Friday, October 9, 2015

MISA Malawi Statement on APM Attack on The edia

For immediate release
Friday, 9 th October 2015

The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi) is concerned with the remarks made by President Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) against the media during a press conference he addressed at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday, October 8, 2015. During the press conference, the president described the media in Malawi as “irresponsible” and “agents of the opposition” for criticizing his trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America over the size of his entourage, hiring of a private jet and the level of expenditure incurred in the wake of economic problems prevailing in the country. 

The president even asked for an apology from some media houses over stories on the trip and fell short of specifying what action he would take should the apologies not come forward. As if that was not enough, Mutharika’s Press Secretary Gerald Viola also attacked one unspecified radio station, accusing it of having a hidden agenda against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government. 

We find the remarks by the President and his press secretary retrogressive and a threat to media freedom and freedom of expression. We are surprised that the president decided to target the media with unreasonable attacks instead of responding to the issues at hand and providing information Malawians are looking for regarding the trip to the UNGA. Attacks on the media are attacks on democracy and should not be condoned. MISA Malawi would like to appeal to the President and the State House Press Office to desist from being in the forefront in attacking the media for doing its job. 

The media has a duty to report and inform Malawians on matters of national importance. We believe the President’s concerns could easily be addressed by ensuring that government is proactive in disseminating information and enacting the Access to Information Bill (ATI) and ensure that Malawians have accurate and relevant information to make informed decisions. Secrecy and lack of information, as has been the case with the president’s trip to the UNGA, only creates room for speculation and rumor mongering. 

The trip by the president to the UNGA was funded by tax-payers and Malawians have every right to know how their money is being spent by those charged with the responsibility of managing the resources. And the media has constitutional duty of holding the government accountable in the way they use public funds and how they are governing the country in general.

We therefore appeal to the State President to always be transparent and accountable as he discharges his duties. He should also respect the role of the media in providing checks and balances on his government. Where he has concerns, they can be channeled through relevant media bodies for their review and adjudication. 

The approach taken during the press conference at State House creates an impression that government is taking systematic steps to suffocate the media, thereby strangling our young democracy in the process. That cannot be condoned in a democratic Malawi. 



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Phasing Out of Junior Certificate of Education Examination




The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology wishes to inform the general public that as part of the ongoing Public Service Reforms, Malawi Government will, from 2016/2017 academic year phase out the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination. The last JCE examination to be administered will, therefore, be in 2016 for the current Form 2 students. The arguments behind this decision and the way the secondary school education shall be managed are given below:

The Ministry would like all secondary school students to remain in school until they complete Form 4 when they will sit for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.  Successful candidates shall be awarded an MSCE Certificate as is the case now while the unsuccessful candidates shall be awarded a Certificate of Completion which will recognize the fact that the owner of the certificate went through and completed secondary education.  The emphasis here is on knowledge, skills and values acquired by secondary school students and not the number of public examinations passed.

It should be understood that the only reason we send children to school is for them to learn and acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes as set out in the curriculum.  Examinations are part of the learning process but are not the main objective of education.

The Ministry would like to promote the practice of continuous assessment from Form 1 through to Form 4 in order for schools to thoroughly cover the Curriculum as opposed to the current practice which is, to a greater extent, examination oriented as both students and teachers focus much on JCE examination results rather than acquisition of knowledge, skills, values  and positive attitudes.  In fact, most of Term 3 of Form 2 is spent on preparing for JCE examinations and not learning for understanding.

In order to promote continuous assessment, the Ministry plans to strengthen the cluster examination system which will be used as part of secondary school teacher development activity and students learning hubs in line with the plans of the Ministry which intends to resource these cluster centres better than is the case currently.  Cluster management teams shall be responsible for setting and marking cluster based examinations within each cluster.  Therefore, instead of having Junior Certificate Examinations, students will sit for Cluster Based Examinations.

Since the Ministry wishes to promote acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes by students as opposed to simply pass examinations, secondary schools shall have the responsibility to encourage students that are struggling with their studies in Forms 1, 2 and 3 to benefit from remedial classes or to repeat the year before proceeding to the next class (Forms 2, 3, 4).

To ensure that the plans outlined above are achieved fully, the Ministry is implementing the National Education Standards for Primary and Secondary Education from September 2015.  The Standards specify expected outcomes for students which should be delivered by all education providers in public and private institutions.

The old secondary school curriculum is being phased out, and a new one has just been rolled out.  The current Form two students will be the last group of the old curriculum to sit for J.C.E.  The phasing out of J.C.E. therefore, is in line with the phasing out of the old curriculum being replaced with the new curriculum where there is emphasis on acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes.

The policy change has the following benefits:

Students will have the opportunity to remain in school from Form one to Form four without hindrance within which period it is expected that they will have acquired useful knowledge and skills of up to the level of senior secondary education. This will give equal opportunities to both girls and boys to reach Form four as the JCE examination negatively affected girls’ education more than boys.
National examinations are used for certification, selection and placement.

