How Chilima helped DPP win the 2014 Malawi general elections

Chilima and Mutharika
Chilima (L)and President Peter Mutharika (r)

Written by Patseni Mauka

Last Saturday, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and leader of UTM party Dr. Saulos Chilima rattled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members when he said he helped them win the 2014 general elections in which he ran together with Professor Peter Mutharika. Chilima was working as a Managing Director of Airtel Malawi before quitting early 2014 to join politics after Peter Mutharika chose him as his running mate.

After having huge differences on how the country is being managed, Chilima and many other former DPP members founded the United Transformation Movement which has just been registered as UTM party.

Despite Chilima thanking Peter Mutharika many times for choosing him as his running mate, DPP members say Chilima is not grateful and should always thank Mutharika and DPP for giving him an opportunity to be Vice President. DPP members talk like being a running mate is just an election legal requirement and does not contribute anything to political strategy. This is far from the truth.

A running mate by definition is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. Running mates may be chosen, by custom or by law, to balance the ticket geographically, ideologically or in terms of personality. The main objective is to create a more widespread appeal for the ticket. Presidential candidates usually chose someone who they believe will assist them and their parties to appeal to a larger base of people.

Malawi law requires presidential candidates to have a running mate. Presidential candidates are free to choose anyone from their party or outside the party. The running mate name and that of the presidential candidate are written on the ballot paper. The only difference is that the presidential candidate’s face is also on the ballot paper. According to law, the President is elected together with the Vice President.

In Malawi, where many people vote on regional or tribal lines, presidential candidates usually try to choose a running mate from a different region from their own. This is done to amass votes from their region and that of the running mate.

Bingu WA Mutharika
Late Bingu Wa Mutharika; believed to have stashed billions in foreign banks

DPP lost power in 2012 due to the death, in office, of President Bingu Wa Mutharika, two years before the end of his second term. At that time, DPP was at it’s lowest point in terms of popularity since it’s formation. The then Vice President, Joyce Banda, and her newly formed People’s Party took over power and instantly fell out of favor with Malawians because of the infamous Cashgate financial scandal. Joyce Banda sealed her fate with her choice of a mediocre running mate who was a laughing stock.

Malawians had to look back to DPP and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for salvation. MCP had new leadership from the world outside mainstream politics. DPP’s Mutharika, a proven failure in different portfolios that he was given by his older brother Bingu, would have to compete with Lazarous Chakwera, who presented a totally new beginning to MCP and a new face in Malawian politics, albeit with just church leadership experience.

DPP was desperate for a new face and someone from the central region to help the party win elections. They searched within the party and found nobody. They needed someone young enough to appeal to the youth vote, yet accomplished enough to convince voters. They found none within the party. They looked for someone within the party who had no skeletons in the closet and found none that possessed the other qualities . They had to look outside the party and settled for a brilliant and highly successful young man in the corporate world. That man was Saulos Chilima.

Mutharika took a lot of time to think about his running mate because he had to be careful to select a person who would help him win. Such was the care taken that he convinced Chilima to be his running mate just three months before the election. Many people were surprised how Saulos Chilima could leave his comfortable job to join politics on an opposition party ticket. They believed he was just fine with his job as the top boss for Airtel Malawi. That was true and it took four visits by DPP gurus to his office to persuade him to leave his job and be Mutharika’s running mate.

Whoever helped Mutharika make the decision to find a running mate outside the party and outside the existing politicians saw that the party could not win with a team comprised of old timers. If the running mate position was not important for DPP to win as some DPP members and apologists want us to believe, they could have just selected anybody within the party to be Mutharika’s running mate. They could have chosen Ben Phiri, Nicholas Dausi, Goodall Gondwe or any of the blue painted cadets as running mate and still win.

Saulos Chilima
Saulos Chilima vying to unseat his Boss President Peter Mutharika with no structures in place

Chilima presented a fresh start. Unveiling Chilima, an accomplished economist, businessman and manager at a press briefing in Blantyre after presenting his nomination papers at Comesa hall, Mutharika said, “my running mate is a successful career man with huge experience in running business affairs as evidenced by the way he has turned around business at Airtel Malawi. It is that track record that has convinced me to appoint him as a running mate.”

Chilima vigorously campaigned with Peter Mutharika. They criss-crossed the country convincing all possible voters to vote for DPP. Surely, the voters did not only hear Mutharika’s voice. They also heard Chilima’s voice. It’s obvious that this team working together convinced the millions of voters that voted for DPP. It’s also obvious that the strategy to chose a running mate with Chilima’s qualities worked for DPP. Without a running mate like Chilima, Mutharika would not have won.

