From The Guardian (UK), 9 April
Streak's rebels set quit
Telford Vice in Durban
Zimbabwe's senior players
have given their board a deadline of next
Wednesday to meet their demands or
face mass resignation. Meetings were
being held last night between a players'
delegation consisting of the former
captain Heath Streak, Grant Flower, Andy
Blignaut and their lawyer and
Zimbabwe Cricket Union officials. The meetings
were hastily arranged after
11 contracted players threatened to resign
yesterday morning. If they carry
out their threat England could find
themselves facing a second-string Test
side if their controversial tour to
Zimbabwe takes place in October. "We've
given the delegation a mandate of 4pm
on Wednesday, and if they don't come
up with the goods we're out of here," a
senior player said from Harare last
night. The player did not hold out much
hope for the success of the
negotiations. "I don't think we're going to get
anywhere with them," he
said. "There is no future for Zimbabwe cricket." The
players' major concern
is the lack of top-level playing experience among the
but Tatenda Taibu's elevation to the captaincy in the
place of Heath Streak
has become another stumbling block. "There are quite a
few guys who don't
want to play under Tatenda Taibu, and it's not a racial
issue," the player
said. "It's because he is 20 years old and he's still
trying to make it in
international cricket. We've asked them to reverse the
back to Streak, and they have said they won't. If that's
the case, there are
a few of us who are going to leave purely on that
The ZCU said Streak issued the board with an ultimatum that he
if the selection panel was not restructured, a claim Streak's
denied. "At the board meeting on Friday, [board members] Max
Ozias Bvute were basically out of their trees," the player said.
shouted down [the ZCU chairman] Peter Chingoka when he tried to say
should discuss Heath's concerns." Sri Lanka's selectors, meanwhile,
named three uncapped players in their 16-member squad for this
limited-overs series against Zimbabwe. The Sri Lankan squad will
April 15 for Zimbabwe, where they will play five limited-overs
followed by two Tests. The squad includes the all-rounder Farveez
who led Sri Lanka in this year's Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Fernando, who has recovered from a spinal injury, returns to the
bolster the fast bowling department, which also includes the
bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa, as well as the
right-arm seamer Nuwan
Kulasekera. Fernando has played only one international
match since his
injury last April, the final home Test match against England
The first match of the series against the Zimbabweans begins in
Resurgence of TB causes concern
BULAWAYO, 9 Apr 2004 (IRIN) -
Malnutrition due to the ongoing food crisis,
the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and
overcrowded urban areas are all contributing to a
rise in tuberculosis (TB)
infections in Zimbabwe.
Nicholas Siziba, the national coordinator of the
Ministry of Health's
special TB programme, sounded the alarm last week while
Matabeleland South province - one of the worst-affected in terms of
He said the annual number of infections for the southern
province had risen
to 3,000, up from slightly over 2,000 in previous
"In Matabeleland South, TB remains a major public health problem.
largely because of a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection rates in
community. The resultant malnutrition, poor sanitation and overcrowding
the urban areas contributes to the easy spread of the
Siziba said the rapid increase in infections across the country
the participation of the private sector and NGOs in fighting the
of the illness. "This is not a problem that can be left to the
Health and Child Welfare alone, because more people are dying of
other curable infectious diseases," he stressed.
Association for the Rehabilitation and Prevention of
warned that TB was emerging as the major opportunistic
killer of people
living with AIDS.
RAPT national co-ordinator Ellen Ndimande told IRIN
that TB, riding on the
back of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, was fast getting out of
"Since 1954 we have had a very successful fight against the
disease, to the
point where the association declared that the war on TB had
been won. But
the past few years have shown us that the disease has
re-emerged to become
the number one killer of people with HIV/AIDS," said
"The high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in this country has
resurgence of the disease, at a time when government and
organisations are over-stretched in financial and human resources,"
RAPT was hamstrung in responding by a serious cash
"We have suspended at least three awareness and mitigation
programmes due to
have been done this year. RAPT now depends only on its
activities. The business sector, which previously supported us
is no longer in a position to donate because they also face
financial problems due to the state of the economy," Ndimande
She said RAPT was wrapping up its last programme of TB
awareness among food
vendors in Bulawayo. Ndimande called on the government
to come up with a
revised programme aimed at fighting both TB and
"These diseases have become partners, and we cannot fight one
from the other. Although most HIV/AIDS patients are tested for
separation of treatment programmes works against the goals of
both," Ndimande said.
