Thursday, July 9, 2015

INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE DEATH OF DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS AT THE ANTI CORRUPTION BUREAU (ACB) LATE ISSA NJAUJU

Republic of Malawi
PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release
July 7, 2015
Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture
Lilongwe
Malawi

INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE DEATH OF DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS AT THE ANTI CORRUPTION BUREAU (ACB) LATE ISSA NJAUJU

Government expresses heartfelt concern and condemns the brutal and cowardly murder of Mr Issa Njauju who at the time of his untimely death was Director of the Corporate Affairs responsible for general administration, finance and human resource at the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The Malawi Police Service has opened investigations into this tragic death. Government, and all law abiding citizens, will therefore wait for the findings of these professional investigations to take an informed stand on the matter.

To this effect, the general public is being asked to refrain from making wild speculations which are deeply hurting the bereaved family and colleagues at the ACB who have lost a dear friend, husband and father. Such a painful and tragic death must not be a treated as a source of propaganda by anyone.

The Malawi Police Service is working around the clock to find the real truth of the matter. Therefore, the public is hereby being assured that perpetrators of this heinous act will be found and be brought to book. The criminals can run, but not hide.

Meanwhile, Government is appealing to the general public to assist the Police with relevant information that may lead to the apprehension of the criminals.

KONDWANI NANKHUMWA MP
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, TOURISM AND CULTURE
GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON
Page of 3

Sunday, May 17, 2015

For Raphael Tenthani, Mentor

It's sad that the great Raphael Tenthani is gone.
The last time I met him was yesterday.
He came to the office, in the company of his jubilant children
And sent me to buy pork at Ginnery Corner
As he always did
And, then, we devoured the meat
Not knowing it was the Last Lunch


Ralph Tenthani's legacy is like a house:
Painted, repainted, and painted again through his writings;
It is too strong, shiny perhaps, to shrink under the heavy weight of death.

The constitution of Ralph Tenthani's brain verged on the extra-ordinary.
Morbid cases of political myopia he laid bare.
When political praise-singing reigned supreme, he had a way of
throwing sense into gear.
Often drawing on his extraordinary store of memories, his lines of
thought were not humanly typical.
It's his 'religious' love for telling the truth- nothing but the
painful truth- that has produced innumerable devotees.
His impartial judgement, strength of character, unshakability of mind
and soul, set him apart. It, kind of, gave him a new range of power;
the sort of power only the pen offers.
As American philosopher, William James (1842 - 1910), rightly
observed, "The fermentative influence of geniuses must be admitted as,
at any rate, one factor in the changes that constitute social
evolution".
Ralph Tenthani was a social, political,and-what-have-you evolutionist.
He belonged to the highest order of minds.
Now, as Ephraim Nyondo said when Atate Edward Chitsulo followed The
Way of All the Earth that month-not-very-far-away-from-
this, he
belongs to the ages now.
As our thoughts fizzle and bob about all the great experiences we have
had with Ralph.
In our sadness, let us take time to reel Ralph's life into one great
memory of inspiration.
As we move on.

Of course,
Sadness flows all over the place
One layer of sadness on top of another
Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over


When his remains finally go under
Where soil particle upon soil particle shuts down geniuses like Ralph
Our memories of him will flood the land above
Inspiring his cash crop: Journalists!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