Those who point at similar voting patterns to previous elections as reason for DPP to say Chilima did not help them win elections are just deluded. Similar voting patterns do not mean same people voting for the same party for the same reasons. One might have voted for DPP in 2009 because of liking something about Bingu Wa Mutharika but voted for DPP in 2014 because of another reason, like Saulos Chilima’s track record and brilliance.

After using Chilima to get votes in 2014, DPP should not change the tune now that Chilima is leading UTM, a party that has completely changed the political landscape. DPP and it’s paid apologists can only fool themselves as Malawians embrace Chilima and UTM, the only hope for meaningful change in Malawi. Just like Chilima helped to sell Mutharika and DPP, he with the whole UTM membership are promoting the UTM brand like never seen before. Everyday, the talk is about Chilima and UTM. Chilima helped DPP win and now he is going to help UTM win.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

 

 

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TB Joshua’s son sent to pray for Mnangagwa

by Mandla Ndlovu

Apostle John The spiritual son of Nigerias Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua says God has sent him to come and pray for the nation Zimbabwe and for the newly elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In a video message posted on Youtube, the Cameroon clergyman says:

I Apostle John Chi will be in the nation of Zimbabwe from the 19th to the 23rd of November to join the people of Zimbabwe to pray for the nation and the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom God has chosen to lead His people in righteousness and in the fear of the Lord.

The venue will be at Harare International Conference Centre.

God loves Zimbabwe, God loves our President. God’s loves does not keep us away from challenges but sees us through challenges. Challenges force us to looker into ourselves and explore possibilities , pray and dream of other ways we might have ignored.

I am asking all the sons and daughters of the great nation Zimbabwe to bring their flag and we pray that Zimbabwe be blessed.

Speaking of his church Ark of God s Covenant Ministry (AGCOM) John Chi says, “The ministry came about through a revelation. I am Apostle John Chi. When God called me by his grace and used his servant Prophet TB Joshua to anoint me and entrusted the light of the word in me, I was overwhelmed by this grace. But, I had this burden in my heart to take this light to my people.”

John chi is a former Wiseman at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Nigeria where he served before departing to go and start AGCOM in Cameroon.

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Cabinet reshuffle reveals more about Mutharika’s mediocrity and crookedness

Peter Mutharika
Malawi President Mutharika

By Patseni Mauka

 

Yesterday, Malawians were greeted with news of a cabinet reshuffle. This reshuffle, like many others needs deep scrutiny. A close look at the reshuffle will help to know Mutharika’s way of thinking. Obviously, he didn’t just wake up, write names of people, do a raffle draw and reveal the latest members of his cabinet. He had to think. I am interested in the thinking of this 80 year old, very tired Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate.

Around the world many people try so hard to know what world leaders think. Since presidents are usually very powerful, it’s important to know how they think, what advice they accept and what they discuss with other government leaders. There are many professionals specialized in deducing how leaders in different parts of the world think.

Among other changes, Mutharika has renamed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to Ministry of Homeland Security. Who is to head this tremendously important Ministry? Nicholas Dausi who was trained by the notorious Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) which were the paramilitary wing of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The Young Pioneers were a major instrument for former President Dr Banda’s one party state dictatorship and domestic terrorism.

Young Pioneers had guns, conducted espionage and intelligence operations, and were Banda’s most trusted bodyguards. Kamuzu trusted his life with people like Dausi. Dausi served Kamuzu with utmost loyalty and obviously played a part in those dark days. He knows and practices absolute loyalty, good or bad. He served MCP during the dark days and left it after serving up to the position of Vice President. Apart from his experience in clandestine activities, his other popular qualification is speaking bombastic English, existing or not, applicable in context or not, understood by him or not, just bombs of English language.

Dausi will be deputized by the foul mouthed DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha. Mchacha, who last time I heard about his education was when he was sitting for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), has no meaningful academic credentials. He was writing his MSCE while serving as Deputy Minister of Finance. Strange things happen in my country’s politics

A few weeks ago, at a rally in Mulanje, Mchacha called opposition UTM women mahule (whores or prostitutes). UTM’s sin being giving DPP sleepless nights as a serious contender to take government next year. Mchacha repeated the same at Comesa Trade Fair Ground in Blantyre, in the presence of President Peter Mutharika, foreign dignitaries and many other Malawians. He again called all women in UTM mahule (whore or prostitutes). He stated that being a whore is one of the criteria for joining UTM. What did the President do? He and the first lady laughed! He obviously enjoyed it.

Mchacha’s main qualification is a loud mouth. He can’t be employed anywhere else and has mastered the art of speaking obscenities to keep his employment with DPP. He will never stop this because, credit to him, he has intelligently noted that his boss, President Peter Mutharika enjoys obscene language. That’s one of the reasons he has rewarded him with a ministerial post. Mutharika is unlucky to have been educated and hold the post of president. He wishes he could curse just like Mchacha but that would destroy the image of what he pretends to be. So when people like Mchacha curse on his behalf, he privately applauds them and of course rewards them!