Efforts to get a comment from Stanley
Midzi, the director of disease control
and prevention in the ministry of
health, were unsuccessful.
Zimbabwe, which received a UN World Health
Organisation grant to fight TB
and malaria earlier this year, is rated among
22 countries with the heaviest
TB burden worldwide.
Chaibva says ZANU PF chefs taught youths to kill
4/8/2004 7:33:24 AM (GMT
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for Harare
Gabriel Chaibva, raised the ire of ZANU PF parliamentarians this week
he said senior ruling party officials trained youths to kill opponents
the early 1980s.
Chaibva said he underwent such youth
training in one of the camps
created soon after independence in 1980 at the
behest of Didymus Mutasa, now
a State Minister in charge of
That courted anger from ZANU PF legislators who
are solidly behind the
controversial youth training centres established by
the government in recent
Chaibva said: "There was this
training camp called Robert Gabriel
Mugabe in Marondera.
we went there, we spent two weeks. We were being taught by the
Kadungure, who at one point was a Political Affairs Minister, a
member of the
ruling party and secretary of the Politburo, on how to deal
with ZAPU and to
kill opponents to ZANU PF's rule during those days in the
1980s. So the
historical origin of this programme is very acquainted to me."
which ZANU PF chief whip Joram Gumbo moved a motion asking the
Parliament, Emmerson Mnang-agwa to compel Chaibva, on a matter
parliamentary privilege, to furnish the Portfolio Committee on
Development, Gender and Employment Creation with a detailed report on
really transpired in those camps.
"Although one of the
trainers he has mentioned (Kadungure), is late,
Honourable Mutasa and others
are still alive," said Gumbo.
"He should be compelled to furnish
the House with details of what went
on so we can be informed about the bad
spirit by which ZANU PF used to train
people how to kill. I think we are
lucky he is still alive."
Mnangagwa is expected to make a ruling on
the matter in due course.
MDC grills Tsvangirai over Zengeza
4/8/2004 7:32:16 AM (GMT +2)
leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
which faces a serious
crisis of public confidence as a credible opposition,
has come under fire for
allegedly causing the simmering split within the
party and its failure to
regain the Zengeza seat.
Reports of a rift within the opposition
party have swirled for some
time now although the MDC has always denied such
a split existed.
Impeccable party insiders said that pressure was
mounting on the
opposition leadership over widening cracks within the ranks
of the MDC,
which could give ZANU PF an edge in next year's watershed
elections. They said the fissures came at a particularly
irksome moment for
the MDC, which many fear might fail to keep its course in
waters of Zimbabwean politics.
Stung by the
party's failure to retain the Zengeza parliamentary seat
in a by-election two
weeks ago, the sources said, the MDC held an impromptu
retreat in Nyanga last
weekend. They said there was panic within the MDC
bunker after the loss to
ZANU PF in the Zengeza by-election. Party members
wanted to know why it "was
going so badly for them".
Party insiders told The Financial Gazette
this week that Tsvangirai,
who accuses President Robert Mugabe, 80, of
stealing the 2002 presidential
poll, was at pains to tackle issues
threatening to split the opposition
The other source of
discord, the sources said, was the imposition of a
candidate for the Zengeza
by-election. It was felt within the party that the
loss to ZANU PF was a
backlash against the move. Senior MDC members cornered
the MDC leader for his
role in the imposition of James Makore as the
candidate for the Zengeza poll.
He was also taken to task for doing nothing
to stamp out the confusion
arising from overlapping roles within the
The loss of
the Zengeza seat to the ruling ZANU PF during the
came as a shock to the MDC, whose leaders blamed
each other for being
undemocratic by imposing an unpopular candidate and
ignoring calls by
supporters to hold primary elections.
