THE Zanu PF politburo has declined to co-opt into the central committee perceived allies of Vice-President John Nkomo, as power politics in the party continue to rock Matabeleland.
A politburo meeting held last week ordered fresh elections to fill central committee vacancies for Bulawayo after rejecting seven names forwarded by Isaac Dakamela, the provincial chairman.
Former Bulawayo mayor Abednico Nyathi, Dennis Ndlovu, Misheck Velaphi, Elphus Tshuma, former Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial commissar Raphael Baleni, Nelly Dupute and Violet Ncube were supposed to have joined the powerful central committee, but were rejected after the intervention of party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo.
This was the second time that the politburo has rejected names forwarded for the remaining central committee positions. The central committee is Zanu PF’s decision-making body and members are elected by district coordinating committees.
Sources attribute this to the tussle for power involving Nkomo, party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu, all of whom are fighting for influence in the region.
Sources said Dakamela had drafted the rejected list with politburo secretary for education Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and secretary for youth affairs Absolom Sikhosana, Nkomo’s close allies in the region.
Dakamela confirmed that the politburo ordered fresh elections to fill seven central committee vacancies to add to 14 people chosen in December last year.
“We were told after the politburo meeting that we should choose new members, not the original list that we had forwarded,” Dakamela told the Zimbabwe Independent this week. “The Bulawayo provincial coordinating committee will meet soon to choose new members.”
He said a circular sent to him stated that the names were thrown out because some of them were not veteran politicians.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF secretary for administration, this week downplayed the issue when approached for comment on whether power struggles were behind the development.
“Some of the people on the list have been in the central committee before and it’s a matter of correcting one or two issues. It’s not a big issue,” he said.
Party sources said Moyo led the politburo in rejecting the names.
Zanu PF insiders said the rejected members were victims of a bitter power struggle, as senior leaders position themselves for ascendancy in the wider Zanu PF succession fight.
Moyo’s move in the politburo, sources said, was a way of hitting back at Nkomo, who recently played a part in barring members aligned to the party chairman from joining the central committee.
Nkomo opposed the election of Bulawayo war veterans’ leader Themba Ncube, former Bulawayo councillor Emmanuel Kanjoma, businessman Charles Chiponda, Anna Moyo, Sifelani Dube, Otilia Pasipanodya and Emily Hela.
After blocking their endorsement, Nkomo’s faction, led by Ndlovu then crafted its own list, which Moyo blocked last week.
The sources said Moyo, the former ambassador to South Africa, argued that Bulawayo province failed to follow procedure in coming up with the new names.
Moyo could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.
Brian Chitemba - Independent
Times of Zambia
CHIEF Mbang’ombe of the Chewa speaking people of Katete District has urged people attending this year’s Kulamba traditional ceremony to refrain from abusing alcohol during this year’s ceremony.
The traditional ruler said it had now become a trend for many youths to drink beer during the ceremony.
In an interview in Chipata, Chief Mbang’ombe urged the people attending this year’s Kulamba to respect the traditional ceremony and avoid the abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs during the ceremony.
He said many people who take took alcohol at the ceremony ended up misbehaving and afoul with the law.
The chief urged the youth to seek to understand the meaning of the traditional ceremony so that it remains relevant to their lives.
“We are urging everyone, especially the youth, to respect the proceedings of Kulamba traditional ceremony at the main arena.
“We want them to learn how the ceremony is conducted so that they pass it on to the future generations,” he said.
Chief Mbang’ombe also advised motorists using the Great East Road on the day of the ceremony to drive carefully to avoid road traffic accidents.
He also said the Kulamba organising committee had put up stringent security measures to ensure that the ceremony was held in a peaceful atmosphere.
Accra, Aug. 27, GNA - The Ministry of Health (MOH) and its Chinese counterpart on Friday signed an agreement to begin clinical trials in Chinese traditional medicine in the country.
The agreement between MOH and Chinese State Agency for Traditional Medicine is to pave way for collaboration between their traditional medicine regimes.
Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, who initialled for Ghana, said the medicines which would be used for the treatment of malaria, hypertension and stroke, diabetes and cholesterol management had been sent to the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to test their efficacy.
In addition, he said Chinese specialists would work with Noguchi Memorial Institute, the clinical trial unit of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Pharmacy Council, Mampong Centre for Plant Medicine, Medical and Dental Council, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science on Technology (KNUST) and if possible with the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.
The Chinese would also venture into planting of herbal plants, establish training institutions and train students in traditional medicines.
Mr. Mettle-Nunoo said the agreement would help Ghana traditional medicine manufacturers improve on efficacy and pave the way for both countries to import and export medicines.
He said bilateral relationship between the two countries commenced during the era of Ghana's First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and there had been fruitful collaboration between them and noted that China would next month hand over a hospital in Teshie in Accra to the Government.
Mr. Li Danning, Deputy Commissioner of State Agency for Traditional Medicine, who initialled for China, said his country and Africa had indigenous medicines that were peculiar to each environment; it was now time for them to share experiences and successes for the benefit of their people.