It looks to me that among other objectives, the reshuffle is a government structural change with eyes on the 2019 general elections. The two characters now at the helm of security in Malawi are hard core bootlickers. They are never ashamed of doing anything to defend their source of income, government and party positions. They have no manners. They can do anything to ensure ruling DPP remains in power. The cursing by Mchacha is a desperate attempt to silence opposition which is giving DPP a tough time.

We have also seen Dausi many times engaging the media in futile and many times embarrassing attempts to defend DPP and Peter Mutharika. When Mutharika got a lot of pressure from Malawians to pay back a dubious 145 million Kwacha he received from an unscrupulous businessman, he sent Dausi to announce the payback. Dausi looked Malawians in the eye and smilingly announced the return of the money. He has no shame whatsoever.

Dausi and Mchacha’s qualifications in the eyes of APM are loyalty at any cost. This is why he has brought this terrible team to head the most important ministry as we head for elections. There is some dirty work that Mutharika wants these shameless gangsters to do in the security system. He has not appointed them to improve security in Malawi. There are many capable Malawians who can handle security competently. There is no good reason to appoint mediocre characters to head security just when we need proper security as we go towards a potentially volatile election.

 

Their appointment shows the mediocrity hidden in Mutharikas mind. He likes these mediocre and crooked characters because, given his miserable performance as President for the last four and half years, he can’t win under a free and fair election. He has to use crooked means to win elections. This reshuffle is just one of the many things Mutharika will do to win elections. His crookedness should be a warning to all stakeholders to monitor every angle of the electoral process.

 

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

 

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ILO gives Uganda, Malawi Shs40b to fight child labour

Janat Mukwaya
Uganda Gender minister Janat Mukwaya

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Kampala. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has announced a $10.8m (about Shs40.5b) fund for Uganda and Malawi to jointly work to combat child labour on the African continent.

The announcement was made during the ILO governing body’s 334th session that is ends today in Geneva, Switzerland.
Uganda is currently serving as a member of the ILO governing body on a three-year term after being voted to it during the 106th International Conference in June 2017.
“The details about the disbursement, sharing and use of money will come later as the team returns from Geneva. Otherwise, that is an allocation that we as a country need to welcome and put to use,” Mr Frank Mugabi, the ministry’s communications officer, said in a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

The Ugandan delegation in Geneva is led by Gender minister Janat Mukwaya.

The minister is accompanied by the permanent secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, and the director labour, employment and occupation safety, Mr Martin Wandera.
As part of their inaugural participation in the ILO governing body session, Ms Mukwaya in a statement on behalf of the Africa group, asked the International Office to come up with a clear exit strategy from tobacco funding.

Under the Public Private Partnership, the tobacco industry has been funding ILO’s programmes on elimination of child labour in the tobacco industry. However, ILO is transiting from the tobacco funding so as it concurs with the Model Policy for Agencies of the United Nations Systems on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference.

Consideration of interests
Ms Mukwaya guided that when resolutions are made, there should be “due consideration of the principle of the best interest of the child articulated in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child,”

She said the exit from tobacco funding should ensure no disruption of the ongoing efforts by member states to eliminate child labour in the sector.
Uganda is one of the countries where tobacco is grown as a cash crop and there has always been outcry of child labour in the sector which leads to school drop-outs in the tobacco growing areas.

 

First Posted: monitor.co.ug

The post ILO gives Uganda, Malawi Shs40b to fight child labour appeared first on The Maravi Post.

ILO gives Uganda, Malawi Shs40b to fight child labour

Janat Mukwaya
Uganda Gender minister Janat Mukwaya

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Kampala. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has announced a $10.8m (about Shs40.5b) fund for Uganda and Malawi to jointly work to combat child labour on the African continent.

The announcement was made during the ILO governing body’s 334th session that is ends today in Geneva, Switzerland.
Uganda is currently serving as a member of the ILO governing body on a three-year term after being voted to it during the 106th International Conference in June 2017.
“The details about the disbursement, sharing and use of money will come later as the team returns from Geneva. Otherwise, that is an allocation that we as a country need to welcome and put to use,” Mr Frank Mugabi, the ministry’s communications officer, said in a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

The Ugandan delegation in Geneva is led by Gender minister Janat Mukwaya.

The minister is accompanied by the permanent secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, and the director labour, employment and occupation safety, Mr Martin Wandera.
As part of their inaugural participation in the ILO governing body session, Ms Mukwaya in a statement on behalf of the Africa group, asked the International Office to come up with a clear exit strategy from tobacco funding.

