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Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

 

Malawi’s anti-Ansah demos: HRDC pulls no punches

Malawi’s anti-Ansah demos: HRDC pulls no punches

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has reiterated that demonstrations will continue until Jane Ansah steps down as Chairperson for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

HRDC
Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo was speaking today in Lilongwe during
demonstrations the organisation has planned to conduct from today, 1st  to 4th of October.

Mtambo
said in spite of the Government’s efforts to frustrate the demos through the
use of police to teargas demostrators, they will not stop until Ansah resigns.

 “Malawians have got persistence that does
not recognise failure, but we are disappointed with the police; we are
disappointed with the Government because yesterday we had a meeting and they
promised us that we would walk together.”

“But
the police started teargasing people without any reason. So, we know now that
the police are there to destroy and fight Malawians; but we want to warn them
that if they think leadership is 
fighting people; then they are in a wrong country. In a democracy
leaders are only strong when they have people behind them.”

 “So, this is why we have been saying that
Mwapasa, the acting Inspector General (IG) of police has failed Malawians.
There can never be indicators beyond this. 
He is a cadet; we thought that after beating and injuring people in
Blantyre, after suffocating patients in Blantyre; after killing a small child
in Blantyre; after killing our brother in Mzuzu; after injuring our brother in
Rumphi; after doing all these nasty things, we thought today they would think
about Malawians and think twice. But it’s clear they don’t want to cooperate
with Malawians.”


Now our message is: the international community cannot afford to continue
keeping quiet when a leader goes to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and
lie before the world; accusing people who are peaceful. Because when Arthur
Peter Mutharika was speaking at UNGA he was tormenting Malawians with
lies,” Mtambo said.

Today’s
demonstrations would virtually be halted had the Supreme Court Judge, Lovemore
Chikopa not restrained Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale from obtaining an
injunction yesterday against the same.

HRDC is incessantly conducting demonstrations in the country to force MEC Chairperson, Dr Jane Ansah, to resign from her position for allegedly maladministration of May 21 tripartite elections.

The post Malawi’s anti-Ansah demos: HRDC pulls no punches appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Uganda’s Solomon Serwanjja wins 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor award

Solomon Serwanjja wants to carry on Komla Dumor’s legacy of changing the narrative about Africa

LONDON-(MaraviPost)-Ugandan investigative reporter and news anchor Solomon Serwanjja has won the 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

Serwanjja is a presenter at Uganda’s NBS TV, where he hosts one of the channel’s prime-time shows.

He has also produced award-winning reports, including one for BBC’s Africa Eye programme about the illegal sale of prescription drugs.

The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.

Serwanjja is the fifth winner of the award, following in the footsteps of Waihiga Mwaura, Amina Yuguda, Didi Akinyelure and fellow Ugandan Nancy Kacungira.

As part of the prize, he will spend three months at the BBC in London and travel back to the continent to report on a story there.

He is a well-known journalist and his passion for investigative journalism highlighted his desire to make positive change in his native Uganda.

“Komla brought so much to the African narrative – his perspective was a breath of fresh air, as he believed Africa was rising and that the world needed to see the continent from a different angle,” said Serwanjja.

“His reports always struck a chord with me, and I feel the same passion for our continent that he demonstrated. I want to continue his legacy by telling stories that cast a spotlight not only on the critical challenges we face in Africa, but also the progress and successes that have been made.”

Serwanjja impressed judges with not only with his eloquence and passion for telling African stories, but also with his commitment and bravery in uncovering what’s in the public interest.

Jamie Angus, director of BBC World Service Group, said: “To recognise and empower some of Africa’s leading talent in journalism, in honour of Komla, is really important to us.

“Komla’s reporting made a huge impact with audiences all over the world, and we’re excited to have Solomon at the BBC, to harness Komla’s commitment to telling African stories.”

The post Uganda’s Solomon Serwanjja wins 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor award appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Malawi’s diabetes patients cry-foul over expired drugs

Malawi’s diabetes patients showing expired drugs

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Some diabetes patients have expressed worrisome over expired drugs receiving at government referral Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in the capital Lilongwe arguing that their health have been deteriorating.

