origin, the bulk now thechildren and grandchildren of immigrants rather than theimmigrants themselves. Almost all of this 10 percent aredescendants of a Sadc citizen. About half are descended from aMalawian, about a quarter from a Zambian, with those ofMozambican or South African descent in third and fourth places.The existing law would force many of these people to renouncethat foreign citizenship if they wished to remain Zimbabwean.This sounds fine in theory. But very very few of that group havethe necessary documentation to prove to the foreign country thatthey do have some sort of possible claim to a non-Zimbabweancitizenship. You cannot renounce what you do not have. Most ofthe immigrants came to Zimbabwe many years ago as farm workers,miners or domestic workers. It would be surprising if even one ina hundred had a birth certificate. Their descendants simply haveno access to any documentation. In any case many of thosedescendants are unaware of the legal requirements and it is onlynow, when they try to obtain a passport or a birth certificatefor their own children that they find they might not beZimbabwean. Even if everyone, say of Malawian descent, had thedocumentation to prove their descent, there would still be alogistical nightmare. Could the Malawi High Commission processseveral hundred thousand people in a year? We think it would beimpossible. An additional factor is that all Sadc countries havebanned dual citizenship. So if the descendants of a Malawian,South African or Zambian have Zimbabwe citizenship, then thecountry of origin of the ancestor is not going to give them apassport or any diplomatic protection. They are regarded ashaving lost all claim to that foreign citizenship, just as aZimbabwean who takes another nationality loses his or her claimto Zimbabwean citizenship. The proposed change makes it clearthat the person of Sadc descent has to be born in Zimbabwe beforeindependence. This is a common African position. In almost allAfrican countries those born in the country and living in thecountry on independence day are regarded as a citizen. Theproblems over citizenship highlight the problems of documentationfaced by many Zimbabweans of pure Zimbabwean descent as well asthose of foreign descent. Even now there are tens of thousands ofchildren in Zimbabwe without a birth certificate. They are facingmany difficulties and are going to face more. We believe that thetime has come to make registration of all births within a fewmonths of birth a legal responsibility for all parents. This usedto be a legal requirement for ethnic minorities in the colonialdays and it would save a lot of heartache and bother in thefuture if we started ensuring that all children born from now onwere registered promptly. We applaud the intention of amendingthe Citizenship Act to cope with past problems of lack ofdocumentation and we hope that further steps are taken to avoidfuture problems of a similar sort.
South African farmers in Zimbabwean court on landcharges (Johannesburg, Sapa, 18/09) - Nine SouthAfricans owning farms in the Zimbabwean lowveld, including FreeState farmer Crawford von Abo, appeared in court in the southernZimbabwean town of Mwenezi on Wednesday on charges ofcontravening that country's land reform legislation, AndriesBotha, the Democratic Alliance spokesman on rural safety, said.According to Botha, who attended the hearing, five whiteZimbabwean farmers appeared along with the South Africans. The 14cases were postponed until 15 November. Botha accused the SouthAfrican government of showing no sign of assistance to the SouthAfrican accused. "The South African government sent noofficial representative to witness or assist with this morning'scourt proceedings," Botha said. Spokesman for the Departmentof Foreign Affairs, Ronnie Mamoepa, said however the SouthAfrican government continued to render consular services to allSouth Africans in Zimbabwe, "without fear or favour".Mamoepa said the South African diplomatic mission in Harare hadmade representations to the Zimbabwean authorities regarding sixfarms owned by South African citizens, including that of Von Abo.Mamoepa could not disclose the content of these representationsand said it was a matter between the two governments. He said theconsular services included seeing to the welfare of the farmersafter they had been arrested, remaining in contact with theirfamilies, and seeing to it that their rights were not infringedwhen in prison. Von Abo was arrested on August 19 by armedZimbabwean militia on his farm Fauna in the Zimbabwean lowveld,along with farm manager Willem Klopper. They were accused ofcontravening president Robert Mugabe's land reform legislation byrefusing to leave the farm. Von Abo insisted that Fauna wasearlier taken off the so-called Section 8 list, marking whiteZimbabwean farmers for eviction. He earlier told Sapa that heexpected of the South African government to protect his propertyrights in Zimbabwe. He saw this as part of his civil rights as aSouth African citizen. Von Abo, also a Zimbabwean resident, ownedextensive agricultural properties in the Zimbabwean lowveld andthe Mazoe Valley to the north, and employed more than 1000Zimbabwean workers. Practically all of this land, except Fauna,have been lost since the start of Mugabe's land reform program.He started farming in Zimbabwe 50 years ago. In South Africa, heis a well-known grain farmer and a former chairman of the nowdefunct Maize Board.
