The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday ended its campaign with President Bingu wa Mutharika declaring that he will win the general elections with a landslide victory according to African Elections Project. The President made the declaration during a whistle stop tour he had around Blantyre where he visited six town ships namely Kachere, Bangwe, Ndirande, Zingwangwa, Chirimba and Chilomoni. “I will win with a landslide victory because the people of Malawi are development cautious and they will vote for me. I have delivered in the past five years I have been president,” he said in Chilomoni where he had his last stoppage of the whistle stop tour. The President said he has delivered all he promised the people of Malawi like empowering women, attaining food security, improving road networks and healthy services among others. “I have delivered all I promised. I am a man who fulfils what I promise and I am warning the opposition that they are in for a shock. They are the people who denied to pass a bill on water which if passed could have improved availability of good water in this area,” he said.
Tanzania’s Horticulture Industry on Verge of Collapse
Some 20,000 workers in the horticulture industry face redundancy due to a decline in demand of horticultural products including cut flowers worldwide according to Arusha Times. The drop in demand for flowers and green vegetables from Tanzania comes amidst the world economic crunch as customers in the world market have now changed their priorities in consumption. The disturbing news was announced last week by Executive Director of the Tanzania Association for Horticultural Agriculture (TAHA) Ms Jackline Mkindi at the members seminar on management and capacity building in the industry. The seminar held at the Equator hotel in Arusha was attended by managers and workers from the industry and was sponsored and facilitated by a Kenyan-based institution, 'Peak Performance'
Nigeria: Country Loses 250,000 Barrels Daily to Niger Delta Violence
The Daily Independent has reported that the smooth running of about 1.8 million barrels of oil production in the Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta region was at the weekend disrupted following a violent clash, which has claimed lives of over 60 people. Violence in the Niger Delta has cut the country's oil output by about a fifth since early 2006 eating deep into Nigeria's foreign earnings. A source told Daily Independent at the weekend that production loss to the on-going violence was over 250, 000 barrels per day as foreign firms remove all but essential staff from the areas. Chevron, the source added, could soon declare a force majeure on oil from the Escravos operation, while the Shell Petro-leum and Development Company (SPDC) has commenced the evacuation of its staff from the swamp and offshore locations in response to threat by the militants to attack oil workers.
Global Financial Crisis Leads to HIV Budget Cuts in South Africa
International donors and African governments are likely to cut health budgets due to the global financial crisis. Health experts fear that increasing unemployment and poverty will lead to less food security and quality of nutrition, which will in turn put more stress on already weak health systems according to IRIN. The implications, warns a newly-released World Bank report, could be grave. "We need to ensure that African lives do not become a silent casualty of the global financial downturn," demanded Paula Akugizibwe, regional treatment literacy and advocacy coordinator of Windhoek-based AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) in Namibia. "Our lives are not cheap or expendable. We expect health to be prioritised over weapons, sports and lavish politics," she added. Tanzania was the first sub-Saharan country to announce a 25 percent cut of its annual HIV/AIDS budget. The situation is not much better in neighbouring countries. The South African government has indicated that large private firms, especially mining companies, are likely to cut their HIV prevention programmes affecting thousands of employees and their families.