Posts tagged as: zambia

Tanzania: Govt Looking for Financiers to Extend SGR

By Rosemary Mirondo

Dar es Salaam — The government is looking for investors to finance the construction of the remaining part of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) that will connect Tanzania with some landlocked countries.

The government wants to upgrade the railway from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma and Dar es Salaa-Mwanza into the standard gauge.

Already the construction of the first part comprising of 205km from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro and the government expects to sign a contract for the second part (Morogoro-Makutupora in Dodoma) soon.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Prof Makame Mbarawa now says the government was looking for investors who will finance the next part which stretches from Dodoma through Tabora to Isaka and Kwanza.

“For the second part of the construction from Morogoro to Makutupora, 336km, we expect to sign a contract in two weeks’ time,” he said during the 8th East and Central Africa Road and Rail Infrastructure summit 2017 yesterday.

He said Tanzania plans to connect with neighboring landlocked countries of Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia which depend on the Tanzania Sea and Lake Ports for their imports and exports through the Standard Guage Railways.


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Kenya: Experts Warn of Health Risk After C-Section

By Aggrey Omboki

Unnecessary Caesarean sections could increase the risk of women developing maternal sepsis during childbirth, the World Health Organisation has warned.

Sepsis is the complication of an infection and becomes life-threatening when the body’s response to the infection causes injury to tissues and organs.

“When health facilities are overcrowded and poorly resourced, women are at greater risk of infection and sepsis. Women who undergo Caesarean sections in such conditions are at an even greater risk,” said WHO’s director-general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Locally, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) records show it paid out Sh714.7 million for 24,492 women who underwent C-sections in the first six months of 2016, and the payment went on to cross Sh1 billion that year.


This reflects a 2014 WHO prediction that more women would prefer C-sections if they could afford them, despite the procedure being unnecessary in some cases.

Since the NHIF board increased the amount allocated to C-section from Sh18,000 to 30,000, women going for the procedure have increased from 22,411 during a similar period in 2014.

According to a 2003 Demographic and Health Survey study, Caesarean section rates in sub-Saharan Africa were lower than five per cent in all countries in the study (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Tanzania, and Zambia) except Kenya, with a 6.7 per cent rate.

In a video message marking the World Sepsis Day on September 12, Dr Ghebreyesus said there was need to ensure health facilities and specialists eliminate conditions that make mothers and babies catch the infection.


A 2013 WHO report showed that countries in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa countries account for 85 per cent of all maternal deaths worldwide.

“We know that most infections can be prevented and what can be done to prevent them, including providing access to quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth, responsible and timely access to the right medicines, proper infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics, said Dr Ghebreyesus.

The director lamented “the tragedy of deaths due to sepsis that could have been avoided” saying the world needed to devote more resources and skills to eliminate the sepsis menace.

“WHO recognises the need to pay more attention to this life-threatening but not so well known condition. We are working with partners to support a large, multi-country study covering more than 500 maternal health facilities in 54 countries,” he said.


Dr Ghebreyesus used the occasion to call for greater measures to be taken to improve recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, and particularly maternal and neonatal sepsis.

In May, the 70th World Health Assembly passed a resolution to address the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

Dr Ghebreyesus expressed confidence that the initiative would lead to better understanding and international cooperation

“As infections frequently complicate serious diseases, sepsis is a final common pathway to death from both communicable and non-communicable diseases around the world,” says the WHO website.

If sepsis develops during pregnancy, while or after giving birth, or after an abortion, it is called maternal sepsis, while the condition in newborn babies is called neonatal sepsis.

Despite being preventable, maternal and neonatal sepsis continue to be major causes of death.

It’s Our Fight for Uganda’s Future

opinionBy Moses Khisa

On Tuesday, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) parliamentary caucus resolved to press on with the nefarious plot of further entrenching Yoweri Museveni’s life-presidency.

They want to remove the constitutional cap on the presidential age limit. I was in kindergarten when the current rulers arrived. I have since gone to school up to the very highest level and Mr Museveni is still holding onto our country; illegitimately, one might add.

My children are now going to school, and Mr Museveni is still ruling us. Surely, we have to say no, emphatically. And Museveni himself must consider saving grace and avoid the possible humiliation of forced push out of power, which is not entirely impossible.

If the fight to stop General Museveni and the misguided, selfish, and morally reprehensive coterie in parliament and elsewhere belongs to anyone, it’s to my generation. It is our fight. What is at stake is the future of our country, of our children and our children’s children.

From the start, we have been told that it’s fait accompli: the age limit will go if the chief beneficiary wants it to go. We have been prepared by regime sycophants and apologists, who pose as ‘analysts’ and vend themselves around Kampala’s TV and radio talk shows, to accept that the outcome is inevitable.