FULFILLING OUR PROMISES

Page 1
FULFILLING OUR PROMISES
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
by
HIS EXCELLENCY
PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
on the occasion of
THE STATE OPENING OF THE 4TH MEETING IN THE
45TH
SESSION OF PARLIAMENT AND THE
2015/2016 BUDGET MEETING
LILONGWE
YOUR
EXCELLENCY
MADAME
GERTRUDE
MUTHARIKA, FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF
MALAWI;
RIGHT HONOURABLE SAULOS CLAUS CHILIMA, VICE
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI;
RIGHT HONOURABLE RICHARD MSOWOYA, M.P.,
SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY;
YOUR LORDSHIP HONOURABLE ANDREW NYIRENDA,
SC, CHIEF JUSTICE;
HONOURABLE DEPUTY SPEAKERS;
HONOURABLE LEADER OF THE HOUSE;
HONOURABLE CABINET MINISTERS AND DEPUTY
MINISTERS;
HONOURABLE JUSTICES OF APPEAL AND JUDGES OF
THE HIGH COURT;
HONOURABLE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION;
LEADERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES REPRESENTED IN
PARLIAMENT;
HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT;
YOUR
EXCELLENCY
MADAM
THANDIWE
DUMBUTCHENA, DEAN OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
AND HEADS OF DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS;
MR. GEORGE MKONDIWA, CHIEF SECRETARY TO
THE GOVERNMENT;
DISTINGUISHED INVITED GUESTS;
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
1
INTRODUCTION
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am delighted to be here this morning to
deliver the State of the Nation Address to this august House
and to open the 2015/2016 Budget Meeting.
Allow me, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to begin my address by exalting the
Almighty God for his continued grace that has seen us through
the first year of my term of office as President of the Republic
of Malawi. I also express my sincere gratitude to all Malawians
for giving me the opportunity to serve them as President and
this honourable House for its support during the year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in my first State of the Nation Address in
June last year, I outlined a comprehensive reform agenda and
plans to transform this nation. I also specifically stated that
prosperity, justice and security would be pillars of my
Administration. Today, I am here, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to report
on the progress we have made thus far and where we stand as
a nation. I will talk about the strong foundation that we are
laying to propel our nation forward. I am particularly delighted
because we are already delivering on our promises before the
first anniversary of my Administration.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as stated in the 2014 DPP Manifesto and
indicated in my 2014 State of the Nation Address, we are at a
very pivotal moment of our history as a nation. The first fifty
years of independence were a mixed bag. While we have so far
registered a number of successes, we have also not done well
in some areas.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am reiterating today that we, as a nation,
have to always learn from experience and past mistakes. The
opportunity to correct mistakes lies with us. Mr. Speaker, Sir,
we all have to be mindful of the fact that history will harshly
judge us if we do not seize the opportunities that are currently
2
available for us to redefine and reposition our destiny as a
nation. Our children will never forgive us if we fail to make the
right decisions for a better future.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me, therefore, reaffirm my commitment to
public sector reforms as one of the important pillars for
sustainable socio-economic transformation. This entails
abandoning archaic systems and practices that, though
familiar, are no longer serving us efficiently. I repeat, Mr.
Speaker, Sir, that our current situation necessitates
fundamental changes in the way we do things as we look into
the future with renewed hope, confidence and enthusiasm. I
am, however, aware that old habits die hard and that change
can be a painful or stressful experience. I am thus calling upon
all Malawians, especially you, Honourable Members of
Parliament to render your support to the reform initiatives.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is why I have, in the past few months,
launched various public sector reforms under the Public
Service Reform Agenda. I have also launched several
programmes and initiatives aimed at enhancing knowledge and
skills transfer and empowering Malawians in various aspects of
life. In addition, I recently launched the Public Finance
Management Reforms Programme with a view to strengthen
public sector finance management. The programme, which is
home-grown and tailor-made to our particular circumstances,
aims to curb mismanagement of public funds so that we avoid
the recurrence of the cash gate scandal.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, true to my manifesto promise, I appointed
and have maintained a lean Cabinet of 20 members including
the President and Vice President. I am proud to report that the
lean Cabinet has so far performed well and achieved its main
objective of minimizing Government expenditure. In addition,
we have already significantly reduced the powers of the
presidency by transferring some departments from the Office of
the President and Cabinet (OPC) to relevant ministries. This
means OPC is now focusing on its core functions.
3
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all this is a clear demonstration of the DPP-
led Government’s commitment in delivering on its promises. It
is for this reason that I have titled my address Fulfilling Our
Promises.
MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICY REFORMS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will continue to design and
implement sound macroeconomic policy reforms aimed at
creating a stable macroeconomic environment for the private
sector to thrive, with a view to transforming the economy to
attain full recovery and achieve sustained inclusive growth and
development. Fiscal and monetary policies will, therefore, seek
to ensure that annual inflation remains low, stable and within
single digits; reduce and eventually eliminate huge domestic
borrowing; reduce balance-of-payments deficits; maintain a
stable exchange rate; and achieve and maintain lower interest
rates. The policies will ensure that the economy achieves and
maintains high economic growth rates of at least 6 percent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the sound macroeconomic policies that
Government has been implementing in the 2014/2015
financial year have already started bearing positive results. The
economy is projected to register a real GDP growth of 5.4
percent in 2015, despite setbacks such as recent floods and
dry spells that have affected agricultural production. Going
forward in 2016, the economy is projected to rebound with a
strong growth of 6.5 percent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, although our current foreign exchange
reserves still remain lower than adequate, it is pleasing to note
that recently, our foreign exchange reserves have risen to more
than 3 months of import cover. This increase in foreign
exchange reserves has managed to anchor the stability of the
Kwacha in 2015.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is expected that foreign exchange reserves
would continue to rise with the onset of the tobacco marketing
4
season and the resumption of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) programme.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, annual average inflation is expected to drop
from 23.8 percent in 2014 to 16.4 percent in 2015. This is due
to the combined effect of the stable exchange rate and a
significant decline in global oil prices. It is projected that
inflation will continue to be on a downward trend and will
reach an annual average rate of 12 percent in 2016.
Extended Credit Facility
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am pleased to report that Government
successfully concluded negotiations with the IMF on the
Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for the Fifth and Sixth reviews
in March, 2015. This resulted in the IMF’s approval of the
completion of the Fifth and Sixth reviews of Malawi’s economic
performance under the programme supported by the ECF
arrangement, as well as financing amounting to US$18.1
million for immediate disbursement. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the
successful conclusion of the reviews and approval of the
disbursements is expected to trigger disbursements from all
other development partners, since this signals Government’s
commitment to the macroeconomic programme.
Fiscal Policy
Mr. Speaker, Sir, following the “cash-gate” scandal, the
contribution of donor support to the budget substantially
declined from about 30 percent of the total resource envelope
to less than 20 percent in the 2014/2015 fiscal year. As a
result, the 2014/2015 budget has been largely financed by
domestic resources.
In order to fill the revenue gap created by the deficit in donor
financing, Government intensified implementation of tax policy
5
reforms aimed at improving the tax regime to reduce loopholes
and improve on tax compliance and investor confidence. In
addition, Government also embarked on a comprehensive
review of the various tax legislations in order to improve on tax
administration and encourage investment in the country. This
process is expected to be completed by the end of the
2015/2016 fiscal year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me report to this august House that
Government, through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA),
introduced the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) to improve the
collection of Value Added Tax (VAT). I am, therefore, appealing
to both the public and business operators to support the new
system and embrace the culture of tax compliance in order to
assist the Government in fulfilling its social and economic
obligations.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government has also taken steps to
strengthen debt management practices and restructure
