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Daily Archives: April 9, 2008

Public hospital to get more beds for emergency ward

Image  Macau’s  public  hospital  Conde Sao Januario will get more beds
for  its  overcrowded  emergency and  observation  wards,  new  director  of
the Health Bureau, Lei Chi  Ion,  said yes-terday.  

Pressure builds for Zimbabwe poll result 10 days on

by Godfrey Marawanyika*

Zimbabwe's opposition was yesterday given the green light to pursue a legal bid to force a declaration of the country's presidential election, 10 days on from the poll on Robert Mugabe's future.
While the high court held back from ordering the electoral commission to immediately release the results of the March 29 poll, Justice Tendai Uchena said he would consider the application on an urgent basis.
"I find that the application is urgent and the case should proceed," Justice Tendai Uchena ruled, paving the way for a full hearing as a priority, though it was not immediately clear when.
The electoral commission had argued that the matter was both beyond the court's jurisdiction and that the petition should not be considered as urgent.
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party has already called for a complete recount of the poll even before the release of results and authorities have arrested seven election officials for allegedly undercounting votes cast for the president.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the 56-year-old opposition leader, maintains he secured enough votes to avoid a run-off and has accused the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) of gearing up for a "war" against the Zimbabwean people.
His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has already wrested parliamentary control from ZANU-PF for the first time in simultaneous legislative elections but Mugabe's ruling party is contesting enough seats to reverse that result.
Mugabe, 84, is under enormous international pressure to allow the release of the results after a flurry of statements Monday from the European Union, the White House, the US State Department, and the United Nations.
State media reported at the weekend that the ruling party had snubbed an approach from the MDC to form a unity government and was now demanding a complete recount of the presidential vote after detecting irregularities.
This was met with scorn in Washington.
"It's overdue that the election results be announced," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
"It's interesting that they haven't had the official election results announced, yet there is a call for a recount. I'm not sure of the logic train there," McCormack said.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe ever since independence from Britain in 1980, has sought to stoke racial tensions and discredit the opposition as Western puppets who would reverse his land reforms.
"Land must remain in our hands. The land is ours, it must not be allowed to slip back into the hands of whites," Mugabe was quoted as saying by the state daily Herald on Monday.
The Commercial Farmers Union, which represents white farmers in Zimbabwe, said Mugabe supporters had moved onto at least 30 white-owned properties and accused the president of orchestrating the campaign.
The farm invasions by the so-called war veterans serve as a reminder of the violence which followed Mugabe's last electoral reverse when he lost a referendum on presidential powers in 2000.
The then occupation of some 4,000 farms came after he was defeated in a constitutional referendum aimed at broadening his powers and facilitating land seizures.
Critics blame Mugabe's land reform programme, which was intensified after he lost the referendum in 2000, for Zimbabwe's meltdown from regional breadbasket to economic basket case.
However, even the war veterans are divided with one faction urging Mugabe to accept defeat.
"He (Mugabe) should do the honourable thing and eat humble pie and leave the people of Zimbabwe in peace," Wilfred Mhanda, a senior official of the Zimbabwe Liberation Veterans Forum said in a statement on Monday.
"The failure by the ZANU-PF party and government to accept and admit defeat in the election is a flagrant flouting and violation of the popular will of the Zimbabwean electorate."
Faced with 80 percent unemployment and six-digit inflation, almost one third of Zimbabwe's 13 million population have left the country, to find both work and food as even basics such as bread and cooking oil are now hard to come by.