The NRM has the numbers and Museveni has the money to pay them, we are reminded. But MPs behind plotting to entrench an authoritarian one-man rule, and the schemers available for hire by the real rulers, need to know that there will be resistance. There is pervasive fatigue against this one-man rule.

More important, there is deep indignation against the utter misrule, the plunder of the country; parceling away public land to individuals ensconced to the state and selling away everything we owned as a country; having an economy where Ugandans have very little stake; the sheer collapse of the public spirit and a sense of collective existence; the glaring social injustices at the behest of the powerful; the nepotism and cronyism; the travesty of the rule of law and the mockery of democracy.

This is an endless list of the abuses and betrayal visited on the country under the rule of one man. General Museveni shot his way to power in 1986 and has largely relied on coercive power to sustain his rule, but there is going to reach time when enough Ugandans will call a bluff on the fear of guns.

There is an attempt to couch the nefarious age limit scheme in general terms as a principle worth upholding. Apparently, an age limit provision in the Constitution is unconstitutional because it violates the right to equality of opportunity and the protection against discrimination.

Those making this ludicrous argument are insulting their own intelligence. It is a shallow attempt at creative packaging.

We are stuck with an imperial president whose love for power knows no bounds. For a country that has historically made history for all the wrong things, we are yet again a reference point for rulers who just can’t leave power.

Thirty-five years in power is embarrassingly long enough. To attempt to cling on even longer is simply despicable. Although constitutionalism has suffered a stillbirth in Uganda, there was hope in the last standing constitutional redoubt against the one-man rule: the age limit provision.

The chief beneficiary and, indeed, the lead author of the current dastardly manoeuvre, General Museveni himself, recently revealed that he believes being in power for a short time is a bad thing. And by extension, ruling for long is good. No, sir!

Look around and see the three-decade-long decadent system you are presiding over, where doing something as basic as constructing a road takes forever because of a corrupted system of rent-seekers and parasitic power brokers.

Longevity in power tends to have a corrosive, not progressive, impact. The most impoverished African countries today are also the ones where rulers held or still hold power upwards of three decades.

If long reigns were guarantors for progress, then Angola, Cameroon, Congo/Zaire, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Togo, and Zimbabwe would be high performers and beacons of prosperity. They are not. And Uganda is in the same category after more than thirty years of one-man rule.

Museveni’s long reign has produced institutional dysfunction. The few institutions that were previously islands of decency and modest excellence such as the central bank have not been spared in the latter phases of a wild neo-patrimonial system where institutional autonomy is undermined at the altar of political expedience and lining pockets of individuals.

By contrast, the countries that have posited modest but stable socioeconomic progress and have stabilized their politics, thus making the future more predictable, have not had life-presidencies: Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania. For all their severe hovering problems, one can add Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia to that list.

The author is an assistant professor of political science at North Carolina State University.

Kenya Fall Six Places in Latest FIFA Rankings

By Timothy Olobulu

Nairobi — National football team Harambee Stars has dropped six places in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday morning, moving to 88th from 82nd with 400 points.

Between August and September, Kenya played one friendly match away to Mozambique, coming from behind to draw 1-1 thanks to Eric Johanna’s late goal.

In the CECAFA region, Uganda remains the best placed country having moved two places up, much buoyed by their victory over Egypt in a World Cup Qualifier at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Kampala, though they lost the return leg in Alexandria.

Rwanda have moved one spot up to 118th while Tanzania has dropped down five places to rank at 125th. Sudan has moved a massive 18 spots up to rank at 124th while neighbors Ethiopia, who are Kenya’s opponents in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, have dipped 24 places to 114th.

Cape Verde is the biggest mover in the ranking after their victory over South Africa scaled them 47 places up to 67th. Alongside Sudan, Zambia who beat Algeria home and away in the World Cup qualifiers are also some of the biggest African movers having climbed 18 places up to 78th.

African Cup of Nations runners-up Egypt remain the best ranked African country despite going down five places to 30th while Tunisia has moved three places up to 31st, displacing Senegal as the second best African country.

Overall, World Cup and Confederations Cup champions Germany have dislodged Brazil from the top spot, the two swapping places at first and second in the ranking.

European champions Portugal have moved into the top three having gained three places.


Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

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Army Worm Invasion Wipes Off 12% Yield

By Halima Abdallah

The fall armyworm infestation has dealt a blow to Uganda’s food security by wiping out 12 per cent of the produce in the last crop season.