He expressed the hope that the agreement would encourage the use of traditional medicines and urged Ghanaians to support the trials of their medicines which were already on the Chinese markets.
DAKAR, 27 August 2010 (IRIN) - Further heavy rains in Niger have caused the number of people displaced by flooding to soar from 111,000 last week to 198,740 this week, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is calling on donors and aid agencies to urgently send shelter materials, blankets and mosquito nets.
"Response in rural areas has been slow thus far," the head of OCHA in Niger, Modibo Traoré, told IRIN. Flood-displaced families in remote the Diffa region in the southeast, and Agadez in the north, have received no assistance to date.
In Agadez some 80,000 animals, already weakened by the ongoing nutrition and food security crisis, have died in the floods. "We must find a way to quickly burn or bury their bodies to ensure water sources are not contaminated," Traoré told IRIN.
The government is sending 400 tons of food to people displaced by floodwater, and has released $200,000 in emergency funding to purchase more.
The flooding has aggravated a countrywide food security crisis, in which nearly half of Niger's 15.2 million people are experiencing hunger after the harvests failed, according to the government.
Traoré warned that the flooding could worsen. "The rainy season is still continuing, so victim numbers may rise even further."
Khartoum - Ten people were killed after a mine collapsed in a desert region of northern Sudan that is currently in the grip of a gold rush, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
"Ten people are dead following the collapse at a small gold mine at Kabkabah village in the Abu Hamed sector," a ministry statement quoted Nile state police chief Adel Khujly al-Jak as saying.
Rising gold prices combined with the availability of metal detectors has sparked a gold rush in northern Sudan, with thousands of prospectors descending on the area in recent years in the hope of striking it rich.Several reports have appeared in the Khartoum papers about deadly accidents, usually citing anonymous sources. Prospectors from the north often come to the capital to sell gold in the large Al-Arabi souk.
"For the past two years prospectors have been coming to us to sell gold," Mahdi, a jeweller in the market, told AFP. "Sometimes they have 100 grammes, 250 grammes or even a kilo or more.
"Here in Khartoum we have cash to buy their gold, whereas in the north the merchants have less liquidity." - AFP
Sudan is planning to build a nuclear reactor and its first nuclear power plant by 2020, the state news agency SUNA has said."The Ministry of Electricity and Dams has already started preparing for the project to produce power from nuclear energy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is expected to build the first nuclear power plant in the year 2020," Tayeb said.
Tayeb said an IAEA delegation would visit Sudan to discuss the project this week.
Sudan has been an IAEA member since 1958 and can develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme with IAEA assistance.
Sudan's economy has suffered under US sanctions since 1997 and from decades of warfare.
The African country has close economic and political ties with Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the US and some of its allies over its nuclear programme.
In defiance of the sanctions, Sudan has managed to hike oil production to 470,000 barrels per day, boosting growth.
It has also built dams along the Blue and White Niles, which merge in Sudan, to generate power, however, large swathes of the country remain without regular electricity.
The Khartoum government announced in March that Sudan needed to look for new energy sources, not excluding nuclear power.
According to calculations by the government, Sudan may experience an acute lack of power in about 25 years if other power sources are not developed.
Earlier this year, Iran offered to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan.
"Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leader, told visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in March.
Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, director-general of the Sudanese Atomic Energy Agency, said on Sunday that his government had begun the plan for the development of the nuclear reactor at the beginning of this year.
The Associated Press
CAIRO -- Egypt's antiquities department announced Wednesday the discovery of a 3,500-year-old settlement in a desert oasis, showing the existence of vibrant desert trade routes that stretched from the Mediterranean down into Sudan from the early days of the Egyptian civilization.
The settlement at Umm el-Mawagir in Egypt's Kharga Oasis, more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo, has been excavated for the past year by a Yale University expedition, whose initial findings suggest it was an administrative post with massive baking facilities, possibly to feed local troops.
"The amount of bread production was pretty amazing," said John Darnell, head of the expedition, citing discoveries of ovens, bread molds and storerooms at the site, far out of proportion to its size.
"It's probably a good bet they were basically baking enough bread to feed an army, literally," he said.
The site was home to a few thousand inhabitants and also includes remnants of mudbrick buildings, similar to those used for administrative purposes in the Nile Valley to the east, suggesting close contact between the two regions.
The settlement sheds light on ancient Egypt's Second Intermediate Period (1600-1569 B.C.), when the Egyptian pharaohs were trapped between the Hyksos invaders of Asia in the north and a Nubian kingdom in the south. The oases and their trade routes were likely key to the survival of the Egyptian kingdom.
The ancient routes stretched from the Darfur region in Sudan through the oases and the Nile Valley up to the ancient Palestine and Syria, with long caravans of donkeys bringing wines, luxury goods and wealth along with them. It would at least be 1,000 years before the camel made its appearance.
"The oases were large well watered nodes along major Egyptian caravan routes that had traffic coming in from all over the known world," said Darnell, contrasting their importance in antiquity to their relative isolation in modern times.