repayment of outstanding arrears to suppliers in order to ease
pressure on the budget and give Government room for other
priority expenditures. Government will also avoid further
accumulation of arrears through strict expenditure control
measures.
Going forward, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will endeavour to
reduce its fiscal deficit to levels below the internationally
acceptable threshold (3 percent of GDP), in order to reduce
pressure on domestic borrowing and interest rates. This will be
supported by Government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation
and foreign borrowing through loans obtained on concessional
terms.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the 2015/2016 budget will reflect a prudent
fiscal stance whereby all recurrent transactions will be largely
financed by domestically generated resources with a modest
net domestic borrowing of about 1.1 percent of GDP.
6
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will also introduce the
Programme Based Budgeting (PBB) in the short to medium
term, in line with the ongoing Public Sector Reforms. This
budgeting approach will ensure that ministries and
departments report on achievement of results under specific
programmes that are aligned to their strategic objectives as a
prerequisite for funding.
Public Finance Reform Programme
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Public Finance Reform Programme which
I alluded to in my introduction seeks to, among other things,
restore the integrity of the public service in the management of
public resources.
This will be achieved through:
__
strict enforcement of laws, rules and regulations that
govern the management of financial resources in
Government;
training of civil servants in public finance management;
strengthening and customizing the Integrated Financial
Management Information System to suit the local
conditions of Malawi;
the rehabilitation of the public finance system to ensure
proper accountability, transparency and control of the
financial flows; and
strengthening the Central Internal Auditing Service by
putting in place proper internal auditing systems.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I strongly believe that these efforts will, in due
course, bear fruits in re-establishing fiscal discipline in the
public sector.
7
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH
Agriculture
Mr. Speaker, Sir, agriculture remains a key driving sector of
our economy. Government will, therefore, continue to prioritise
the sector to meet both national and household food
requirements as well as support agro industries for export.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the 2014/2015 growing season experienced
extreme weather conditions that included heavy floods and
prolonged dry spells at the critical stage of crop development.
This has resulted in a significant drop in agricultural
production. According to the 2014/2015 crop estimates, maize
production has decreased from 3,978,123 metric tonnes in the
2013/2014 agricultural season to 2,898,123 metric tonnes in
the current agricultural season, representing a 27.7 percent
decline. The results also show a slight decrease in other major
food crops such as rice, millet, cassava and sorghum. However,
except for cotton and groundnuts, other cash crops such as
pulses have registered a slight increase.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to mitigate the looming food shortage and to
ensure availability of food at household and national levels,
Government has allocated MK8.0 billion in the 2015/2016
budget for restocking the Strategic Grain Reserves.
Government is also discussing with development partners to
provide more resources for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, Government, with support from development
partners has provided early maturing maize seed, fertilizer,
sweet potato vines and cassava cuttings to support affected
smallholder farmers to revive their farming enterprises to take
advantage of residual moisture and irrigation.
Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the significant contribution of the
Farm Input Subsidy Programme to agricultural growth and
8
national food self sufficiency, Government continued to
implement the Programme during the 2014/2015 fiscal year.
Through the programme, a total of 1.5 million deserving farm
families benefitted from 150,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers,
7,500 metric tonnes of maize and 3,000 metric tonnes of
legume seed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to address the challenges that have dogged
the programme over the years, Government implemented
efficiency measures that included:
__
delegating procurement of fertilisers to Smallholder
Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRM);
provision of police escort during fertiliser distribution;
vetting of transporters to avoid fertiliser thefts;
conducting fertiliser quality checks to avoid mixture of
fertilisers with sand; and
piloting the use of electronic vouchers to facilitate easy
and transparent access to subsidised inputs by eligible
farmers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will, in the next fiscal year,
intensify implementation of the efficiency measures in order to
maximise the programme’s contribution to national food
security.
Cotton Up-scaling Programme
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government continued with the Cotton Up-
Scaling Programme in the 2014/2015 growing season. The
programme supported over 389,000 cotton growers with
extension services, farm inputs and pesticides.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a projected drop of 31.4 percent in
cotton production in the 2014/2015 growing season compared
9
to the 2013/2014 season. The drop in cotton production is
mainly attributed to poor weather conditions and reduced area
put to the crop due to poor prices.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will continue to work with the
cotton industry and farmers to improve cotton yields and
production. Government will endeavour to develop backward
and forward linkages in the cotton industry value chains with
tremendous potential to create employment and increase
foreign exchange earnings.
Tobacco Production and Marketing
Mr. Speaker, Sir, tobacco is a very important strategic crop and
a major contributor to our foreign exchange earnings.
According to the 2014/2015 estimates, production is projected
at 181.9 million kilograms and is expected to generate about
US$300 million of income for our farmers. This year’s projected
production is slightly lower than last year’s production of about
192 million kilograms.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is, however, aware of the risks
posed by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and
the anti-smoking lobby. In this regard, Government will
continue to carry out necessary reforms in the tobacco sector
whilst intensifying diversification of agricultural commodity
production. The reforms will include continued review of the
Integrated Production System (IPS) and placing emphasis on
value addition of our tobacco.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the fisheries sub-sector contributes
significantly to food and nutritional security; sustainable
livelihoods of the rural population; and socio-economic growth
of the country. During the 2014/2015 financial year, fish
production was estimated at 116,127.78 tonnes with a total
beach value of K74.33 billion accrued by fishers. This is an
10
increase from 112,248.27 tonnes that had a beach landing
value of K53.55 billion during the 2013/2014 fiscal year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, fish is highly perishable and loses value
through poor post-harvest handling practices. In order to
address this problem, Government completed and
commissioned three ice plants and cold rooms in Nkhotakota,
Mangochi and Zomba. Plans are underway to extend these
facilities to Nkhata Bay, Salima and Blantyre districts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in an effort to promote aquaculture fish
production, Government, in collaboration with the private
sector produced and distributed over 3.5 million tilapia and
catfish fingerlings for stocking in various aquaculture farms
throughout the country. As a result, aquaculture fish
production is estimated to increase to 4,000 tonnes in the
2014/2015 financial year from 3,500 tonnes in the previous
year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will continue to promote
aquaculture development for increased contribution towards
food and nutritional security, diversified source of cash
incomes for farmers and creation of employment opportunities.
Water Development and Irrigation
Water Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government recognizes the importance of
providing safe water for our human capital development. In
order to meet the needs of our growing population, Government
continued to invest in short and long-term strategies in the
water sector guided by the Water and Sanitation Sector Wide
Approach.
During the 2014/2015 financial year, Government completed
rehabilitation of Mudi Pumping Station and Walkers Ferry
Treatment Plant as well as the construction of three reservoirs,
11
each with a capacity of 5,000 cubic metres together with their
booster stations, pumping and supply pipelines in Blantyre.
These works will go a long way in alleviating acute water
shortages in the city of Blantyre.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government further:-
commenced upgrading works on Kamuzu Barrage in
Liwonde in order to address the structural stability
concerns of the barrage and to improve its water
regulatory capacity;
finalised construction of Songwe Water Supply System;
and
undertook integration and expansion of Salima Lakeshore
and Kasungu Water Supply Schemes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will rehabilitate and expand twelve gravity fed schemes that
will entail construction of 600 cubic metres localized storage
reservoirs and break pressure tanks and 2,925 Communal
Water Points. In addition, we will commence construction of