State acts on citizenship (The Herald, 18/09) - Peopleborn in Zimbabwe but whose parents originate from Sadc countries- particularly Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia - may soon beaccorded special treatment to be recognised as Zimbabweans underamendments being proposed by the Government to relax theCitizenship of Zimbabwe Act. Currently, the Citizenship ofZimbabwe Act bars the holding of dual or multiple nationality byZimbabweans. It provides that Zimbabwean citizens who are alsocitizens of any foreign country shall cease to be citizens ofZimbabwe unless they effectively renounce their foreigncitizenship within certain specified periods. The Minister ofJustice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa,said yesterday a large number of Zimbabwean citizens by birthwere persons whose parents originated from countries within Sadc.It was probable that many such persons were also citizens bydescent of Sadc countries in terms of the citizenship laws ofthose countries. "Given the dearth of official records, bothin Zimbabwe and elsewhere, it is difficult if not impossible toestablish the foreign nationality status of such persons with anylegal precision," he said. "Moreover, most of thesepersons may be wholly unaware of their foreign citizenship andthe need to renounce that citizenship in order to retain theirZimbabwean nationality. "If this situation is noteffectively addressed, it may result in many Zimbabweans withSadc parentage being denied their Zimbabwean citizenship statusand effectively being rendered stateless." Under thesecircumstances, it was being proposed that such persons beaccorded special treatment under the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Actto enable them to be recognised as Zimbabweans, despite thepossibility that they may also be citizens, by descent, of one ormore Sadc countries. The justification for such treatment wasthat the vast majority of these people had been permanentlyresident in Zimbabwe since birth and had always regarded Zimbabweas their established home. "The justification for applyingsuch treatment to all Sadc countries stems from the recognitionof our political, economic and social affinity with thesecountries and the need to maintain equality, reciprocity and goodneighbourliness in our foreign relations within the region,"said Cde Chinamasa. The Government had proposed a criteria, whichwould be applied in determining eligibility for such specialtreatment. According to the criteria, the applicant must be aperson who was born in Zimbabwe at any time. Any one of theapplicant's parents must have been born in a Sadc member state,and such parent must have entered Zimbabwe on or before April 18,1980 and continuously resided in the country from that date untilthe date of birth of the applicant. Except for temporary absencesfrom Zimbabwe for the purposes of study, holiday or Stateservices, the applicant must have continuously resided inZimbabwe from the date of his or her birth. The applicant mustnot have acquired any foreign citizenship or foreign passport,whether voluntarily or otherwise, and must not have enjoyed theprotection of any foreign country at any time after the date ofhis or her birth. Cde Chinamasa said in order to give effect tothe proposed special treatment for eligible persons, Governmentwas proposing to amend the Act so that every eligible personshall be entitled at any time to obtain confirmation of his orher Zimbabwean citizenship status upon applying in the prescribedmanner and upon proof of his/her eligibility in terms of thestipulated criteria. An eligible person shall be exempt fromhaving to comply with the relevant renunciation requirement ofsection 9 of the Act, but only in so far as it may apply to hisor her citizenship of a Sadc country. Section 9 of the Actprovides that a Zimbabwean citizen who is also a citizen of aforeign country shall cease to be a citizen of Zimbabwe unless hehas effectively renounced his foreign citizenship by January 6,2002. However, these provisions have created difficulties ofinterpretation and application, resulting in many claimants beingdenied their Zimbabwean status and the privileges of holding aZimbabwean passport. Hundreds of people of foreign descent whointended to become Zimbabweans early this year thronged embassiesof their former countries in last minute attempts to renouncetheir foreign citizenship. This was after the Registrar-GeneralMr Tobaiwa Mudede had set a January 6, 2002 deadline for them torenounce their foreign citizenship in line with the Citizenshipof Zimbabwe Amendment Act, which was passed by Parliament lastyear.
