As the country is preparing for next year’s elections, the Center for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) decided to organise the youths from all political parties that are represented in the National Assembly.
The aim of the seminar was to a acknowledge the importance of the youths in political process and impart technical knowledge, and advise on how they can be good future leaders in the country and in their various political camps.
While deliberating under the theme of “Mentorship”, the congregants were more of appreciative for this gesture by CMD to equip the youths with such kind of skills.
“Mentorship is a key component that will help us to nurture our democracy well. We have been groomed here and we expect to groom others in the process. In DPP, we are privileged to have the President who is the champion of youths at global level so in our party, we don’t stress on this because we have a ‘champion of mentors’ already and this program is in line with our policies on youths in the party,” said Mr Charles Kadziwe when interviewed by this publication.
Mr Kadziwe who is also DPP’s Deputy National Youth Director for the South also praised the president of this country Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika for according nine youths of the party an opportunity to represent the party at a such crucial workshop.
“We are also thankful to the CMD for this gesture,” Charles kadziwe said.
Some of the youthful mentors that were regarded as shining examples from the parties who came to the workshop were Hon Kondwani Nankhumwa, Hon Atupele Muluzi as most disciplined and principled politicians of our time so far.
One of the organisers of the workshop Mr Cydric Damala said was happy with the way participants organised themselves in this seminar.
MCP youths did not show up for the seminar. Some sources indicate that they were not pleased with alleged ‘small allowances that are given to the participants’.
Contrary to what you might have heard about Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika as of late, one must be entirely biased (consciously or unconsciously) not to acknowledge the fact that Mutharika initiated a socio-economic revolution in order to practically improve the living standards of Malawians and promote an upward re-calibration of the normative standards in the country.
And yes, contrary to certain accusations, there are visible results to show for his electoral promises.
Four years down the line, Mutharika has spearheaded an infrastructure development never seen before in Malawi.
The road network has increased tenfold across all regions and Mutharika has constructed or rehabilitated more roads in the country than all the previous presidents combined.
Yes, there is robust delivery on his development programmes; he has taken it seriously and the results speak for themselves.
Moreover, the Malawian Kwacha has been stabilized and the country’s economy has rapidly improved with a relatively stable inflation.
Even the Economist recently conceded that Mutharika restored confidence in the economy battered by the previous administration and created economic stability which, in turn, enabled other macro-economic objectives to be achieved, such as stable prices and stable and sustainable growth.
This is not merely an axiom by the way, international financial institutions have published relevant analyses on the issue.
Additionally, under Mutharika’s presidency, Malawi has also witnessed exponential investments in the tourist sector.
Five-star hotels are currently under construction in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mangochi; the Liwonde- Mangochi road has been rehabilitated on top of a new stadium in Mangochi. Stadiums were built in Mulanje, Kasungu and Karonga as well, while there has also been considerable development in quotidian infrastructure, notably state-of-the-art markets and bus terminals.
Of course, conveniently, the government’s achievements are rarely mentioned. Oddly, one could even argue that the government’s achievements are actually more mentioned in the foreign press than in the local one.
Furthermore, the current President has invested a lot in education. Possibly owning to the fact that he has lived and has been educated in the West for years, he realizes that one of the most important measures for creating a more equal society involves making education part of everyone’s mental opportunity maps.
Admittedly, the educational system has seen dramatic changes and the community college dream is now a reality. There is a community college in almost every district in the country and the first cohort of graduates seems thoroughly promising. The University of Malawi (UNIMA) has been unbundled, allowing numerous colleges under it to become standalone universities.
This will ultimately remedy issues of harmonization, encourage creativity and, more importantly, boost funding and research opportunities.
However, no one contends that the country is in excellent condition; far from it. There is so much room for improvement. Nonetheless, there has been steady progress and genuine will.
With regard to all those who publicly bash the president for not delivering on his promises, even though this might sound disheartening, it is important to ask oneself in which country of the world have the Presidents done exactly what they promised prior to being elected?
If they even manage to carry through with 60-70% of their pre-electoral commitments, they are laudable. It is not that they are unwilling to do what they promise, it is simply that the governmental apparatus faces many challenges, from practical hindrances to budgetary limitations to potentially divergent elite/public opinions. Nothing is as simple as it seems. ‘Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins’.
At least the current President maintains a more realistic stance compared to other grandiloquent pledges originating from the opposition.
Repeatedly, concerning the infamous corruption saga, apart from the fact that corruption allegations have sadly become more of sheer prosaic platitudes in Malawi than actual accusations, the moralizing tendencies of certain individuals lead them to regions of the namby-pamby or redundant truisms, without actually helping the country in any way, shape or form.