The worm is known to feed on more than 80 plant species including maize, millet, sorghum, rice and wheat, as well as legumes, cotton and pasture grass varieties like rhodes grass, Kikuyu grass, lucerne and others that are used as cattle feed in the country.

While Uganda produces close to four million tonnes of maize annually, Agriculture Minister Vincent Sempijja said that the impact of the armyworm infestation could be responsible for the loss of at least 450,000 tonnes of maize or $192.8 million worth of maize exports.

“The figures that we have are only reflective of maize. However the pest affects more crops thereby heightening the potential loss to the economy,” said Mr Sempijja.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics data shows that maize contributes to the livelihoods of over 3.6 million households in the country, and is a staple for over 300 million people on the continent.

First reported in Nigeria in January 2016, the fall armyworm has since spread to Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Togo, and Ghana.

The worm infestation could not have come at a worst time. Most of the affected countries were still grappling with the effects of the 2016 drought which led to widespread food shortages and starvation.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation, close to 18 million people in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and South Sudan are severely food insecure following consecutive depressed rainfall leading to crop failure, widespread pasture and water shortages, reduced opportunities for rural employment, increasing livestock deaths and rising food prices.

In Kenya, the government set aside $1 million to control and eradicate the pest.

Uganda, which recorded a worm invasion in half of the country, will spend Ush4.5 billion ($1.2 million) to control the pest.

The money was released through a supplementary request by the ministry of agriculture in July and is being spent to procure pesticides and for mass sensitisation programme for farmers.

“We have already procured pesticides to manage the pests. We shall involve massive spraying and all district agriculture officers have been involved,” said the director of crop resources at the ministry of agriculture, Opolot Okasaai.

Mr Okasaai said that the country lost between 10-12 per cent of its produce in the March-July crop season.

“We hope not to lose as much in this crop season because we have been sensitising farmers and the districts agriculture officers have been trained on how to manage the worms,” he said.

Zambia: Veteran Scribe Pours Cold Water On Incident Driven Health Reportage

By Clement Malambo

Veteran journalist Edem Djokotoe has check mated scribes that have excitedly taken to social media over the death of one of their own Sithembile Zulu of the Daily Mail after giving birth.

A cluster of journalists had taken to social media lamenting how no woman should die during child birth but Djokotoe gave the journalist driven social media buzz a reality check calling on the scribes to take responsibility for failing to highlight health matters in their reportage.


I didn’t know Sithembile Zulu, the young Daily Mail staffer who died, I gather from the posts I have seen on FaceBook, while giving birth. I have seen the outpouring of grief and emotion from many media professionals, some of whom I know well. I have even seen an online hashtag campaign which reads: #NoWomanShouldDieWhileGivingLife being driven by journalists who knew her personally and will undoubtedly be broken by her death. I imagine that because she was “one of us”, her death will get some media attention.

But I want every Zambian journalist reading this to pause for a minute and reflect on how it came to pass that we failed Sithembile and thousands of women like her by not making health a story worth telling, even though health is a matter of life and death for 14 million people who live in this country. And she passed on in a big city, the capital where there is even some modicum of care and infrastructure. Think about women tucked in the nooks and crannies of Zambia who risk death every time they have to give life to a child.

I am angry at all of us because we have chosen to subvert the values of news which form the bedrock of our professional and throw Public Interest out of the window. We have gone to bed with politicians and made them the only story in town. And for what? For the promise of a cushy diplomatic appointment or a seat on the government gravy train.

We should not pretend that we are not to blame for deliberately overlooking the news we should be covering and instead hiding behind the pale-faced excuse that because there is no Access to Information legislation in place, we are not able to report what we should.

We don’t cover health unless the Health Minister is making a speech about health. We don’t cover education unless the Education Minister is cutting a ribbon to officially launch a new school. We don’t cover agriculture even though we eat every day unless the Agriculture Minister decides to talk about maize floor prices.

Come to think of it, we do not even cover mining, which gives the government over 70 per cent of its revenue and has been the mainstay of the national economy since the dawn of Time. We cover games not the broad expansive landscape of sport, so we are stumped where the soccer season closes and there are no games to watch!

When we scan news content in the public and private media, what do we see? Can we honestly claim that what is on offer gives people a real sense of what is going on in every sphere of concern under the administrative jurisdiction of a government ministry? In short, we cannot afford to be in denial about what is really wrong. I know there are real tears being shed for Sithembile Zulu, but I also know that there are many others riding on the crest of the moment to be seen to sympathise and shed hippo tears.

All said, the moral outrage that led to the hashtag campaign and to the effusiveness of the public show of grief should inspire us to do what we became journalists to do in the first place–and that is, to report news of significance and interest to our largest constituency: the public.


