Swazi group wants review of King's powers | Refugees flee Caprivi
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Mozambique registers negative inflation
According to the Bank of Mozambique, 1998 was a year, not of inflation, but of deflation.
Bank spokesman Adelino Pimpao, cited in a recent issue of the daily paper Noticias, put the year's final inflation figure at minus 1.3 per cent.
This is a much better figure than the government was expecting, even in December. Last year Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi told the Mozambican parliament that the government expected 1998 inflation to be around two percent.
So the final figure is 3.3 percentage points lower than the government's own estimates. This compares with an inflation rate of 5.8 percent in 1997, and of 16.3 percent in 1996.
Deflation results largely from falling food prices in 1998, in turn the result of a good Mozambican harvest, and the availability of cheap South African imports, thanks to the devaluation of the South African currency, the rand.
Goods classified as "food, drink and tobacco" account for 75 percent of the basket of items on which the Maputo consumer price index is calculated. This class of goods declined in price by 2.4 percent in 1998 - which easily outweighed the 10.2 percent increase in items classified as "education, culture and entertainment", or the 7.7 percent increase in transport and communication costs. (AIM)
Botswana, South Africa form transfrontier park
The management of Gemsbok National Park of Botswana and Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa has been merged under a new name, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The creation of the Transfrontier Park would be formalised by the signing of a bilateral agreement by the governments of the two countries. The agreement is aimed at facilitating the management of shared wildlife resources that had for a long time moved freely across the borders of the two countries.
Botswana's Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Sedie Modise recently said that the bilateral agreement would help Botswana to benefit through a 50/50 sharing of revenue derived from the park entrance fees. In the past over 90 percent tourists entered the two parks from the South African side and the revenue accrued from the entrance fees went to South Africa.
Modise said Botswana would also benefit through the sharing of information and experience on various aspects of wildlife management, especially research and monitoring, for which South Africa is renowned. (BOPA-Daily News)
Swazi group wants review of King's powers
The Human Rights Association of Swaziland has called for the legislative powers of King Mswati III outside parliament to be reviewed in the interests of the people.
A spokesperson criticised the introduction of such a controversial law without parliamentary debate and at a time when the country's constitution was being reviewed.
He said any problems experienced by chiefs were a constitutional issue, which could be dealt with in the drafting of the forthcoming new constitution
In 1996, amid pressure from trade unions and opposition groups, Mswati appointed a constitutional reform committee, charged with investigating whether the tiny, landlocked kingdom needed a constitution.
The 30-year-old monarch, however, has refused to bow to demands to lift the blanket ban on all political parties. (Ziana - Sapa - The Herald)
Refugees flee Caprivi
ANGOLA: Portugal to boost aid