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Showing posts from 2006

Solidarity against Poverty & Oppression

By Susan Mwape

Cultural and Traditional songs, dances and solidarity messages formed the opening expression of the 3rd edition of the Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF) convened at the Civil Stadium in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi.

Over two thousand social activists from Southern African countries will be together at this ‘bwalo’ (gathering) from this Friday to Sunday, 13th to 15th October 2006 deliberating on the region’s social economic and social challenges.

SASF is a prelude to the Africa Social Forum (ASF) and the World Social Forum (WSF) which are a people’s platform, opposed to the profit driven World Economic Forum. The First and Second editions of SASF were held in Zambia and Zimbabwe 2004 and 2005 respectively.

In his welcoming speech, Collins Magalasi of the host Malawi was full of praise for the delegates saying their presence was manifestation of solidarity saying being the host Malawi’s expectation were that social forum principles of freedom of expression and freedom be m…

YOUTHS CRY FOUL AT CAMP LOCATION

By Susan Mwape

The youth camp that is running parallel to the third Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF), this is a platform for young people to express their views and try to find solutions to problems that affect the youth in the region. The camp also seeks to analyse the impact of activities and find solutions to youth problems.

During the deliberations at the camp, youths felt that having the youth camp away from Civil Stadium forum is a sign that the youth and their issues have not been taken seriously, they feel that they are marginalised. Kondwani Kanjo from Malawi gave an example from the bible, “it’s like in the bible where leapers are thrown out of the village”. He said.

The youth further observed that time table of the forum hadn’t mentioned the youth, it was at this point that they youths decided to march back into camp to express their displeasure and also show that the ‘lepers’ have resurrected.

Youths discussed the issue of being used by politicians to disrupt politics, the …

CARAVAN TO NAIROBI BY ROAD OR SEA

By Susan Mwape

The 2007 World Social Forum (WSF)in Nairobi, Kenya will be a meeting point of global civil society, it will provide an opportunity for African activists and Civil Society Organisations to put on the agenda global solidarity towards the development of Africa. The world will focus its attention on Africa during this period.

Preparations are underway all around Africa, and it is envisaged that the 2007 WSF will play a significant role as this will be the second time that such a massive gathering will be held in Africa after the Bamako, Mali, Polycentric in 2006.

With regard to the WSF, a Regional Committee of the Southern Africa Social Forum has constantly tried to focus on how Africa can make an impact in Nairobi in January 2007.

Zambia conceived the idea of a caravan going to Kenya for the WSF. It was envisaged that the movement would be seen as a caravan towards an oasis, this being Nairobi. The caravan is planned to start from Cape Town all the way to Nairobi through Zimba…

SOLIDARITY AGAINST POVERTY & OPPRESSION

By Susan Mwape


Cultural and Traditional songs, dances and solidarity messages formed the opening expression of the 3rd edition of the Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF) convened at the Civil Stadium in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi.

Over two thousand social activists from Southern African countries will be together at this ‘bwalo’ (gathering) from this Friday to Sunday, 13th to 15th October 2006 deliberating on the region’s social economic and social challenges.

SASF is a prelude to the Africa Social Forum (ASF) and the World Social Forum (WSF) which are a people’s platform, opposed to the profit driven World Economic Forum. The First and Second editions of SASF were held in Zambia and Zimbabwe 2004 and 2005 respectively.

In his welcoming speech, Collins Magalasi of the host Malawi was full of praise for the delegates saying their presence was manifestation of solidarity saying being the host Malawi’s expectation were that social forum principles of freedom of expression and freedom be m…

ZAMBIA 2006 ELECTIONS-WOMEN'S VIEWS

By Susan Mwape

In as much as society likes to view women as the introverts in society, women are far much stronger than they exhibit. Realistically women are the very pillar of society they carry a lot of burdens and shoulder a lot in their lifetimes. Most often women feel that society only comes to them when in desperation.

Zambia will on 28th September 2006, be holding the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections, so much activity has been taking place in terms of political campaigning ever since Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC the President of the Republic of Zambia announced the election date. All political parties aspiring for office have since embarked on political campaigns and most of them have been seeking the assistance of women in their campaigns.

Women have been going around singing songs in support of certain parties and often times the political parties have what in Zambia is known as Chitenge material (Wrap) which women wear as a traditional outfit, they al…

Land politics in Zambia

By Susan Mwape

Despite having 750,000 square kilometers, Zambia still faces a number of issues on land disparities. Land is an important factor in the development of any country; it is a resource for investment, income generation, food production, source of power and most of all shelter.