Undoubtedly, it would be ideal to live in a country where there is not an ounce of corruption, everything is meritocratic and nepotism and cronyism are considered obsolete practices. But can anyone really promise that? Because at least for the time being, it appears that those who make accusatory remarks have themselves succumbed to such practices over the years. As the saying goes ‘it’s easier to criticize than do better’.
There are realistically no promising prospects -much less guarantees- that the self-touted ‘anti-corruption paragons’ will strive towards meritocracy, justice or equality. In order to effectively fight corruption, we have to thoroughly transform our collective mindset and mentality, including cultural changes and moral imperatives. Only then will we be able to eliminate corruption…for good.
Indubitably, when it comes to changing political or social outlook, which is key to bringing about systemic changes, a couple of things are certain: it is a long-term game, and -for now at least -an inexact science.
Nevertheless, it is a starting point that should not be ignored. An at this point, remember Plutarch’s quote ‘it is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man’s oration – nay, it is very easy; but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.’
— The story was first published on Maravi Post on 31st August 2018
MULANJE (10 September 2018) – State Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima has reiterated that the fact that Government is erecting different infrastructure, constructing roads and building hospitals is a testimony that public resources such as taxes are being put to their right use.
The second in command, who is also President of the breakaway United Transformation Movement (UTM), said these remarks yesterday at Namphungo Primary School Ground in the southern region district of Mulanje, where the UTM conducted a political rally. He however cautioned that leaders must not be praised for bringing development to the people.
President Mutharika’s regime is rigorously working on delivering their promise on development by providing facilities and development initiatives for the people of Malawi. Malawians’ taxes are being used to construct roads, dual carriageways for cities, a barrage over Shire river at Liwonde, hospital infrastructure, additional college facilities, rural markets and rural growth centres among others
Demonstrations by the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are basically supposed to be impartial in substance and realistic in nature. Failing these two fundamental tests, they become instruments of self interests, mouthpieces for twisted national media publicity for politicians and forums for stealing public resources for personal gain.
The later point exhibited itself and Malawians were appalled when just a day after April demonstrations, the so called and self-styled leaders were all over the social media, displaying their easy earned holiday spoils in a far away country.
Indeed organizing a demonstration in Malawi is big business. Tax free and lacking in accountability. Its not surprising that with bulging muscles, expensive cars, and meetings in expensive hotels our civil society leaders do claim to champion the cause of the common Malawians.
But why has civil society organized demonstrations rapidly lost currency in Malawi? I have looked at the most usual aspects.
Organization of a social, cultural, economic and political cross-cutting issue has become so partisan that the majority of Malawians have been left with bad taste in the mouth upon realizing that they have been used. It is never a demonstration in Malawi when the leader of opposition does not lead either physically from the front, or in advisory, from the shadows.
CSO leadership has become an undeclared opposition in Malawi. It is basically taking the old role of the opposition parties: negativity and disruption of the government development plans.
Lack of constructive criticism and feedback
There is a certain realisation that without criticism, civil society loses it’s relevance. Relevance including financial support from shadows with covert interests. Oftentimes, civil society has realized that the social media is the working capital. Without the same, it would be dead. Such a realization has led to self outdoing by leadership of how effective one is. With a free Press, it is even a contest of who has the best access.
It is not very surprising that where an issue arises, and to maximize impact and kill the opportunities of others, CSOs are all the time, coalitions. If the original parties agree, others have to toy the line. And as such, the original leadership determines the distribution of resources.
Misrepresentation of issues
The Civil Society Organizations have failed to give proper direction to the masses in Malawi. People have been led to believe that things are in one way, when actually the issues are different from the reality. This has corroded the hard found trust Malawians deposited in the civil society organizations.
Lack of accountability
Civil Society Organizations are now public relations companies, where there is a selected few that are reaping the fruits over and above the interests of the common Malawians. While they fight for equity and equality, they themselves are far from frontier leaders.
The veteran politician, John Tembo, once asked one of the civil society leaders to do self analysis before saying MCP was a regional party.
And today, CSOs have suspended demonstration alluding to competing interests; Malawians are not blind to the fact that there are intrinsic competing interested parties who also want to put on tight T-shirts and fly to far away places like their friends did.
It is the question of either me or nothing. Indeed nothing will be, without something for us. The dog is eating the dog!
The National Statistical Office (NSO), on behalf of the Government of Malawi, will from today 3rd Sept to 23rd September 2018 conduct a sixth Population and Housing Census (PHC). The Population and Housing Census is a total process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analyzing, publishing and disseminating demographic, economic, and social data and information of all persons and their living quarters in a country at a particular time. The NSO conducts censuses in order to generate current and most reliable data for development planning, policy formulation, service delivery and monitoring and evaluation of various programmes.