Divisions within the ranks of
the MDC leadership had surfaced after
Charlton Hwende, a key member in the
opposition party's structures in
Zengeza, fired the first salvo when he was
excluded from the race for the
seat left vacant by Tafadzwa Musekiwa, who
fled to the United Kingdom citing
security reasons. He criticised the MDC for
having a democratic deficit.
"Basically, the debate centred on the
question of the rift between the
intellectuals in the party and the trade
unionists. People said what was
bothering them," said the source. "It was
more of a therapy exercise, which
we needed before next year's elections.
However, we feel much better now,
because there was a lot of anger and hurt
in the air on how we managed to
lose the Zengeza by-election. At the end we
walked out with one voice."
The retreat was called to come up with
ways of rekindling confidence
within the MDC urban support base and identify
areas of conflict with a view
to minimising them.
It was also
meant to plan and devise ways of penetrating ZANU PF's
ahead of the March 2005 parliamentary elections.
Paul Themba Nyathi acknowledged the fireworks at the
indaba, but was quick to
say all problems had been ironed out amicably.
"The divisions are
alleged and are a product of newspaper speculation
and ZANU PF's
manipulation," Nyathi said. "The meeting observed all the
the party has been mandated to exert maximum pressure on
ZANU PF legally and
constitutionally to level the electoral field."
Other members who
came under attack were said to be Isaac Matongo, the
chairman, for allegedly fanning divisions within the party,
Job Sikhala, the
Member of Parliament for St Mary's, who hardly campaigned
for the Zengeza
candidate, and Trudy Stevenson (Harare North).
Stevenson were taken to task for speaking to the press
without the express
authority of the leadership.
Nyathi said: "It has always been a
standing rule that the party speaks
through its spokesperson. That issue was
also ironed out."
New Health Board Challenged
The Herald (Harare)
Posted to the web April 8, 2004
appointed Public Health Advisory Board has been challenged to
additional funding for the health sector.
Health and Child Welfare
Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the greatest
challenge facing his
ministry was limited funding.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the
Public Health Advisory Board in
He challenged the
new board, chaired by Mr Jealous Batsirayi Nderere (47),
to help the ministry
source more funding.
"Your advice will go along way in my vision to
address problems related to
health infrastructure, such as the upgrading of
information systems and refurbishment of buildings," said
While some health facilities in the country were
relatively new, he said,
they ended up looking run-down because of lack of
Dr Parirenyatwa challenged the board to familiarise itself
with the health
"Health is everyone's concern and you will be
in the spotlight. As such, you
should review existing health legislation and
recommend periodic amendments
that may be necessary.
"Know how much
has been allocated to the ministry in the budget and know how
it is being
used," he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the board should also make
meaningful contributions on
how the prevalence of the HIV and Aids pandemic,
other sexually transmitted
infections and epidemics like malaria could be
"I will welcome advice from the board on how to tackle the
challenges facing this ministry.
"The exodus of manpower,
clean water, sanitation, refuse collection and the
distribution of vaccines for preventable diseases are just
some of the
pressing concerns," he said.
While rabid deaths were on the increase, it
is becoming increasingly
difficult for people to get rabies vaccines because
of the costs involved,
A full course vaccine costs over $1
"All those are challenges that the board should look at," he
Mr Nderere has been the managing director of QV Pharmacies since
1997 and is
the current vice-chairperson of the Medicines Control
He holds a BPharm (Hons) from the University of
Mr Dombo Chibanda (52), the current assistant director of
(Environment), is the vice-chairman. Other members of the
board are Dr Alva
Mandizvidza Senderayi, a private medical practitioner
Zimbabwe Medical Association on the board, and Mr Victor
vice-principal at the School of Traditional Medicine, representing
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers' Association.
Shonhiwa of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe, Dr Kudzai
Ndawana of the
Zimbabwe Dental Association, Dr Philemon Macheka, Mr Emmanuel
Alexander Phiri, Dr Edward Makondo, Mrs Cleveria Chizema, Dr
and Ms Sipiwe Tshuma make up the rest of the board.