Another foreign journalist forced to quit (Harare,Sapa, 13/09) - Another foreign journalist is beingforced out of Zimbabwe after the government refused to renew hiswork permit, saying pressure on them to do so showed contempt forthe laws of the country, the Media Institute of Southern Africa(Misa) said on Friday. Information and Publicity MinisterJonathan Moyo said no foreign journalist would hold a permanentwork permit in Zimbabwe in the future, and calls for the renewalof Agence France Presse (AFP) correspondent Griffin Shea's workpermit were a sign of contempt for Zimbabwe's laws. Shea mustleave Zimbabwe on Saturday. Moyo was quoted in the Misa pressrelease as saying: "We are not a banana republic wanting toplease foreign journalists. We are a constitutional democracyunderpinned by the rule of law." "Shea is an Americanand he can go and work there." "In this case the law isvery clear. No foreigner should be resident here as a journalist.We have made it clear that they can only be here for a limitedperiod, in fact, the limited period is thirty days," saidMoyo. Shea has been in Zimbabwe for two years. He received aletter from the Department of Information and Publicity onSeptember 7 informing him that his application had been turneddown. Also quoted by Misa, he said this came as no surprise asMoyo had indicated to the AFP bureau chief in June that he wasunlikely to allow any foreign journalists to work in Zimbabwebeyond the expiry of their existing work permits. Department ofInformation and Publicity official, Edward Mamutse, said noforeign correspondents or their organisations had registered withthe government, which is requited by new legislation."Foreign correspondents have to register their organisationfirst before they are registered themselves," said Mamutse.Foreign Correspondents' Association (FCA) chairman Andrew Meldrumsaid it was not clear what was happening as far as theregistration of foreign correspondents was concerned and the FCAhad told its members to make individual decisions on whether toregister. Shea said he would leave Zimbabwe for Johannesburg onSaturday but might return, depending on the outcome of the courtcases filed by the FCA in Zimbabwe against repressive clauses ofthe Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Meldrumwas acquitted in a Harare Magistrate's Court in July this yearafter becoming the first journalist to go to trial underZimbabwe's new media legislation. The court found him not guiltyof publishing falsehoods with the intention of tarnishing theimage of Zimbabwe, but minutes after his acquittal immigrationofficials served him with a 24-hour expulsion order. The ZimbabweHigh Court then suspended the deportation order until Meldrum,who claims his rights have been violated, could be heard by theConstitutional Court. The government's lawyer Yvonne Dondo arguedthat Meldrum should leave the country because he was a"security risk" although no evidence to support thisclaim was put before the court. Meldrum, the correspondent forBritain's Guardian newspaper, has lived in Zimbabwe for more than20 years. Meldrum and some other foreign correspondents inZimbabwe were branded as "terrorists" by the statemedia last year. Two foreign correspondents have already beenexpelled from the country in the past 18 months under the Accessto Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and another wasrefused renewal of his work permit. The FCA said that moreforeign journalists have been given until the end of this year toleave. Critics say the Act is an attempt to muzzle the free pressin Zimbabwe, which has been increasingly critical of PresidentRobert Mugabe and alleged human rights abuses perpetrated by hissupporters.
Judge orders return of deported Libyan spy (The DailyNews, 12/09) - Justice Susan Mavangira of the High Courthas granted a provisional order directing Elasto Mugwadi, thechief immigration officer, to immediately facilitate the returnof Yousef Murgham, the former Libyan spy deported for allegedlycompromising State security. In her judgment delivered on 28August but made available yesterday, Mavangira gave Mugwadi 10days to file opposing papers in the matter. If he fails to do sowithin the specified time, the court would hear the matter asbeing unopposed for confirmation of the order. Murgham, a formercounsellor and intelligence officer at the Libyan Embassy inHarare, was deported last month. He was alleged to have beenassigned by the Central Intelligence Organisation to assassinateopposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. It is alleged thatMurgham was supposed to carry out the deed some time before theMarch presidential election, controversially won by PresidentMugabe and disputed by the MDC as highly fraudulent. Mavangirasaid: "Murgham be and is hereby allowed to enter and remainin this country and Mugwadi be and is hereby restricted fromdeporting Murgham pending the determination of this matter."That Mugwadi be and is hereby ordered to facilitate thereturn of Murgham to this country and to pay the costs incidentalto Murgham's return to this country." While Murgham obtainedthe interim relief in the court, his lawyer Jonathan Samkangeyesterday said he had failed to contact him after his deportationthree weeks ago. Samkange said: "His whereabouts are notknown. Even his wife, Jean, does not know where he is." Hesaid he would soon contact Mugwadi to find out whether Murghamwas really deported. Murgham reportedly became a target fordeportation because he was being accused by the Libyan ambassadorin Zimbabwe, Mahmoud Youseff Azzabi, of leaking an alleged sexscandal story to The Standard newspaper early this year,involving the ambassador himself and a Zimbabwean, Janet Mutasa,who worked for the embassy. In its story in January, The Standardsaid Azzabi allegedly cajoled Mutasa into giving in to hisdemands for oral sex for a period of about two years, anallegation Azzabi has denied. Murgham left behind his Zimbabweanwife, Jean, 39, daughter Samia,12 and son Mohammed, 8. Jean saidher husband was a staunch Zanu PF supporter who negotiated thecurrent deal for fuel for Zimbabwe from Libya. She said Murghamcame to Zimbabwe in 1986 as a counsellor at the Libyan Embassy,but resigned from the government in 1983 and preferred to remainin Zimbabwe.
