Regional News Roundup

Zambian border problems

Finland has advised Zambia to address its border management constraints to promote trade in the country. The counsellor for economic growth and private sector development, Ville Luukkanen, said Zambia should seal its borders to become independent areas of trade. Trade organisation, Consumer for Unity and Trust Society, also told Zambia to export goods that meet demand on the international market to promote trade and alleviate poverty.

Malawi rubbishes reports

Malawi has rubbished media reports that it expelled Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Malawi, Patrick Tsere, for remarks he made about the ongoing border dispute between the two countries over Lake Malawi. Foreign Affairs Minister, Ephraim

Mganda Chiume, said the reports had no substance and were aimed at disrupting the relations between the two countries. Malawi recently indicated that it wanted the United Nations to mediate in the ongoing dispute over Lake Malawi.

Phone row sparks crisis

A row between MTN Swaziland and that country’s telecommunications operator has sparked a national crisis and public outcry. MTN Swaziland, whose shareholders include King Mswati III, recently won a legal battle against the SwaziPosts and

Telecommunications Corp over its roll-out of internet dongles and cell phones. A court ruling stated that the corporation had violated a joint venture agreement with MTN Swaziland and the country’s executive reacted by switching off its services, leaving thousands of Swazis with cell phones and dongles that no longer work.

Moza spikes law

Mozambique’s Parliamentary Commission on Public Administration has eliminated a law blamed by the opposition for facilitating ballot box stuffing. Article 85 of the law on electoral procedures stated that, in the event of any discrepancy between the number of voters’ names ticked off by polling staff on the register, and the number of votes found in the ballot box, it is the number of votes that prevails. Former rebel movement Renamo said the 18-year-old law was an incitement to fraud.

Poaching in Namibia

Poaching in Namibia killed 18 elephants over the past year. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism said the elephants were killed in the Caprivi Region. Of these, 13 were killed in the Mamili National Park over the past four months. Apparently, locals were tempted to poach for financial gain because of their relentless complaints about the damage the animals cause to their property. The poaching of rhinos has increased significantly in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia but this has not been reported in Namibia.

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