450 new boreholes and 166 sanitation facilities at public
institutions such as schools, health and market centres.
Irrigation and Greenbelt Initiative
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government remains committed to promote
irrigation through among others, the Greenbelt Initiative.
During the 2014/2015 financial year, Government continued
to develop Chikwawa Irrigation Scheme in Salima. As a
complementary project, a sugar factory is being constructed at
the Scheme which will be operated through a joint venture.
Construction of the factory is expected to be completed in the
2015/2016 financial year.
12
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government also developed about 2,000
hectares of land for smallholder irrigation bringing the total
land under smallholder irrigation to around 52,000 hectares
benefiting almost 400,000 smallholder farmers. In addition,
the private sector is currently irrigating another 52,000
hectares of land bringing the total area developed for irrigation
to 104,000 hectares.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government further rehabilitated about
1,800 hectares of smallholder irrigation schemes at Nkhate in
Chikwawa, Muona in Nsanje, Limphasa in Nkhatabay and
Likangala in Zomba.
In the forthcoming financial year, Government will commence
development of 42,500 hectares of land for irrigation in
Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts through the Shire Valley
Irrigation Project.
Mining Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government recognises that the mining
sector has huge potential in contributing to the country’s
economic growth and development. For this reason,
Government will continue to prioritise the sector with a view to
increase its contribution to the country’s GDP from the current
6 percent to about 20 percent by 2020.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will reach this target by, among
others, reviewing the legal and policy instruments, including
the Mines and Minerals Act in a manner that safeguards the
interests of the country. Government will also use the recently
completed country-wide Airborne Geophysical Survey to attract
prospective investors in the sector.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me also report that in view of the
commitment by Government to enhance transparency in the
mining sector, Government will join the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) to promote revenue
13
transparency. In this regard, Government will formally be
applying for candidature under the EITI once all preparatory
processes are concluded.
Tourism, Wildlife and Culture
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government realises that a vibrant tourism
sector is a significant economic driver that influences all areas
of business including the Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises (MSMEs). Government will, therefore, continue to
address the structural challenges faced by the tourism, wildlife
and culture sector through the implementation of various
policy reforms and strategies.
In the 2014/2015 financial year, some of the achievements
made in the sector were:
__
approval of the first ever National Culture Policy which
effectively promotes the country’s cultural heritage;
construction of a 21 Km fence in Liwonde National Park;
and
up-scaling of anti-poaching efforts within and around
protected areas in a bid to safeguard wildlife particularly
elephants following a surge in illegal trade in elephant
products.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Government
intends to enhance the sector’s regulatory and policy
environment by reviewing the Tourism Policy, the Wildlife
Policy and the Tourism Act as well as developing specific
legislation to protect wildlife. Government will also establish
the National Arts and Heritage Council of Malawi and a
Cultural Trust Fund to promote cultural heritage preservation
and fund cultural activities, respectively.
14
Industry, Trade and Private Sector Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is aware that the promotion of
industrialization and development of the private sector are vital
to the attainment of desired levels of economic growth and
industrial output.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to improve the competitiveness of our
economy, Government introduced initiatives targeted at
building Malawi’s productive capacity. Some of the initiatives
that were implemented during the 2014/2015 financial year
include:
__
development of the National Industry Policy;
review of incentive packages for manufacturing and
exporting companies to encourage value addition and
utilization of indigenous raw materials;
development and revision of a number of economic laws
including the Insolvency Bill, the Warehouse Receipt
System Bill and the Credit Reference Bureau Bill;
development of regulations for Personal Property Security
Act and the Business Licensing Act; and
introduction of innovative lending instruments for
MSMEs under the Matching Grants Scheme.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a demonstration of Government
commitment, I set up a Ministerial Committee on Doing
Business in 2014 specifically to oversee the reduction of
unnecessary administrative, legal and regulatory burdens and
advance the pro-business agenda. The Committee comprises
Cabinet Ministers, private sector representatives and senior
public officials.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the coming few months, Government
will:
__
15
start construction of the Standards, Quality and
Accreditation Infrastructure at the Malawi Bureau of
Standards in Blantyre;
draft the Commodity Exchange Bill;
establish Special Economic Zones as a tool to spur
economic growth in the country through increased
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI);
review the Investment and Export Promotion Act; and
facilitate legal and regulatory reforms in agribusiness -
related areas through the drafting of agricultural
commodity laws.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, allow me to inform this august House that the
Compendium of bankable investment projects that I launched
in December, 2014 has started to bear fruits. To-date,
certificates for investments worth US$211 million have been
granted. Government will complement this initiative with
continued participation in investment missions in a bid to
attract more investments.
Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Mr. Speaker, Sir, effective and efficient management of natural
resources and the environment is key to the country’s socio-
economic development. I am, therefore, concerned with the
colossal damage to the environment whose economic costs
have certainly been massive.
In the year just ending, Government implemented various
measures to safeguard the country’s natural resource base
focusing on, among others, environmental impact and
pollution control; biodiversity conservation and protection;
climate change management; and radiation control and
protection. Some of the key achievements include:
__
16
development of an integrated pollution control and waste
management strategy that will address the pollution and
waste management challenges in the country;
development of a National Biodiversity Strategy and
Action Plan (2015 - 2025) and the Global Biodiversity
Strategic Plan;
ratification of the Nagoya Protocol under the Convention
on Biological Diversity and the commencement of a
legislative framework to regulate Access and Benefit
Sharing of biological and genetic materials in the country;
and
development of the National Climate Change Policy and
the National Climate Change Investment Plan.
In 2015/2016 financial year, Government will continue to
implement programmes that would promote efficient and
effective management of natural resources and environment.
Labour and Employment
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government realises that a skilled labour
force is an important prerequisite to a country’s socio-
economic development. The Labour Employment Survey of
2013 revealed glaring gaps in the country’s skills development
and vocational training. It is for this reason that Government
has prioritized Labour and Manpower Development to address
these gaps.
To accelerate skills development, Government is in the process
of establishing community colleges across the country. A total
of 28 community colleges will be established, at least one in
each district.
Let me report, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that so far, 11 community
colleges are already operational. Government will develop the
remaining 17 colleges, which are expected to be opened by
17
2016. Government will further expand and modernize the
existing seven national technical colleges in order to provide
technical skills required in the labour market.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is developing the Employment
and Labour Policy which seeks to place employment at the
centre of national development by vigorously pursuing
employment creation in all sectors of the economy.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to ensure that every worker receives a wage
that is above the poverty line, Government revised the
minimum wage from K317 per day to K551 per day. To further
improve the welfare of the workers in this country, Government
is moving towards fixing the minimum wage by sector so that
the remuneration of employees is commensurate with the
performance of their respective sectors.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is aware that child labour has
been a problem in Malawi for a long time. Child labour exposes
children to hazardous work and hinders them from many
opportunities such as education. In this regard, Government
continues to put in place stringent measures to stop child
labour. Government is currently in the process of finalizing a
child labour policy.
Integrated Rural Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, rural development is a
catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development. As such,
Government is committed to improve the livelihoods of rural
communities in the country through the implementation of the
