Weekly anb06287.txt #7

WEEKLY NEWS ISSUE of: 28-06-2001      PART #7/7

* Ouganda/Rwanda. Défections - Une cinquantaine de soldats ougandais ont fait défection, trouvant refuge au Rwanda, pour échapper à ce qu'ils qualifient de persécution et de harcèlement, ont annoncé le 24 juin les autorités rwandaises. "Ils sont arrivés ici en demandant l'asile politique", a déclaré le porte-parole du gouvernement. L'Ouganda n'a pas confirmé cette information. Parmi les "défecteurs" se trouveraient des soldats et des policiers. "Ils accusent le gouvernement de l'Ouganda de persécutions politiques, de corruption et de torture", a expliqué le porte-parole. (La Libre Belgique, 25 juin 2001)

* Uganda. Parliamentary elections - 21 June: Amnesty International calls on governments sending monitors to the parliamentary elections (26 June), to ensure that human rights concerns are fully addressed. June 24: The elections are expected to show strains between supporters of the no-party government and critics who say President Yoweri Museveni is using the system to entrench African "Big Man" rule. Political party activity has been banned in Uganda since 1986, when Museveni seized power and introduced a "no-party Movement," arguing parties in Africa stirred ethnic hatred. By law, all Ugandans are members of the movement, with parliamentary candidates elected purely as individuals. But critics have accused Museveni of soliciting votes for favoured Movement activists in the campaign, breaching the principle that candidates be chosen on merit and character. His actions have angered many voters and parliamentary hopefuls who campaigned for him in presidential polls in March, which he won with nearly 70 percent of the vote. "Things are not going to be the same after 26 June," says Philip Kasujja, a political scientist close to the Movement. "Some of these people campaigned for Museveni in March, but are going to be very aggrieved since the Movement has campaigned against them". Upwards of 800 candidates will vie for 214 seats up for grabs in the 292-seat assembly. The remaining seats, for special interest groups such as the disabled, have already been decided under an indirect electoral college system. The results will be announced later in the week. 26 June: Parliamentary elections. There are reports of a low turnout in Kampala. The turnout was much higher in the east of the country. 27 June: Shooting at a polling station in eastern Uganda has resulted in the deaths of six people. The incident happened in the eastern district of Mbale during voting, yesterday. There were two other shooting incidents, which resulted in injuries but no further deaths. Preliminary results suggest that voters have returned to power a parliament that will please President Museveni, despite nearly a quarter of his cabinet losing their seats. (ANB-BIA, Brussels, 28 June 2001)

* Ouganda. Elections législatives - Le 26 juin, des élections législatives ont eu lieu en Ouganda. Des actes de violence et d'intimidation, allant de la vendetta au harcèlement de candidats de l'opposition, ont émaillé la campagne électorale. Plusieurs incidents concernaient des candidats favorables au docteur Kizza Besigye, qui s'était présenté contre le président Museveni aux présidentielles de mars dernier. Les Ougandais devaient élire 214 parlementaires qui les représenteront au sein de la septième assemblée de l'Ouganda depuis l'indépendance. Des incidents meurtriers, dont l'un a fait au moins six morts, ont émaillé le déroulement des élections. Le décompte des voix a commencé dans la soirée. Le taux de participation n'avait pas encore été communiqué en fin de soirée. - Le 27 juin, le quotidien New Vision annonçait que la police avait arrêté un ministre (le ministre de la Culture, Vincent Nyanzi) et plusieurs autres hommes politiques pour leur rôle dans les violences qui avaient émaillé les élections. (ANB-BIA, de sources diverses, 28 juin 2001)

* Zambia. Zambia, Angola, Namibia Presidents discuss security issues - 26 June: The Presidents of Angola, Namibia and Zambia start talks on border security and regional stability, with calls for an end to Angola's war -- one of Africa's longest-running conflicts. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Namibia's Sam Nujoma and Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, are meeting in the Zambian capital Lusaka. They blame Angola's veteran rebel leader Jonas Savimbi for a war that has killed one million people and displaced many more. Referring to Savimbi's failure to abide by United Nations-brokered peace accords signed in Lusaka in 1994, Zambia's President Chiluba says: "We feel let down, extremely let down by Doctor Savimbi who did not keep his word. President Dos Santos kept his word." (CNN, USA, 27 June 2001)

* Zimbabwe. Children "used" by politicians - As the campaigns for next year's presidential elections begin in ernest, politicians are turning to children in order to advance their own political ambitions...and all in the name of culture. Both the ruling ZANU-PF and the main Opposition are engaging in this practice. Moses Mazhande, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Party says: "The abuse of children in politics shows that our country's political leadership are only concerned with getting hold of power and hanging on to it". An example took place on 18 March this year, when three school children appeared on national television at a function celebrating President Mugabe's birthday (actually 21 February). The children recited poems denouncing the leading opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change. Alois Masepe says the use of schoolchildren to denounce opposition politicians is as bad as using them as child soldiers. He says that children are used because they are a captive audience. Whilst at school they are marched off to political rallies to make up numbers, and are made to shout appropriate slogans. It's interesting to note that none of the human rights groups especially concerned with children's rights have protested against this latest spate of child abuse. (Tendai Madinah, ANB-BIA, Zimbabwe, 13 June 2001)

* Zimbabwe. Hausse des salaires - Les employeurs du Zimbabwe, soucieux d'empêcher une grève prévue pour protester contre la vie chère, ont accepté des hausses de salaires de presque 70%, a-t-on appris le 24 juin à Harare. Le Congrès des syndicats du Zimbabwe (ZCTU), qui a appelé à une grève générale les 3 et 4 juillet pour protester contre les bas salaires et la hausse du coût de la vie, a annoncé que dix organisations de travailleurs de différents secteurs de l'économie sont arrivés à un accord avec les employeurs pour une augmentation de salaire de 65% en moyenne et que des négociations se poursuivent avec d'autres syndicats. Le porte-parole du ZCTU a aussi indiqué que la grève pourrait être évitée si le gouvernement annulait la hausse du prix de l'essence, ce que les autorités ont rejeté. (PANA, Sénégal, 24 juin 2001)

* Zimbabwe. Signs of inflation - On 24 June, Zimbabwe's Central Bank said it will soon introduce a 500 Zimdollar banknote, the highest currency denomination in Zimbabwe. The country's highest banknote is 100 Zimdollars which was introduced five years ago. The Central Bank will also phase out the five-dollar bank note and replace it with a coin. The new note is being introduced for the convenience of the public which has been forced by high inflation to carry large amounts of banknotes when shopping or paying for services. Inflation in Zimbabwe stands at 55.5%, the highest in southern Africa, and is expected to rise sharply in the coming months. At the same time, employers, keen to head of a general strike next month against the high cost of living, have agreed to wage and salary increments of nearly 70%. (ANB-BIA, Brussels, 25 June 2001)

* Zimbabwe. Exchange controls tightened - On 26 June, Zimbabwe tightened exchange controls in an effort to stabilise its weakening currency, and at the same effectively revalued the exchange rate for the Zimbabwe dollar. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said in a statement that with immediate effect all exporters must sell 40 per cent of their export earnings to the central bank at the official exchange rate of Z$55 to the US dollar. Until 26 June, exporters were required to sell 25 per cent of their earnings at the official rate, selling the balance in the parallel market at a premium of up to 150 per cent. By reducing to 60 per cent the proportion an exporter can trade in the free market, the move effectively revalues the "blend exchange rate" for the Zimbabwe dollar from Z$118 to the US dollar to Z$106. But bankers say the free market premium -- the US dollar is trading at around Z$140 in the parallel market -- is bound to rise in response to these tighter controls. Simultaneously and bizarrely, the RBZ also effectively devalued the exchange rate by introducing a new export incentive scheme. This allows exporters to swap their hard currency for Zimbabwe dollars for a period of 90 days or longer at the prevailing exchange rate. The central bank will return the hard currency at the end of the swap period with an incentive payment, though the size of this incentive is not specified. Banks and other foreign currency dealers must sell 40 per cent of the foreign exchange they receive to the central bank to finance imports of fuel and electricity. Another 20 per cent must be sold to the RBZ for allocation to tobacco farmers to finance imports of essential inputs, while 10 per cent is sold to the RBZ to meet the government's offshore commitments. The balance of 30 per cent is then available for all other imports. Also, the Ministry of Finance plans to halve the holiday allowance to US $2,500 per adult from $5,000 previously. The moves to tighten exchange controls coincide with growing concerns about food shortages in the country later this year due to the sharp reduction in grain production and the ongoing fuel crisis. Oil companies say they are operating with about 40 percent of their 1999 fuel allocations. Unless the government rescinds the fuel price rise, there will be a national strike next week. (Financial Times, UK, 27 June 2001)

Weekly anb0628.txt - Part 7/7


Un homme meurt chaque fois que l'un d'entre nous se tait devant la tyrannie (W. Soyinka, Prix Nobel litterature) - Everytime somebody keep silent when faced with tyranny, someone else dies (Wole Syinka, Nobel Prize for Literature) *
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