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Zambia: Levy Mwanawasa Hospital Under Probe for Negligence

By George Mwenya

Following the death of Zambia Daily Mail employee, Sithembile Zulu, the government has instituted investigations into circumstances surrounding the entire episode and the general increase of maternal deaths at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

There are reports of excessive negligence which have resulted in premature deaths of pregnant women and in some case babies.


Press Statement for immediate release

With a profound sense of regret, the Minister of Health Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya has bemoaned the maternal death recorded at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital on the 10th of September 2017.

Dr Chilufya is profoundly shocked by this turn of events, as he holds that even one maternal death is too many.

The Minister has, however, ordered for a thorough maternal death case review, as well as a postmortem to determine the cause of death.

Dr Chilufya said all procedures should be done on the deceased and scrutinised to ascertain the possible events that could have led to her death.

MoH Spokesperson Dr Maximilian Bweupe has explained that the deceased, 29 years old, in her 2nd pregnancy underwent a caesarian section due to fetal distress on the 8th September 2017.

Fetal distress is when the fetus does not receive adequate amounts of oxygen during pregnancy or labour. It is oftentimes detected through an abnormal fetal heart rate.

The deceased became breathless after taking a bath yesterday in morning, after, which the condition rapidly deteriorated before she

passed on despite efforts to resuscitate her.

Meanwhile, the Minister has offered utmost condolences to the bereaved family, friends, and the media fraternity.

May her soul rest in eternal peace

Issued by Stanslous Ngosa

MoH Head Communications and External Relations



Twitter Outrage As Zambian Journalist, 29, Dies After Giving Birth

News of the death of a Zambian journalist Sithembile Zulu, who died after giving birth at a local hospital has led to a… Read more »

Malawi: Maseko Ngoni King Calls for Abortion Law Reform

Deaths of girls and women from unsafe abortions have prompted the king of the Maseko Ngoni, Inkosi Ya Makosi Gomani V to call for abortion law reform.

Grave concern! Unsafe abortions are killing women and girls and something ought to be done immediately! This is the message from the king of the Maseko Ngonis in Malawi and Mozambique, Inkosi Ya Makosi Gomani V.

The Maseko Ngoni king broke his silence on the untimely deaths of girls due to unsafe abortions at Tchale Village in the area of Inkosi Ganya in central Malawi’s district of Ntcheu.

“The number of girls inducing unsafe abortions is alarming and the government should do something!” Gomani said during a Result-based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) awareness meeting.

The traditional leader had every reason to make that call considering that just in six months Ntcheu Hospital handled five abortion-related complications.

Out of the five cases, two girls lost their lives because they used sharp objects to induce abortion, according to Ntcheu District Health Officer Mike Chisema.

As the tribal king (ngwenyama) rightly said, abortions statistics are startling. A research by the Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine in partnership with Guttmacher Institute estimates that 141,000 abortions occurred in Malawi in 2015–at an annual rate of 38 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age.

Due to the restrictive law in Malawi, the majority of the procedures are performed under clandestine and unsafe conditions, resulting in complications and deaths as was the case in Ntcheu.

The situation which the Ngwenyama (king or lion) is bemoaning reminds me of an incident that happened in my home village few years ago.

A 16-year old relative named Malita was returning from a boarding school at the end of the second term. Due to the breakdown of the bus she was travelling in, she arrived in our village around 8 pm. As misfortune had it, three unidentified thugs attacked her and took turns to rape her.

The hoodlums did not only rape her but also physically assaulted. The worst part of it was that one of them stabbed her right hand during the struggle. The thugs fled the scene when they realized she was unconscious.

Hours later, she regained her consciousness and she managed to shout for help. Some passersby came to her rescue and rushed her to the nearby health centre.

A month later she discovered that during the horrendous rape incident, a wild seed was sown in her womb and she instantly made a decision to terminate the pregnancy at the same health centre where she was treated during the night she was raped.

Despite frantically begging for an abortion for the pregnancy which was torturing her day and night because it made her vividly recall the traumatic rape experience she went through, the medical worker at the health centre refused to terminate her unwanted pregnancy.

Since Malita had made a decision that she could not keep the pregnancy from a traumatic rape experience, she ended up going to a traditional healer. While at the witchdoctor, the procedure went wrong and she started bleeding heavily.

She was rushed back to the same health centre for post-abortion treatment. She died in the hands of the same medical worker who refused to terminate her pregnancy on the pretext that the law in Malawi does not indicate rape or incest as a ground for provision of abortion.

It was only when Malita died that the medic confessed that restricting women’s access to safe and legal abortion only results in more injuries and deaths.