South Africa will protect its citizens in Zimbabwe(Parliament, Sapa, 11/09) - Deputy President Jacob Zumahad not ruled out South African protection for its citizens andtheir investments in Zimbabwe, his spokeswoman Lakela Kaunda saidon Wednesday night. The South African High Commissioner inHarare, Jerry Ndou, had made representations to Zimbabweanauthorities regarding six farms belonging to South Africans, andwhich had been earmarked for redistribution under the ZimbabweanLand Acquisition Act, she told Sapa. She was replying to a queryabout Zuma's remarks in the National Assembly duringparliamentary question time. Zuma was emphasising that Zimbabwewas an independent sovereign state and that no self-respectingstate would countenance interference from outside, Kaunda said."The South African government continues to interact at thehighest authority, within the international collective, in itsresolve to assist the Zimbabwean people to find a solution to thecountry's political and economic problems," she said.Earlier on Wednesday, Federal Alliance MP Sakkie Blanche askedwhat Pretoria was doing to protect South African interests inZimbabwe. Zuma replied: "That's very arrogant. You can not,as a South African government, go to some country (and say) thisparticular farmer, why are you mistreating this farmer?"Where have you ever heard that? You can see you are notrunning any county. You have no responsibility," he said.The Democratic Party's Andries Botha - who recently returned froma fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe - questioned why thegovernment could not interfere on behalf of South Africaninvestors in that country. "This is distinctly differentfrom what countries like France, the Netherlands and Germany haveachieved," he said. Botha said he had visited one farm wherethe French government had successfully intervened and stopped theZimbabwean government "from invading and taking away theinvestments of their citizens". It was currently plantingseason in Zimbabwe, which was the last chance to save theinvestments of South African farmers there. "When can weexpect any protection?" he asked. Zuma replied: "Againwe have a problem, because you want us to emulate France,Germany... We can't. We cannot. We are South Africa, and weremain South Africa with our clear policies of how to relate toother countries. "We can't be told by other countries whatto do and what not to do. If one day, any country tries tosuggest how South Africa must run its affairs, we'll be inserious problems with that country. "We cannot. (It's) veryclear. We cannot help you. We cannot go to Zimbabwe and tell theZimbabweans, do this or do not do that. It's not our duty, that'snot what we were elected to do. We were elected to run SouthAfrica and not Zimbabwe." Earlier on Wednesday, Pahad saidPretoria was very keen a bilateral agreement on protectinginvestments was signed with Zimbabwe. "We are very keen asforeign affairs that this agreement gets signed very quicklybecause it does give South African investors some form of legalprotection," he told reporters in Cape Town. Ndou had beeninstructed to take up any case of a South African who wasexperiencing difficulties in Zimbabwe. The problem had been thatnot many South Africans in Zimbabwe had registered with the HighCommission. There was only about eight or 10 who had done so,although a further list of 75 names had subsequently been givento the commission. "We are following this up and to see whatif any we can do to protect South African interests inZimbabwe." Pahad said he would also follow up with Ndouwhether any progress had been made in ensuring that South Africanfarmers were returned to their land in Zimbabwe.
AFP journalist told to leave (Harare, The Herald,10/09) - Griffin Shea, a correspondent for Agence FrancePress, has been ordered to leave the country by Saturday thisweek following the Government's refusal to renew his work permit.Shea has been working in Zimbabwe for the last two years. Heconfirmed at the weekend that his request for renewal of hispermit was turned down by the Government on Friday last week."I got the letter on Friday telling me that my request foran application was unsuccessful," Shea said yesterday."No reasons were given." Shea would be relocating toJohannesburg, South Africa, just before his permit expires onSaturday. He has also indicated that he would not be contestingthe refusal, reportedly endorsed by the Department of Informationand Publicity. In July, the Minister of State for Information andPublicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, met the director of AFP, MrDenis Hiault, in Harare to discuss provisions governingoperations of foreign journalists under the Access to Informationand Protection of Privacy Act. The Act, passed by Parliament atthe beginning of the year after intense debate, sets out newregulations governing operations of media organisations withregards to ownership and accreditation. Under the Act, foreignersmay be accredited to practise as journalists for a limitedperiod. Shea joins a growing number of foreign journalists whohave been ordered to leave Zimbabwe in recent months for variousreasons. In July, British Guardian correspondent, Andrew Meldrum,a US citizen, was served with deportation orders minutes afterbeing acquitted of contravening the Act. He had been accused ofreproducing a false story first carried by theStrive-Masiyiwa-owned Daily News claiming that Zanu-PF supportershad beheaded a Karoi woman. The High Court, a few days later,suspended Meldrum's deportation and referred the matter to theSupreme Court for determination. There is some legal ambiguityover whether there are one or more classes of permanentresidents, depending on whether the holder has or has not been acitizen at some stage and where the permanent resident was born.The Supreme Court will have to decide what rights might beattached to permanent residency and whether the way suchresidency is acquired gives different rights to different holdersof this status. The matter is still pending.