Government's Domestic Debt Up to $1,3 Trillion
April 9, 2004
Posted to the web April 8, 2004
GOVERNMENT'S increased recourse to the domestic sector
for financing has
seen total domestic debt rising to $1,3 trillion, according
published by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the period to April
The rise in total domestic debt reflects an increase in Treasury
issued including the interest component. The effective yield on
Treasury bills has risen from levels around 79,72 percent to the
level of around 106,50 percent.
The amount has doubled from
the December 2003 figure of $590 billion, which
comprised of $14 billion in
outstanding debts, $287 billion of Treasury
bills, $284 billion in interest
and $4 billion advances from the central
is, to a large extent, being channelled to finance
recurrent expenditure at
the expense of capital expenditure.
Although the recent salary hikes for
civil servants is partly responsible
for the increased borrowings, the rise
in the debt can be attributed to the
taking up of Cold Storage Company (CSC)
and Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
debts by the Government.
borrowings are directly contrary to the then Minister of Finance and
Development, Dr Herbert Murerwa's 2004 budget statement where he
match recurrent expenditure to current revenues and allowing
borrowings only for capital expenditure and
"Borrowing for consumption as the
Government is doing is, however, not
sustainable and merely results in higher
levels of debt without creating any
income to repay the debt," said a weekly
Apart from the budgeted expenditure for 2004, Government
additional expenses through the food import bills to meet the
around one million tonnes of maize and wheat on the domestic
Apart from borrowing from the domestic market in order to finance
expenditure, Government can utilise its overdraft facility with the
bank, but there is, however, a statutory limit on the amount the
can borrow, set at 20 percent of the previous year's revenue
This means that the Government can utilise its overdraft
facility up to a
limit of $228,3 billion in 2004 as the total revenue for
2003 is estimated
at $1,14 trillion.
But with the deficit estimated at
$1,85 trillion, the Government would still
need to borrow in excess of $1
trillion from the domestic sector.
The central bank advances to
Government rose to a high of $427,6 billion at
the end of January, but by 12
March the Government had a positive balance of
Government's recourse to the domestic sector for funding,
however, leads to
an expansion in money supply growth, thus it is important
for it to contain
its expenditure thereby minimising borrowings from the
domestic sector to
reduce inflationary pressures.
As stated by the
central bank governor in his monetary policy statement,
fiscal discipline is
critical if the monetary control measures put in place
are to bear
Rogue Top Politicians, War Vets a Worry - Msika
April 9, 2004
Posted to the web April 8,
THE Government is concerned by the behaviour of some
war veterans and senior
politicians, who are conniving with some white
commercial farmers bent on
derailing the land reform programme,
Vice-President Msika has said.
"We have even noticed that some of those
being used by whites are some of
our war veterans, including senior
politicians," he said.
The Vice-President said this on Wednesday after
touring Chifundi and Emily
Park irrigation schemes in Makonde constituency in
The two schemes have more than 350 hectares
under irrigat- ion - where wheat
and soya are grown on a rotation
War veterans, Cde Msika said, should not be used to derail
programmes because they knew the history of the liberation
"The road map to independence was a tough one. Our young
some sell-outs, must remember that we lost dear friends,
brothers, sons and
daughters in our war of liberation," he said.
Msika said it was the duty of parents to tell children born
independence the true story about the importance of land and
empowerment through land meant.
The Government, he said, was in
the process of organising 99-year lease
agreements so that beneficiaries of
land reforms could access capital loans
from financial institutions using
land as collateral.
The Government is sourcing tractors and other farming
equipment from abroad
with the view to develop the agricultural sector as a
Vice-President Msika said
He commended farmers at
Chifundi and Emily Park for organising themselves
and embarking on commercial
ventures, thereby achieving the objectives set
have seen today is clear testimony that the programme is
However, the Vice-President challenged the A1 farmers to buy
farming equipment so that they would be
"You cannot continue to rely on help from white
commercial farmers as in the
case at Emily Park. By doing so you will dance
to their tune, and some of
you will end up selling out by joining the
opposition MDC," he said.
Turning to next year's parliamentary elections,
Cde Msika said there was
need for the ruling Zanu-PF party to have proper
structures from village,
cell, branch to district level in the province in
preparation for the polls.