Most Zambians are insecure on their land because they do not own it; most times they are evicted and even denied of access to land because of the bureaucratic systems placed in land administration. Land is considered to be for the elite because of unfair land allocation especially to the poor. In order to access land one needs to be very persistent failure to which one may be unable to access land. In other cases political affiliation places one at an advantage because it becomes easier to access land.

Land is easily allocated to foreigners and yet citizens have sleepless nights to access land, despite the importance of land in the development of Zambia a major concern is that of lack of issue based camp…

SADC HEADS OF STATES

By Susan Mwape

The Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN) of Zimbabwe convened a Peoples summit in Maseru, Lesotho. The summit running under the theme “reclaiming SADC for People’s Development” attracted over 400 people Lesotho and SADC member countries.

The people’s summit was convened to coincide with the SADC Heads of States summit. This is a clear indication that the SADC leadership community has not lived up to the aspirations of the sub- region. In line with the theme of the people’s summit, Lesotho had three SADC meetings running concurrently. Participants of the people’s summit felt they were in the right place to deliberate issues that had to do with SADC and among the major questions raised was that of knowing whose benefit SADC was of.

A representative of the Development of Peace Education (DPE) based Lesotho which helped organize the people’s summit in his opening remarks said SADC was being reclaimed because they want to change SADC to represent the people no…

SADC PEOPLE’S SUMMIT MASERU RESISTANCE

By Susan Mwape


Over 400 people from Southern African are attending the SADC People’s Summit running under the theme “Reclaiming SADC for the People’s Development”, have vowed not to leave Maseru until they have reclaimed SADC. The people’s summit started on 16th August 2006, is scheduled to end on 17th August 2006 in Maseru Lesotho.

Assessing the prevailing condition in the region participants at the summit have vowed not to leave Maseru until they have reclaimed their SADC. They realized that SADC has constantly been used, abused and misused for the benefit of the elite. Participants of the people’s summit feel SADC must be reclaimed because it is not serving the interests of the people such as farmers, vulnerable children, youths who have been pushed to the periphery of socio-economic life because unemployment is still high and yet there is still need for decent jobs in the SADC.

The participants at the summit realize that they are the true SADC and therefore have demanded that SADC m…

LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM

By Susan MwapeHaving worked in the Civil Society, I have been accustomed to people understanding issues perfectly especially in the place of work, when people are assigned to work in a certain area in an organization, they expected to me able to execute their duties and are trusted so much so that even the decisions they make are trusted and respected. I have come to learn that in most Government bodies it’s the other way round there seems to be a big problem with most civil servants to share information freely they are always scared to release even what can be termed public information. I went to get some information on a regional project from an institution that should be responsible for handling such a project, I was very surprised to talk to the person “in-charge” of this project, he told me that he had a copy of the report but didn’t want to give me a copy or tell me the content because he first had to consult the CEO. What this person didn’t know is that the report he didn’t wan…

COTTON ISSUES - BY MATONGO MAUMBI

By Matongo Maumbi -Tonga Bull

It is really true how farmers are suffering at the hands of these multinational companies and the government giving a deaf ear to their plight.One thing that would surely help (cotton) farmers is the establishment of Farmers' Clubs where they can be having a VOICE unlike the many voices that are there from single farmers. It is high time the farmers set the price for their produce. How can one labour out so much and then someone just comes to set the price for you? It does not make any sense at all. When the Kwacha gained value, inputs were still pegged at the latter value. It's surprising how these companies would want to buy the produce at the current value. This is a profit to them, and BIG loss to the farmers.Our government is also not supportive. It needs to subsidise these farmers for them to compete favourably with the world market.Farmers should get together in their locale, and make decisions that companies shall follow. And not the curren…

Cohabiting – a fashionable experience

By Susan Mwape O ne of the ills of modern society is the recent trend that which has come up among young people and it is that of cohabiting. Most young are living together without the bond of marriage this could either be a sign of independence or of degradation of morals. It makes one wonder what is really is going on, what has made the whole scenario so tolerable, unless it’s a member of your family; there is no need to complain about it. When you question the elderly in our communities they will usual say “children of nowadays”. What if we turn the scenario and say adults of nowadays? Why was it not so common long ago to see young people cohabiting and having children out of wedlock?One angle I would like to look at is the fight for equal rights and female independence, personally I feel men and women should have equal opportunities but at the same time women should also take time to be women and men to be men. Society needs to realize the union of marriage was created for a purpos…