Last year in February, a Britishcorrespondent, Joseph Winter together with South Africa's Mailand Guardian journalist, Mercedes Sayagues, were deported. Winterhad been in Zimbabwe for four years and again had no permanentresidency. After the expiry of his work permit, he allegedlyobtained supporting documents to have his permit extended by afurther two years. Sayagues was declared a prohibited personafter the expiry of her temporary work permit. Commenting on theissue, Prof Moyo said last night there was nothing special orextraordinary about the expiry or non-renewal of a permit of aforeign journalist. He described as foolish claims by ReportersSans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) insinuating that workpermits should be renewed at the whims of that particularreporter. The Minister said the Government would not accept asituation whereby foreign journalists would continue to holdtheir work permits "until Jesus Christ comes back"."We are not a Banana Republic wanting to please foreignjournalists. We are a constitutional democracy underpinned by therule of law. In this case our law is clear. No foreigner shouldbe resident here as a journalist. We have made it clear that theycan only be here for limited period, in fact, the limited periodis 30 days. "We are very proud that we are one of thecountries who have trained an impressive professional cadre ofjournalists and they need work. Shea is American and he can goand work there." Prof Moyo said those who were"screaming" over the non-renewal of Shea's permit wereshowing their contempt for Zimbabwe's laws. They were seeking tohave in Zimbabwe and in the Third World things that did nothappen in their own countries. "They seem to suffer from theTarzan view that we are a jungle and we need to disabuse of thatview," Prof Moyo said. The Government was not prepared torenew Shea's permit so that he would work with the US to toppleit from power, Prof Moyo said, referring to a statement by USAssistant Secretary for African Affairs, Mr Walter Kansteiner,that the Americans were working with some journalists in Zimbabweto topple President Mugabe.
Police order farmers off land (Harare, Mail &Guardian, 08/09) - Police in Zimbabwe's grain belt aredelivering orders to white farmers to get off their land bySunday, in a move that may finally remove nearly all of them fromthe area, farm union officials said on Friday. Since late onThursday, teams of police have been travelling around thecommercial farming areas in Mashonaland West and ordering farmersalready issued with eviction orders to leave with all theirpossessions by 2pm on Sunday. A total of 25 farmers out of about150 in the area had been visited by midday on Friday, said DavidRockingham-Gill, local administrator for the Commercial Farmers'Union. "They are still driving around so there are stillmore to go," he said. "They (police) said, 'the workershave got to stop work and anything you leave on the farm isours'."Police were targeting farmers with who had alreadyreceived "section 8" eviction orders under PresidentRobert Mugabe's notorious land-seizure legislation, which giveslandowners 90 days in which to wind up their affairs and abandontheir property. The Mashonaland West area, stretching from justoutside Harare to 200km north of the capital, is the richestgrain producing area in the country. Maize, wheat and barley, aswell as other crops, are grown extensively under irrigation. Thepolice were making their rounds as the country's bakers warned ofworsening bread shortages in urban areas and Mugabe made a policyU-turn and agreed to imports of genetically modified maize asemergency food aid to try to avert the worst famine in thecountry's history. "It's very serious," Rockingham-Gillsaid. "I don't know where we go from here. There are allsorts of confusing messages coming from all the different policevehicles." Farmers visited included many with evictionorders that had been annulled by court orders, others whoseorders had not yet fallen due and some who had not been issuedwith any eviction orders. At least five of those ordered to leaveowned only one farm. Mugabe told the World Summit on SustainableDevelopment in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week that onlyfarmers with more than one farm would be targeted. "Peopleare 'phoning their lawyers," Rockingham-Gill said. Only onefarmer had begun to pack, he said. Douglas Taylor-Freeme,vice-president of the CFU, was among the farmers visited bypolice. He said he showed them he had been issued with aneviction order that gave him until the end of November to leave."I told them I have 400ha of wheat in the ground which willbe ready for reaping in October ...tobacco which I should beplanting and 500 head of cattle to look after. "They saidthey don't care, you have got to be off," he said."Then they went to the workers and said they had to stopwork, and told them to claim retrenchment packages. I will haveto see if I can keep going and get some sense out of this,"he said. Mugabe told a group of visiting journalists on Thursday:"We have sworn that no one will go without land, but they(white farmers) are greedy, greedy colonialists." Theofficial in charge of land seizures in Mashonaland West isprovincial governor Peter Chanetsa, also the top local rulingZanu-PF party official. He is reported to have seized fivewhite-owned farms for himself.