He challenged the party provincial leadership
to have regular meetings with
the lower structures.
"You must go out
and register our people so that they will be able to vote.
remain a Zanu-PF constituency," Cde Msika said.
Last season, farmers at
the two schemes were able to harvest up to 1 000
tonnes of wheat that earned
them about $700 million.
This summer, the farmers have put more than 320
hectares under soya bean
with an expected yield of 600 tonnes valued at $1,8
Zimbabwe official meets with players to avert
Thu April 8, 2004 6:01 PM DURBAN (Reuters) - The
Union (ZCU) held an emergency meeting on Thursday with a
group of players
who threatened to resign their contracts, with further
later in the day.
The group, which included
most of Zimbabwe's top players, met with ZCU
managing director Vince Hogg in
Harare on Thursday over issues similar to
that which has sparked crisis
meetings between Hogg and former captain Heath
them we wanted to resign over Zimbabwe's selection policies
and the make-up
of the selection panel, and we agreed to an emergency
meeting," a player who
declined to be named told Reuters from Harare.
Hogg said the
players had delegated Streak, Grant Flower, Andy
Blignaut and a lawyer to
"I've had a meeting with a group of players, and
... they are meeting
with us again this afternoon at 4.30pm (1430 GMT)," Hogg
told Reuters from
Harare. "We want to resolve all the issues, even if it
takes all Easter
weekend to do it."
Hogg has been in talks with
Streak since Tuesday after the ZCU said
the pace bowler resigned the
captaincy over similar issues at the weekend.
Streak's father, Denis, said
his son did not resign.
Hogg said his meetings with Streak over the
bowler's own position were
"That's part of what we
are discussing today."
ZESN paints an orgy of violence in Zengeza
4/8/2004 7:41:10 AM (GMT
THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has produced a
report on the just ended Zengeza parliamentary by-election which
a number of irregularities that could give credence to the
Democratic Change (MDC)'s claims that the poll was marred by
The report, which outlines areas of violence,
political skirmishes between ZANU PF and the MDC, comes at a
time when the
ruling party is at pains to try to spruce up its battered human
ZESN noted the grisly murder of an MDC activist
who died of bullet wounds after an unknown assailant
shot him. Another
opposition party supporter, Arthur Gunzvenzve, was shot in
the leg on the
last day of polling.
"The firing of gunshots
during which one person was killed sent shock
waves among voters and
residents of the constituency," the report said.
"Just after the shooting . .
. people gathered for a funeral at a nearby
house about 300 metres away from
the polling station. Members of the MDC and
family members of the deceased
were seen crying, which was a very sad and
painful incident to witness. The
incident marked the climax of violence in
election marked by voter apathy and complacency, the MDC's
James Makore polled 6 706 votes while ZANU PF's
Christopher Chigumba garnered
8 744 in a constituency where there are 47 256
Smaller parties like the National Alliance for Good
Governance got a
paltry 35 votes through Tendayi Chakanyuka, while ZANU's
went back home with 97 votes.
chronicled a number of incidents of violence and
intimidation by suspected
ZANU PF activists whom it said either turned away
prospective voters or took
down people's names as they queued to cast their
a knife-wielding suspected ZANU PF supporter stormed into a
at Ndangariro Primary School and threatened potential
voters, adding that
other suspected ruling party activists ejected known MDC
members from the
queue before they could vote.
Police confiscated the knife, but let
the culprit go scot-free while
the MDC chairperson of the party's liaison
committee was arrested for
allegedly initiating violence after she reported
the incidents to the
An MDC supporter was struck in the
face with a weapon, the report
claimed, while suspected women and youths from
the ruling party
strategically positioned themselves and turned away voters
they claimed did
not belong to their wards.
"These groups were
at Unit K creche, Seke 1 High School, Zengeza 8
Primary School, Zengeza 4
High School, Seke 7 and Dudzai Primary Schools,
"Someone was giving out Kapenta fish and beer to voters near Dudzai
School while another woman was dishing out $1 000 notes to each
voter outside Seke 7 Primary School (parties not known)."
polling agent was arrested in Unit H while the opposition
spokesperson for Chitungwiza province was also arrested for being in
company of the party's chairperson of the Multi-Party Liaison
"The police details at most polling stations did not
take any action
against incidents which took place beyond the 100-metre
radius. This is
where incidents of intimidation and violent clashes took
place," ZESN said
in the report.