Under the Public Private Partnership, the tobacco industry has been funding ILO’s programmes on elimination of child labour in the tobacco industry. However, ILO is transiting from the tobacco funding so as it concurs with the Model Policy for Agencies of the United Nations Systems on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference.

Consideration of interests
Ms Mukwaya guided that when resolutions are made, there should be “due consideration of the principle of the best interest of the child articulated in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child,”

She said the exit from tobacco funding should ensure no disruption of the ongoing efforts by member states to eliminate child labour in the sector.
Uganda is one of the countries where tobacco is grown as a cash crop and there has always been outcry of child labour in the sector which leads to school drop-outs in the tobacco growing areas.

 

First Posted: monitor.co.ug

The post ILO gives Uganda, Malawi Shs40b to fight child labour appeared first on The Maravi Post.

African Leaders Pursue Bingu WA Mutharika’s “Malawi Miracle”

Fertilizer
Bags of fertilizer

Five years ago, the rains disappeared for a month across much of Malawi, just as the country’s corn crop reached a critical growth period. As a result, the 2005 harvest was the worst in a decade. Yet again, millions of farmers were in need of food aid.

President Bingu wa Mutharika decided the next year would be different. Despite World Bank disapproval and intense government debate, Malawi’s National Assembly distributed 3.4 million coupons to farmers to subsidize purchases of inorganic fertilizer and improved seeds. To ensure that the US$58 million program would support small producers rather than large commercial estates, households were limited to receiving two 50-kilogram fertilizer bags each.

With the help of heavy rains, the 2005-2006 season resulted in a twofold increase in corn production. The program was repeated the next year. By late 2007, Malawi began exporting its surplus corn to Zimbabwe.

“For four years in a row, a starving country is no longer a starving country,” said Pedro Sanchez, an advisor to the Malawian government who directs the Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program at Columbia University’sEarth Institute.

A dozen countries throughout Africa may soon replicate the “Malawi Miracle,” as the program is now called, Sanchez said during a speech at the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) annual conference in Arlington, Virginia, last week.

“This is Green Revolution stuff – India, Pakistan in the ‘60s,” said Sanchez, the 2002 recipient of the internationally recognized World Food Prize. “I don’t know any other options that are working.”

Zambia, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya have recently announced plans for similar subsidy programs. Still, such top-down reforms may fail, experts warn, without improvements in the countries’ commodity markets and transportation infrastructure. Environmentalists are also concerned that the programs may lead to farmer dependencies on synthetic fertilizer and genetically modified seeds.

International donors such as the World Bank and U.S. Agency for International Development originally opposed direct subsidy programs, arguing instead for long-term solutions that rely on the private sector.

“Donors want to see their funding going into investments on roads or research, not paying for income or salaries,” said Samuel Benin, a research fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based International Food Policy Research Institute.

But since Malawi’s agricultural reforms, the World Bank and other international financial institutions have increased investments in agriculture, including public spending initiatives.

“The private sector cannot do it all. It cannot reach farmers everywhere because [private companies] are looking to make a profit,” Benin said. “Donors have always known that supporting farmers is a good thing. It’s just the channel of how to do it that has been difficult.”

Support for direct subsidies in countries such as Malawi and Mozambique is also driven by concern that fertilizer prices will rise in the future. During last summer’s jump in energy prices, urea, the world’s most common nitrogen fertilizer, doubled in cost. Diammonium phosphate (DAP), often produced using natural gas, increased by nearly five times, according to the International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC).

Public spending initiatives have not always found success in Africa. In Ethiopia, government subsidies for fertilizers and improved seeds helped increase corn production dramatically in 2001, but the country lacked the infrastructure to distribute the harvest to remote communities, leading to a crop surplus and a crash in prices.

“Without investing in complementary services, [the program] actually did not help by investing in fertilizer and seeds,” Benin said. “You need good agricultural systems to move foods to less-developed areas and connect with other markets. By not investing in other areas, that was a failure.”

Replicating the “Malawi Miracle” may bring additional problems that have become associated with agricultural success in both developing and developed countries. Agricultural subsidies have resulted in greater crop yields, but farms have often become reliant on fossil fuel-based fertilizerschemical pesticides, and irrigation in areas often prone to drought, critics say.

Reliance on genetically modified seeds can also threaten the availability of locally adapted seed varieties for future generations. About 700 local crops were once cultivated worldwide, enabling communities to turn to drought-resistant crops during droughts or other seed varities that can withstand severe weather conditions. Yet 15 crops now supply an estimated 90 percent of the world’s food, said Louise Jackson, a soil scientist at the University of California at Davis and a co-chair of the DIVERSITAS network on agro-biodiversity.

