The Democratic Progressive Party United Kingdom (DPP-UK) wing held its annual general meeting on February, 25 2018, in Birmingham, UK where a new chairman Lewis Kamundi was elected. He was a strategist in the previous committee and replaces the previous chairman, Mr Ken Mjojo.
During the polls, Neza Chatuwa was re-rected as Secretary, Mr Thandizo Sembereka (new member) as Treasurer replacing Emma Chirupani, Ken Mjojo as Coordinator replacing Tim Duncan Zambezi, Marvin Chirupani re-elected as Event’s Organiser, Mrs Charity Saiwala (new member) as vice Event’s Organiser, Tinali Alfazema re-elected as Spokesperson, Mr Goodson Saiwala (new member) as Strategist replacing Mr Lewis Kamundi and Mr Dave Sasuze (new member) as Media person.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi Voice, Kamundi said they were excited to have a new strong team which is set to carry on doing DPP-UK wing supportive work to the ruling DPP party in Malawi by following the three pillars, integrity, patriotism and hard work put in place by president Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika.
“In the past year we have achieved a number of things in advancing welfare of fellow Malawians including donation of clutches for disabled people at Kachebere Clinic, donations of healthy porridge to Kamuzu Central Hospital and Kang’oma Health Centre in Lilongwe. Also, donations of footballs, basketballs and clothes for under- fives have been made to a number of constituencies in Malawi. We aim to carry on raising funds to continue our supportive work towards Malawians in need.
“Our next fundraising event is a 5KM Big Walk in Edinburgh, UK on the 14th April 2018. Our aim is to raise more funds to buy more healthy porridge to continue with the donations to more hospitals with patients who have serious nutritional needs in other parts of Malawi. We therefore call along all Malawians in the UK to come join us on this Big walk,” he said.
Malawi ambassador to the United Nations died Necton Mhura has died following a long battle with cancer.
Chief Secretary to government Lloyd Muhara confirmed the death in a brief media statement but provided no details as to how he died.
The deputy ambassador to the UN, Loti Dzonzi, informed the Malawi community in the New York that Mhura was admitted to a New Jersey hospital on January 30, 2018 and died today February 19, 2018 at 1:30 P.M. Eastern Standard time.
Many Malawians took to social media to express their condolences.
“Shocked and saddened to learn that Ambassador Mhura passed away,” one Malawian in New York tweeted.
Some described Mhura an “outstanding” envoy.
President Peter Mutharika was notified of Mhura’s death and is reportedly grieved .
Ambassador Mhura took his post as Malawi’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN in August 2016. Prior to this posting, he was briefly Malawi envoy to the United States in Washington D.C.
A former University of Malawi academician, Mhura once worked as Deputy Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) .
President Professor Peter Mutharika has called on people to put aside their political affiliations and support any meaning development that government is implementing in improving living standards in the country.
Mutharika made the call Wednesday at Misesa Primary School ground in Blantyre when he addressed a developmental rally after laying a foundation stone for the first – ever Blantyre by – pass road.
The President said government intends to implement a number of development project towards improving the country’s socio – economic status.
But Mutharika observed that for such initiatives to be achieved, Malawians need to be united, patriotic and hardworking.
“Government needs your support from all people and its partners to fulfill its my plans on developing this nation,” Mutharika said.
He went on to outline some new project government is implementing and planning to implement specifically in Blantyre City.
They include a new business park currently under construction, a 20-storey building, dual carriage road from Clock Tower to Chileka Airport and a new stadium near Njamba Freedom Park.
Mutharika further said there are more project in critical sectors like agriculture, education, health and transport.
Earlier on, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango said the leadership of this country is keen on bringing various development projects to people across the country.
“Since the President came to power in 2014, Malawi has witnessed a number of developmental projects in all sectors critical to economic growth.
With these developments, the leadership has people’s support in its pursuit to transform the nation,” Mhango said.
Senior Chief Kapeni of Blantyre also commended the country’s leadership for even distribution of development projects in the country.
He also assured government of people’s support on its development initiatives.