Previously, due to insufficient places in Form three, the JCE examination was being used for selection of high performing students (from district schools) in the examination to take up Form three places of students who had failed the examination in National Secondary Schools. The examination is no longer being used for selection. Further, employers, including Government (Civil Service) have set the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) as a minimum entry qualification for employment. As a result, JCE no longer serves its certification purpose.

Government spends a lot of money to administer the examination. Since it is clear that the examination has lost all the three purposes for which examinations are administered, government shall redirect the financial resources to other productive areas.

The Ministry appreciates the concern by the public that removal of the JCE examination might negatively affect learning in schools because students will relax before they are required to sit for the MSCE examination. The Ministry would like to inform and assure the public that in line with its mandate to improve standards of education in the country, the Ministry has developed and launched National Education Standards which focus on continuous assessment.

Through continuous assessment, students will be evaluated in various learning areas to determine knowledge and skills acquired at any particular time. The standards are aligned to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II and National Education Sector Plan 2008-2017 which emphasise on quality education for all.

The Ministry already has structures and assessment tools in place to monitor students’ progress and give appropriate advice to teachers in areas of improvement through its Directorate of Inspection and Advisory Services (DIAS).

With this information, the Ministry is convinced that the general public will understand and support the reform because the long term benefits far outweigh any perceived shortfalls emanating from the reform.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We Have Faith - Act Now For Climate Justice Campaign Enters Malawi

The We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice pan-African Cycling Campaign enters Malawi from Zambia the morning of Thursday 8th October, 2015. It is made up of nine countries and Malawi is the sixth country to take over the country-to-country relay.

The Campaign brings together faith based organizations, civil society organizations and youth movements from East and Southern Africa aimed at collecting 1 million petitions. The African People’s Petition aims at putting pressure on national, regional and world leaders to urgently act on Climate Change.

The campaign started in Maputo, Mozambique, on 31st August 2015 and has been in five countries which have held main events in their capital cities to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and collect signatures on the petitions. Mozambique, Tshwane in South Africa, Gaborone in Botswana, Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia have all conducted various activities that have included climate justice marches, city cycling circuits, planting and adopting trees, prayers, performances, and speeches from faith leaders, government officials, and climate ambassadors. From Malawi it proceeds to Tanzania then Kenya. Uganda is also participating.

At Mchinji, the campaign will have clocked approximately 3,048 km, about half of the total 6,500km planned between Maputo and Nairobi.

Locally coordinated by the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and ACT Forum Malawi, in-country activities include a campaign reception on 8th Oct at Mwami Border/Mchinji Community Ground, a cycling awareness circuit around Lilongwe on 9th October, and a main concert at Silver Stadium on 10th October where faith leaders, youths, CSOs, the corporate sector, and government officials will convene and speeches will be issued.

Fifteen Malawian cyclist will then take the cycling campaign to Kasungu, Jenda, Chikangawa in Mzimba, Mzuzu, Rumphi, and exit from Karonga into Tanzania on 17th October 2015. A Climate Action Week will formulate the campaign climax in Kenya where mass mobilization of people through a major Climate Justice Concert bringing together about 35,000 participants is expected.

In Nairobi there will be a Pan-African Faith Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change, a Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Change, as well as an African-People’s Conference of Parties (COP) aimed at discussing Climate Change challenges, opportunities, and demands to be discussed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris, France in December.

Goal of the campaign

To strengthen the pan-African/global south voice in efforts to alleviate the impacts of climate change through policy and practice.
Objectives of the campaign

To raise the level of African youth, faith leaders’ and faith communities awareness on the urgency to act now for climate justice.
To lobby African governments to come up with a strong delegation at the COP21 climate negotiations.

Malawi Cyclists

Malawi has put together 14 male and one female cyclists passionate about contributing towards raising climate change awareness. They will kick-start the Malawi leg after receiving petitions from the other the five countries.

During each stop along the route, mini climate justice concerts will be held while faith leaders in churches and mosques will hold climate change awareness campaigns with the Interfaith Climate Justice Weekend slated for 9th October for Muslims, 10th October for Seventh Day Adventists, and 11th October for all other Christians including the Baha’i Faith aimed at strengthening the voice of communities to act on climate change with urgency.

Malawi is expected to collect a total of 100, 000 petitions.




The University of Malawi wishes to inform the general public that the Golden Jubilee Celebrations will be held on Saturday, 10th October, 2015 at the College of Medicine Sports Complex from 7.00 a.m.

His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika the President of the Republic of Malawi and Chancellor of the University of Malawi will preside over the celebrations as Guest of Honour.

Five Parades by cohorts of graduates streamlined by a period of a decade from 1965 shall march to the tune of the Police and Malawi Defence Force brass bands from the Mahatma Gandhi Dining Room to the College of Medicine Sports Complex.

Activities at the College of Medicine Sports Complexshall inter-alia include:


(a) Floats of scholarly exhibitions by students and lecturers;

(b) Floats of UNIMA alumni and collaboration with society;

(c) Choral displays and traditional dances;

(d) Poetry recitals and drama performances;

(e) A documentary cataloguing the life journey of the University of

     Malawi in its 50 years of existence;

(f) Netball and football matches between UNIMA veterans and the


(g) Launching the UNIMA flag and University of Malawi Anthem;

(h) Launching the University Magazine in Print, audio & video.

