Showing posts from 2015

Gruesome murder in Chienge

JACK ZIMBA ON MONDAY, November 16, a group of men, acting on Senior Chief Puta’s orders, went to demolish a small palace belonging to a headwoman long accused of insurrection in the Bwile chiefdom. What followed, however, was a brutal and bloody revolt that left the chief’s retainer or kapaso dead.  

From his ipad, Senior Chief Puta shows me pictures he took of his kapaso shortly after he was killed. The images, which are too graphic to publish, show the mangled and bloody face of Peter Muswe - his deep wounds a telltale of a savage and merciless attack.
"He was a good man," says the chief, his voice almost breaking.
Muswe’s family is shocked at the killing.
"My brother was killed like an animal," says Mwenya Muswe, younger brother of the slain royal messenger.
And at the district hospital, 60-year-old Gershom Kabonda, another victim of the brutal assault, groans with pain on his hospital bed. He is surrounded by sympathetic relatives and friends, who cannot hide thei…

2 can share a kidney

JACK ZIMBA WHEN Gabriel Phiri was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2006, he felt like it was the end of the world for him. “It was a fright. It was a question of am I going to live or maybe this is the end of it all,” says the 55-year-old. Today, however, Mr Phiri lives a fairly healthy life, thanks to a donated kidney he received from his younger brother. Mr Phiri discovered that both his kidneys had collapsed after a freaky incident. While waiting for a friend in a car park, a tiny particle entered his eye and he ended up at the hospital to have it removed. However, after routine tests, it was discovered that Mr Phiri had high blood pressure, a shocking diagnosis, as he was not a known hypertensive. Prior to this episode, however, Mr Phiri had for a long time suffered loss of appetite, which he could not understand. But it was the second diagnosis that scared him the most. Further tests revealed that Mr Phiri had abnormal levels of urea and creatinine (a chemical waste which is a by-pro…

Recycle-mad Sweden now moves towards circular economy

THE 1985 sci-fi movie, Back to the Future, predicted what the future would look like 30 years later - with flying cars, video phones, robots, self-lacing shoes and levitating skate boards. Most ideas remain a dream.
The movie is partly set to the date October 21, 2015 which, three decades ago, seemed a really distant future. Yet on this very date, I found myself standing in a small science laboratory at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, listening to a lively young man explaining how his small company called Re:newcell is able to turn old clothes into snow-white fluffy cotton that can then be used to make brand new garments.
The concept seems extremely futuristic and I can imagine what such an innovation could contribute to recycling and the manufacturing sectors.
The company is very secretive about the chemical formula or chemicals used in its processes, but insists it doesn’t use any dangerous chemicals.
Henrik Norlin, who is one of the founders of Re:newcell, says …

Something fishy out there

IT’S Friday 05:30 hours and our small fishing party pushes the boat into Lake Bangweulu in Luapula Province. Leading the party is Bernard Chipulu, a third-generation fisherman who has been plying his trade on this huge expanse of water since he was a boy. He and his three nephews then peddle the banana boat into the deep waters of the lake. My fear of the lake and the dangers lurking beneath it – real or imaginary - are confirmed by Mr Chipulu, who tells me his net was broken by crocodiles a few days ago.

Mr Chipulu and his nephews were going to check on 4,400 metres of netting they cast into the lake the previous day. There is a sense of optimism about today’s catch. One of Mr Chipulu’s nephews reported sighting a school of tiger fish around the area where the fishermen cast their nets. After peddling for about an hour, we finally reach the nets. By this time, the sun is a small ball of striking amber emerging out of the water.
There is a palpable feeling of anticipation as the…

Princess Kasune: A new chapter of Hope

Princess Kasune Zulu is one of the most influential HIV/AIDS campaigners with a global platform through speaking engagements and a telling book about her own life. Two months ago, Princess, who is HIV-positive, herself, gave birth to a baby boy. She shared her experience as a new mother with JACK ZIMBA via telephone from her home in Chicago, United States of America.
IT did not matter that the telephone call was across continents, Princess sounded the same way she has always - bubbly and giggly. Any reference to her misfortune of contracting HIV at a young age and losing both parents, two siblings and a husband to the disease still receives the same response like a recorded message: “I’m forever the positive one. I want to live a life full of joy.” The 39-year-old has such a positive attitude about life, she makes HIV/AIDS seem lighter. But it is her own openness and frankness that gives her away, bringing out some realism out of her about her status. “Living positive is not the same as b…