His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has been elected into the Bureau of the African Union Committee of Heads of State on the Promotion of Education, Science and Technology (CPEST) during the Inaugural Meeting of the Committee held in Addis Ababa on Saturday, January 27 2018. The composition of the leadership of CPEST is now as follows:
Chairperson: H.E. President Macky Sall (Senegal)
1st Vice Chair: H.E. President Beji Caid Essebsi (Tunisia)
2nd Vice Chair: H.E. Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (Malawi)
Times Media Group has stopped reporters from covering the divisions in MCP.
On Saturday, there went viral a letter written by a camp led by deputy president Richard Msowoya and other top brass in the party.
In the letter Msowoya and his colleagues are condemning Lazarus Chakwera’s violation of the party’s constitution.
The move has exposed deep divisions in MCP.
And while all media houses in the country have published the story, sources at Times say Editor in Chief George Kasakula, an MCP operative, has told reporters and editors that he needs to establish the authenticity of the letter.
The authenticity of the letter has not been in question and secretary general Gustave Kaliwo who is one of the signatories has confirmed it.
It is said Kasakula has decreed that he will do the story himself after screening the veracity of the letter.
A reporter floated the story idea in a morning editorial meeting but Kasakula instructed the editors that he would do the assignment himself.
Kasakula does not do news stories. As Editor In Chief, he is a top manager dwelling mostly on administrative and policy issues.
“Make sure the reporter does not pursue the story. I will do it myself. We need to be careful about some of these documents. Many look fake including this letter,” Kasakula directed one of his editors.
Kasakula has imposed his political views at Times Group that all stories concerning MCP should be edited by him only.
Kasakula failed twice during primaries to run as MCP parliamentary candidate in Kasungu West.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that during one of his meetings with Chakwera he was promised a ministerial post if he helped MCP win presidential elections in 2019.
It is interesting that Times has opted to play politics after years of hardwork to make the media house independent and professional.
During the 31-year rule of MCP, Times was the party’s official mouthpiece propagating MCP brutality, murders of innocent citizens and abuse of human rights.
When Malawi changed to democracy, Times suffered serious image problem and was shunned by readers and advertisers alike.
This led to the media house unable to realize good revenue, to among other things, pay taxes to Malawi Revenue Authority.
Even as it tried to shake off the image of the past, the bills kept accumulating and today they run into billions of kwacha which it is failing to pay.
It reverted to being MCP mouthpiece in the hope that should MCP be in government, it will have its outstanding bills scrapped off.
But this has resulted in advertisers dumping it as they do not want to be associated with unprofessional journalism. Sales of its publications have dipped badly while those of its rivals are picking up.
With their company saddled by huge debts and unable to make good revenue coupled with poor management, Times reporters suffer serious labour violations in the country.
They are among the most underpaid they rely on handouts from news sources and the company has not been submitting their pensions to Old Mutual for years now.
Government has met its promise and brought to the National Assembly the much sought-after Electoral Reforms Bill which includes the provision that a President should be elected with a 50%+1 majority.
However, in its earlier form, the provision did not apply to MPs and Councillors who are also elected at the same time as President as representatives of the people.
Now the bill which government has brought to Parliament today has made the provision apply to all the three.
That however has not gone down well with Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
Sources have told Malawi Voice that PAC is rattled and is accusing the government for the universal application as they were specifically targeting the President for the 50%+1 provision. This stand betrays political motives on the part of PAC.
In the past few weeks, PAC and opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera have been pressing the government to table the bill and has gone on to organize demonstrations to that effect.
That they are uncomfortable with universal application effectively betrays the religious body’s political interests in pushing for the bill.
But this is not surprising. PAC has betrayed its regime change agenda all along.
When it noted that government had not listed the bill among those to be tabled in the current sitting of Parliament, PAC and Chakwera went to town accusing the government for not bringing it along and immediately announced demonstrations to press for the tabling of the bill.
A few days later, PAC stunned the nation when it said the demonstrations would not only be about the electoral reform bills but also against the leadership of the country, a clear indication that PAC has sinister intentions.
