MALAWI: Rich 20% of population silent to plight of 80% poor


Lilongwe, Malawi (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Bishops of Malawi have expressed gratitude for the solution to a serious two week tug of war between the government and civil servants demanding a 67% pay rise. Protests caused serious social disruption. The authorities have agreed on a 61% per cent increase to the lowest salaries and 5% to the highest ones.
In a statement sent to Fides by the Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church in Malawi, tracing the roots of the trade union crisis, takes a position regarding the economic crisis which has afflicted the country for some time. The statement says the decision to devaluate Malawi Kwacha and continued floatation and the linkage of the fuel prices to the global market prices leading to automatic fuel price adjustments is worsening the economic situation of the people.
The Commission also criticises certain economic moves of the government such as the decision to privilege some investments over others.
These economic measures, say “Justice and Peace” have created a serious social fracture. “Malawi is seriously entrenching a two-tier society with over 80% of the population struggling to survive and depending on poor, over-stretched and quality-compromised public service delivery; while the 20% are affording privatized education, health and security services.” the statement affirms “This 20% of the population that is able is creating a section of passive and irresponsive citizenry that has become silent to the plight and cries of the majority poor”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/2/2013)

Kitwe Parish, Zambia


Brief History, by Phelim Malumo, M.Afr
In 1993, the Missionaries of Africa with the team of Jean-Marie Beliveau and Maurits De Weerdt took over the two parishes of Kawama and Twatasha which was under the SMA. These Parishes were former outstations of Chimwemwe Parish. The team settled in Kawama, house No. 558. This house is owned by the diocese.
Kitwe is the largest city of the Copperbelt. The confreres are living in Kawama compound in the midst of families originating from all parts of Zambia and some from neighbouring countries (Congo, Tanzania, and Angola, etc). Kawama parish comprises Old Kawama, New Kawama and Kamatipa with a total population of about 40,000 of which 8,000 are Catholics. The White Fathers also serve Twatasha parish which covers Twatasha compound and Race Course with a population of about 25,000 people of which 6,000 are Catholics.
About 5% of the population work for different companies in Kitwe as skilled workers, but a good number are employed as watchmen or security guards and others work as house servants, charcoal burners, at the service of commercial farmers or tiling their own small plots along the Kafue River and Chingola road. However the majority of people struggle for survival in small businesses or trading in a variety of commodities.
 2013 Updates, by Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr
According to Jean-Bosco Masaba, who was on his journey back to Lubumbashi, Kawama means “the solitary man there!” A man was living on his own telling people that the place will be a good one in a near future; “pa kawama”. Also, Twatacha refers to a thankful man happy for the plot he had received; “thank you!”
There are fifteen small Christian communities in Kawama and nine in Twatacha. At the moment, four confreres are members of Kitwe community: Piet van Heijst from Holland, Jacques Bédard from Canada, Felix Kamunenge fom Zambia and Venance Shundu, stagiaire from Tanzania.

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CJTR Lusaka Press Release February 2013


JCTR LusakaJCTR Press Release 22 February 2013

Persistent late delivery of farming inputs harmful to food security, says the JCTR
Timely delivery of farming inputs such as seeds is crucial to ensuring a good harvest. The delivery of adequate and timely inputs by the government is important to many small-scale farmers who continue to heavily rely on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This is why the delivery of farming inputs continues to attract attention from both the government and non-governmental stakeholders. READ MORE

BREAD BASKET JANUARY 2013