This year’s census is being conducted under the theme: Be Counted-Leave No One Behind. The theme implies that every person living in Malawi should be counted as a right and legal responsibility. It also implies that the use of the census results should benefit every person living in Malawi in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II & III and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocated by the government and the international community.
Commissioner of Statistics, Mercy Kanyuka said this year’s census will be the first in the history of censuses in Malawi, for NSO to use the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) to collect data from the respondents instead of the traditional paper-based questionnaire as we knew it.
NSO with support from the Malawi Government and development partners has already procured 20, 020 tablets that will be used by 20 000 enumerators when collecting data instead of the paper questionnaire as stated above.
Social commentators have applauded government for implementing major improvements in the first ever electronic census for Malawi.
Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika met his Chinese counter-part President Xi Jinping on Saturday September 1 2018 during which Mutharika asked for deeper co-operation between the two countries and lobbied for more development projects for the southern African nation.
The two leaders met at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.
President Mutharika told the leader of the world’s second biggest economy that the relationship between the two countries has been beneficial to both sides and that there is also space for more co-operation in areas such as trade, education and agriculture.
‘‘Malawi appreciates the assistance it has received from China during these foundational years of our relationship. However, I
think the best way to assist us to move from poverty quickly is for China to open up its huge Chinese market for Malawian products and commodities,’’ said Mutharika.
China has a market population of 1.3 people billion as per its 2016 Population Census.
Mutharika said having firmly established the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, it was also about time for a deeper and closer people to people collaboration between China and Malawi.
President Mutharika said Malawi has embarked on an ambitious skills development programme to equip its people especially the youths with various relevant skills adding that China is a friend to count on in this aspect.
‘‘We aim to equip thousands of youths with technical vocational skills because we realise that no country can develop without vocational and technical skills. Your government’s assistance in skills development in areas such as ICT and other digital technologies is very welcome,” Mutharika added.
In response, President Xi assured President Mutharika that China is willing and ready to offer a helping hand to assist Malawi walk faster on the path to prosperity.
‘‘China will continue to treat Malawi as a mutual friend,” Xi said.
Chinese leader also mentioned that mentioned that he has asked authorities in Beijing to make a sustainable project the 300 megawatt Kammwamba Coal–Fired Power Plant in Neno.
The project, with a 30-year lifespan, is expected to be implemented under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model, which is a particular form of contracting arrangement used in big projects where the contractor is responsible for all the activities, from designing, procurement construction to commissioning and handover of the project.
President Mutharika also expressed optimism that “power outages that we have can be greatly reduced, if the coal-powered plant becomes operation.”
Energy China Engineering Group, a company sub-contracted to work on the Kammwamba Coal–Fired Power Plant has since said it will work with speed to ensure that the project is completed soon.
After the meeting with President Xi Ping President Mutharika proceeded to meet His Excellency Li Zhanshu the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress which is the ruling party in China.
Li Zhanshu is number three in the hierarchy of Chinese administration.
President Mutharika is in China to attend the Forum for China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC)2018 meeting.
President Xi Jing will officially open the summit on Monday.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Mzuzu City say they are not in support of fellow CSOs’ plan to hold nationwide demonstrations slated for September 7, 2018 arguing that the demos have no basis and may fuel political violence.
The CSOs, Christian Justice International (CJI) and Power of Peace Network, said Monday during a media briefing at Mimosa Court Hotel in the city that the demonstrations are ill-timed and organized to serve political interests of some CSO leaders.
CJI’s president Amos Chuma said much as they agree that government needs to be taken to task on
some areas, the demonstrations may fuel political tension already manifesting in some parts of the
“The demonstrations are ill-timed because elections are near.
“We have already seen violent clashes between some political parties and to call for all of them to the
streets is like calling them to a battle field,” he said.
Chuma further said the CSOs will not participate in the demonstrations because they feel the strategy is
not yielding results.
“This is not the first time CSOs have petitioned government; we did this in 2011, and some of those issues have
been addressed despite lives being lost during the exercise.
“This should tell you that the strategy is not working; however, we have not been able to sit down as the CSO
family to explore other strategies,” he said.
Power of Peace Network’s Kenner Mlowoka said CSOs are supposed to lead activities that will promote
peace, justice and development among Malawians, a development he said the September 7 demos do
“Our responsibility is to make sure that in our decisions, we do not put Malawians in problems.
“However, I must say here that the decision does not represent views of all CSOs because some of us
were not consulted on the decision,” Mlowoka said.