“The reality is that in many places of the world, local people are no longer reliant on local [crop] varieties,” Jackson said at last week’s AIBS conference.

Organizations such as the United Nations and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa are attempting to increase agricultural yields through systems that do not rely entirely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Sanchez said that Malawi is attempting to use nitrogen-fixing trees or other organic methods, but the financing of organic or ecosystem-based agriculture alternatives simply do not exist in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

“We know very well that continuing to use mineral fertilizers without organic fertilizers is wrong,” Sanchez said. “I would hope to see that in 10 years or so, a lot of fertilizers are organically fixed through cover crops or other means.”

Resource-depletion is a main reason why soils across sub-Saharan Africa yield an average of 1 ton per hectare, compared to 3 tons per hectare in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Beyond Malawi, a handful of other African countries have also found recent agricultural success. The goal of 6 percent annual agricultural growth by 2015, set by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), has been achieved by Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and The Gambia in recent years.

Ben Block is a staff writer with the Worldwatch Institute. He can be reached at bblock@worldwatch.org.

Source: worldwatch.org

The post African Leaders Pursue Bingu WA Mutharika’s “Malawi Miracle” appeared first on The Maravi Post.

African Leaders Pursue Bingu WA Mutharika’s “Malawi Miracle”

Fertilizer
Bags of fertilizer

Five years ago, the rains disappeared for a month across much of Malawi, just as the country’s corn crop reached a critical growth period. As a result, the 2005 harvest was the worst in a decade. Yet again, millions of farmers were in need of food aid.

President Bingu wa Mutharika decided the next year would be different. Despite World Bank disapproval and intense government debate, Malawi’s National Assembly distributed 3.4 million coupons to farmers to subsidize purchases of inorganic fertilizer and improved seeds. To ensure that the US$58 million program would support small producers rather than large commercial estates, households were limited to receiving two 50-kilogram fertilizer bags each.

With the help of heavy rains, the 2005-2006 season resulted in a twofold increase in corn production. The program was repeated the next year. By late 2007, Malawi began exporting its surplus corn to Zimbabwe.

“For four years in a row, a starving country is no longer a starving country,” said Pedro Sanchez, an advisor to the Malawian government who directs the Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program at Columbia University’sEarth Institute.

A dozen countries throughout Africa may soon replicate the “Malawi Miracle,” as the program is now called, Sanchez said during a speech at the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) annual conference in Arlington, Virginia, last week.

“This is Green Revolution stuff – India, Pakistan in the ‘60s,” said Sanchez, the 2002 recipient of the internationally recognized World Food Prize. “I don’t know any other options that are working.”

Zambia, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya have recently announced plans for similar subsidy programs. Still, such top-down reforms may fail, experts warn, without improvements in the countries’ commodity markets and transportation infrastructure. Environmentalists are also concerned that the programs may lead to farmer dependencies on synthetic fertilizer and genetically modified seeds.

International donors such as the World Bank and U.S. Agency for International Development originally opposed direct subsidy programs, arguing instead for long-term solutions that rely on the private sector.

“Donors want to see their funding going into investments on roads or research, not paying for income or salaries,” said Samuel Benin, a research fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based International Food Policy Research Institute.

But since Malawi’s agricultural reforms, the World Bank and other international financial institutions have increased investments in agriculture, including public spending initiatives.

“The private sector cannot do it all. It cannot reach farmers everywhere because [private companies] are looking to make a profit,” Benin said. “Donors have always known that supporting farmers is a good thing. It’s just the channel of how to do it that has been difficult.”

Support for direct subsidies in countries such as Malawi and Mozambique is also driven by concern that fertilizer prices will rise in the future. During last summer’s jump in energy prices, urea, the world’s most common nitrogen fertilizer, doubled in cost. Diammonium phosphate (DAP), often produced using natural gas, increased by nearly five times, according to the International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC).

Public spending initiatives have not always found success in Africa. In Ethiopia, government subsidies for fertilizers and improved seeds helped increase corn production dramatically in 2001, but the country lacked the infrastructure to distribute the harvest to remote communities, leading to a crop surplus and a crash in prices.

“Without investing in complementary services, [the program] actually did not help by investing in fertilizer and seeds,” Benin said. “You need good agricultural systems to move foods to less-developed areas and connect with other markets. By not investing in other areas, that was a failure.”

Replicating the “Malawi Miracle” may bring additional problems that have become associated with agricultural success in both developing and developed countries. Agricultural subsidies have resulted in greater crop yields, but farms have often become reliant on fossil fuel-based fertilizerschemical pesticides, and irrigation in areas often prone to drought, critics say.