Just like PAC, some Members of Parliament too have expressed discomfort with the new form of the provision as they know their being elected is at stake should the house pass the bill.
One of the MCP MPs Juliana Lunguzi was the first to react on twitter in disagreement when the bill circulated this morning.
According to statistics from Malawi Electoral Commission website, most of the current MPs scored less than 50 percent of the votes in the 2014 tripartite elections.
It is noteworthy that MPs have done everything to shield themselves from being removed. For instance, during the UDF regime, the MPs scrapped Recall Provision from the Constitution which stipulated that MPs should be removed from their position should the electorate deem them not performing. The provision empowered the electorate with greater say on how they should be governed.
President Peter Mutharika says his government will end the malpractice of exploiting farmers which he said is happening due to informal exports of agricultural commodities.
He made the remarks Wednesday in Lilongwe during his visit to the Auction Holdings Commodity Exchange (AHCX), which facilitates domestic and international trade, mainly grains and legumes under the concept of warehouse receipt.
The president wanted to familiarize himself with what exactly happens on this structured market and facilities that are there to service farmers and stakeholders.
Mutharika said farmers in the country are being exploited due to what he said was an existing informal export market whereby the country has lost around USD980billion.
“Informal buyers come into the country and export commodities but the money never comes to Malawi. Money is disappearing and we have lost around USD980billion through this kind of thing. But we are going to stop that because we want to protect our farmers who have been cheated for many years now,” said Mutharika.
The president who two years ago went to Ethiopia to appreciate the opportunities, challenges and how structured markets function said it is high time now money remains in the pockets of farmers if the country is to develop.
“We want to get good prices for our farmers because this country will only develop if there is more money in the pockets of our farmers. That is what we are trying to do by opening up markets and negotiating for better prices for the farmers
“Also, we will soon be introducing the Control of goods Act for the exporting growers which will also help us in exports,” said Mutharika.
He however said the concept of warehouse receipt is a new concept and acknowledged the need to civic educate the farmers who might have reservations as regards fears of safety of their commodities.
During the visit, Mutharika was briefed on recent significant developments that have happened after the inception of the market in 2013, the trade process, operations of exchange and was taken on a tour to see how AHCX interfaces with farmers and financial institutions.
General Manager for AHCX, Davis Manyenje told Malawi News Agency in an interview that structured market has a strong potential in Malawi which he described as massive.
“Malawi continues to export a lot of products informally and because of that; there is export under-declaration and a lot of profits are not coming through.
“But under structured markets, we come in with efficiency, transparency and fairness in the pricing mechanisms that are discovered on the market. This means there are also mechanisms to ensure that all exports and profits are duly accounted for,” said Manyenje.
He on the other hand attributed that there are significant interventions that have been done like the recent passing of the warehouse receipt bill and the commodity exchange directive which is being championed by the central bank under the Financial Services Act.
“However there are a number of policy frameworks which need to be harnessed so that they come in, at the implementation level, to guide the operations of the market,” said Manyenje.
Transformative milestone. Fulfilled promise. Landmark development. A guarantor of our citizenship. This is how various stakeholders have described the just-ended mass registration exercise and the issuance of biometric national identity cards.
After a long wait for over 50 years without having legal documents identifying us as bona-fide Malawians, everyone is excited about the introduction of national IDs. Even President Peter Mutharika who during his tenure as Justice Minister in 2009 initiated the legislation of the enabling Act is upbeat about the achievement.
“When I initiated legislation of the Act in 2009 in my capacity as Minister of Justice, everyone said this is not possible. But we have done it. Today, our promise is reality. Our dream is happening,” said Mutharika during the closure of the mass registration campaign in Lilongwe on Thursday.
He added: “Today, we are here to make history. For the first time ever, Malawi has a legal identification system. Every Malawian now has a National Identity Card. This is transformation! The National Identity Card was my promise to the people of Malawi. I have always said – I promise what I do; and I do what I promise.”