Farm evictions pick up speed (Harare, Sunday Times,07/09) - A triumphant President Robert Mugabe returnedto Zimbabwe from his warm reception at the World Summit onSustainable Development in Johannesburg this week just as policebegan preparing to evict yet more farmers from the country'sgrain belt. According to farmers' groups, police gave farmersserved with eviction notices in Matabeland, Mashonaland West -the country's richest grain-producing area - and MashonalandCentral until 2pm today to leave with all their possessions. Thefarmers include single property owners - belying Mugabe's claimthat only those with more than one farm would be targeted. Thepolice notices came just as the country's bakers warned ofworsening bread shortages in urban areas and as Mugabe reversed adecision to ban the import of genetically modified food aid in aneffort to avert the worst famine in the country's history. In arare interview with journalists after his return fromJohannesburg, Mugabe said it was "absolute nonsense"that the seizure of farms had contributed to the hunger crisisthreatening half of all Zimbabweans. "If anything," hewas quoted as saying, "it's the only way you can empowerpeople to produce, not just for subsistence, but to enable themto enjoy life and to enable the country to continue to exportmaize." Meanwhile, the South African business community hasdenounced Mugabe's economic mismanagement, and warned that thecrisis could spell disaster for the region . In a statement thisweek, the SA Chamber of Business said: "We believe theAfrican Union, in conjunction with the Southern AfricanDevelopment Community, should urgently assess the Zimbabweansituation and come up with a pragmatic and sustainable plan todeal with the situation there." And as relief organisationsstepped up food programmes, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement forDemocratic Change warned of "political interference" inthe distribution of food aid , with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangiraisaying authorities had impounded 30 tons of maize bought fromSouth Africa.
Military academy to enrol foreign trainees (Harare,The Herald, 07/09) - The Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA)will in future enrol foreign trainees in a move expected toimprove co-operation, mutual trust and common understanding amongvarious nations, President Mugabe said yesterday. Cde Mugabe, whois the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, saidthe ZMA had embarked on a project to transform itself into astate-of the art military institution, which will enable it toenrol foreign students. "Such a policy will surely bringinnumerable benefits to the nation, the region and theinternational world. Possible benefits include the enhancement ofco-operation, mutual trust and common understanding in defenceissues among the various nations, thereby reducing the incidenceof suspicions and tensions," he said. The President wasspeaking at a passout parade of 101 cadet officers at the ZMA inGweru. He said the ZMA should maintain high standards as it hadthe responsibility of training and moulding high qualityprofessional officers capable of steering the ZDF to greatersuccess in both national and international campaigns. "Theneed, therefore, for the institution to uphold its high standardsis imperative for the development of cadres with qualities ofleadership, character, intellect and professional rectitude thatmeet the demands of an army officer. "The academy's work inthis regard has, therefore, been highly commendable," CdeMugabe said. The ZMA had become synonymous with continuallyreplenishing and rejuvenating of the Zimbabwe National ArmyOfficer Corps, which had guaranteed the existence of awell-trained and professional force capable of defending thecountry's security and sovereignty. A total of 101 officer cadetssuccessfully completed the training, which began in March lastyear. The initial group was made up of 158 trainees but the other57 dropped out due to various reasons. Of the 57, four droppedvoluntarily, 13 absented themselves without leave while 23 couldnot complete the rigorous training meant to mould physically fitand professional soldiers, due to ill health. A total of threefailed to meet the demands of the course while another three weredismissed for disciplinary reasons. The high drop out rate wasnot a surprise as the world over, officer cadet courses were notmeant for those of a weak disposition, Cde Mugabe said. Heexpressed sorrow at the death of Officer Cadet Chingono who diedfrom stomach ulcers and sent a message of condolence to hisfamily saying it was sad that his desire to serve his countrynever came to fruition. The President also noted that all theofficers who graduated yesterday were males although in the pastfemales have successfully taken part in the course. He said theabsence of women was not to deliberately discriminate whenrecruiting but the failure by females to meet the basicrequirements of the course. "Because of the need to guardagainst compromising the usually high standards and quality ofthe officer cadet course, it was not possible to lower the courserequirements." All of the graduates were school leaversexcept four who joined the course from the non-commissioned ranksof the ZDF. President Mugabe commended the officers forsuccessfully completing the course saying it was an importantachievement that should lead to a long professional career builtupon a committed application of the skills acquired duringtraining. He urged them to continue working hard and to be loyaland dedicated to their duties even in difficult circumstances."Your commitment and loyalty should shine through even inthe transient difficult economic situation facing the countrythese days." Cde Mugabe commended the farming community foroffering their land for the trainees to carry out their outdoortraining exercises and urged them to remain patriotic and nurturetheir positive spirit. On the regional front, he said Zimbabweremained optimistic and confident of the success of the peaceinitiatives in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thepeace initiatives in the DRC had afforded an opportunity forZimbabwe to withdraw its forces from that country after helpingit repel a Rwandan and Ugandan-backed rebellion since 1998. Hesaid Zimbabwe, as a peace-loving nation would continue to supportregional and international efforts to help promote peace underthe auspices of the United Nations, Sadc and the African Union.