Reliance on genetically modified seeds can also threaten the availability of locally adapted seed varieties for future generations. About 700 local crops were once cultivated worldwide, enabling communities to turn to drought-resistant crops during droughts or other seed varities that can withstand severe weather conditions. Yet 15 crops now supply an estimated 90 percent of the world’s food, said Louise Jackson, a soil scientist at the University of California at Davis and a co-chair of the DIVERSITAS network on agro-biodiversity.

“The reality is that in many places of the world, local people are no longer reliant on local [crop] varieties,” Jackson said at last week’s AIBS conference.

Organizations such as the United Nations and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa are attempting to increase agricultural yields through systems that do not rely entirely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Sanchez said that Malawi is attempting to use nitrogen-fixing trees or other organic methods, but the financing of organic or ecosystem-based agriculture alternatives simply do not exist in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

“We know very well that continuing to use mineral fertilizers without organic fertilizers is wrong,” Sanchez said. “I would hope to see that in 10 years or so, a lot of fertilizers are organically fixed through cover crops or other means.”

Resource-depletion is a main reason why soils across sub-Saharan Africa yield an average of 1 ton per hectare, compared to 3 tons per hectare in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Beyond Malawi, a handful of other African countries have also found recent agricultural success. The goal of 6 percent annual agricultural growth by 2015, set by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), has been achieved by Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and The Gambia in recent years.

Ben Block is a staff writer with the Worldwatch Institute. He can be reached at bblock@worldwatch.org.

Source: worldwatch.org

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English Premier League Upcoming Games

Another season of the English Premier League has started. The first games have already shown that it won’t be a smooth sailing even for the recognized leaders. The main surprise was the successful performance of Watford, who managed to break into the list of favorites.

Premier League
English Premier League Upcoming Games

The start of the season was completely different for some teams; their chances of success were regarded approximately equal. And while Watford managed to prove themselves positively, West Ham crashed and burnt completely, and even the coach of the Hammers Manuel Pellegrini agreed with that. The team was active at the transfer market, however, new players are still struggling to fit into the existing lineup. Moreover, some of them didn’t make it to the starting lineup; this fact arises questions about the reasonability of such transfers.

Free livescore shows that much depend on the individual skill of the players, as well as the coherence of their game. A clear example of this is the game between Manchester United and Tottenham, during which the hosts had many more successful moments, but ruined everything. It led to confident victory of the Spurs with a score of 0:3 and a noticeable increase of rumors about the future of Jose Mourinho in the Red Devils.

 

Speaking of the premier league fixtures, it’s worth highlighting the confrontation between Chelsea and Liverpool among September games.

 

Main Game of Month

Both teams look very good at the start. They please the fans with bright and attacking game, as well as good results. Both teams started with several wins in a row and their face-to-face confrontation is a chance for both of them to achieve the leadership. However, we should not forget that Manchester City is right behind them, intending to protect its champion title.

At this stage, the chances of Chelsea and Liverpool are almost the same. The teams are not tired yet, so we can expect that they will do their best to show good results.

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DPP’s “landslide win” bluff is delusional #MalawiVotes2019

DPP
DPP’s arrogance and indifference prior to the demonstrations

Written By Patseni Mauka

The Malawi ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) never fails to entertain with it’s belief that it is so popular such that it will win the 2019 general elections with a landslide. DPP, a party that rode then ruling United Democratic Front’s (UDF) back into government in 2004, won by 66% in 2009, won by an embarrassing 36% in 2014 and had a meager support of 27% in 2017 (Afrobarometer) should know better that these simple figures can be interpreted by any kindergarten kid as decreasing popularity.

 

A latest poll on the political environment towards the 2019 Tripartite Elections which was conducted by Malawi Institute of Public Opinion Research (IPOR) shows that in August, 2018, 33% of the respondents identified with DPP ahead of MCP(31%) and UTM(17%).

Without necessarily endorsing the results of the poll, it is essential to comment on the published findings, after all they seem to have brought tremendous excitement in the country. The survey for this poll was done in August, 2018, just a month after UTM launch. The fact that such a new organization grabbed a cool 17% just a month after it’s launch should give UTM great encouragement and cause big worries to established parties like MCP and DPP.

According to DPP, this latest poll means they are on the way to a ‘landslide victory’. Unless ‘landslide victory’ has changed meaning, DPP is simply bluffing in public while shitting in their pants with worries in private. In fact this poll will cause earthquakes in DPP. DPP members will now be booking their places with other parties. This is especially so with the politicians who are used to being in government. The current results show that DPP is fast losing popularity and on the way out of government. No sane person would want to be associated with a dying party. It’s just a matter of time before we see mass exodus of members from the ruling party.