FUTURE LESSONS FOR YOUNG MINDS -- THE ZAMBIAN GIRL INITIATES

By Susan MwapeO ne of the beauties of Zambian culture is usually the display of young girl initiates in different parts of the country. The initiate who a commonly known as the Moye. After being confined for a period from one to twelve months (the choice is made by the parents) the moye will come out for the world to see. Most often she will come out with the sounds of drums and ululations by women who expectantly wait for people to give the girl some money before she displays the beautiful different dance she learnt whilst in confinement.In recent years the number of initiation ceremonies has come down although they are again being popularized, the period of confinement too has been reduced because female children have to go to school so initiation will usually take place during school holidays.When young ladies come of age in most parts of Zambia, they are put in seclusion (confined) for a certain period of time, long ago they would be confined for a year. When the girls are confined…

REVIEW WOMEN’S SOCIETAL ROLES

By Susan MwapeThe strength of women has always been highlighted in many aspects of life, in as much as there have been signs of intolerance for women in society, it has been evident from time immemorial that women are of very strong character. Going by the Bible, Eve’s managing to convince Adam to have some of the forbidden fruit is a manifestation of strength that women possess, If women are the weaker sex how then did one woman manage to change a whole plan of how the world was supposed to be .How did societal roles come to be, how did it come about that women should be considered the weaker sex. Let’s take a looking at this issue from the church’s point of view one realises that in this day and age most women have been stripped of their powers we read in most books of Greek Gods and Goddesses, now we rarely see that balance of power. When you look at the roles of Nuns and Priests who to a certain degree, have to live celibate for the rest of their lives and have to make many other …

E-COMMERCE A BRAND FOR THE ELITE

By Susan MwapeZambia has not been left behind in embracing the coming in of Information Communication Technology (ICTs). This can be observed from among others the introduction of mobile phone services in Zambia about eight years ago. There has been a steady increase of people acquiring these services; the variety of services providers gives subscribers the choice to choose which network they want to belong to. The service providers also have a duty of advancing their services every time in order to stay competitive and also to stay ahead and in business, in business and also to satisfy their consumers. This competition saw the introduction of one of the first service by one the mobile phone service providers. This service enables a subscriber to own an account that s/he can access on his mobile phone and be able to use it to gain services that include among others, the purchasing of fuel, groceries, clothes and even paying a hotel bills. This service enables the subscriber pay or get…

MARKETS AND LUSAKA CITY COUNCIL

The count down to elections in Zambia is on. As we approach this period people are making more and more threats to stay away from the polls. Marketeers at Soweto market have threatened to boycott elections should they be moved from their market. The move is meant to let the council build a modern market at Soweto Market. Marketeers have been assured by the council that they will defiantly find space in the modern market when it is completed but the marketers have maintained that each time a new market is built the old owners of premises are thrown out and foreign investors are brought in.The problems going on at Soweto market however, are not the only disturbing factor surrounding traders in Lusaka, the coming of cross boarder traders is also going on unnoticed, the number of cross boarder traders in Lusaka is growing so much so that they are enjoying selling their goods by moving around offices and all around, most of the Lusaka based traders are complaining that the Comesa market wa…

The Plight of the Cotton Farmer

By Susan Mwape

Advocates around the world are day in and day out vigorously campaigning for Fair Trade.Even though a lot of promises have been made by numerous international, regional and local bodies on the improvement of trade not much has changed for the life of the small-scale farmer.Court Cases have been won by some African countries and Chile in cases where the United States was subsidising its farmers hence and this caused cotton prices to drop on the international family............. all this has had very little impact on the small-scale cotton farmer who is not even aware of what is going on around the world. The Eastern Province of Zambia is one place where cotton is predominantly grown and rapidly expanding, Kagoro is one such area that is situted about 90 Kilometers away from the Government offices, it is an area were almost all the people living in that area survive on cotton farming, this has been influenced by the multination cotton factories in the area, these companies…
san Mwape said...
Attitudes and People

After looking at the coverage of Ms. Kings wedding and seeing all the whose who's of this world Presidents, Politicians, Pastors and all the people that went about giving speeches at the funeral i got a sinking feeling, It made me wonder what all these people that seemed concerned had done for the dead woman. just how much difference had they madein her life?Its like what people say.......... when someone dies people will say all the good they will remember all sorts of good things they will be willing to pledge the highest amount of money on the funeral and yet when the person was sick and dieing they were never there which brings me to the question..... just what significance is there in wasting so much time giving speeches and making pledges and donations for the late?

A woman as strong and powerful as Ms. King I pray the world sees a lot more of them and that we all also learn from her.

May her soul rest in Peace