NGOs Urged to Support Irrigation

Dowa District Agriculture Office has called on non-governmental organisations working in food security projects in the district to support households in irrigation farming.

Dowa District Agriculture Development officer, Eliya Yamikani, says the onset of the 2014 /15 rain season was characterised by erratic and sporadic rainfall leading to some wash-aways in the district's extension planning areas.

Activist Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ New Bill

Activists in Uganda have warned that a ‘dangerous’ new bill seeking to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would silence critics and “negate the very essence of freedom of association and expression.”

Rights groups say the proposed NGO bill would grant sweeping powers to the government, including the ability to shut down activist groups and jail members.

Dlamini-Zuma Condemns Violent Attacks

African Union Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says that nothing warrants the senseless attacks on people, no matter what the challenges.

Dlamini-Zuma, who describes the attacks of foreign nationals in the province of KwaZulu-Natal as ‘unacceptable, is calling for an immediate halt, while expressing ‘deep concerns’.

Police Not Making Progress on Missing Activist

Rights lawyers say police in Zimbabwe claim they have no new information on the fate of missing activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted more than six weeks ago.

In a press statement, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights states that police say “doors are open for any eventualities,” which is critical of what it sees as the force's failure to provide real details of their investigations so far.

Zimbabwe police insist in a report submitted to the high court in Harare that it they are pursuing all possible avenues in trying to find the 35-year activist.

MPs Freed to Fight Xenophobia

Parliament has suspended its plenary sittings for next week to allow MPs to go to their constituencies and combat xenophobia.

Important portfolio committee meetings tasked with passing the budget in time will continue‚ but full plenary meetings of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces have been suspended to free up MPs.
The decision was taken by the multi-party chief whips' forum this week and has the support of all major political parties.

Call to Address Voter Apathy

Wisdom Muyunda has congratulated the victors in this month’s parliamentary and local government by-elections in Zambia.

In his letter to the editor of the Daily Mail, Muyunda, who commended the maturity exhibited during the campaigns and after the results were announced, states that, “For once the elections were free of violence, which is a plus for our growing democracy.”

However, he also appeals to the Electoral Commission of Zambia and all stakeholders to embark on the mammoth task of sensitising registered voters on the importance of voting.

European Countries Focus Aid on ex-Colonies

France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Portugal - former Europe’s biggest imperial powers - are spending the bulk of their Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets on their former colonies.

According to the latest data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the top seven countries French receiving Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) are Morocco, China, Vietnam, the Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia, Senegal and Kenya.

Swaziland to Distribute About 20m Condoms

Organisations in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as those promoting Sexual Reproductive Health Rights are targeting to distribute close to 20 million condoms this year in Swaziland.

The United Nations Population Fund’s programme analyst, Thamary Silindza says this was agreed upon during at a recent meeting where government, civil society and the United Nations condom programming stakeholders got together to reflect on the past year and sharpen the national condom programming for 2015.

Govt’s Ambitious Plan to End Xenophobia

Government has launched an ambitious campaign to prevent future outbreaks of xenophobic violence‚ aimed at changing the way South Africans think about foreigners.

Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, points out that, “Now that the situation is stabilising‚ the government is turning its attention to a long-term‚ sustainable intervention that will address the underlying mindsets that motivate these attacks in the first place. It is imperative that the root cause be addressed‚ and for mindsets to be transformed.”


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