The University Council  appeals to the general public and all UNIMA alumni to fully participate by patronising  this function.

Take note that all alumni who expressed their interest to parade have accordingly been listed and all those wishing to join, please express    your interest by SMS to Peter Mitunda on 0888 120 194.

Alumni taking part in the parade shall buy T-Shirts of the colour of their cohort at K3,200.00 and a Golf Shirt at K6,200.00 or cloth at K1,250 per meter.

The T Shirts are strictly for those taking part in the parade while the Golden Jubilee "Chitenje" is available in all colleges for anybody who is interested to buy and wear or turn it into a cloth.

The cloth can be bought at every college of the University of Malawi including at Lilongwe University of Science and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

T-Shirts will be sold on 9th October, 2015 (a day before the celebration date) at College of Medicine Sports Complex to all members who would like to parade.

For inquiries please contact Peter Mitunda on the following numbers: 01 526 622 / 0111 626 661 / 0888 120 194 / 0991 152 692

OR The University Registrar on

Opening Speech For BRIDGE Training On Delimitation and Elections

I am pleased to perform the official opening of this Building Resources In Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) training course on Boundary Delimitation to being held here at Malawi Sun Hotel, Blantyre. At the outset, I would like to warmly welcome the presence of my fellow Commissioners, MEC secretariat, senior leaders of various political parties, members of the press, ladies and gentlemen here present today.

This training is an appropriate undertaking as we prepare for the elections in 2019 with the electoral cycle approach in mind. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, this training could not have come at a better time than this when we are preparing to have a thorough demarcation exercise where we are going to redefine wards and boundaries of all constituencies in the country.

The course will expose us to various practices around the globe. The law gives powers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to determine the number of constituencies for purposes of elections and to undertake or supervise the demarcation of wards. In the case of constituencies, the overriding criterion is that of ensuring equitable representation as MEC is encouraged to ensure that “constituencies contain approximately equal number of voters eligible to register”.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, other considerations include population density, ease of communication and geographical features and existing administrative areas. For the wards, factors to be considered include population density, geographical features, easy communication and the wishes of the people and the MEC is to ensure that ward boundaries do not cross local authority jurisdictions.

The Constitution states that with regard to constituencies, the review should take place at intervals of not more than five years. Once MEC has reviewed and determined the constituency boundaries, its recommendations are forwarded to Parliament for confirmation. Where Parliament may reject MEC’s recommendations, it (Parliament) cannot alter both the number and boundaries of the constituencies.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, since independence, the constituency boundaries have been altered seven times. The last time boundary delimitation was undertaken was 1998, about 17 years ago. As you would note, this has gone beyond the five-year interval as required by the Constitution. In 2014, the Commission only finalized delimitation of ward boundaries, the process of which had started in 2010. It is apparent, therefore, that the current sizes and number of constituencies and wards do not therefore reflect the basic democratic principles as laid down in the Constitution. In the aftermath of the 2014 Tripartite Elections, the Commission held postmortem meetings in all the 35 councils to hear views of the stakeholders on issues we have to focus on to have a better election in 2019. The need to demarcate and redefine boundaries of constituencies and wards was presented often with vigor, enthusiasm and heartiness. Many participants in these meetings raised issues that constituencies and wards were too big to be serviced by one Member of Parliament or one Councillor as such some areas have been affected in terms of development.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we foresee from the Commission perspective that it will be a mammoth task but we cannot ignore it. We are determined to undertake the process. We are glad that government has allocated K300 million in the current budget for this exercise. We are also courting partners to help the Commission on technical expertise so that we can come with a credible process that will pass all political and legal requirements. We are aware of the political implications of demarcation exercise. Accusations of gerrymandering will always arise more especially when the exercise is conducted closer to elections period where the geopolitical maps become clearer. However, lucky us, we are having this exercise now when no candidate is known for 2019 elections.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we do realise that political parties are key stakeholders in the process of demarcation. They produce the candidates who compete in the elections. That is why we have decided to build your capacity and understanding of the demarcation process through this training. I know you read the electoral laws and you are aware of the legal provisions guiding demarcation processes, but this training will give more than that. We have experienced and knowledgeable facilitators who will take use through the BRIDGE module which is full of rich information and international examples.

We are bound to meet cases or situations in the course of demarcation which the knowledge and skills from this training will be applied. We are definitely going to share some of the issues from the past exercise, we might not have been there but certainly someone was or it has been documented, this is our chance to benefit. Therefore, I urge you to pay attention to whatever will be shared. It is very vital, we will need it on the way to 2019.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the Commission has of late been getting enquiries from all the corners of the countries especially from sitting elected leaders on the plans MEC has for their areas, more especially if MEC will split their constituencies or not. I should take the opportunity to clarify some issues regarding the process of demarcation. It will be a very consultative process whereby all stakeholders will be involved.

