Chilima Why? Why Chilima Why?

Saulos, Zainab in the studio

I have never felt as pitiful for my people as I did today after listening to the BBC Hard Talk interview with Zeinab Badawi and Chilima.
Now if you are UTM you will hate everything I will say with a passion. If you are DPP or MCP you will love everything I say because you will think I am giving a nod to your party. But if you are a Malawian who loves his country, who is patriotic, who is looking for redemption, who puts Malawi first and party affiliation second, (because affiliation blinds and deafens people) you will ponder with me over these issues with a sober mind.

My hopes were raised when Zeinab asked Chilima an open-ended question, why are you running against the very man you stood with in 2014?  That question presented Chilima with a million possibilities and opportunities. He should have used it to asset his tone. And his tone should have been that of anger, and frustration but also one that gave hope.

He should have said, amongst other things, I am running because the current government has failed to assist Malawians, it does not seem to have a love for its people, it is a corrupt government, a government that refuses to restructure. I am running because the government does not want to listen to my advice on reform. I am running because I want to see Malawi change for the better, because I have solutions for the problems of Malawians. I am running because it is time to change, it is time to redeem our nation from the hands of greedy politicians. I am running because I am tired of mediocrity and I can no longer watch from a distance, I can no longer play good boy, I must do something and do it now.

He should have articulated his goals and paint a picture of a Malawi he desires. I am running because I want to put drugs in hospitals, I want to build more colleges, I want to build a road system that works, I want to abolish the quota system and nepotism.
I am running because I am frustrated, just like the seventeen million Malawians I hope I am representing. I am running because I have been in government for four years and I have seen and learnt that these people are crooks.

I am running because Malawi is amongst the three poorest countries of the world, not because it lacks resources, or because the people are lazy or unintelligent, but because of poor leadership and I am ready to provide that needed leadership.
But instead Chilima went on the defensive. He took the question more personal, like it was about his personality.
“Times change.” That was his first answer. Like what? You are running because times change? Not because you want things to change?
And then, “um, first of all, it’s a constitutional right in Malawi for any person above the age of 35 who has got the right qualifications to contest for office.”

Oh my God! And I was trembling and shaking my head. I felt like crying. Who cursed us people? Who are these people we are trying to entrust with leadership and the future of Malawi?

You are running because it is your constitutional right? That’s all?
Where is that spirit of reform? Your constitutional right? So this is about you as an individual exercising your right? Why are you defending yourself? Zeinab is not attacking you. Why are you speaking more like a politician than a patriot? Why are you not angry enough with all these atrocities committed against Malawians? I didn’t see passion in his voice like I have seen with Martin Luther, or Mandela, or Ghandi, or Sankala, or Nkrumah, or Bobi Wine, or Chihana or Kamuzu? Why are you not standing with the people in your answer? Because it is your constitutional right?

And Jesus Christ Hon Chilima, Zeinab gave him a second chance to answer that question but he still got jammed to his answer, really?
Zeinab: I’m not saying that you’re not fit to run for president. I’m just inquiring why you have turned against Peter Mutharika. And yet you were campaigning with him on a joint ticket? Only in 2014.

Chilima: I don’t think it’s quite turning against him. It’s just I would like to exercise my constitutional right under contest for the office of the President.

If answers that Chilima gave to the first question made me question him motives, the answers he gave to the questions that followed made me want to search his soul.

Because it was clear that Chilima sits in the office of the vice president doing nothing. Zeinab asked if he is discharging his duties as vice president. Chilima revealed, through his own words that since June he has not had any official business with the state president or any cabinet minister. That made Zeinab conclude that Chilima is clearly not discharging his duties yet he is still drawing his salary. The mention of salary, it seems, made Chilima protest. He said he was discharging his duties. HOW? And this was his answer. “But what I’m saying is the office is there, the office has not been vacated. I am still in that office and therefore I’m available to provide counsel to respond to inquiries by citizens and respond to inquiries by different organizations as they come. So that is meetings and also there is guidance and administration provided in that office.”