Integrated Rural Development Strategy.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the 2014/2015 fiscal year,
Government:
__
completed construction of the basic social infrastructure
at Nthalire Rural Growth Centre in Chitipa district;
18
embarked on construction works of the second phase of
Rural Growth Centres at Chitekesa in Phalombe,
Chapananga in Chikwawa and Mkanda in Mchinji
districts; and
completed the construction of a modern market at
Enukwenu in Mzimba district.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is expected to complete the
second phase of the construction of Rural Growth Centres
during the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Education, Science and Technology
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government recognises the important role
that education plays in the socio-economic development of any
country. To this end, Government is committed to provide
quality and relevant education to all Malawians to enable them
acquire relevant knowledge, skills, expertise and competencies
to perform effectively as citizens.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the 2014/2015 financial year,
Government made positive strides in the sector. To expand
equitable access to education, Government:-
established 10 resource centres for primary school
learners with special needs and 4 for secondary school
students;
established 540 Complementary Basic Education
Centres;
provided school meals to 1.54 million primary school
learners;
provided bursaries to 7,492 boys and 5,019 girls and
cash transfers to 2,353 boys and 1,693 girls for needy
and gifted students to access secondary education;
19
turned 23 Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS)
into double shift schools to increase access;
completed construction of 7 girls’ hostels through the
Local Development Fund; and
supported the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and
Natural Resources and Mzuzu University in the
establishment of Open and Distance Learning Centres to
increase access under Skills Development Project.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to improve quality and relevance of
education, reduce dropout and repetition and promote effective
learning, Government:
__
completed construction of Phalombe Teacher Training
School (TTC);
trained 50 TTC lecturers to Master’s Degree level;
commenced development of a sign language dictionary;
provided special needs education training to 130 teachers
at Diploma, Bachelors and Masters levels; and
increased intake at Malawi University of Science and
Technology from 152 to 300 students.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will continue implementing the following projects:
__
construction of 1,022 classrooms, 238 teacher’s houses
and 18 administration blocks across the country;
rehabilitation and upgrading of 11 Community Day
Secondary Schools;
construction of Machinga Secondary School;
construction of teaching and administration complex at
20
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
construction of classrooms, workshops, lecture theatres,
libraries and laboratories at Mzuzu University,
Polytechnic, Chancellor College; and Salima, Lilongwe,
Soche and Nasawa Technical Colleges;
construction of Chiradzulu TTC; and
construction of a secondary school TTC at Nalikule in
Lilongwe.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will:
__
open Phalombe TTC;
increase special needs education grants in all districts by
at least 30 percent;
operationalize the Higher Education Students Loan and
Grant Board; and
Commence construction of Thumbwe Secondary School,
12 girls’ hostels and Chikwawa, Mchinji and Rumphi
TTCs.
Public Health
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government prioritizes public health as it has
a direct bearing on socio-economic development. In this regard,
Government continues to implement initiatives aimed at
enhancing public health across the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, the health sector has, in
recent years, faced numerous challenges including inadequate
essential medicines and supplies and shortage of staff. I am,
however, pleased to report that compared with the past two
fiscal years, medicines and medical supplies situation has
substantially improved. A recent assessment revealed that the
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highest stock-out of essential tracer drugs was as low as 7
percent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the year under review, Government
continued with the construction of health workers’ houses and
flats for doctors in all central hospitals, rehabilitation of central
and district hospitals, construction of 15 health centres (five in
the north, four in the centre and six in the south); and
upgrading Domasi Health Centre into a community hospital.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the forthcoming financial year,
Government will:
__
Complete the construction of the new Nkhata-Bay District
Hospital; and
Commence construction of Phalombe District Hospital,
Mponela and Edingeni Community Hospitals as well as
the National Cancer Center.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to further address prevailing challenges in
the health sector, Government will undertake various reforms,
including establishing a health fund to generate additional
revenue for the health sector; revitalizing health insurance
schemes to reduce pressure on public health financing; and
improving efficiency in the management of health services in
both central hospitals and district health systems.
Nutrition, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to nutrition, Government
continued to implement several initiatives aimed at reducing
disease burden and deaths from malnutrition and other
nutrition related health problems among the various categories
of the population. During the period under review,
Government:
__
provided vitamin A supplementation and deworming
tablets to over 1 million under-five children;
22
intensified nutrition screening in camps which hosted
people affected by the flood disaster for early detection
and treatment of malnutrition; and
scaled up support to people living with HIV and AIDS,
those on TB treatment as well as those with other chronic
illnesses such as cancers under the Nutrition Care,
Treatment and Support program.
In the forthcoming financial year, Government will:
__
roll out the Community Management of Acute
Malnutrition Program to cover 100 percent of health
facilities in the country from the current coverage of 90
percent;
scale up the nutrition program for people living with HIV
and AIDS, those on TB treatment and other chronic
diseases to 50 percent of the sites that provide ART
Services; and
continue with behaviour change communication for
improved infant and young child feeding practices and
prevention of anaemia in children and adults, among
others.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the Global Fund Health Sector
Support, I wish to report that the Global Fund allocated a total
of US$574.3 million for the period 2014/2017 of which
US$278.2 million is part of the ongoing commitments and is
already in the country through existing grants which are
ending in December, 2015. Government, therefore, submitted
to the Fund two new funding proposals for Malaria programme
and a Joint HIV and AIDS and TB programme amounting to
US$296.1 million for the next two fiscal years. I am optimistic
that the Fund will approve the proposals having met all the
requirements.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the resources from the Global Fund will
support Government’s efforts to reduce further cases of
malaria in the country as well as sustain and increase the
23
number of people receiving free Anti-Retroviral Therapies
(ART’s) beyond the current 524,000 which represents almost
50 percent of those infected with the HIV virus to almost 90
percent by 2020.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the remaining funding will be disbursed
under a new funding model in which the Ministry of Health is
now the New Principal Recipient (PR) on the public side whilst
World Vision and Action Aid are principal recipients for the
non-bimedical components for Malaria and TB/HIV grant,
respectively. A team from the Global Fund is in the country to,
among other things, support the Principal Recipients in
preparing for their new roles. Government is fully committed to
this program and will do everything possible to ensure that the
program is successful.
Youth Development and Empowerment
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is fully aware that the youth play
a crucial role in the development of this nation. Government
will, therefore, ensure that our youth have the prerequisite
knowledge and skills to enable them play a meaningful role in
the different sectors of the economy.
In this financial year, Government continued to implement
various training programmes targeting the youth. In this
regard, I am pleased to report that over 13,400 young people
were trained in technical, vocational, enterprise development
and leadership skills across the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will complete the construction of Bingu Stadium in Lilongwe
and youth centres in Mzuzu and Thyolo. Government will also
rehabilitate Kamuzu Institute for Youth in Lilongwe and
Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre. Government will further
recapitalize the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and
continue to train youth in vocational business development,
entrepreneurship and life skills.
24
Gender, Women and Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government remains committed to the
promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
To demonstrate this commitment, I recently launched the
HeForShe Campaign as a Champion of gender equalisation. In
addition, I was the first head of state in the SADC Region to
sign the End Child Marriage Campaign on 25th July 2014.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the year under review, Government:
__
reviewed the National Gender Policy;
passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill
and the Trafficking in Persons Bill; and
through Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
Programme (GEWE), disseminated information on gender
based violence to over 1.3 million individuals, addressed
over 10,000 gender based violence cases and trained 50
women groups in business management.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will implement the National Gender Policy and enforce laws
which promote gender equality and the empowerment of
women.
Child Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, children are the future of our nation. In this
regard, Government will continue to implement programmes
aimed at making our children responsible citizens.
In the 2014/2015 financial year, Government, with support
from development partners, constructed and rehabilitated
1,200 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, bringing
the total number of ECD centres to 11, 105 in the country
benefitting 1.4 million children.
25
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in a bid to increase the number of children
accessing ECD Centres, Government will, in the 2015/2016
financial year, construct and rehabilitate 1,000 ECD Centres
across the country. We will also work with traditional leaders
to develop by-laws with a view to increasing enrolment and
retention in the ECD centres.
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
National Construction Industry
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government believes that a vibrant and
efficient construction industry is a catalyst to the development
of any country. However, the construction industry in the
country has been facing a number of challenges over the years.
Some of the key challenges include low capacity of local
contractors and consultants; lack of supportive mechanisms in
terms of financial credit facilities for local firms; and weak
policy and regulatory framework. In view of this, Government
developed a National Construction Industry Policy which seeks
to promote the development of a vibrant and efficient local
construction industry that is internationally competitive.
Energy Development
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the search for alternative sustainable energy
sources continues to be a priority in Government’s
development agenda. In this regard, Government remains
committed to develop energy projects that are efficient, cost
effective and environmentally friendly. I wish to report to this
august House that Government is currently concentrating on
renewable energy sources.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will continue implementing the
Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) after the
successful completion of MAREP 7 under which 157 trading
centres were connected surpassing the target of 81 trading
centres.
26
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will:
__
continue engaging the private sector in the energy sector
through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) arrangement;
implement the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme
(MAREP) phase 8 under which eighty one (81) trading
centres will be electrified; and
encourage electricity generation, transmission and
distribution companies to invest in Malawi in addition to
the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to
promote competition and efficiency in the sector.
Transport Infrastructure
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the transport sector is a linchpin to economic
growth and provision of social services such as health and
education. It is also a critical factor in revenue generating sub
sectors like agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is against this backdrop that Government
has placed high priority on transport infrastructure
development to facilitate local and regional trade and provide
access to markets and other social amenities.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am pleased to inform this august House
that, during 2014/2015 financial year, Government reviewed
the National Transport Policy in order to incorporate emerging
issues in the transport sector such as private sector
participation and inter and intra-modal competition.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, poor quality of workmanship by some
contractors as well as delayed completion of some projects
remains a challenge in infrastructure development. In order to
address this, Government will:
__
assess some contracts with a view to either re-package or
terminate them;
27
through the National Construction Industry Council,
intensify training of contractors to enhance their
performance;
provide adequate funding in order to accelerate
completion of selected projects, particularly those that
have stalled; and
enhance regulation of the transport sector.
Road Transport
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is implementing a Road Sector
Programme which provides a short to long - term investment
framework for the classified road network, unpaved and
unclassified roads across the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, some of the major projects that have been
completed recently include:
__
the rehabilitation of the Zomba - Blantyre Road; and
the construction of the Lilongwe West bypass road from
Bunda turn-off to Kaunda Road on Mchinji Road.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is currently carrying out a
number of projects to further improve our road transport
system and these include:
__
Zomba - Jali - Kamwendo - Phalombe - Chitakale Road;
Thyolo - Thekerani - Muona - Bangula Road;
Liwonde - Naminga Road;
Jenda-Edingeni Road;
Chiringa - Miseu Folo - Chiradzulu Road; and
Lumbadzi - Dowa - Chezi Road.
28
Mr. Speaker, Sir, projects which are scheduled for
commencement in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, include the
following:
__
Lilongwe Old Airport - Kasiya - Santhe Road Construction
Project;
Njakwa - Livingstonia - Chitimba Road Design and
Construction Project;
Illovo roundabout - Midima Road expansion and
dualisation;
Karonga - Songwe Road Rehabilitation Project;
Mzuzu - Nkhata Bay Road rehabilitation Project;
Liwonde - Mangochi Road rehabilitation Project;
Expansion and dualisation of the road from Area 18
Roundabout - New Parliament Building - Kamuzu Central
Hospital Round-about to Paul Kagame on Amina Round-
about; and
Lirangwe - Chingale - Machinga Road construction.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, furthermore, Government will reseal and
upgrade a number of roads in the main cities of Blantyre,
Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu.
Water Transport
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, phase one of the Shire-
Zambezi Waterway Project was completed and officially
launched in 2010. The Governments of Malawi, Mozambique
and Zambia, through the Southern African Development
Community, engaged a consultant to carry out a feasibility
study of the project. The results of the study, which will be
released within this month, will guide future activities of the
project.
29
Rail Transport
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, Government signed a
concession agreement with Vale Logistics Limited for the
construction of a 138 km line from Kachaso in Chikwawa
passing through Mwanza and Neno Districts to join the existing
railway network at Nkaya junction in Balaka District. Vale
Logistics Limited has since completed the construction of the
new rail line and is currently conducting trial runs. This
project will provide a cheaper transport alternative to the
people living along the track and provide them with an
opportunity to engage in social and economic activities. In
addition, Vale Logistics Limited also rehabilitated and
upgraded the 100 km section between Nkaya and Nayuchi.
Air Transport
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the 2014/2015 fiscal year,
Government made some positive strides in air transportation,
including:
__
installation of up-to-date communication and air traffic
control equipment at Chileka International Airport in
order to enhance efficiency and safety in operations; and
rehabilitation of terminal buildings at Chileka
International Airport.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Government
will undertake several reforms in the air transport sub sector
including the establishment of an autonomous Civil Aviation
Authority (CAA) which will facilitate Public Private Participation
(PPP) for the management, operations, rehabilitation and
construction of airports in the country.
Government will also complete the rehabilitation of terminal
buildings at Chileka International Airport and embark on a
project to replace some of the equipment at both Kamuzu and
Chileka International Airports.
30
Information and Communication Technology
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government has earmarked Information and
Communication as one of the sectors to champion the Public
Service Reform Programme. In this respect, Government has
been implementing a number of programmes in the sector.
During the year under review, Government:
__
successfully installed and commissioned the Digital
Terrestrial Television network in Lilongwe, Blantyre and
Mzuzu;
launched the Digital Migration Awareness campaign in
April, 2015 aimed at raising public awareness on digital
television broadcasting;
approved the Electronic Transactions Bill; and
commenced a review of the Communications Act, 1998.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the forthcoming financial year,
Government will:
__
enhance Government Wide Area Network uptime to 98
percent through the Financial Reporting and Oversight
Improvement Project and the Regional Communications
Infrastructure Project;
intensify training of public servants on the use of ICTs to
speed up service delivery;
conduct ICT mass literacy campaigns to sensitize the
general public on the use of various e-government
solutions; and
finalize the review of the Communications Act, 1998.
Lands, Housing and Urban Development
Lands
31
Mr. Speaker, Sir, access to land is crucial for the realization of
socio- economic development. In this respect, Government is
committed to ensure equitable access to land for various uses