Over 20 affected patients told The Maravi Post over the weekend
during year’s Community Against Diabetes & Hypertension (CADH) gate-together
that the said drugs are resistant to pain.

Some disclosed that the moment the drugs are taken, their conditions worsen coupled with diarrhea, abdominal pain and coughing.

Solofina Banda of Area 23, in the city disclosed that the said drugs do not carry any due date adding are given many without prescription.

“I cough a lot when I take these drugs which when I stop taking
them, I feel much better”, says Banda.

Gwaza Mbera of Chinsapo chips in, “Once I take this drug called Metaformin which I suspect is expired, I keep on vomiting and abdominal pains. We have been trying to raise the matter nurses at KCH clinic where we get these drugs, but no tangigle response till now”.   

CADH’s Programs and Communications Coordinator Thomas Psyata confirmed receiving the reports saying the organization is working on it to authenticate the claims.

Malawi’s Ministry of Health Spokesperson Joshua Malango disputed the claims arguing that the reports are not true.

Malango said the ministry is in control of the Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) at KCH clinic.

“This is not true. For items that are about to expire we issue
enough to last before expiry. However, some patients have tendencies of  coming with more than one health passport
book on different dates just to get a lot of drugs that month to be used when
the hospital run out of that drug. This could be one of the possible ways that
they can have expired items at their homes,” says Malango.

CADH has always emphasized that Diabetes is expensive for the
individual and family especially in rural areas because the cost of insulin
injection and daily monitoring alone consume half of a family’s average
disposable income.

Community Against Diabetes & Hypertension uses peer support
groups model which proved that family support in diabetes care has substantial
effect in improving health outcomes for people with diabetes.

The organization has over 30 groups of 100 people operating across
the country without any donor.

This has made the organization failing to reach more people for
help.

The post Malawi’s diabetes patients cry-foul over expired drugs appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Gnabry scores four as Bayern batter Spurs 7-2 in Champions League

AFPBy AFP
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Serge Gnabry scored four second-half goals as Bayern Munich embarrassed Tottenham 7-2 on Tuesday, meaning last season’s Champions League finalists face an uphill task to reach the knockout phase.

Spurs started brightly in London and took the lead through the lively Son Heung-min but were pegged back by fine strikes from Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski, who struck on the stroke of half-time.

The second half belonged to former Arsenal man Gnabry, who struck four times as the five-time European champions completed a rout. Lewandowski also scored a second.

It was the first time Spurs had conceded seven goals in a home match in any major competition.

The result leaves Bayern in pole position in Group B with two wins from two matches but Spurs have just a single point after seeing a 2-0 lead wiped out in their opening game against Olympiakos.

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Mauricio Pochettino’s side reached the Champions League final last season after winning just one point from their opening three group games but the manager has work to do to lift his side’s spirits.

Hugo Lloris was called into action in just the second minute, beating away an effort from Gnabry when he just had the Spurs goalkeeper to beat.

But Tottenham were quickly into their stride and Son twice tested Manuel Neuer.

The South Korean forward was rewarded in the 12th minute, latching on to Moussa Sissoko’s through ball and firing low into the far corner from the right side of the box.

But Bayern were level just 194 seconds later when Kimmich controlled the ball and struck from 25 yards.

Bayern took the lead on the stroke of half-time thanks to a superb finish from Lewandowski.

The Poland striker picked up the loose ball at the edge of the area and swivelled to fire into the bottom corner.

Bayern extended their advantage eight minutes after the break as Gnabry broke at pace down the left and burst into the box before drilling into the bottom corner.

Spurs’ misery was compounded as Gnabry struck again two minutes later, capitalising after Harry Winks lost possession.

Pochettino’s men were handed a lifeline as the referee pointed to the penalty spot for a foul on Danny Rose, with Harry Kane reducing the deficit to 4-2 on the hour mark.

But Gnabry sealed his hat-trick for Bayern in the 83rd minute after racing beyond the Spurs defence and slotting past Lloris from 15 yards.

There was still time for Lewandowski to side-foot home a sixth for the German giants and Gnabry was able to add his fourth, and a seventh for Bayern, in the 88th minute.

Spurs have struggled to find consistency this season following a period of unrest in the dressing room, with key players including Christian Eriksen linked to moves that never materialised.