"2,000 years ago these (oases) were major trade emporia where you would have been passed everyday by caravans bringing in much more exotic material than you could find in Kharga Oasis today," he added.
The discovery is part of Yale University's 18-year Theban Desert Road Survey which seeks to rediscover the old trade routes and ascertain the level of interaction between the peoples of the Nile and the Sahara Desert in ancient times.
Discoveries over the last several years, have increasingly highlighted the importance of the oases in ancient Egypt. Finds such as the "golden mummies" dating from a 1,000 years later discovered in 1999 in Bahariya Oasis indicate these communities' wealth and prosperity.
A 34-year-old Sudanese who lived in Bugibba died tragically at around noon after falling about three storeys while carrying out construction works at a block of flats in Triq San Mikiel, St Julian’s.
An inquiry is being held by duty magistrate Audrey Demicoli (Times of Malta).
By JON GAMBRELL
The Associated Press
LAGOS, Nigeria -- Police believe unknown gunmen killed a Nigerian gang leader accused of helping rig the 2007 election in the nation's oil-rich and violence-wracked southern delta, authorities said Wednesday, though officers have yet to find his body.
Gunmen ambushed Soboma George, leader of the feared Outlaws Gang, on a busy street Tuesday night in the oil town of Port Harcourt, Rivers state police spokeswoman Rita Inoma-Abbey said. Inoma-Abbey said the gunmen fired at George, and killed one woman and wounded another during a running shootout.
However, George himself could not be found after the shooting. Inoma-Abbey said investigators believe either the gunmen or George's own gang members spirited him away after the shooting. Eyewitnesses "are all pointing to him being killed," Inoma-Abbey said.
Late Wednesday, Inoma-Abbey said George's brother confirmed to police that the gangster had died, though his body remained missing.
Armed paramilitary police officers in armored carriers now sit at busy intersections in an attempt to stop the violence from spreading, she said.
But this isn't the first time the oil-rich region plagued by gangs and militant attacks thought George died.
In 2007, investigators believed George died during a gangland war, burned to death inside a building. However, he later emerged alive. Locals say he routinely moves through the city in extravagant armored cars without being stopped by police, even though he escaped prison in 2005 while awaiting trial on a murder charge.
Tuesday's shooting comes as Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, girds itself for a presidential election that could take place as early as January. In Rivers state, gang leaders serve as muscle for politicians in the ruling People's Democratic Party, terrorizing potential voters, stuffing ballot boxes and interfering with vote counting.
Analysts and human rights groups say the gangsters remain on the payroll of the state government, reaping millions of dollars of oil money while the majority of Nigerians earn less than $1 a day. George apparently received the largess of 2007 election money, sparking a gang war between him and militant Ateke Tom.
There also are murky ties between criminal gangs, political profiteers, oil thieves and the militant groups fighting foreign oil companies in the delta since 2006. The region's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, once issued a statement about George's welfare during the 2007 fighting.
While a motive for the shooting remains unclear, the attack could spark further violence in a city where Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other foreign oil firms have expatriate workers.
In a February 2007 interview with The Associated Press, George himself warned politicians against ignoring gangland fighters.
"If you don't feed a lion, he will be angry," he said.
By Chris Kitching, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - Investigators in Winnipeg have issued a Canada-wide warrant for a 26-year-old man who two women have accused of infecting them with HIV, but failing to warn them of his condition before sex.
Police said Apay Ogouk is wanted for two counts of aggravated assault, and that he may be in Calgary.
The women, who are only being identified by their first names and ages – Christine, 29, and Tamara, 24 - said they are relieved police have secured a warrant and publicly released the man's name and photo Thursday.
"I hope that they arrest him and I have faith that they will," Christine, 29, said.
An aggravated sexual assault conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Police refused to comment on Ogouk's health status or reveal details of the allegations.
The women told police they had sex with Ogouk separately while he was living in Winnipeg and both tested positive for HIV earlier this year.
The pair accused Ogouk of spreading the virus, which causes AIDS, and failing to tell them he is infected.
The women said Ogouk is from Sudan, moved to Canada from Africa about 10 years ago, and has split his time between Winnipeg and Calgary.
Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said police alerted the public in an attempt to locate Ogouk and notify people they may be at risk.
Michalyshen said only two complainants have contacted police.
The women wonder if there are more.
Tamara said she had unprotected sex with the man during a steady relationship.
Christine said the man removed a condom she insisted he wear during their only encounter.
Police are seeking the public's help to locate Ogouk.
He is black, 6-foot-2, 140 pounds, has a thin build and dark brown eyes, police said.
Anyone with information about Ogouk's whereabouts is asked to call their local police department or Winnipeg police at 986-6222.
The women said Ogouk was friends with Clato Mabior, an HIV-positive man convicted of not disclosing his infection to his partners.
Mabior, also from Sudan, is seeking to overturn his 14-year prison sentence.
He was convicted in 2008 of six counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count each of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference.
None of his victims have been diagnosed with HIV.