Normally activities are coordinated at council level and relevant stakeholders like council officials, political parties, traditional leaders and civil society organizations including the public directly are engaged. We are aware and we cannot pretend not to know that there is a general feeling among members of the public that some of the constituencies should be split because they are too big with difficult-to-reach patches to be serviced by one MP. This will help the MP to pay proper attention to the needs of the constituents.

Following this line of argument, there should be an increase of the total number of MPs from the current 193. However, there is also another school of thought that says that with the coming in of the councilors, the number of MPs we have now is more than enough and even some constituencies should be merged. If MPs concentrate on their legislative roles then they cannot complain that the constituency is too big. We will have to tread carefully by having a clear formula and guidelines that will help us to have a successful exercise with a sustainable output and also considering the national resource envelop.

I take the opportunity to thank the European Union who have supported the training under the Democratic Governance Programme (DGP). The EU DGP is the biggest supporter to MEC outside the basket fund. We cherish this relation and we pray that it takes us through to 2019. I should also thank my fellow Commissioners, leaders of various political parties and staff from secretariat for availing themselves for this training. My word to you is that BRIDGE requires full participation for you to appreciate the benefits and get the internationally recognized certificate of attendance. May your presence last up to coming Friday.

With these remarks, I declare this BRIDGE training on Boundary Delimitation opened. Please have a successful time.

May God bless you, bless our nation.

Thank you very much

Delivered this day of 5 th October 2015 by Justice Maxon Mbendera SC Chairman, Malawi Electoral Commission

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Political parties’ undoing

When history seems to have judged small political parties as poor performers in national elections, it hits one as a surprise that the country’s so-called small political parties remain expert procrastinators. Instead of launching preparations long before the 2019 elections, they have the luxury of engaging the political hibernation gear.
Maybe I should first describe a ‘procrastinator’. According to American humourist Robert Benchley, a procrastinator is described as “anybody who can do any amount of work, so long as it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing”.  
This definition captures the behaviour of the country’s ‘developing’ [the term brief-case or small may sound cruel; too cruel for a democratic state such as ours] political parties very well. They only seem to wake up from their slumber when the Malawi Electoral Commission blows the official campaign whistle and, by which time, it is often too late to garner support and consolidate their position.
Of course, Malawi’s political sphere is too polarised. We all know, or have a faint idea, that, in The Warm Heart of Africa, it is one’s district and region of origin that matters in voting; it’s never about policies or fair judgement.
This notwithstanding, I expected the country’s ‘developing’ political parties to take full advantage of the period in-between elections to roll their drums by endearing themselves to the country’s citizens in a simple, cost-effective way.
Save for Umodzi Party president, John Chisi, who continues to remind Malawians that he is relevant to the country’s development by commenting on a number of issues in the media, the others seem to be on a kind of sabbatical that is not only detrimental to their political aspirations but also counter-productive.
Come to think of it, there are many ways of killing the political rat [meaning, defeating the ruling party; which, of course, is the ambition of every opposition political party, be it established, or ‘developing’] without breaking the bank. The most cost-effective way seems to be the strategic use [abuse?] of the media by commenting on a number of issues [including, as most politicians do, those one is not conversant with], and issuing statements [even on trivia issues] from time to time.
There is also the tried-and-tested practice of attending funerals, weddings, parking one’s car in the middle of a busy road, sweeping the streets, among others.
However, leaders of our ‘developing’ political parties seem to judge everything in terms of the likely costs to be incurred. And there lies the problem!
Of course, the politician’s lot in Malawi is a hard one. There simply are too many expectations pinned on the small shoulders of our politicians. To begin with, representative leaders such as members of Parliament and councillors are looked up to as what others have described as ‘transmission belts’; meaning, people whose principal role is to transmit the wishes of voters into policy action. The fault with this line of thinking is that it disregards the fact that these representative leaders have wishes of their own. Again, the ‘transmission belt’ line of thinking does not consider the fact that, once elected, these officials are given a role to execute their work through their agency, so long as they appreciate the fact that they do their work on trust. It, therefore, does not make sense for them to be seeking the consent of voters every time they need to take action on something.
Apart from shouldering this burden, our politicians also have to deal with dependent constituents who look up to them for everything, including the provision of carrier plastic bags for baby nappies! When someone dies in the ward or constituency, it is councillors and legislators who have to shoulder the burden of buying coffins, finding means of transport and feeding mourners.
So bad is the situation that the same councillors and legislators have to use money meant for development to pay people who take part in community development initiatives. Blame it on politics of hand-outs — that political game introduced and mastered by the once mighty United Democratic Front, perfected by the erstwhile ruling People’s Party, and adored by the Democratic Progressive Party. It seems as if there is no way out of this predicament.
But, if the truth be told, these are not good grounds for ‘developing’ political parties to shy away from politics in-between one national election and another. I know the leaders of the ‘developing’ political parties decide to watch events unfolding from the sidelines because they don’t want to dive into the politics of coffin-buying. They don’t have to.
All they need to do is [to] make their presence felt by, from time to time, saying something that will resonate with the wishes of the people. And, then, we will rid our nation of this vicious cycle of poor electoral performances, a game ‘developing’ political parties seem to have mastered without competitors.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Republic of Malawi