Yes the office is there, it will always be there, but are you discharging your duties as vice president? Yes you are still in that office but are you still discharging your duties? You are available? Because it is possible to be available and yet to still be unable to discharge one’s duties. Are you saying you have become an independent consultant now to provide counsel and to respond to inquiries by citizens and organizations? He made it sound like he is now operating on his own, he is not taking orders from the government, he goes to the office and does what he wants not what his government wants.

From his answers, it was clear that Chilima was finding it hard to justify himself on why he is still part of a corrupt government. Why he still gets our money for his salary. Why he still uses government vehicles, fuel, security personnel even when he is conducting rallies for his party. He said he is doing so because he has a contract that runs to May 2019, that’s why he is still vice president. So this is about his contract and not the people?

Zeinab said, “But you are not obviously part of collective responsibility, I mean do you feel uncomfortable yourself saying I am vice president, but actually President Mutharika I have left your party. I am going to stand against you in elections next year. Oh, but oh yes, I’m ready to report for duties with you Sir?”Because it is impossible for the office of the vice president to operate on its own. The very existence of this office depends on the fact that there is actually the office of the president. If the VP’s office is the neck, the office of the president is the head.

But Chilima says I don’t feel uncomfortable at all, the office is there and I go there and I still work. My understanding has always been that in 2014 we did not elect Chilima as an individual. We elected Peter Muthalika and his DPP vice president. I mean, if Chilima was UTM and Peter was DPP and the two were running together, would we still have voted for them? Wouldn’t that be confusing? The arrangement we have today is not the arrangement we voted for. I always feel Chilima duped us. This is not what he signed up for. He broke the promise and the trust we had on him and he is acting on a premise different from the one on which we elected him, and in his answers Chilima did nothing to convince me to think otherwise. He totally missed that opportunity to dissipate those fears in me.

How Saulos Did On Hard Talk

ON THE CHARACTERIZATION OF HIS COUNTRY

Saulos, Zainab in the studio

In the introduction, Zeinab Badawi described Malawi as “a small southern African state”. This condescending description of Malawi as “small” was an unforced error on the part of the interviewer, and that it was committed in the very introduction was a good opportunity for Saulos Chilima to seize control of the interview and present himself as the one who is going to drive the narrative on Malawian affairs in this interview, not her. But instead, Chilima let it slide, thus allowing her to be in command of the exchange from start to finish, which left him largely on the defensive where he is weakest, rather than staying on the offensive where he flourishes the most. A general rule in being an excellent interviewee is that before you answer any question, you must first and quickly decide whether or not you accept the premise of the question, and if you don’t accept it, then you must first challenge that premise before you even answer the question. Zeinab’s premise that she was talking with the Vice President of a small country had the effect of trivializing his significance, and Saulos should never have accepted that premise, for he is not from a small country, for there are smaller countries in Europe that she would not have derided for their size in a similar fashion.

ON THE QUESTION OF HIS REASONS FOR RUNNING

This was Zeinab’s very first question, and it was obvious from BBC’s advert before the interview happened that this would be where the interview would start. Surprisingly, Chilima seemed to be caught off guard by the question, giving two rather lacklustre points in response. First, he said it is because times change. Second, he said it is because he has a constitutional right to run. This question was such a golden opportunity for Saulos to wax eloquent about his altruistic reasons for running, his burden regarding the stagnation of his people, his anguish over the corrupt state of the government, and his realization that his good intentions for the people of Malawi are held hostage by the ceremonial office of the Vice President. But instead of talking about his nation-building reasons, he talked about his personal rights, which sounded flat, uninspiring, and self-serving.

ON THE QUESTION OF FULFILLING HIS DUTIES AS VICE PRESIDENT

This was obviously going to be a very tricky area for him, because he and his team have not yet come up with a credible answer as to why he continues to hold his position as Vice President in a government he repudiates. This decision to retain his office in a government he describes as embarassingly corrupt is arguably the place he is most exposed to criticism because it is hard for him to make a convincing case that the same government you denounce as unworthy of public trust is worthy of your participation. And so when Zeinab asked the question, he admitted that constitutionally, his office is a delegated office, which means that being a functional Vice President requires delegation of duties from the President. But since he and the President are no longer talking and he is no longer attending cabinet meetings, then that means he has not been delegated any duties by the President for the past four and a half months. In short, Saulos is not doing his job because the President is not giving him any jobs to do. And yet, having said all that in the interview, Saulos insists, much to Zeinab’s dismay, that he is still doing his job as VP because, as he put it, he still shows up at the office, conducts meetings with his staff, and is available to answer questions from citizens. This kind of reductionism of his job is beneath the office of the Republic’s Vice President, and that he finds it justifiable to be expending large amounts of taxes from citizens on his security, benefits, and salary just so he can go sit in his office where there are no presidentially delegated tasks waiting for him smacks of entitlement, not service. And so Zeinab was right to characterize such a position as “awkward” and “difficult”.

