Regional news roundup

AGCO boost for Zambia

AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, early this week launched a 150 hectare farm and learning centre near Lusaka, Zambia. Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, AGCO’s Senior Vice President, said its mission was to provide agricultural solutions for farmers in Africa. The company has committed to investing $100 million in Africa in the coming years.

Malawi to arrest Al-Bashir

The Malawi government is ready to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he attempts to attend next month’s Africa Union heads of states summit in Lilongwe. Developmental partners have since commended President Joyce Banda for making what they term a bold decision, but some commentators wonder why Malawi is being forced to ban Al-Bashir when other countries have been hosting him.

Missionaries die in crash

A couple from Spokane, USA, died in a plane crash in northwest Zambia. Jay and Katrina Erickson were killed on Saturday when the six-seat Cessna aircraft crashed into the Zambezi River. Their daughters, two-year-old Marina and one-year-old Coral, had stayed behind at the Chitokoloki Mission Hospital where the couple worked. The Erickson’s, both in their late 20s, travelled to

Zambia in late February to begin a year-long mission to transport food, medical supplies, doctors and missionaries between the 150-bed mission hospital and other remote outposts.

Warning against marriages of convenience

The Botswana government has warned citizens against marrying foreigners for citizenship. Edwin Batshu, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, warned that there could be serious consequences for such acts. Some people have approached his office to cancel the citizenship status of their spouses who have divorced them immediately after acquiring Botswana citizenship.

Jubilee celebrations

Kenyan and British officials lit a beacon to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee at Treetops, the very place where she learned she had become queen 60 years ago. Sixty years ago, the then-Princess Elizabeth climbed the steps into what was then a real tree-house and came down the next day as queen, having received a cable that her father was dead.

Maitland centre closed

SA Home Affairs will close the Maitland Refugee Reception Office in the Western Cape this month. Services currently rendered to asylum seekers and refugees will move to Customs House in Cape Town.

Do a Banda: DA

South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance has advised President Jacob Zuma to emulate his Malawian counterpart, Joyce Banda and stop the purchase of two new presidential aircraft. Joe McGluwa, the DA’s Shadow Minister for the Presidency, this week wrote to Zuma requesting that he stop Minister of Defence, LindiweSisulu in her tracks in the intended purchase of the aircraft. Banda recently announced that she would sell or lease her presidential jet and her government’s fleet of 60 Mercedes limousines and ensure the funds help deliver services to the Malawian people.

Swazi teachers strike

Swazi teachers have threatened to down their tools to force the government to increase their salaries by 4.5 per cent. The country’s students are suffering from a lack of quality education due to the government’s misplaced spending priorities. The militant Swaziland Solidarity Network, which supports the teachers, called on other exploited government workers to join the teachers.

Way forward for ZDESI

Members of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Education Initiative recently drew terms of reference for the initiative, whose aim is to revive the education sector at home. Coordinator Daniel Molokele said that each member of the initiative would choose to align themselves with at least one of its key areas of focus. The initiative called on five people to volunteer to be the lead focal persons for one of the five aspects. The five would then constitute the Co-ordination Committee that would meet later this month and elect a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson.

Post published in: Africa News

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