Strangely, DPP is claiming the results of a survey done nine months before election and one month after UTM was launched means UTM is not a strong contender and can’t win elections. Pure delusion! Down playing UTM’s strength has now become DPP’s main activity. If you ask DPP whether it is scared of the emergence of UTM under the excellent leadership of Dr. Saulos Chilima, the answer is always no. However, if you follow their actions very well, you will see that they are under tremendous pressure and panic.

Saulos Chilima
Manganya-with-Vice President Saulos Chilima

Actions speak louder than words. Since the launch of UTM, DPP has tried, without success, all sorts of tricks to counter UTM popularity but has always failed miserably. They have tried buying beer for people to drink near UTM rally venues. They have brought live band entertainment to counter UTM rallies. They have conducted rallies on the same dates and near UTM rally venues and even torching UTM branded cars to disturb UTM rallies but failed.

 

One of the latest embarrassing attempts was what they called ‘the mother of all demonstrations’ to force Chilima to resign as State Vice President. This was not the first time for DPP to organize events aimed at forcing Chilima to resign. On 27th July, 2019, some officials from the ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP) who are also senior cabinet ministers conducted a press conference to demonize the new broom in town, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and leader of UTM, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima. Among other things, the minister’s main objective for calling the press conference was to force Dr. Chilima to resign as Vice President of Malawi. As expected these calls yielded nothing. It was a pure waste of time.

 

Last week these calls came again. They started with calls by DPP cadets on social media in form of articles and posters. This was followed by an announcement of a ‘mother of all demonstrations’ to force Chilima to resign. On the appointed day, we all waited with anticipation to see the ‘mother of all demonstrations’. When the photo’s of the demonstrations came on social media, I could not help but get embarrassed on behalf of DPP. The people who came to demonstrate could not even fill a small Mazda Bongo Minibus. It was a very sorry sight! Apart from what the statistics are clearly showing, the failed demonstration was clear evidence of loss of popularity by DPP.

 

Make no mistake, DPP and it’s apologists spent a lot of time organizing these demonstrations. Millions of Kwacha’s exchanged hands. The organizers promised DPP gurus that the demonstrations would be massive and would result in Chilima’s resignation. What a waste of taxpayers money!

 

When you analyse the reasons that DPP and it’s paid apologists are advancing for the VP’s resignation, you wonder what these people smoke. One paid cadet said the VP has to resign because it’s his ‘moral obligation’ that any person occupying his office owes the people of Malawi. These are the same cadets that never said anything when their leader, President Mutharika was caught red handed with a dubious 145 million Kwacha in a DPP account that he is a sole signatory.

 

AG Charles Mhango
AG Charles Mhango

The latest news is that DPP legal adviser and die hard supporter, who is also the current Malawi Attorney General, Charles Mhango has filed a notice of appeal with Supreme Court of Malawi to challenge registration of UTM as a party. High Court judge John Chirwa last Friday ordered registrar of Political Parties to register UTM within seven days and that the registration should be backdated to September 21 2018. What more evidence does one need to know that DPP is scared to death with UTM?

 

The painted paid cadet who is acting as an Attorney General can not differentiate between a party and government. He is an embarrassment to the law profession. He is using the Attorney General’s Office to fight battles for DPP. The sooner he resigns to concentrate on being a DPP cadet, the better.

 

I keep laughing when I hear DPP talking about a landslide win while at the same time trying all dirty tactics to stop serious contenders like UTM which they tremendous fear because deep down their hearts, they know their popularity is going down everyday. Only blue painted cadets can believe their bluff and delusional claims of a potential landslide win in next year’s elections. The rest of us believe that the battle for control of government next year is not over.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

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Women Are Powering Change in Malawi

The Sub-Saharan nation of Malawi has made progress in human development over the past decade, but it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half the nation’s population lives in poverty, and some 25 percent live in extreme poverty.

When the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Malawi began looking at the primary constraints to the country’s economic growth in 2009, one thing stood out — the availability and quality of the nation’s power supply. Just 10 percent of Malawians had access to grid electricity and even for those connected to the grid, power was often unreliable and cut for eight to 12 hours per day.

But inadequate power doesn’t tell the whole story of life in Malawi. The country is also hindered by gender inequality. Women in the agricultural sector tend to have smaller lots of land, and those in other sectors suffer from a lack of access to credit and capital. So, when we partnered with the Malawian government to revamp the nation’s power sector, we didn’t limit our efforts to producing more electricity. We also sought opportunities to help women in the country advance in the context of the power-focused compact.

I traveled to Malawi ahead of our compact closeout and met with some of the inspiring women who have been empowered by projects implemented under MCC’s compact. Not only are those women compact beneficiaries, they are working to reshape the country’s future.