by all Malawians.
Mr Speaker, Sir, some of the achievements attained in the
sector during the 2014/2015 financial year were as follows:
__
piloting of a project to assess land utilization in estates in
Kasungu and availability of idle agricultural estates, out
of which 4,000 agricultural leases were reviewed;
facilitating the acquisition of land for investment
initiatives such as the Green Belt Initiative and for
construction of public infrastructure;
reviewing eleven land related legislations to ensure an up-
to-date and responsive legal framework on land matters;
preparation of land use plan for the proposed Mombera
University in Mzimba District;
identification and assessment of possible resettlement
areas for flood victims in all the 15 affected districts; and
continuation in the re-affirmation and demarcation of
Malawi’s international boundaries with Mozambique and
Zambia.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will continue to implement programmes aimed at improving
access to land for socio-economic development.
Housing
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the provision of affordable, safe and secure
housing for people in both rural and urban areas is at the heart
of Government’s development agenda.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the 2014/2015 financial year, I
launched the Decent and Affordable Housing Programme
32
popularly known as the Cement and Malata Subsidy
Programme in December, 2014. I wish to report that we had a
successful pilot of the programme in Msampha 1 Village under
T/A Chadza and Chitekwere Village under T/A Chimutu in
Lilongwe.
During the year under review, Government also:
__
continued to provide mortgage loans to junior and senior
public officers through the Public Servants Home
Ownership Scheme; and
continued with construction of a Government office
building and a clinic at Capital Hill. The two projects are
expected to be completed later in the year.
In the forthcoming financial year, Government will, under the
Cement and Malata Subsidy Programme, construct 15,440
houses across the country translating into 80 houses per
constituency.
SOCIAL SUPPORT AND DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT
Public Works Programme and Social Cash Transfers
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government continued to implement the
Public Works Programme which has two categories namely;
Community Driven Public Works Programme and Social Cash
Transfer Programme. The purpose of the Programme is to
provide cash transfers to poor households to, among other
reasons, enable them purchase subsidized farm inputs and
food during the lean season.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am pleased to report that Government
increased the daily wage for the Community Driven Public
Works Programme from K350 to K485. Through this
Programme, Government reached 136,121 households against
a target of 570,370 households. The gap of 456,000
households may be reached if the Malawi Social Action Fund
(MASAF) IV Project Designated account ceiling is adjusted from
US$5million to US$12 million to allow for implementation of a
full Public Works Programme cycle.
33
With regard to Social Cash Transfer Programme currently
targeting Dedza, Ntcheu and Nkhatabay, a total of 21,000
households have been reached.
Persons with Disabilities
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is committed to improving the
welfare of persons with disabilities to enable them live fulfilling
lives as well as contribute to the socio-economic development
of our country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me take this opportunity to, once more,
outrightly condemn the recent spate of attacks on persons with
albinism which our country experienced. Let me say, in no
uncertain terms, that the long arm of the law will not spare any
one found to be responsible for the attacks. Government has,
therefore, taken a strong multi sectoral approach in order to
protect and promote the rights of persons with albinism in the
country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the year under review, Government
continued to implement programmes aimed at improving the
status of persons with disabilities. These included:
__
training of 220 persons with disabilities in various skills
across the country;
in collaboration with the University of Malawi, hosted the
fourth African Network for Evidence-to-Action in
Disability conference;
provision of 500 assistive devices such as wheelchairs,
clutches and walkers to persons with disabilities; and
completion of a female hostel at Mulanje Vocational
Training Centre for the Blind which will increase girls’
intake from 15 to 50.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 financial year, Government
will continue to provide assistive devices and other
rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. We will also
34
commence construction of a male hostel at Mulanje Vocational
Training Centre for the Blind with a view to increasing
enrolment.
The Elderly
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government regards the elderly as a group
among our citizenry that deserve special care and attention. It
is for this reason that Government continued to implement
programmes aimed at improving the status of the elderly.
During the 2014/2015 financial year, Government provided
support to 20,000 elderly persons in the form of food, blankets,
and targeted medical services. Government will continue to
provide the necessary support to older persons to ensure that
they live fulfilling and dignified lives.
Disaster Management
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is committed to providing
responses to disasters in a timely, efficient and effective
manner and mitigating disaster risks. As you are aware, Mr.
Speaker, Sir, our country experienced unprecedented flooding
which resulted in 106 deaths, 172 people missing and 230,000
people displaced. Overall, up to 1.15 million people were
affected by the floods. May I, therefore, request that we observe
a minute of silence in remembrance of people who lost their
lives due to the floods.
[1 minute silence]
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I immediately declared a State of Disaster as
a result of the massive flooding in 15 districts of Chikwawa,
Nsanje, Phalombe, Zomba, Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo,
Mulanje, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Salima,
Rumphi and Karonga. Following the declaration, foreign
Governments, United Nations Agencies, Non-Governmental
Organizations, Civil Society Organisations, the Private Sector,
35
individuals, and other well-wishers came forward with
donations which amounted to MK492 million and US$642,000
as emergency relief assistance to the flood victims.
Government also provided 14,000 metric tonnes of maize from
the Strategic Grain Reserves for distribution to the affected
people and disbursed MK650 million to ministries and
departments to enable them respond to the floods.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am pleased to report that during the year
under review, Government launched the first ever National
Disaster Risk Management Policy which will guide effective
coordination of disaster risk management programmes in the
country.
In the forthcoming financial year, Government will, among
other measures, relocate communities that are affected by
floods every year to upland areas in order to reduce the impact
of disasters on the population, infrastructure and the
economy.
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government recognizes that good governance
plays a critical role in the attainment of sustainable socio-
economic development. It is for this reason that Government
continues to safeguard and promote good governance, respect
for rule of law and human rights.
Human Rights
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a result of Government’s commitment to
the observance of human rights, Malawi participated and
contributed to the State Party Report on the United Nations
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has been
implementing the recommendations of the report.
36
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Government
will continue to promote human rights issues, by among
others, enhancing awareness of human rights, promoting
equitable access to opportunities, strengthening legal
protection and equitable treatment for marginalised
populations.
Rule of Law
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to develop a strong justice system
and rule of law, Government has undertaken reforms that
include reviewing of the law in order to promote principles of
democracy in accordance with the Constitution and
international practice.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the year under review, Government
prosecuted over 987 criminal cases out of a target of 1,000
cases that included homicide cases. Furthermore, Government
managed to reduce default judgements by 70 percent. In order
to promote the welfare of women and children, Government
administered deceased estates to over 2,000 beneficiaries in
the course of the year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Government
will review the Citizenship Act in order to, among others,
consider dual citizenship and eliminate discrimination based
on gender.
The Fight against Corruption
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government will not relent in the fight
against corruption, fraud and theft. It is against this backdrop
that Government is pursuing and prosecuting suspects in the
theft of public funds and abuse of other public resources.
Government is currently prosecuting over 70 cases of theft of
public funds popularly known as cash-gate.
37
I am pleased to report that Government has made considerable
progress in these cases. At present, five cash-gate convictions
have been secured in our courts. Government is also resolute
to recover the stolen resources from the people involved.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a result of our efforts in the fight against
corruption, Malawi scored 33 points in the Transparency