For immediate release
Ministry of Information, Tourism and Civic Education
September 23, 2015

The Government has taken note of the statement by the the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia on the current socio-economic and political development processes in Malawi.
The statement, which was issued at the end of the General Administrative Committee meeting held from 21st  24th August 2015 at Phwezi in Rumphi notes with appreciation positive developments that Government has registered since the State President, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika came to power in Malawi in 2014.
It also highlights some gaps that should be addressed by all, including government, traditional and religious institutions, the private sector and civil society.
Government wishes to acknowledge the balanced and sober approach that the Synod has taken to highlight the issues, giving credit where it due and rallying the efforts of all Malawians to address, through concerted efforts, the challenges that the country is currently facing.
Government acknowledges the gaps that the Synod has highlighted, and wishes to assure the people of Malawi that it is doing everything possible to address them.
However, Government wishes to join the Synod in inviting all Malawians, including all political parties, religious institutions, traditional leaders, the private sector and civil society, to work together to support its efforts in this regard.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

People’s Party’s moment of madness

To neutral observers, former president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party’s lot has been a hard one since that expected moment of Tripartite Elections when Malawians unexpectedly showed them the traditional burning log and shoved them out of the way.
Many have cited Cashgate, the infamous distribution of public resources without the consent of taxpayers, as the principal architect behind voters’ decision to give Banda and her PP the matching orders.
It must have been the manner the issue was handled, and the contradicting statements emanating from Banda after the shooting of former national budget director Paul Mpwiyo, that might have convinced Malawians that the nation did not have enough stocks of patience and hope to cling to the ruling party’s boat. It was like, through Cashgate, the PP administration had torn the traditional last fig from its branch and the last coconut from its bole.
For starters, Banda said at a public rally addressed in Blantyre [Lunzu Township] that she had a clue as to who had shot at Mpwiyo, only to backtrack later, saying she was equally in the dark. By claiming that she knew who had shot Mpwiyo, Banda cast herself as the all-knowing president who was on top of things, and the pronouncement was politically correct.
However, when she changed tune, the impression she gave was that she was, like the rest of us, equally in the dark. In that very moment, she must have given Malawians the impression that she was as clueless as them, they had no leader [torch-bearer]. Therefore, Malawians waited for the May 2014 Tripartite Elections with abated breath so that they could elect a leader who could hold the torch for them, and show them the path in the often dark sphere of public life.
And, again, Banda and PP’s causes have not been helped by the conspicuous absence of the former president from the political scene. Her physical absence since the tragedy that was last year’s elections could be equated to her Lunzu statement that she had a clue about who might have shot at Mpwiyo, and for what purposes: Both cases profess the absence of her physical torch to guide her party towards the path of revitalisation!
There have been suggestions that her conspicuous absence when some of the suspects in Cashgate trials have fingered her name is spoiling her, otherwise, good image, and that it would be good for her to fly back home and clear her name. One eminent law professor, Danwood Chirwa, has even suggested that the state could summon her back home if it feels that it has a good case against her.
But PP’s publicity and administrative secretary, Ken Msonda, is on record to have said that the former president seems to have overstayed her welcome outside the country because she wants to pave way for the incumbent president, Peter Mutharika, to have a smooth run in politics. In other words, she does not want her ‘magnetic’ presence to distract Mutharika from his goal of steering the national ship towards the port of sustainable development.
Whatever the case, both Banda and the PP know that the status quo may not be the best situation going. For instance, it is clear that her followers as well as those of the party are starving. Once they lose hope that she will ever fly back home, it will be another typical case of tearing the traditional last fig from its branch and the last coconut from its bole. Nobody recovers fully from the starvation-of-trust that follows.
This brings us to the squabbles [read, so-called squabbles] that have rocked the PP in its Northern Province. To an untrained eye, these are signs of a party struggling to stay afoot in the murky waters of politics.
But I see mature politics at play. Come to think of it, the water boiling in the PP is not without precedent, as other political parties have done it before. In fact, it is common parlance in the mature democracies that each political grouping should have its ‘moment of madness’. This moment [of madness] takes the centre-stage when political parties, as well as public leaders, want to destruct citizens from something that is more costly than the consequences of the actions employed in the course of the moment of madness.
For example, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was at it a few months ago. One of Mutharika’s aides, Ben Phiri, announced that he had tendered his resignation to the President ostensibly because some people were accusing him of becoming filthily rich. According to Phiri, his resignation was meant to pave the way for investigators to probe him because, as far as he was concerned, his plate was as clean as the pants of a Tonga!
As expected, the issue stirred debate. However, observers said the DPP administration had planted the noose on the neck of Phiri in order to distract Malawians from the issue of another Cashgate that unraveled under the first DPP administration’s feet.
The same could be said of the PP today. While it could be true that suspecting that the PP may deliberately be fuelling the debacle in the Northern Province could be forcing an intellectual cloak on an otherwise clueless party, we cannot conclusively say that events that marred last week’s party meeting convened by secretary general, Ibrahim Matola, unraveled on their own.
Matola failed to address the gathering because of a fracas that saw the party’s publicity and administrative secretary, Msonda, being roughed up. Matola’s delegation included deputy secretary general Ireen Chikuni, Msonda and national organising secretary Salim Bagus. Infuriated, Matola expelled PP Northern Province chairperson, Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira and chairlady Cliffer Kondowe.
Before the dust settled, in came party leader, Banda, who reversed Matola’s decision and announced that the two had been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing [which was slated for yesterday]. So, finally, Banda’s torch has lit brighter than Matola’s, and it seems as if she is the leader Malawians wanted before Mpwiyo’s shooting.
As the fire rages on in the PP, people have forgotten about Banda’s physical absence in Malawi, PP’s precarious position as a party without a visible driver has somewhat been forgotten, and life goes on!
That’s the good thing about political moments of madness: They can go a short way in diverting people’s attention from ‘real’ things. Again, that’s why each and every party should have people who are willing to throw dust in the air and confuse opponents.

University of Malawi Golden Jubilee on October 10, 2015


The University of Malawi wishes to inform the general public that the Golden Jubilee Celebrations will be held on Saturday, 10thOctober, 2015 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre from 7.00 a.m.

His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika the President of the Republic of Malawi and Chancellor of the University of Malawi will be the Guest of Honour

Five Parades by cohorts of graduates streamlined by a period of a decade from 1965 shall march to the tune of the Police and Malawi Defence Force Bands brass bands from the Blantyre Civic Centre to Kamuzu Stadium.

Activities at the Stadium shall inter-alia include the following:

(a) Confernment of honorary Degrees
(b) Floats of scholarly exhibitions by students and lecturers;
(c) Floats of UNIMA alumni symbolizing collaboration with society;
(d) Choral displays and traditional dances;
(e) Poetry recitals and drama performances;
(f) A documentary cataloguing the life journey of the University of
    Malawi in its 50 years of existence;
(g)Netball and football matches between UNIMA veterans and current
    students, and
(h) Launching of the UNIMA flag and University of Malawi Anthem.

To curtain-raise the climax of the UNIMA Golden Jubilee celebrations, an International Conference and Gala Ball will take place atHotel Victoria from 24th - 25th September, 2015 and a Thought Leadership Dialogue will be held at Chancellor College from 30th - 1st October, 2015

All alumni who expressed their interest to parade have accordingly been listed. Alumni who did not submit their names but are interested to parade should send an SMS to 0888 120 194 and /or email

Alumni taking part in the parade will do so while wearing T-Shirts and Golf Shirts of the colour of their cohort which will costK3,200.00  and K6,200.00 respectively, or a UNIMA cloth which is selling at K1,250 per meter.

The T Shirts and Golf Shirts are strictly for those taking part in the parade while the Golden Jubilee "Chitenje" is available in all colleges for all interested members of the public. The cloth can be bought at any of the University of Malawi constituent colleges as well as at the central office and Bunda Campus of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

The T-Shirts and Golf Shirts will be sold on 8th and 9th October, 2015 at the Blantyre City Assembly Civic Center to all members participating in the parade.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in Chikhwawa District, Shire Valley ADD


The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and water Development would like to inform the general public that it has on 4th September,2015 confirmed Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in cattle at Mthumba dip tank , Mitole Extension Planning Area (EPA)in Chikhwawa District within Shire Valley ADD.
Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects cattle and has very devastating socio-economic consequences if not timely controlled. Preliminary Investigation conducted by Veterinary experts from the Ministry indicate that a total number of 700 cattle are at immediate risk within the affected dip tank. However the investigations are still on going to establish the magnitude of spread and map the extent of the problem.

In conformity with the Control and Animal Diseases Act (Cap 66:02), and the World Animal Health organisation guidelines, the Ministry would therefore like to inform the general public that it has with immediate effect instituted the following measures within and around the affected area (Mthumba dip tank):

  • The temporary suspension of all livestock (cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) markets
  • Temporary ban of All livestock (cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) slaughters

  • Restriction of livestock and livestock products movement.

  • Ban of issuance of livestock permits

The Ministry is currently working tirelessly to contain the disease and will continue updating the general public on the situation from time to time. The Ministry is therefore urging the livestock farmers and the general public to cooperate with its officials and the police during the implementation of these measures.

For more information and clarification, please contact the following officers: Dr. B. Chimera on 0999315766, Dr P. Chikungwa on 0888371509, and Dr G. Njunga on 0999449731.

Erica Maganga (Mrs)


Unduna wa Malimidwe, Ulimi Othirira ndi Chitukuko cha Madzi


Unduna wa Malimidwe, Ulimi wa mthirira ndi chitukuko cha madzi ukudziwitsa anthu onse kuti kwagwa matenda a ng’ombe a zilonda m’ mapazi ndi m’mkamwa (omwe pa chizungu amatchedwa ‘Foot and Mouth’ )kudera la dipi ya Mthumba , Ku Mitole EPA, m’boma la Chikhwawa ku Shire Valley ADD.

Matenda a zilonda m’ mapazi ndi m’mkamwa a ng’ombewa ndi oopsya kwambiri chifukwa ndiopatsirana (Ziweto zokha-zokha) ndipo amagwira ziweto makamaka ng’ombe.  Ziweto zina zomwe zikhoza kukhuzidwa ndi monga mbuzi, nkhumba, nkhosa ndi ziweto za kutchire monga Njati.  Matendawa amabwezeretsa chitukuko mmbuyo ngati ziweto sizitetezedwa ndi kuthana ndi vutoli mwa msanga. Akuluakulu a mu Dipatimenti yoona za ziweto akuyesetsa kupeza njira zotetezera ziweto ndi kuthana ndi matendawa.

Mogwirizana ndi lamulo lokhudza katetezedwe ka matenda a ziweto omwe ali m’ndime 66.02 ya malamulo a dziko lino komanso ndondomeko ya m’bungwe loona za ziweto padziko lonse lapansi lotchedwa ‘World Animal Health Organisation’, Undunawu ukudziwitsa anthu onse kuti wayika njira zoyenera izi zothana ndi vutoli m’dera la Mthumba dipi thanki:

  • Kuletsa kugulitsa ziweto monga ngombe, mbuzi, nkhosa ndi nkhumba kwa kanthawi kochepa.
  • Kuletsa kupha  ziweto monga ngombe, mbuzi, nkhosa ndi nkhumba kwa kanthawi kochepa.
  • Kuletsa kuyenda ndi ziweto kapena zakudya za ziweto kuchokera kudera lokhudzidwali kupita ku madera ena.
  • Kuyimitsa kupereka ziphaso zovomerezeka kuyenda ndi ziweto.

Pomaliza Undunawu ukupempha anthu onse kuti agwirizane ndi ogwira ntchito ku Dipatiment yoona za ziweto ndi a Polisi potsatira njira zalembedwazi kuti matendawa asapitirire kufala.

Mukafuna kudziwa zambiri za mliriwu, lumikizanani ndi anthu awa: Dr B. Chimera, Dr P. Chikungwa ndi Dr G. Njunga pa manambala awa: 0999315766, 0888371509 ndi 0995910460.


Erica Maganga (Mrs)

Mlembi Wamkulu mu Unduna wa Malimidwe, Ulimi Othirira ndi Chitukuko cha Madzi


The Project for Improvement of Blantyre City Roads (Phase III)



The Project for Improvement of Blantyre City Roads (Phase III)

September 18, 2015: Blantyre City Council wishes to inform the general public that major works on The Project for Improvement of Blantyre City Roads (Phase III) in Limbe have so far been executed by the Contractor, World Kaihatsu Kogyo Company Limited.  The Contractor is currently approaching the critical finishing stage of placing asphalt surface.

A sample strip of asphalt placement will be carried out soon from 17/09/2015.  Upon satisfactory results, the main activity will commence immediately starting with approach stretches adjoining the main road alignment.

During this activity, the whole road section will be temporarily closed to pave way for smooth execution of works.  In this regard, motorists are kindly requested to use alternative routes to access services within the vicinity by observing mounted road signs for traffic diversion.

The Contractor endeavors to complete the project within the contract period hence Blantyre City Council would like to appeal to the general public and motorists to exercise patience for any inconvenience this exercise may cause.

For further details please contact Mr. Grant M.Z. Sichali on 0991554169 or Mr. Stone Nkhondodwe on 0881843595


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nissan’s ‘King of the Off-Road’ On Safari in Majete Wildlife Reserve

For Immediate Release

Nissan’s ‘King of the Off-Road’  On Safari in Majete Wildlife Reserve

  • Iconic Patrol  NissanKing of the Off-Road - to showcase its extreme capabilities in Majete Wildlife Reserve driving event

  • Built for Africa, Patrol embodies Nissan's 4x4 heritage and is the ultimate expression of innovative technology and engineering prowess

  • Nissan committed to continue developing and launching all-new models for African customers over the next three years

MALAWI, Blantyre(07 September 2015)–Nissan's legendary Patrol will prove why it's known as the 'King of the Off-Road' in Africa during a challenging two-day driving and discovery event in Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi.

The event, which will feature popular TV host and 'Big Brother Africa' star Masuzgo Msiska, is being held to strengthen the Nissan brand in an important sub-Saharan market and let Malawians experience one of the most iconic models from Nissan's global portfolio.

On September 14, potential customers and members of the Malawi community will set off from the Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre to put the Patrol through its paces on safari and experience first-hand the superior performance that has earned the 4x4its ultra-dependablereputation spanning more than six decades.

The second trip on September 15th will give membersof the media greater understanding about the all-round capabilities and benefits of Nissan's flagship SUV, as well as the many roles it can play – both on and off-road.

“The seventh generation Patrolis the greatest advancement in 4x4 history - a formidable presence in the African off-road vehicle landscape with the intelligence to adapt to any terrain and instant power on command,” says Ian Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Malawi.