My relative Malita is dead just because a health worker refused to offer her safe abortion. If the health worker had assisted her, she would have been alive today. Probably, she would have been working somewhere but lo, she is dead because of the cruelty of abortion law written by colonialists in 1890s. Strangely as a nation, we are reluctant to change that old law.

Neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique had similar restrictive laws like ours but the two countries repealed them. If only we had a very liberal law on abortion as is the case in Zambia, Mozambique or South Africa, rape victims like Malita and the two girls who died in Ntcheu recently could have sought abortion services in hospitals.

Let’s stop burying our heads in the sand. Malawi needs to review its abortion law so that women who have made choices to terminate unwanted pregnancies can do so in hospitals. Restrictive laws are failing to prevent abortions because when a girl decides to have an abortion, she will do so whether it is legal or not.

Legalising abortion is important as it helps women to seek services in health facilities instead of letting them injure themselves or kill themselves in the name of paying homage to an ancient law written by colonialists.

This article by Centre for Solutions Journalism (CSJ) first appeared in a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) column in The Daily Times of Malawi. CSJ is running an SRHR media project with support from AmplifyChange.

Zambia: Twitter Outrage As Zambian Journalist, 29, Dies After Giving Birth

News of the death of a Zambian journalist Sithembile Zulu, who died after giving birth at a local hospital has led to a public outcry, with fellow journalists highlighting the issue of maternal deaths in the southern African country, a report says.

According to BBC live, health ministry spokesperson Dr Maximilian Bweupe said that Zulu “underwent a caesarean section due to foetal distress, a condition where the foetus does not receive sufficient oxygen during pregnancy or labour”.

Bweupe said that the state-owned Daily Mail journalist became breathless after taking a bath and her condition rapidly deteriorated.

The Zambian Daily Mail reported that Zulu died a day after giving birth to a baby girl.

The paper quoted her husband, Victor Zulu saying: “Mrs Zulu died at the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital where she had been recuperating after giving birth.”

Meanwhile, in a tweet on Tuesday, the Daily Mail said that the health ministry had ordered a thorough maternal case review into the death.

Some social media users also passed their condolences.

See the tweets below

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa accounted for nearly two thirds of global maternal deaths, but Zambia had a better ranking than most African countries.

Statistics showed that at least 224 mothers died for every 100 000 live births.



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Manvir Maintains Lead, Edges Closer to ARC Title

By Jejje Muhinde

After a thrilling first day of the 2017 Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally on Friday, action heads to Bugesera in Eastern Province today as drivers battle in five competitive super stages. The Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally is the 6th round of the Africa Rally Championship.

Day two will see drivers racing on the rough roads of Nyamizi – Gashora (19.69kms), Gaharwa – Nemba (11.56kms), Gako-Gasenyi (14.41kms) and Gasenyi-Nemba (22.22kms).

And the one man, who could not hide his excitement after dominating day one in Rugende, is Kenyan driver Manvir Baryan as he edges closer to clinching his first ARC title.

His driving skills were on full display when he put up an exciting and spectacular show in front of hundreds of rally fans during the Super Special Stage at Amahoro National Stadium.

He said, “It’s our first time to race in Rwanda, the first day has been good, it went as planned, we did not have mechanical troubles with the car on Day one, and hopefully day two will go in similar fashion.”

With only five competitive Sections remaining, the Multiple Racing Team driver needs to maintain the lead or finish the race in the top three in Rwanda, in order to be the champion of Africa, with one more race to spare in Zambia next month.

Day one was an ultimate test for drivers like Burundi’s Bukera Valery, who won last year’s Mt. Gorilla Rally and former Rwanda national champion Giancarlo Davite, who will start day two in second and third positions respectively.

Zambia’s Leroy Gomes, who is second in the ARC points standing, behind Manvir, sets off on the final day in the fourth position.

Gomes will need a flat out attack to make sure he closes the gap on the top. He was flagged off in the third position on Day one.

The Rwanda crew of Jean Claude Gakwaya and Jean Claude Mugabo in their Subaru Impreza dropped from fifth to tenth after losing time when they were forced to stop to clean the fuel tank.

Another Rwandan driver, Christophe Nizette, will be flagged off in the fifth place ahead of Semana Remeza (Rwanda), Din Imitiaz (Burundi) and Gilberto Balendondemu (Uganda).

Burundi’s Rudy Cantanhede and David Israel; the three-time Mountain Gorilla victors dropped out on day one after suffering a mechanical problem when their Evo X hit a tree stump.

Also out is Zambia’s Gomes Klaveen and co-navigator Latife Riyaz- they rolled their Evo X but luckily they were not injured.


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