International’s Corruption Perception Index in 2014. This is a
record high for the country. Going forward, Government will
consolidate its efforts in ensuring that all cases involving
corruption, fraud and theft of public resources are successfully
prosecuted by making available adequate resources.
Public Service Management Reforms
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is committed to foster and
sustain a public service that is results-oriented, accountable
and transparent in order to ensure efficient and effective public
service delivery. It is for this reason that Government instituted
reforms in the public service in order to strengthen and
improve efficiency and effectiveness of the public service. Let
me report, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that notable progress has been
made in our quest to reform the public service. The
achievements made so far include the following:
__
the establishment of a Public Service Reforms
Commission;
restructuring of the Office of the President and Cabinet by
relocating some of its functions to relevant ministries to
enable it focus on its core business;
creation of a One-Stop-Centre for investment at the
Malawi Investment and Trade Centre;
decentralisation of printing of passports to Lilongwe and
Mzuzu;
decentralisation of payment of salaries for teachers to
Education Divisions;
38
restructuring of the civil service salary; and
a ban on attending political functions by Principal
Secretaries and other Government Officers not directly
related to their core mandate so that they concentrate on
their core duties.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, some of the specific reform issues which are
in the pipeline for implementation include:-
establishment of a Malawi School of Government to
facilitate development of identified key competencies;
depoliticization of the Public Service whereby officers will
be appointed to senior positions on merit;
harmonization of remuneration and conditions of service
across the public service;
effective implementation of a Performance Management
System by linking organisational performance
assessments to individual performance contracts;
decentralizing service delivery for efficiency and
effectiveness in the Ministry of Local Government and
Rural Development to facilitate full devolution of service
delivery to some districts on a pilot basis;
establishment of One Stop Citizen Service Delivery
Centres through Post Offices throughout the country to
enable citizens to access various public services and
information from a single point at their convenience;
rightsizing the Public Service to make it more efficient and
effective in public service delivery; and
introduction of a Civil Servants Health Scheme.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the performance of parastatal
organizations, I am pleased to report that by midyear, 18 of the
24 commercial parastals had registered surpluses. These
surpluses will, among other things, enable the parastals to
39
invest in capital projects and improve their operational and
financial performance. In the forthcoming financial year,
Government plans to further improve the performance of
parastals, including the Blantyre Water Board and the
Lilongwe Water Board, with a view to addressing the water
problems being faced in the cities.
National Peace and Security
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is determined to provide
adequate safety and security to all persons, property and
investments in the country for the enhancement of sustainable
national development. During the 2014/2015 fiscal year, some
of the achievements made in the security sector were:
__
procurement of 50 police vehicles that has improved
mobility of police officers;
enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Bill;
development of migration profiles to make data on
migration readily available for stakeholder use;
completion of Phase 1 of the National Registration
Programme which involved sensitizing traditional leaders
in all the 28 districts on national registration and
registering all births, young persons and deaths; and
identification of a site for a transit shelter for refugees and
asylum seekers in Karonga and another site for relocation
of Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is determined to increase the
number of police officers in the country. In this regard, I am
pleased to inform this august House that, later this week, I will
preside over the passing out parade of 1,874 police recruits,
which is the biggest number of recruits in the history of the
Malawi Police Service.
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In the 2015/2016 financial year, Government plans to:
__
procure an additional 100 police vehicles;
build capacity in crime investigation through acquisition
of appropriate equipment, training and recruitment of
criminal intelligence gatherers;
enhance border management system by providing
necessary resources and tools to prevent illegal and
irregular immigrants from using unchartered routes;
commence issuance of national identity cards to all
Malawians of 16 years of age and above; and
decentralise the passport issuance system to 6 new data
and documents collection points namely; Blantyre,
Lilongwe, Mangochi, Salima, Mzuzu and Mzimba using
post offices.
Defence
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government continues to remain alert in
order to defend and uphold the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of our country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Malawi is committed to global and regional
peace initiatives. In this regard, Malawi continued to serve in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as part of the UN and
SADC Intervention Force Brigade.
In order to improve the welfare and living conditions of our
Defence Force, Government continued to develop
infrastructure in the Malawi Defence Force establishments,
including the rehabilitation of Camp Hospital at Cobbe
Barracks; the connection of Changalume Barracks water
system to the Southern Region Water Board; and the
rehabilitation of Kamuzu Barracks water supply systems.
These are on-going projects which will be finalized in the
forthcoming fiscal year. Other projects that will commence next
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financial year include the rehabilitation of some structures at
the Malawi Armed Forces College in Salima and Cobbe
Barracks in Zomba.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is also planning to establish a
National Service whereby young men and women will be
enlisted to undergo basic military training.
International Relations
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to report that Government continues
to maintain cordial relations with all countries and
international organisations with which we share a common
vision and aspirations. In this respect, we extended our circle
of allies by, among other things, establishing non-residential
diplomatic ties with several countries.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government also participated in Election
Observer Missions in the SADC, the AU as well as the
Commonwealth. During the year under review, we fielded
election observers in Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius,
Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Nigeria.
As a Government that believes in democratic values, Malawi
will continue to participate in election observation missions in
African countries.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a very sad note, and as most of you are
already aware, there have been xenophobic attacks against
foreign nationals, including Malawians, living in the Republic
of South Africa. These attacks started on 31st March, this year.
The situation is very worrisome, as six Malawians are
reportedly killed, with over 3,000 affected. Government made
timely interventions to repatriate all those willing to return
home. In this regard, I am pleased to inform the nation that
Malawi was the first country to repatriate its citizens from
South Africa. The first 390 evacuees arrived in the country on
20th April, 2015, and todate, 3,590 Malawians have been
repatriated. This process will continue until every willing
Malawian is repatriated.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is actively engaging the
Government of South Africa in order to find a lasting solution
to this unfortunate development. Government will also seek to
resolve this issue through regional and multilateral
organisations, such as SADC.
Conclusion
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have outlined the various strides we are
making in fulfilment of our manifesto promises and the plans
for our country. I wish to guarantee Malawians that my
Government has a clear vision aimed at addressing the various
challenges currently being faced by Malawians, within and
outside the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that as a nation we have enough
reasons to celebrate the gains that we have achieved in the
past twelve months. With the strong foundation we have laid, I
can confidently say that the agenda to transform this country
is on course.
I, therefore, call upon all Malawians to be fully involved and
take part in our efforts to take this country to greater heights.
As a nation, we must unite and join hands to accelerate the
gains that we have made so far as we work to transform our
beloved country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at this juncture, allow me to thank
cooperating partners, Non Governmental Organisations, Civil
Society Organisations, the Private Sector, religious and
traditional leaders and all Malawians for the role they play in
the implementation of Government programmes.
Let me also thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Leader of
Opposition and all Honourable Members of this august House
for the critical role that you play in the development of our
country.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is now my singular honour to declare the
2015/2016 Budget Meeting of Parliament, officially open.
God bless you all
God bless Mother Malawi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir