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The sisters putting Malawi women’s football on the map



The Chawinga sisters Tabitha and Temwa are beginning to put Malawi in the women’s footballing map

When the Chinese Women’s Super League resumes this weekend it will feature Malawian sisters Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga.

This season will be the first time the sisters have played against each other competitively having appeared together for the national team, Malawian club DD Sunshine and Swedish side Kvarnsveden.

Temwa, 21, will be playing for Wuhan FC and hoping to follow in her big sister’s footsteps after Tabitha was recently voted the league’s Player of the Year for a second year in a row.

Tabitha, 24, earned the award after emerging the league’s top scorer and helping her club Jiangsu Suning become not only champions for the first time in 10 years but also added two other domestic titles to complete a treble.

“She’s a very good player, and the thing is everyone will be working hard to make her team and fans happy,” Tabitha told BBC Sport Africa.

Temwa admits there will be some sibling rivalry: “Both of us will do our best to see who the best player is.”

“Back home the family are very happy about us. My parents never thought their children would one day play football outside of the country, but now it’s happening.”

But she is also thankful to Tabitha for her help in getting her career started.

“My sister has been instrumental in my career progression.” Temwa told BBC Sport Africa.

“She of course made connections for me to leave Malawi to play abroad, but most importantly has always advised me to fight hard, to know what I want and to pursue it without listening to distracting people.”

Tabitha leads the way

Malawi and Jiangsu Suning's Tabitha Chawinga
Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga has made a big impression in China playing for Jiangsu Suninh

Developing a football career for the sisters has not been straightforward, especially given that Malawi is more famous for its netballers than its women footballers.

Malawi have never qualified for the finals of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and so a bit of luck was needed to launch the sisters’ footballing journey.

Tabitha’s journey began when someone spotted her talent as she played in her village with the boys and helped her move to the capital Lilongwe to join DD Sunshine, one of the very few serious women football teams in the country.

“Growing up, I never saw myself as different from boys – whatever they did, I believed I could, and went for it,” she explained.

Her next bit of good fortune was when a young American lady working for a local NGO was persuaded to join DD Sunshine, by two colleagues who were players at the club.

She was later transferred to Sweden by the NGO, where she decided that apart from working she would continue to pursue her newly-found passion of football.

When she approached Krokom Dvarsatts, who were in the Swedish third Division at the time, the club was meticulous in enquiring of where she had played before to make sure they did not violate any transfer rules.

The club contacted DD Sunshine owner David Dube to discuss terms of transfer for the American and he said they could take her without paying on condition they would try out another of his players whom he believed was more talented.

“When Krokom Dvarsatts hesitated, Mr Dube offered to pay visa and flight costs for me to travel to Sweden for trials,” says Tabitha.

“I joined the team for training on the same day I arrived and they were immediately impressed with my strength, dribbling, shooting from far and scoring skills.”

And so in 2014 she became Malawi’s first ever female footballer to play in Europe, her competitive debut was delayed for a few weeks as she was only 17 at the time.

But once she was 18 there was no stopping the young striker as she scored 39 goals in 14 games to emerge as the league’s top scorer.

The following season Tabitha joined second-tier side Kvarnsveden where she continued her exploits, netting 43 goals and helping the club earn promotion to the top league.

The forward’s skills caught the attention of several clubs in Europe, but in January 2018 she chose to accept an offer from Jiangsu Suning to play in the Chinese Women’s Super League.

A sister’s recommendations

Temwa Chawinga
Temwa Chawinga has followed her older sister from Malawi to Sweden and now to China

Before she left Kvarnsveden the club naturally were keen to find a replacement of her calibre and and so Tabitha immediately suggested her younger sister Temwa, who was playing for DD Sunshine.

“The club owner resisted because he did not believe Malawi could produce another good player like me, but I fought hard for my sister, so they eventually agreed to invite her for trials and they signed her,” Tabitha explained.

As Temwa embarked on her European journey her sister made an immediate impact in China.

Tabitha won the golden boot by scoring 17 goals, seven better than Nigeria striker and three-time African Footballer of the Year Asisat Oshoala, who has since moved to Spanish club Barcelona.

Back in Sweden Temwa had been making a name for herself and emulating her big sister as one of the leading scorers for Kvarnsveden, and last season she was top scorer in the league with 35 goals.

Once again big sister was more than happy to recommend Temwa as agents in China were talking to her about how to find an all rounded player like her.

Tabitha had just after she scored 12 goals in 14 games helping Jiangsu clinch the 2019 Chinese league title that they had last won 10 years earlier.

“I recommended my sister Temwa, and I did not have to explain a lot because she was top scorer in Sweden and so Wuhan FC were quick to sign her,” she explained.

Temwa is not concerned that she is in the city where the coronavirus was first seen and is just looking forward to playing football again.

“I feel great because the league is starting again; it was disappointing for it to be cancelled when I had just arrived but then it had to be that way because of Corona,” she said,

“During that period I have been staying indoors and doing some training to keep fit. I did some gym stuff and juggling the ball.

“It will be tough for me since it is my first season while my sister has been here for close to three years, but I will try my best because the club has entrusted me with massive opportunity.”

On the pitch the pair are also helping improve the fortunes of the national team as they led the team to the second round of Tokyo Olympic qualifiers with 14-1 aggregate win over neighbours Mozambique.

They won the home leg 11-1 with Temwa scoring five times to outshine her big sister, who ‘only’ managed a hat-trick.

In the second round they beat Kenya 3-2 in Malawi, with two goals from Tabitha, but then lost 3-0 in the return leg.

The sisters’ achievements have not gone unnoticed back in Malawi with Tabitha not only being named captain of her national team but also being named Malawi Sports Personality of the Year and Sports Woman of the Year in 2019.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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