8 pupils accused of stealing school laptops in Awendo

IAN BYRONBy IAN BYRON
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Police in Awendo locked up eight primary school pupils on Tuesday on claims of stealing 23 laptops at Yago Primary School.

The gadgets were part of a consignment from the Ministry of Education to boost the Digital Literacy Programme at the school.

The laptops allegedly disappeared from the head teacher’s office.

Police acting on a tip-off from recovered 11 gadgets and arrested eight pupils.

Awendo Education director Yophas Magara said police arrested the Standard Six and Seven pupils as main suspects.

He said the pupils are in police custody and will help police recover the gadgets that are still missing.

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Awendo police boss Jacob Waluke said the minors will be arraigned for burglary and theft of government property once investigation is completed.

“We are treating the minors like any other suspects based on the accusations and exhibits in our possession,” he said.


Rare windstorm hits parts of the country, causes power outages


Likoni tragedy: MPs accuse ferry officials of incompetence

SAMWEL OWINOBy SAMWEL OWINO
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A section of MPs want officials of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) and Kenya Coast Guard (KCG) to take responsibility after a mother and her daughter drowned at the Likoni Channel on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings Tuesday, 11 MPs termed the deaths of Ms Mariam Kigenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu as unfortunate and it happened because of incompetence by the two government agencies.

‘HEADS MUST ROLL’

Led by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, the MPs questioned where the life guards of the ferry were at the time of the incident.

“On this incident, heads must roll. We believe that there was gross incompetence on the part of Kenya Ferry Services, the Kenya Coast Guard and the Kenya Navy,” Ms Mboko said.

“It is shameful that till now, no one particularly in the management of Kenya Ferry Services has seemed it fit to take responsibility over the glaring Likoni ferry safety gaps that made the ferry a death trap for Ms Kigenda and little Amanda,”she added.

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The MPs included Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay),Khatib Mwashetani (Lungalunga),Lillian Gogo (Rangwe),Fatuma Gedi (Wajir),Naisula Lesuda (Samburu West), Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga),Elsie Muhanda (Kakamega),Ruweida Mohamed (Lamu),Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), William Kamoti (Rabai).

The MPs questioned the capacity of the recently created Kenya Coast Guard to provide safety in Kenya’s territorial waters

“We want to know from the Coast Guard director brigadier Vincent Loonena, where were the Coast Guards and what were they doing? asked Mboko.

The MPs also want the military to take internal disciplinary action against the Kenya Navy personnel who did nothing despite just being meters from the site of the incident.

Mr Mwashetani said that it should be made mandatory that each ferry should have at least three professionally trained divers to help in times of disasters.

Ms Kigenda and her daughter died after their car rolled back and plunged into the ocean on Sunday evening.

The remains of the 35-year-old woman and her daughter are said to be 60 metres under water.

On Tuesday, Kenya Ferry services temporarily suspended at the Likoni Channel in Mombasa for 30 minutes to allow retrieval of bodies and the car that plunged into the Indian Ocean.

The Coast Guard Act, 2018 established the KCGS, which is responsible for maritime security and safety, pollution control and sanitation measures as well as prosecuting offenders.


Stolen golden coffin makes return from New York to Cairo

AFPBy AFP
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Looted amidst the tumult of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the golden coffin of priest Nedjemankh was unveiled on Tuesday in Cairo after its return from New York.

Standing at 1.8 metres , the fine gilded sarcophagus has gained notoriety, apart from for its historical value, for its role at the centre of an international trafficking ring

Dating back to the Ptolemaic period (1st-2nd century BC), the ornate wooden coffin was designed for Nedjemankh, a high priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef.

The shimmering artefact adorned with gesso reliefs had been housed since 2017 in New York’s Metropolitan Museum, which purchased it from a Paris art dealer for around $3.8 million.

But in February, a Met exhibition which named the high priest had to shut down after being informed the sarcophagus had been plundered by a multi-national trafficking ring.

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It had been smuggled out of Minya in southern Egypt in 2011, the year that long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular revolt.

The Golden Coffin of Nedjemankh, on display atThe Golden Coffin of Nedjemankh, on display at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo on October 1, 2019. PHOTO |KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

It had then made its way to the United Arab Emirates and Germany before landing up in France.