ZESN attributed voter apathy to
an intimidatory atmosphere prior to
and during the election
About 1 293 people were turned away for various reasons,
could have raised eyebrows was the sudden rise in the number of
assisted to vote on the basis that they were illiterate.
"The number of . . . assisted voters was too large for an urban
considering the high literacy level, which is almost 100
percent in urban
areas," the report said. "One would have thought the
constituents by now,
given the prevalence of elections in Zimbabwe, would
know what is expected of
them when one intends to cast their vote."
Zimbabwe discord may undermine England
By Simon Briggs and Peta Thornycroft in
Cricket in Zimbabwe was in near-collapse yesterday after a member
of the Zimbabwean Cricket Union claimed that he had sacked a group of up to 10
white players - a move which could eliminate any white presence from the
national team and help England's chances of withdrawing smoothly from their
Heath Streak: his ultimatum has prompted a crisis in the
Deposed captain Heath Streak, whose
departure has sparked the crisis, called for the International Cricket
Council to "come here and investigate the grave situation at all levels of the
Streak's supporters, who have asked not to be named, thought they
had been given permission by ZCU managing director Vince Hogg to miss this
weekend's provincial fixtures. But yesterday they received messages from Ozias
Bvute - the ZCU board member in charge of racial quotas - which said he was
firing them for not turning up.
A row which began over the composition of Zimbabwe's five-man
selection panel appears to have split along racial lines. Unless the divisions
can be healed next week Zimbabwe could lose some international fixtures. And
England's reluctance to fulfil their scheduled tour in October could become less
The ICC had threatened fines and suspensions for any team who
renege on their commitments, but even hardline chief executive Malcolm Speed
might struggle to hold the line in such circumstances.
ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka said yesterday the board were
"willing to restore [Streak] as a player only", endorsing 20-year-old
wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu as Zimbabwe's captain.
Streak said he had no objections to playing under Taibu, but
added: "Unless my demands are met, and they include the selection process,
accountability of the board, and administration of the ZCU, I will not play for
The crisis began last Friday with Streak's
ultimatum to the board, in which he demanded that all Zimbabwean selectors
should have personal experience of first-class cricket, and that none should
hold conflicting interests as commentators or ZCU directors.
As Streak's conditions would have meant the removal of a black
selector who had no first-class experience, as well as an Asian television
commentator, the state-run Herald newspaper labelled him a racist.
Chingoka and Hogg are keen to keep racial issues out of
Zimbabwean cricket, but not everybody on the ZCU feels the same way.
Hogg confirmed yesterday that following lengthy negotiations with
Streak and a group of players on Thursday, he had given them permission not to
play in provincial fixtures over Easter. "I was overruled by the board," he
Streak and about 10 of Zimbabwe's players are due to discuss the
crisis and meet with the ZCU on Tuesday.
|Easter claims 5 lives in
HARARE, April 9 (Xinhuanet) -- At least five people have been killed and 53
others injured in 79 accidents recorded throughout Zimbabwe since the beginning
of the Easter holiday, police said here on Friday.
Police spokesperson, Inspector Andrew Phiri said Harare and Matabeleland
provinces recorded two deaths each while Masvingo hadone.
"The major cause of the accidents was speeding," said Phiri.
Phiri said a total of 2,128 tickets had been issued, raising revenue of
63 million Zimbabwean dollars (about 14,651 US dollars).
He said Masvingo province had the highest number of injured people of 19,
followed by Mashonaland East with eight.
The national highway patrol was being maintained and motorists were
expected to observe the rules of the road, he said.
People who were drink should ask their friends to drive, he said.
Phiri urged those people who intend to travel to notify their neighbors
or leave someone to look after their properties while guards should be employed
at industrial properties.
However, bicycle, foot and motorized patrols were being conducted in
these areas, he said.