He further argued that there are more important pressing issues at the moment that the CSOs can engage in “Instead of concentrating on these ill-timed demos.”
“We should not just be vibrant in taking government to task and be silent when government needs a
helping hand,” he said.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), a grouping of CSOs in the country is organising peaceful
protests after expressing reservations with the executive’s response to its 10-point petition delivered
during the April 27, 2018 demonstrations.
HRDC Northern Chairperson Happy Mhango said the CSOs against the demos are not part of the
coalition and they have every right not to join the call.
By Rose Mahorya/ mana
Seasoned women activist Faustace Chirwa has hailed Hon Kondwani Nankhumwa for his remarkable speech delivered yesterday in Bangwe township in the commercial city Blantyre.
“This is one of the best speeches I have heard so far coming from a young man who has shown maturity in handling hot issues like parliamentary deliberations. He has shown us that he can handle big issues even if the ship appears to be sinking. This what we call leadership at its best,” Faustace said.
She went to say, “Look how he spoke against violence on our journalists. That under his leadership he won’t allow that to happen. You agree or disagree with them it doesn’t matter because that’s the beauty and chemistry of the whole democracy. In fact to agree and disagree is what makes the nation strong because you encourage debate on national duties. This is one of the unique speeches I have indeed heard in my age that a ruling party can stand on a podium to denounce evil.”
Mrs Chirwa went on say that by preaching unity in the party is paramount as the 2019 elections are getting nigh.
“This guy has a matured heart though young in age. There were no political slurs from him not even mentioning the name of his opponents on the podium but just dishing out government policies being championed by the President,” Faustace said in a telephone interview.
“But I would urge next time to talk more on women advancement in political positions in the party as the President preaches. We want more women in DPP to be in strategic positions – as a ruling party must be an example on this. Happy that they have secretary general who is a woman unlike in other major political parties,” she added.
Of late Faustace Chirwa has been the only women activist who has condemned the habit of fellow women who go on the podium to castigate the First Couple.
Minister of Community Development, Civic education and culture Grace Chiumia has applauded the Chewa Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi for discouraging harmful cultural practices to prevent the spread of HIV and Aids.
Chiumia was speaking at Mkaika, Chewa Headquarters in Katete Zambia on Saturday, at the Kulamba Traditional Ceremony, where Chewa people from Zambia Malawi and Mozambique pay homage to their Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi.
“Malawi government commends the Kalonga Gawa Undi for discouraging harmful cultural practices. Government strongly condemns this and it is making all efforts to eliminate such harmful practices. Let’s work together to ensure all forms of undesirable cultural practices are eliminated from our culture,” said Chiumia.
Chiumia said in most cases, girls fall victims to harmful cultural practices such as fisi which promote early marriages and the spread of HIV and Aids.
“I would like to commend the Chewa chief for promoting girl education, this is the only way the girl child can be empowered to play an active role in the development of our countries,” she said
She said President Peter Mutharika is spearheading several programmes such as providing conducive environment for girls to learn, and elimination of early marriages.
Chiumia then hailed the Kulamba festival which she said helps in the preservation of culture and promotes cultural identity among the chewa people.
“The Kulamba festival instills a sense of belonging, national pride and unity in the three countries,” she said.
Speaking through a representative Kalonga Gawa Undi encouraged the Chewa people to send boys and girls to school.
“While we are celebrating our culture we should ensure that we send our children to school especially girls to ensure that they are educated,” he said.
“Let us live in harmony with other tribes and remain united as chewa people,” he added.
Thousands of people from Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique gather at Mkaika Chewa headquarters in Katete, Zambia every year to pay homage to Chewa Chief, Kalonga Gawa Undi at the Kulamba Traditional Festival.
The ceremony aims at among other things celebrating the chewa culture through chewa rites and traditional dances.
The ceremony was attended by a cross section of people from Malawi led by Chewa chief Lukwa of Kasungu and other chiefs from Malawi notably Lomwe Paramount Chief Ngongoliwa and King Litunga of Barotseland in Zambia.
The High Court in Zomba has denied Catholic Priest, Fr. Thomas Muhosha, bail in a murder case of a 22-year-old MacDonald Masambuka.
Judge Redson Kapindu read in court a judgement by Justice Zione Ntaba that Section 42(ii)(e) of the Constitution of Malawi gives the Court powers to continue detaining a murder suspect.
Fr. Muhosha had applied for bail saying he is not a flight risk and that he doesn’t have any relatives or property outside Malawi.
Meanwhile, the other suspects in the case including Muhosha are expected to start entering plea. Masambuka was brutally murdered in March this year. Over 20 persons with albinism have been killed since 2014.