The initiative targeted to register 9 million Malawians but has so far beaten the target, courtesy of the desire of every eligible citizen to have a national identity card.
“The National Registration and Identification System has an overall total of 9, 168, 689 Malawians. All these will receive their National Identity Cards. This constitutes a 100 percent national coverage against our initial target population,” explained Mutharika.
While mass registration is closed, there will be continuous registration at all times as those graduating into the eligibility criteria can register and obtain a legal identity at District Commissioners’ Offices.
The benefits of the identity card are numerous. For Eletoni Fundi from Ndanga Village in Mulanje, once he receives the national identity card, his first action will be to use it to open a bank account.
Describing the development as a wonderful solution, he revealed that in the past three years he attempted to open a bank account but financial institutions turned him away due to lack of a genuine ID.
“As a carpenter, I get some substantial money from my business. It has been my longtime dream to save some of my earnings, but lack of an identity card was the stumbling block,” he explained: “With the national ID, the impossibility is now a possibility.”
His sentiments echo what Mutharika said during the closure of the mass registration initiative.
“With a National ID, every citizen can now access banking services because banks feel secure to deal with legally identifiable citizens. With the National ID, banks no longer have reason to deny services to our farmers, mothers and sisters living in rural areas,” Mutharika explained.
He added: “The National ID Card is a game changer. With a legal identity of every citizen, we will now flash out ghost workers from the public service. We will save more money for public services.”
That’s not all. There is also an expectation among many stakeholders of an increase in e-commerce and online transactions because the national identity system steps up electronic security.
“Not long from now, we will now buying and selling our goods online more than ever. This is transformation,” the president explained.
With every Malawian owning a National ID, even the Immigration and Citizenship Services Department, shall have no excuse for processing and issuing passports to crooked foreigners who parachute into the country only to get the much-needed document fraudulently for sinister motives.
The just ended Mass Registration assignment, according to European Union Ambassador to Malawi Marchel Germann is a significant achievement that has put Malawi on track to achieve one of the targets under the Sustainable Development Goals on legal identity for all and birth registration by 2030.
“The digital dividend of this project offers a unique opportunity for Malawi to position itself as a modern state on the African map. Technology can be a tool to establish transparent systems and hence underpin reforms. What we are witnessing today is a milestone for Malawi since it holds transformative promise for the country.”
Germann pointed out that a new chapter has begun as Malawians will enjoy the tangible benefits that ID Cards bring.
“Development Partners would like to encourage your government to ensure that the NRIS, coupled with the ID Cards, will translate into improved service delivery and strengthened democracy.
“We invested in this project to see improved governance and an increased tax base by efficiently utilizing this system; to see e-health passports, giving instant access to patients’ medical histories, saving time and lives; and to see improved access to justice and social protection becoming realistic goals to aspire to. The ID Cards are also expected to usher new opportunities to roll out targeted financial inclusion programmes,” he said.
For many citizens to benefit from the card, establishment of linkages between the National Registration and Identification System and government ministries, departments and agencies is of paramount importance. One crucial linkage already in place is that of between the identification system and the Malawi Electoral Commission.
“We are expecting that this will improve the integrity of the voters’ register and, more importantly, reduce the total cost of the elections. The introduction of ID-Cards should translate into significant cost-savings on the voter registration process and the overall election budget,” said Germann.
Other linkages can be made with the Malawi Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Health, the Immigration Department and the banking sector. Through such links an ecosystem providing improved services for the bearers of the national ID will be created easily.
The fruition of the initiative is a result of the strategic coalition of engagement and commitment between the government of Malawi, and Development Partners – the UNDP, the European Union, UK, Ireland, Norway and the US- which together funded the project.
UNDP Chief Technical Advisor on NRIS-project Tariq Malik summed the valuable collaboration very well. “A project of this size and complexity is never the work of one individual. There are many here today who gave their time, commitment and their energy so this vision could be realized. The number of people registered in the mass registration campaign speaks to their success.”