Students educate visitors about Africa
By John Pedler
- If you couldn’t fly to Africa on Wednesday night, a visit to North Hampton
School was almost as good as being there.
Just as if you stepped off a plane into a village somewhere in the vast
treeless plains of West Africa, guests at the school’s Evening in Africa were
greeted with a traditional African drum circle performed by NHS students. The
event showcased the seventh-grade students’ investigations into the life of
Parents and residents alike were free to roam the wilds of the cafeteria and
lap up the knowledge eagerly shared by enthusiastic students jousting for
Each seventh-grader put together either a poster board display or power-point
computer presentation on a question that interested them.
Presenting her project on African musical instruments, Shelby Pike
demonstrated the fonga - a traditional West African greeting song - which the
students had played, on a dumbek, a drum made from fired clay and stretched
She explained that the drum head is broken into four areas, each of which
produces a different sound when struck. The dumbek can be used to make
complicated music, not simply the monosyllabic noise typically associated with
| Shelby Pike
beats out a rhythm on a dumbek, an African drum from Zimbabwe.
Photo by John
More than one student looked at the devastating effects of AIDS on African
Africa is home to 70 percent of all people infected with HIV/AIDS, Kaela
Deschytner said, and it is the "No. 1 killer" on the continent. Cameroon is the
nation with the highest incidence of the disease, she said.
Most of the problem is due to inadequate distribution of condoms and other
means to prevent spread of the disease. Deschytner recommended that greater
emphasis be placed on making protection available.
Bryce Johnson noticed the same problems. When he compared the life
expectancy, birth and death rates of the United States and South Africa, he
found a dramatic difference, much of which is due to AIDS.
In 2001, he said, a record-breaking 360,000 people died from the disease in
South Africa. He believes the U.S. is doing all it can by shipping drugs and
other medical supplies, but he suggested that private citizens could raise more
money to help.
Heavy stuff for 12-year-olds.
Staggering problems beset African societies, and obstacles abound that
prevent immediate progress. John Gorman compared the educational systems in
Libya, Nigeria and Madagascar. Like most of the continent, they lagged far
behind American standards. In Madagascar, which Gorman described as "one big
rural community," 14 percent of kids go to secondary school. There, building an
educational infrastructure is a way of "wrenching them away from the old
traditions and getting them to join the modern world," he said. But it comes
Many Africans who become doctors, lawyers and other professionals dedicate
themselves to working specifically for the improvement of their country.
Not that one couldn’t find seventh-graders ready to serve their nation’s
higher calling on Wednesday night.
Morgan Crowley was shocked at the brutal, institutionalized racism of South
African apartheid but inspired by how it was defeated. She remains troubled at
the continuing presence of racial hatred in the United States.
Always interested in civil rights, Crowley has decided, "I want to be
Sunday Star Times
Govt actions 'like Mugabe' - Ngai Tahu 10 April 2004
Runanga o Ngai Tahu has likened the Government's actions over the release of the
foreshore and seabed legislation to those of controversial Zimbabwean president
Ngai Tahu kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon said the proposed policy
extinguished Maori property rights and due legal process, interfering with the
rule of law.
Speaking about the Government's presentation before the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights in March, where representatives expressed concerns
over Mugabe's regime and his undermining of the rule of law and judicial
independence, Mr Solomon said the Government should be "embarrassed and ashamed"
by its "duplicitous behaviour".
The proposals announced by the Government did the same, he said.
"This issue started in the courts and it should have been allowed to run
its course and be resolved through appropriate legal process. We cannot stand
before the international community and assert our commitment to human rights
issues in March and then remove the right for our indigenous people to have
proper access to the courts.
"We stand up against what Robert Mugabe did but do the same thing to
people in our country - what's the difference?"
Solomon said allowing non-Maori to claim customary use rights was also "a shock
out of the blue" and it seemed the Government was redefining customary law.
praised Maori MPs Tariana Turia, Nanaia Mahuta and Georgina Beyer, who are
considering crossing the floor over the issue, and would be having words with Te
Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa to do the same.
"I'll certainly tell where Ngai Tahu are coming from. He's there to
represent his electorate and listen to our people. That's his