South African farmer takes Mugabe to court(Johannesburg, The Daily News, 06/09) - PresidentMugabe, who returned from the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, SouthAfrica, on Wednesday, is being taken to court by a South Africanfarmer with property in Zimbabwe, it emerged yesterday. RichardBarry, a Bolland wine farmer who owns land in Zimbabwe, wantsMugabe arrested the next time he sets foot on South African soiland prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Barry has invoked aninternational statute which has been drafted into South Africanlaw, giving local courts jurisdiction in cases of crimes againsthumanity, war and genocide. The implementation of the RomeStatute of the International Criminal Court Act came into effecton 18 July 2002. The Act stipulates, in part, that if the crimesagainst humanity are committed against any South African citizenanywhere in the world, the perpetrator can be brought before thecourts here and be tried by the local courts. Some of the whitefarmers kicked off their farms in Zimbabwe are South Africancitizens. Indications last night were that more white farmerswould join Barry in their bid to stop Mugabe. Barry said he waslaying this charge on behalf of all Zimbabweans. "It was abig decision for me, but I cannot watch how everyone keeps quietwhen Mugabe lies," he told reporters in Cape Town onWednesday. He was particularly incensed when Mugabe on Mondayclaimed every Zimbabwean farmer was entitled to a farm, when infact the grabbed land is going to Mugabe's cronies.Barry said:"The poor don't get the land that is taken away from thewhite farmers. Mugabe's colleagues do. Something must be done toremove Mugabe from power and save Zimbabwe." Ronnie Mamoepa,spokesman for the South African Foreign Affairs Minister,Nkosazana Zuma-Dlamini, confirmed to journalists that Mugabe hadleft, but said the ageing President, like all other leaders atthe summit, had diplomatic immunity. But Gerhard Kemp, a lecturerin international criminal law at the Cape Town-based Universityof Stellenbosch, maintained that South African law expresslyexcluded the defence of immunity for leaders accused of crimesagainst humanity, war and genocide. Kemp said the State-sponsoredviolence, torture, rape and mass removals of people from Zimbabwecould be viewed as crimes against humanity in terms of the Act.The Act allows SA authorities to arrest and prosecute anyoneaccused of such crimes once they set foot in the country, even ifthey are not South Africans. Yesterday, the Zimbabwe HighCommission in Pretoria would not comment on the matter, butindications were that Barry's affidavit would be faxed through toBulelani Ngcuka, the national director of public prosecutions.Sipho Ngwenya, the spokesman for the National directorate ofpublic prosecutors, told journalists that the process to befollowed was that a complaint had to be lodged, a statement madeand evidence evaluated to see if there were any grounds forarrest. The Democratic Alliance's spokesman, Doctor TertiusDelport, said this week that Mugabe's land grab amounted to actsof crimes against humanity "And it's the courts that canhelp us bring him to book. We can't go to the extent ofexperiencing what we saw in Bosnia," he said. Barry, whostudied agriculture at the Univesity of Stellenbosch, claimed heoffered to sell his land since the 1980s bu the Zimbabweangovernment had made false promises of undertaking a viabilitystudy. He first came to Zimbabwe on holiday in 1952, when he wasonly 16 and he immediately fell in love with the country. He knewhe wanted to farm there and the dream came true when his fatherbought some land in Barry's name five years later. Three yearson, his father bought a neighbouring farm for him and his sixsisters. But before the country moved to Zimbabwe his father diedand Barry had to take over his business interests here. Neitherthe President's office nor that of the Minister of State forInformation and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, could be reached forcomment by late yesterday. Under travel restrictions imposedafter the 2002 presidential election, Mugabe and most of hisruling elite colleagues are banned from entering the UnitedStates of America or the European Union (EU) countries.
White Zimbabwean farmers head for Zambia (Lusaka,Sapa-AFP, 04/09) - About 125 white farmers who have beenunable to stay on their land in Zimbabwe have gone toneighbouring Zambia to explore the possibilities of settling inthe country, the state-run Times of Zambia said Wednesday. Thefarmers are expected to visit Mbala, a agricultural town situatedin northern Zambia where they will conduct soil tests todetermine which crops would be suitable to grow, the paper said."I can confirm that we have received about 125 white farmerswho have indicated to government that they want to invest inagriculture," Zambian Vice President Enoch Kavindele said,according to the paper. "We believe that their input willadd value to the development of the land," he added.
