Zimbabwe + 2 more

Southern Africa: IRIN News Briefs, 7 July

SOUTHERN AFRICA: HIV/AIDS grants exceed US $31.5 million
Five countries in the sub-Saharan region are to receive grants of more than US $7.5 million to support medical research and community outreach and education projects on HIV/AIDS by the pharmecutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The funds - from the 'Secure the Future' commitment by Bristol-Myers Squibb - will assist women and children infected and affected by the disease in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The company has committed funds amounting to US $100 million to the programme.

Announcing the latest grants in Johannesburg, Kenneth E. Weg, vice-chairman of the company said: "The projects were selected in partnership with governments in the five countries and with the support of advisory board members who are leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. They represent pioneering models who will help answer critical questions in the community and in the clinics about how best to allocate resources and services to those infected and affected by the pandemic."

ZIMBABWE: New pressure on farmers

White commercial farmers in Zimbabwe are facing a new onslaught of lawlessness from liberation war veterans who are trying to force the illegal evictions of farmers from their homes, farm union officials said on Friday.

News reports said commercial farmers from areas mostly around the capital, Harare, the central Midlands province and the southern Masvingo province, have been ordered to leave their properties as well as being threatened with violence, new invasions of farms, demands for money, destruction of property and the slaughter of their animals.

"It's not spontaneous, it's breaking out all over the place," said Commercial Farmers' Union deputy director Jerry Grant. "The war vets are very militant. Demands are being made by war veterans for whites to get out of the house, they now own the farm."

The change follows the expiry of a deadline on Monday for the owners of 795 farms - listed by the government for expropriation - to submit their objections to the seizure of their land.

MOZAMBIQUE: IMF chief changes tune

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not impose conditions and policies on African countries that are not in their interests, the IMF managing director, Horst Koehler said on Thursday.

Addressing a media conference in Mozambique after his one-day visit to the country, Koehler said: "The IMF will not insist on building conditionalities which are not in the countries' interests and will not help the countries solve their problems. The IMF is not here to lecture, to force, to dominate with something governments do not want."

Koehler said all his institution wanted was to give "the best advice with the best expertise we have". He warned, however, that the IMF had to be serious about safeguarding its money.

Koehler left Mozambique on Friday for neighbouring South Africa on the final leg of his five African-nation tour. He has already been to Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroon in his first visit to Africa since he took over his job in May.

ANGOLA: Portugal gives US $70 million

Portugal on Friday signed a cooperation agreement with Angola to channel US $70.89 million to the war-torn country between 2000 and 2002, media reports said.

The aid, said the reports, would be used for education, support for business, fighting poverty and rebuilding infrastructure in Angola.

"Relations between Angola and Portugal are developing at a very intense pace," Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama said after signing the accord with his Angolan counterpart Joao Miranda.

Gama added that Portuguese investment in Angola between 1996 and 1999 was 11 times more than what it had been between 1992 and 1995, and had focused on banking, oil and the cement industry.

[ENDS]

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