“I am very happy to have this piece back again in Egypt… We will know all the details about the theft later,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation unveiling.

Egypt has sought to promote its archaeological heritage in a bid to revive its vital tourism sector, which took a battering from political turmoil after the revolution.


US bans Cuban officials for trafficking doctors

ANITA CHEPKOECHBy ANITA CHEPKOECH
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The US has imposed visa restrictions on Cuban officials who are part of a government syndicate accused of exploiting doctors sent on Havana’s overseas medical missions.

The officials, said to work under instructions of President Raul Castro administration, subject the health workers to exploitative and coercive labour practices from which they fraudulently profit up to Sh720 billion ($7.2 billion) a year.

MEAGRE WAGES

These practices include requiring long work hours without rest, meagre wages, unsafe housing, and restricted movement, according to the State Department.

The regime has also withheld passports and closely watched some doctors outside of work. 

“Profiting from the work of the Cuban doctors has been the decades-long practice of the Castros, and it continues today, “a statement issued by the department on Monday reads in part.

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“We are imposing visa restrictions on Cuban officials responsible under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a) (3)(C).”

About 50,000 Cuban healthcare professionals are currently working abroad in more than 60 countries in what is deemed the best medical service in the world exported by the communist government ostensibly to improve access to care and health indicators in developing countries.

Kenya is one of the beneficiaries having received 100 specialist medics last year from the Caribbean country despite protests from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU).

KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga had said bringing in the Cuban doctors is an unnecessary expenditure that will cost the country more than Sh2 billion per year without the additional expenses of security, transport, housing and food by the county governments.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING REPORT

The US said they have first-hand accounts of abuses these health workers experience as participants in the foreign missions, with reports indicating that some had been trafficked against their will.

“The US State Department has documented indicators of human trafficking in Cuba’s overseas medical missions each year since the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report including in the 2019 TIP report and we remain deeply concerned about these abuses,” they said.

Dr Tatiana Carballo, who worked in Cuba’s medical missions programme in Venezuela for seven years and in Brazil, told the US that they only earned between 10 and 15 percent of what the foreign governments paid them.

She late left the programme, putting herself and her family at risk.

In addition to torturous, non- compensated working hours, the Cuban regime compels some of them to use medical care as a political tool by providing care in exchange for pledges of loyalty, the State Department says.

They US condemned the practice saying that any health program that coerces, endangers, and exploits its own practitioners is fundamentally flawed. 

“We call on governments that currently engage with Cuba’s overseas medical programs to ensure safeguards against labor abuse and exploitation,” said the statement.


Punish ferry firm’s ineptitude

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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In an incident that smacks of utter negligence and inefficiency, a woman and her daughter drowned after their car slipped off a ferry and plunged into the Indian Ocean. And the spotlight is now on the management of the Kenya Ferry Services Limited. It’s the core responsibility of the management and workers of this parastatal to ensure the safety of commuters. Ferry staff’s cardinal duty is to help the people to safely cross the channel to work, trade, tour or return home. Motor vehicles and motorcycles also make a sizeable part of the cargo ferried daily.

The uproar over the incident is understandable. This company has, for years, been notorious for inefficiency and a poor vessel maintenance record. This explains the demand by the public that the top management and the technical team be seized and charged over this incident. It is, indeed, a crying shame to hear that the recovery of the bodies was delayed by lack of oxygen tanks. This is tantamount to criminal irresponsibility and endangering lives. Conspicuously missing were standby divers, speedboats and other rescue facilities.

Two years ago, three women died on the spot while another succumbed to her injuries in hospital after a truck mishap. Last July, a truck plunged into the ocean as its two occupants disembarked. Luckily, they escaped unhurt. In May 2016, a bus travelling from Tanzania to Mombasa Island dropped into the sea and, in December 2015, seven people were injured and six vehicles smashed after a lorry’s brakes failed.

But perhaps the worst accident was in 1994, when a ferry capsized, killing 272 of the 400 people on board. Its capacity was only 300. In June 2016, a man died after his vehicle slid off a ferry. Witnesses said it took 30 minutes for the car to sink.

This paints a grim picture of monumental ineptitude.