But when all was said and done, Malik made a capstone observation. “This was truly a project by Malawians, for Malawians….. Today, however, is a moment to pause, to take a breath and to celebrate. We have achieved a milestone. A milestone with transformative promise.”
Indeed registering over 9 million Malawians; and issuing them with biometric national identity cards within a short period of time is a milestone with transformative promise.
Brian Ligomeka is an Executive Director of a human rights media organization, Centre for Solutions Journalism
A newly established Lilongwe based private institution- Lilongwe High School, is offering 50 scholarships to neediest students worth MK36 million within the city.
The scholarship Programme will benefit young people who dropped out of school due to lack of school fees and other circumstances including teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
Director of the school, Mussa Zalira, confirmed the development that they decided to assist needy students to enable them access education which will go a long way to help them in the future.
“We want to help the needy in a small way we can and we hope this will impact not only on the individual beneficiaries but also our communities,” said Zalira.
Zalira said potential applicants must get application forms at the school which is located along the M1 road, opposite St John’s Primary School or consult the Lilongwe District Social Welfare Office.
“The scholarship is open for forms 1-4 with classes starting January, 2018. We are offering 50 scholarships but our target is 200 depending on the availability of resources and potential stakeholders who are interested to help needy students.
“The value of this scholarship is MK3 million per term which translates to MK36 million for the four year period” said Zalira who holds a masters degree from Leeds Becket University-UK.
Controversial Prophet David Mbewe, founder of his church Living Word Evangelist Church under Shalom Mount Valley Ministries, has been sued by a woman he impregnated her after sexual assault.
The woman, Ovixlexla Bunya, has sought the legal services private practice lawyer Gift Katundu of Kita and Company law firm to claim damages for “a violation of her constitutional rights”.
According to the writs of summons served to Prophet Mbewe, the woman heard about the “spiritual wonders” of Mbewe a resident of Zomba Old Naisi near St Peters Lodge and wanted him to pray for his son.
Bunya found the Prophet who prayed for her son and took the phone contacts of her as he promised to send her “a holy candle” for her son.
The Prophet telephoned Bunya after a week asking her if they could be friends as he did not have many friends to talk to and that she accepted friendship “and nothing more.”
On 16 March 2017, Prophet Mbewe invited Bunya to Capital Hotel, where he was putting up, to assist him with a concept note on a television project to be submitted to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).
The court documents say while on the course of discussing the concept, Prophet Mbewe “grabbed” Bunya and “threw her on the bed and forcibly had sex with her against her will.”
It has been claimed that by reason of the said sexual assault, Bunya got pregnant and on 27 September 2017 upon experiencing labour pains she reported to Kamuzu Central Hospital, Ethel Mutharika wing where she ended giving birth to a premature baby girl who eventually passed on.
According to Bunya, by having sex against her will, Prophet Mbewe violated her “right to dignity” as enshrined the Constitution of Malawi in Section 19 (1).
Her lawyers argue that Prophet Mbewe subjected the woman to “torture” and to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” contrary to Section 19 (3) of Malawi Constitution.
The summons were issues by the High Court dated 1 November 2017 and Prophet Mbewe is yet to inform court if he intends to contests the proceedings in a trial.
According to some witness statements seen by Nyasa Times, Bunya claims Prophet Mbewe is “Satanic” and that her sister also died mysterious because of him.
It was not independently verified if the witness statement is a sword affidavit.
Prophet Mbewe has not commented on the matter.
However, he is not new to controversy sexual offence; he was accused impregnating a wife to one of his flock which led to the breakdown of the flock’s marriage.
He was responsible for the pregnancy of one Belinda Chipala, former wife to Edwin Chipala in Blantyre.
Belinda has named her baby son ‘David’ and she held a splash baby welcoming party in the suburbs of Namiwawa which sources said was paid for by the Prophet.
When she was delivering her “miracle” boy, she was admitted at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital and the Prophet Mbewe’s mother was her guardian at the hospital where she was booked in a private room.
Bunya is a poet and a journalist who once worked with MBC Television as producer, presenter and reporter.