At MCC, we believe that one of the best ways to accomplish our mission to reduce poverty through economic growth is by investing in women’s economic empowerment. The reason is simple — research shows that empowering women leads to stronger economies, increases in household incomes, and higher profits for businesses. So, no matter what sector we invest in — power, land, transportation, water — we look for ways to ensure that women are provided opportunities to play a key role in driving progress that will positively impact them and their communities. In Malawi, women helped to realize the potential of efforts across the power-focused investment, making key contributions to each of the three compact projects: infrastructure, power sector reform, and environmental management.

Powering Change: Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project

Hydropower generation plays a big role in Malawi’s power sector, but chronic weed infestations and excessive sediment buildup in the Shire River Basin as a result of poor land and environmental management, have led to hydropower disruptions and inefficiencies.

The compact’s $32 million Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project was designed to implement modern environmental and natural resource management techniques in areas upstream from the hydropower plants. The project also included a Social and Gender Enhancement Activity that focused on engaging women to improve how land along the riverbanks is used and reduce the negative impact on natural resources while increasing economic opportunities and decreasing outages at downstream hydropower plants.

Emily Hussein used to spend her days collecting firewood and charcoal, which she would sell as her only source of income, leading to deforestation and soil erosion. But with the help of MCC’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project, she secured a loan that allowed her to become a beekeeper — decreasing her impact on the landscape and increasing her family’s household income.

“The project has changed the lives of women here,” said Emily. “I can now borrow money from the village bank and repay after I have sold honey. When I get the money, I use it to buy fertilizer in order to ensure that we have a good harvest.”

Emily Hussein
Emily Hussein transitioned from cutting trees to beekeeping and selling honey. (MCC photo)

Powering Change: Infrastructure Development Project

Upgrades to the power infrastructure formed a major piece of our compact with Malawi. A new high-voltage 400kV electricity transmission line — a significant upgrade from the old 132kV line — was built and is now connected by a host of newly constructed and upgraded substations. The line will provide a stronger and more efficient, higher voltage backbone for the transfer of electricity across Malawi.

Women working at the Nkhoma substation outside of Lilongwe
Women working at the Nkhoma substation outside of Lilongwe, one of the end points of the new 400kv line that has greatly increased the capacity of Malawi’s power sector. (MCC photo)

Women worked on sites across the country as new lines and substations were constructed and rehabilitated. Women working at the Ntonda substation in Blantyre had the opportunity to work on site in the morning, and attend training sessions in the afternoon to build specialized skills in bricklaying and carpentry, skills that will help them to earn more in future work.

Powering Change: Power Sector Reform Project

Infrastructure alone cannot solve the systemic, long-term challenges of energy access in Malawi. Effective institutions and strong policy frameworks are also needed to support continued expansion, encourage private sector investment and boost economic growth. As MCC worked with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), the national electricity utility, to improve processes and operations, the role of women was front and center.  The utility successfully recruited a Gender and Social Inclusion Manager and established a unit to lead the development and implementation of ESCOM’s Social and Gender Inclusion and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy. Now, ESCOM will provide gender training and technical support to their entire staff.

“Research has shown that organizations which have included women in their decision making forums and even in all the operations of those organizations are able to perform much better than organizations which don’t have women in their committees or teams,” Gender and Social Inclusion Manager Elube Chienda told me.

ESCOM is also planning for their future workforce with a partnership with the University of Malawi. The scholarship and internship program aims to support the next generation of female engineers as students build their skills both in the classroom and in real world. “The idea is to ensure that we motivate them, and we inspire them so that when we have vacancies they will be the first ones to apply,” said Ms. Chienda.

When I spoke with ESCOM scholarship recipients about how the program had changed their lives and aspirations, they were full of hope and confidence. “I’m graduating not only with theory and knowledge. I’m also graduating as an experienced engineer,” said scholarship recipient Mary Mnewa.

With the completion of our five-year compact, MCC and the Government of Malawi have set the stage for more reliable power to be delivered across the country. At the same time, infrastructure upgrades and institutional reforms have secured the foundation for private sector investment while optimizing the potential benefits to women and local communities by promoting women’s economic empowerment through new job opportunities and reforms that incentivize women’s participation within the power sector.

Empowering women in Malawi is helping to power the country, and MCC is proud to have played a role in cementing new opportunities for women in the future. This compact shows that investments don’t have to choose between policy and institutional reform, infrastructure improvements, and economically empowering women. As we move forward in our pursuit of poverty reduction, MCC will continue to make the economic empowerment of women a priority, regardless of which countries and sectors we are investing in.

About the Author: Kate Pritchard is an International Communications Specialist at the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Editor’s Note: This entry originally appeared on the MCC’s blog.

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