ON THE QUESTION OF TURNING AGAINST HIS BOSS

When Zeinab asserted that by breaking rank from his own party and making his own bid for the top job, Saulos had turned against APM, Saulos said he had not. You have to be a Jedi master to pull that kind of mind trick effectively. If I was advising the Vice President, I would tell him that this kind of answer makes him sound disingenuous, and that it would be better and more credible to simply say that he is indeed against APM’s leadership. He should have said, “Zeinab, APM has failed to lead the country, he has failed to fight corruption, he has been implicated in the siphoning of 2 million dollars from a fraudulent government contractor into an account only he controls and which his party was forced to return to that businessman when it was exposed, he has lost the trust of the Malawian people, he has had two nationwide protests against his leadership in the space of six months, and right now he is headed for defeat at the polls because the Malawian people are against him, including members of his own family. And I too am against him, because I’d rather stand with the Malawian people than with my own boss, because the country is bigger than any one man. So yes, I am running against him because the people that pleaded with me to do so are against him and so am I.” But instead of this kind of consistency, he stands on a platform at political rallies where he and his coterie take turns to denounce and lampoon President Mutharika, and then turns around to sit with Zeinab to claim that he is not against Mutharika. If you are going to wear two faces, you have to at least make sure that people don’t see you wearing both at the same time. That Saulos can takes actions against APM, including the severing of all contact with him, and yet say he is not against him, is a red flag. A similar pattern emerged in his exchange with Zeinab about his candidature, where on the one hand he pays homage to democracy by saying that he is not yet a presidential candidate because UTM has not yet nominated him at an elective conference, and that he would be ready to support another nominee if the party chose someone else; and yet on the other hand he completely undermines any chance that that elective conference will be democratically competitive given that the entire history, founding, messaging, and branding of UTM is already in a full blown campaign for his and only his presidential bid. These are all signals of a man who is quite at ease with talking out of both sides of his mouth, giving with his left hand in one forum what his right hand takes away in another.

ON THE QUESTION OF HIS AGENDA TO CREATE ONE MILLION JOBS

This was Saulos Chilima at his very best. He gave a strong and robust defence of this signature promise of his campaign. And the fact that Zeinab actually asked about the “one million jobs im a year” promise is a testament to how much that message has resonated and distinguished him as having a clear target that he is aiming for. Zeinab tried to suggest that this many be too ambitious a target, but Saulos was authoritative in his description of the economic distinctives of Malawi, its dormant sectors, and the high unemployment levels on which he based such a promise.

ON THE QUESTION OF HIS ABILITY TO RECONFIGURE THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE THAT THE DPP & MCP COMMAND

His response to this question was weak to say the least. The best approach would have been for him to show up to this interview armed with statistics of the political landscape under question, and more importantly, to exhibit a comprehension of the statistical impact his party has had so far after two months of rallies in select parts of the country. He should have said “we have conducted x number of rallies in x number of districts of the 28, and those rallies have been attended by x number of eligible voters, and in the 5500 areas where people will be casting their vote we have established party structures in x number of them, and those we know have said they are voting for us after only two months are x number of voters out of the 5.5 million already registered.” This would demonstrate that he is aware of the political bases other parties command and that his quest to build a base of his own is in fact bearing fruit. That would have been better than the answer he gave, which was effectively a dismissal of the political realities on the ground as having any relevance in his calculations at all. A campaign is not wishful thinking.