Future looks bleak for hungry Zimbabweans (Harare,IOL, 02/09) - The crop growing season in Zimbabwe'sfertile, well-watered northern highveld started on Sunday and wasmarked by the lighting of bush fires that blackened thecountryside of Tsatsi. On Ruorka farm, abandoned by its owner 18months ago when scores of squatters invaded, the weed-strewnfields were deserted. On one, a woman searched for mice to eat."We would be planting tobacco here now," said RichardGalloway, 41, who two weeks ago was driven off his farm nextdoor. "All of this should have been prepared for planting along time ago. There is nothing happening here now."Saturday was the deadline set by President Robert Mugabe for the"successful conclusion" of his campaign to seizewhite-owned land and to hand it over to black Zimbabweans. BySaturday, he said recently, 300 000 peasant farmers and54 000 "indigenous (black) emergent commercialfarmers" would be on their new land, supplied with loans,seed and fertiliser and be ready to start the cropping season. Headded that they would probably out-produce the white farmers. Inprevious years, all the farms in the district would be covered indust from the tractors finishing their last preparations, whiledozens of workers cultivated the evenly ploughed fields. However,there were only two small areas the size of a tennis courtploughed on the 2 500ha Ruorka. Ruorka has about 50 peasantfamilies on it, while the neighbouring farm has been earmarkedfor about eight new "indigenous" farmers. On one of itsfields is a broad stand of knee-high wheat with swelling greenears and ready to be reaped by its new farmer. "It wasplanted, fertilised and irrigated by the previous owner,"said Galloway. "It was part of a deal to let him grade histobacco and reap his citrus while the new settler moved on. Thesettler would take his wheat. "He was kicked off last week.His pumps, sprays and piping were all commandeered. To try andget it off would be life-threatening." Galloway added."The settlers have just moved in," he said. They hadalready ploughed a small patch near the homestead. "Thatused to be a block of specialised rye grass for pasture forpedigree bulls. The owner was a brilliant farmer. This guy mightget three bags of maize from it," he said. Mugabe has listeda total of 5 894 white-owned farms for seizure out of atotal of about 6 000, covering an area of 11 million ha,about 28 percent of the area of the country. Over 3 000of the owners were issued with eviction orders, most of whichexpired early last month. Authorities are issuing fresh evictionorders every day, said Jerry Grant, deputy director of theCommercial Farmers' Union. Mugabe has scorned criticism from therest of the world that the state-backed invasions of white-ownedfarms that began in February 2000 are a reckless, racist landgrab that will destroy an agricultural sector whose surplusoutput for decades has rescued other African countries fromstarvation. The government admitted last month that only half ofthe 54 000 "emergent" commercial farmers hadbothered to take up farms allocated to them. Banks have refusedto lend money to squatters with no collateral to offer and notrack record as farmers.
Mugabe's cronies get seized farms (Johannesburg,Business Day, 02/09) - On the eve of ZimbabweanPresident Robert Mugabe's address to the World Summit onSustainable Development in Sandton tomorrow, a Zimbabweanfarmers' action group has released a list of top Mugabe allies,who have been handed farms snatched from white farmers in thename of land reform. The list gives the lie to Mugabe's claimthat he is seizing land to benefit landless peasants, a positionhe is likely to push during his expected address to the worldsummit tomorrow. The Zimbabwean commercial farmers' group Justicefor Agriculture (JAG) said yesterday that the list was based oninformation from farmers as well as on public information,including government announcements published in newspapers. Thelist shows that Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and JusticeMinister Patrick Chinamasa have been handed seized farms.Mugabe's wife, Grace, is also a beneficiary. JAG spokeswomanJenni Williams said: "We have seen in recent weeks theeviction of peasants on a number of farms and the handing of themover to politicians." Zanu (PF)-aligned chiefs, publicservants and police officials had also received farms, JAG said.Moyo was given an 816ha farm called Little Connemara inManicaland in the eastern part of the country. And Chinamasa isto be handed a property called Lot 1 of Mirror 2 in the Chipingedistrict. This will be Chinamasa's second farm he received thefirst in 1998 as part of a land-reform programme funded by theBritish government. Mugabe's sister, Sabina, may also benefitfrom the land grab. She arrived on the farm Buffalo Downs inMashonaland West, and indicated to the owners that she wasMugabe's sister and had come to claim the farm. She already hasan interest in Gowrie farm, which belonged to Terry Ford, who wasmurdered in March, at about the time of the presidentialelections. Public Works Minister Ignatius Chombo inspected AllanGrange farm in Mashonaland West last Thursday, and told theowner, Hannes Swan, that he was about to take possession of the3000ha property. Chombo's ministry overseas the allocation ofplots and farms. As Mugabe's opportunity to put his case before aworld audience loomed, European Union (EU) members were lastnight considering having only their most junior diplomats in theroom when he speaks. European leaders were also consideringwhether or not to even mention Mugabe during their speeches.Britain has said that it expects Zimbabwe to come up on the"margin" of the summit. UK Prime Minister Tony Blairaddresses the summit tomorrow morning, and will meet PresidentThabo Mbeki tonight. Other European leaders may raise the issue.One problem in raising the issue in the actual summit is thatthey could then be accused of trying to divert the proceedingsaway from sustainable development.
This pagelast updated 09 July 2004.