ON THE QUESTION OF HIS POLITICAL ASSOCIATION WITH JOYCE BANDA

This was a trick question, and quite a trap. Saulos recently met with PP President Joyce Banda, whose government presided over the infamous Cashgate scandal, the most brazen looting of public funds from the treasury in our nation’s history. Zeinab asked Saulos how he could justify his overtures to Joyce Banda and yet claim that he wants to draw a line in the sand between himself and previous Presidents who have presided over corrupt administrations. To some degree, one has to sympathize with Saulos here, for the question was a lose-lose scenario. If he had thrown Joyce Banda under the bus, he may have jeopardized any prospect of a coalition with PP going forward, and that would potentially be politically suicidal. On the other hand, if he defended her as a credible President worth consulting with on matters of fiscal prudence, he would have been placing himself at odds with 85% of Malawian voters who in the 2014 elections reached the same conclusion as Zeinab, namely that Joyce Banda’s leadership on corruption was “poor”. Saulos was put between the Egyptians and the Red Sea, but he could find no staff to wield and forge for himself a path out of the trap, so he fell into the treacherous noose of defending Joyce Banda’s divisive record on corruption, a risky move which may pay off with PP supporters and cause a fallout with the rest. Perhaps he is counting on the Muluzi truism that “A Malawi sachedwa kuyiwala”.

ON THE QUESTION OF HIS BOSS’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

When Zeinab Badawi narrated the improvements to the economy and the state machinery under Mutharika’s oversight, it was yet another awkward question designed to force Saulos into either the trap of singing Mutharika’s praises or dismissing those improvements as false when reputable institutions like the IMF and the World Bank are on record as lauding Mutharika for having steered the country from the edge of collapse. As with most tricky questions, the right answer is almost always a third option that is not on the table, which requires the ability to think quickly on your feet and refuse to fall for the false dichotomies you are being backed into. As such, Saulos should have fallen back on the plight of the Malawian people and the terrible abscess of corruption. He should have said that while the figures about inflation rates and currency stability under Mutharika are indisputable and a credit to Mutharika, that achievement has not translated into a change in living standards and job creation for Malawians, nor are those economic achievements sustainable if the levels of corruption continue rise as they have done during this administration. Instead, all Saulos said was, “whether he has done good or bad, I believe we can do better”, which is really not saying much at all.

ON THE QUESTION OF WHY HE THINKS HE IS THE MAN TO DO THE JOB

This is another area where Saulos always has his talking points in order. Touting his accomplishments at the helm of Airtel, his management of disaster relief efforts, his spearheading of the Public Service Reform Commission, he declared with characteristic confidence that given the chance to govern the country, “I can do wonders”. It was of course a departure from his mantra that Malawians should not fall prey to self-declared messiahs, but as Malawian, he also understands that “Fumbi Ndiwe Mwini”. And when it comes to self-branding and self-marketing, Saulos is in a league of his own, and he made the most of the closing moments of the program to singe himself in the psyche of the listener. He closed the show with an admirable control of the narrative that he had lacked for most of the program, where he had allowed the smiling assassin in the chair across from him to corner him into knots he was not as dexterous or as seamless at untying as we have seen him in interviews at home, especially those done in his own mother tongue.

Having said all that, it is unfair to say that the interview was a disaster. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that it was average and inconsequential. If the goal was to come out of it buoyant with momentum for having captured the imagination of the global audience that Hard Talk commands, that mission failed. Similarly, if the goal was to project himself as one running for president for reasons that are more noble and people-centered than his own personal rights and ambitions, that mission also failed, rather spectacularly. But if the goal was to dominate another cycle of news and social media discourse among urban Malawians for the furtherance of his quest for an office he is pursuing more as a personal right than a national duty, he succeeded immensely.

The BBC HardTalk Interview, A Disaster For Chilima

Chilima: Flops

Top British Analysts rank the BBC HardTalk interview by Chilima the worst ever interview in the history of the show.

“Chilima has demonstrated lack of understanding of politics, political systems, governance, and even what his role is supposed to be as a VP.”

His level of incompetence was so evident when he crashed, failing to answer the first question. It was a downhill disaster from there on.

International community and media does not pander to local politics and staged public relations exercises. They are not bought sub-standard journalists of Times, Zodiak, and Nation.

This is one interview Chilima would wish he never did in his whole life. It was the worst disaster!

African Development Bank Approves Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2018–2022

Time To Celebrate: President Mutharika and AfDB president

The African Development Bank has approved its Country Strategy Paper for Malawi for 2018-2022. The strategy blueprint is part of ongoing efforts to boost economic diversification, reduce dependency on rain-fed agriculture and build resilience for growth in the southern African nation.

The Country Strategy Paper will guide the African Development Bank’s operations in Malawi with regards to its financial, technical and knowledge assistance to the country. It will seek to ameliorate Malawi’s low levels of industrialization, infrastructure gaps in energy, lack of diversification, limited sources of export revenue and low financial intermediation. The new five-year plan builds on the Bank’s previous Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2013 – 2017 and will advance corporate strategies and the country’s most pressing development needs detailed in Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy III.

The strategic blueprint is articulated around two main strategic pillars focused on further development of the country’s energy, transport, agriculture and water sectors. The first pillar proposes investments in infrastructure development, while the second seeks to advance investments in economic transformation projects and programs. Through these pillars, the Bank will aim to strengthen the foundations for private sector development by unlocking private and public investment, promote diversification, build economic resilience to reduce poverty and address rising income inequalities across gender.

Subdued agricultural output and increased maize import caused by two consecutive years of drought was responsible for the 2016 slump in economic growth to 2.7 percent. Malawi’s economic growth however rebounded to 5.1 percent in 2017 owing to a recovery in agricultural production. The Bank’s interventions will thus build on ongoing positive developments in the domestic environment, driving economic transformation and small industry to support diversification and (decent and formal) job creation.

Designed to reduce fragility and address issues of economic, social and climate resilience, the new Country Strategy Paper gives greater attention to the specific challenges Malawi is facing as a small landlocked country, with a growing population that currently doubles every 22 years. The Bank’s plans will also support key water basins such as Songwe River and Lake Malawi.

The Country Strategy Paper was developed through consultations with the Government of Malawi, the private sector, civil society and other development partners. Based on these successful engagements, the Government has expressed greater Bank participation in its knowledge-management, transportation, macro-economic and policy reforms agenda. The impact of two upcoming events on the country’s macro-economic outlook – the 2018 Population and Housing Census and 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary elections – have also been factored into the design of the country strategy

The Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2018-2022 aligns with the Bank’s Human Capital, Agricultural Transformation in Africa, Industrialization for Africa and Jobs for Youth in Africa strategies. It also operationalizes the Bank’s High 5 priorities.

As at October 2018, the Bank’s active portfolio in Malawi covered 15 operations totaling slightly over US$308 million.https://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/african-development-bank-approves-malawi-country-strategy-paper-2018-2022-18581/

MSCE Points Of Order

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Our secondary school education system is long overdue for a serious overhaul. As long as I can remember, there has been a great national obsession, of almost idolatrous proportions, with students’ performance on one single exam: The Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE). The entire journey of a student’s years in secondary school is measured as a success or failure on the basis of how a student performs on that single standardized test.

How is it possible that after all these decades as an Independent nation, after 25 years of free thought, and after 18 years into a new century of such innovation and progress as demands the development of a new kind of student, we as a nation are still conducting our secondary school education and its metrics in this one-dimensional fashion without regarding ourselves as insane.

“How many points did you get on your MSCE Exam?” I don’t know how many times I was asked this silly question as a prospective college student. I could always tell that the person asking was gearing up to use whatever number I would give in response not only to measure the success or failure of my completed journey in secondary school, but also to measure the likelihood of success or failure of my imminent journey through college and beyond. All based on one number. That kind of oversimplication is a relic of a bygone era in which such silliness could be turned into national education policy by the sheer will of a self-assured aristocracy. The one party state has been gone for 25 years, but our one party state of mind is alive and kicking. Though we do not live in that world anymore, it just baffles me to see the number of archaic ideas from that era that are not only extant, but whose efficacy and suitability for our national interests and development is neither questioned nor challenged.

We should be rethinking the whole education policy and approach to focus less on producing a particular KIND OF SCORE on a single exam and more on producing a particular KIND OF STUDENT at each stage of the education experience. As it is, we are preparing young people for jobs that existed under colonial rule. Wakanda nonsense is this?

Fare Thee Well Senior Cadet Lilian Matonga

Lilian: Gone too soon

It is in sad moments like these that I agree with the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, that life is vanity: it is a chase after the wind. I spent some time over the phone last night with my good friend Samuel Samson sharing pain and grief over the death of Lilian Matonga because my best memories in politics are about the day I met and worked with Lilian in about August 2012.

I left Blantyre in the company of two DPP friends on a political assignment. We arrived in Lilongwe and picked two more DPP friends. We left Lilongwe after sunset and drove through the night to the northern district of Mzimba. In Mzimba we were supposed to meet two DPP guys from Mzuzu. Since it was night, we slept at an agreed lodging place where we knew our northern guys had lodged already.

In the morning, my two Blantyre friends, Lilongwe friends and I, went at the restaurant of the Lodge to take breakfast when upon scanning the environment and looking at the unfamiliar faces, I saw a guy and giant lady taking breakfast. They were looking at me. They both smiled and I later discovered that they had smiled because the lady had made a joke about me for eating nsima for breakfast. They both had warm and very friendly smiles: they were Lilian Matonga and Samuel Samson.

A Blue Soul Sleeps: Fare Thee Well

After finally identifying each other and strategizing for the day ahead, we drove out into the field for work. That is when I discovered that Lilian was not only gifted with a giant stature but great physical strength and hardworking spirit. Lilian was the only girl among us but was always ahead of us and completed way much work than any of us the guys. She never got tied. None of us matched her strength and dedication to the assignment. None!! and she always smiled.

During the assignment, one guy nicknamed me Jakaya Kikwete. I dont remember why he gave me the name. But I remember Lilian later laughing and saying, “komatu dzinali likukukhala, after all you really look like Jakaya Kikwete.” They all kept the name and when we met on several other occasions in Mzuzu and later Lilongwe, Lilian was always excited and friendly saying “Kikwete ulipo?”

Lilian was the most loyal and dedicated Cadet I have ever known. I dont want to pretend to know all cadets, but among the few I ever had a chance to meet and work with, Lilian was the most loyal and loved DPP with her soul. She could die for DPP, literally. While DPP was in the Opposition between 2012 and 2014, Lilian was living in Mzuzu but she could travel on several occassions to attend meetings, rallies and to escort or welcome APM at the airport, usually on her own account. Her love for DPP was amazing and she sacrificed and gave DPP her best love.

There was a time I disappointed her when I quited my activities with DPP the following year in 2013 and later lost my trust in the party in 2015. Lilian and myself, once comrades that stood together for DPP found ourself on different sides arguing and “fighting” each other. Her trust in DPP never wavered. Unlike other cadets and myself, she never lost faith in DPP at any point. Her loyalty to DPP was steadfast until her death yesterday.

And most importantly, her other unique attribute was her love and loyalty for friends which remained steadfast as well even when you disagreed and fought. The last time I met her was towards the end of 2016. I had arrived in the country from somewhere and I was at the peak of disagreements and fights with Cadets, including herself. But when we met at Shoprite in Lilongwe, I was trying to avoid her knowing we had facebook disagreements. But she had seen me from a distance. She walked towards me in her majestic stature with the same warm and friendly smile she had the first day at Mzimba and said, ” Iwe Kikwete ulipo?” There were no grudges with her. We laughed and talked and she invited me to her office. I failed to go due to other committments. But I am happy that our last parting was well made with smiles and laughter.

She loved DPP. I am not sure if the party loved her the same way she did. But I am sure she did not really care if the party loved her less. She loved loving DPP and that was good enough for her.

I can’t pretend that I knew her a lot. I know she had close friends who knew her way better than I ever did. But through the few moments I interacted with her, I know she was an asset to DPP and the party has lost a future leader. And in deed our country has lost a future leader.

Lilian Matonga, its Kikwete here. Rest well Cadet, Rest well daughter of God. If we meet again, we will in deed smile and laugh again.

Islamic Commission Honours Nankhumwa, Awards Him As Most Hardworking Cabinet Minister

The Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom (ICJF) has named Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa as the most hardworking Cabinet Minister in the current government administration.

ICJF Chief Commissioner, Shaibu Ajasi confirmed the development in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), saying the commission awarded Nankhumwa a certificate at a ceremony which took place at the minister’s residence on Wednesday.

Ajasi said Nankhumwa deserved the honour given his hardworking spirit as a member of the executive arm of government.

“We have been monitoring him in all his duties as a Cabinet Minister in various portfolios he has held under the leadership of President Professor Peter Mutharika and we found out that he is loyal to the president, the party and his constituents,” Ajasi observed.

He added: “We went to the constituency of honourable Nankhumwa secretly to monitor the developments he has done since 2014 and his loyalty to his constituents since he was elected and we were satisfied that he deserved the honor.”

Ajasi said as a religious institution it was their duty to encourage hardworking people in the society including those in opposition, saying this would promote a hardworking spirit in duty bearers and citizens of the country in general.

He added that ICJF was planning to award certificates to three more Cabinet ministers for the same reason, but could not disclose their names.

Commenting on the development, Nankhumwa said  he was excited with the recognition, saying it had come as a surprise.

 

National Tragedy: President Mutharika Shocked By Mchinji Accident

His Excellency the President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika and the First Lady, Madame Prof. Gertrude Mutharika have learnt with great shock and sadness about the loss of at least 12 lives due to an accident that occurred on Wednesday 17th October, 2018 near Namitete at Guilime on the Lilongwe-Mchinji road.

The first couple is calling upon all Malawians to join them in praying for the lost lives, the survivors of the accident who are battling for life in hospitals and the families that have lost loved ones in the tragic incident.

His Excellency the President, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has directed government to quickly take charge and provide the necessary support to all the affected families and those injured.

President Mutharika and the First Lady wish all those injured due to the tragedy and those traumatized a quick recovery.

MGEME KALILANI
PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SECRETARY & SPOKESPERSON
KAMUZU PALACE
LILONGWE

Rwandan Murder Case: Prosecutor Wants ACB To Intervene, Live Alluminitions Found At Thuma Hill

…TWO SUSPECTS SHOT DEAD IN SALIMA

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There are accusations and counter accusations at the Central Regional Police headquarters in Lilongwe following revelations that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Kasungu North candidate Mike Bango dished out K6 million to secure police bail for a Rwandan murder suspect Emmanuel Sekanawo.

According to information at the Lilongwe Police Station, Sekanawo 33, hails from Thiwatiwa Village Traditional Authority Kalonga in Salima was arrested on October 5, 2018.He was set free on October 11, 2018.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit felony contrary to section 404 of the penal code.

Ironically, Sekanawo is on bail which the Lilongwe High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale issued on November 1, 2017 on attempted murder case number 159 of 2017.

Our investigation shows that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is bitter with the release of Sekanawo who until his release was under investigations.

On the other hand, Salima Police station fears Sekanawo is posing a security treat to many lives in the district including that of his target Vincent Niyongera.

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Speaking for the first time after breaking the story, Regional Prosecutions Officer (RPO) Senior Superintendent of Police Cecelia Zangazanga briefly said “I don’t know how better I can put it, I’m under heavy pressure, may be let the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) intervene.”  before referring this reporter to Central Region police spokesperson Norriet Chihana.

In her written response to our questionnaire, Chihana said the suspect was released on police bail to give room for further investigations.

“The first case was attempted murder contrary to section 223 of the penal code which was later changed to acts of intended to cause grievous harm which is contrary to section 235 of the penal code.

“The case is currently under her worship Chipao and the next court session will be on 1st November 2018 at the Chief Resident Magistrate Court. On 5th October 2018 he was arrested for conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 404 of the penal code, however he was released on police bail to give room for further investigations,” said Chihana.

Bango: Implicated

Sekanawo’s arrest lead to many more arrests and the discovery of live illumination Thuma hill in Salima.

After they were quizzed on the whereabouts of the fire arms meant for the bullets the two tried to flees but mate their fate as the police shot them dead.

While the detectives were launching another investigation to establish where the gang was keeping the guns they reportedly bought in Mozambique, their counterparts in Lilongwe were setting free Sekanawo.

We will keep you updated as our team of reporters is on the ground.