“From the very beginning, the Nissan Patrol has been synonymous with power, with each new model employing advanced technologies that enhance both on and off-road performance to unsurpassable levels.”

Travelling in Africa presents a diverse range of challenging landscapes and Nissan Malawi will show how well-equipped the Patrol is to tackle any terrain with performance, stability and control.

“The Nissan Patrol is built for Africa -the hero of all terrains. It’s a vehicle that showcases Nissan’s innovative technology and engineering capabilities with surprising fuel efficiency,” says Bartlett.

Designed for people who have achieved success in life, enlivening the status they deserve and living the lifestyle they prefer, the Patrol combines performance and ruggedness with meticulously crafted luxury.

The 5.6l V8 engine offers the ultimate power trip. Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) technologies, improve power and torque with lower emissions.

The 7-speed VVEL automatic transmission with manual mode, offers seamless acceleration with 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque that delivers a drive of unmatched performance and dynamic control.

The ALL MODE 4x4 system utilises advanced electronics to ensure that no matter how severe the driving conditions, the Patrol will be able to grip the road at all times by transferring drive between wheels and axles.

Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) system offers 4-wheel independent suspension. Working with the chassis and body frame the system maximises the suspension stroke on off-road running and prevents roll angle, to maintain flat riding with high damping force at cornering, “Which gives it superb stability on rugged and sandy terrain, while also delivering a comfortable ride in the city,” Bartlett says.

Bartlett says he is eager to showcase what the Patrol can do, particularly in sandy or gravel slopes and steep inclines while still driving in supreme comfort.

“With the Patrol’s technology, the driver will feel secure in any situation, even down a slippery slope without the need for braking, or through deep water, keeping the driverin perfect control with confidence.”

By combining functionality, versatility and powerful performance with an attractive design, superior styling and refinement, the Patrol takes sophistication and capability to a whole new level.

In Africa’s diverse population, products require new configurations to suit the distinctive needs of a young, increasingly more urban populationwhich aspires to more sophisticated products and services.

“Nissan develops products to fulfil this trend and will introduce new models into Africa during the next three years,” adds Bartlett.

Joining the Nissan Malawi team on day two is the celebrated local TV presenter and host – Mr. Masuzgo Msiska who is also the current holder of the coveted title of Mr Malawi. Mr Msiska - known to the locals as Mr 265 - earned continental popularity when he took part in the widely broadcast reality TV show – Big Brother Africa.

As part of Nissan’s wider ambition to grow significantly in the continent, the company's sub-Saharan operation has partnered with strong, local distributors such as Nissan Malawi, which is committed to evolve and play an important part in the growth story of Africa by exerting more influence in local markets.

Malawi is a key market for Nissan in Africa as itrepresents opportunities for business growth, trade and investment.

Nissan Malawi remains committed to provide a world-class automotive experience with quality customer engagement, and ongoing focus on sales and aftersales service.

It is well-positioned to meet the needs of Malawian customers with a showroom in Blantyreand sub-dealerships in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, and is confident of becoming the number one car dealership in Malawi - delivering the products and services the new generation of Africans expect and deserve.

The Nissan Malawi showroom is opposite the Wenela Bus Depot in Blantyre Malawi.

Join Nissan Malawi Facebook Page:


Blantyre City Council
For immediate release:

It has come to the attention of Blantyre City Council that people are occupying premises (houses, offices, shops, warehouses and factories) without getting the necessary statutory approvals for the issuance of Certificate of Occupation.
Many developers are also extending their buildings without first seeking the approval of the Council and a lot more are building houses and structures on illegal land.
The general public should note that it is illegal under Section 44 of the Town and Country Planning Act to carry out any development in the City without first obtaining the necessary approvals from the Council’s Town Planning Committee.
The Council is reminding all those that have occupied these premises and also those that have made extensions to their structures without the necessary approvals as well as those that have illegally built structures on any land to immediately contact the City Council’s Town Planning Department for the way forward.
The Council shall conduct a verification exercise from 1st October, 2015 and all those found not to have adhered to this notice shall be heavily penalized and proper enforcement action shall be carried out.

Dr. Alfred W.D. Chanza
Acting Chief Executive Officer

15th September 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cashgate: Did Malawians Miss The Cues in Osward Lutepo's 'Angry' Generosity

Slumped in his wheel-chair, Cashgate convict Osward Lutepo's lowered physical position fits the hat of his diluted societal status.
Yet, before April 2013, Lutepo, who stares at an eleven-year jail term sentence stacked in his face by the Zomba High Court, was a man whose face brought a new consciousness.
Indeed, he was someone whose shadow one would dive head-first to hug. Yes, here is a man whose human countenance was more shiny than perceptible realities.
Now, nobody knows whether it is former president, Joyce Banda, or the well-known business magnet, who attracted who-to-who.
What is known, though, is the fact that, when Lutepo announced his intention to control the kitty in the then ruling People's Party of Joyce Banda, Banda did not raise any qualms. In fact, Lutepo got his desired position quicker than he came.
And, soon, spotting that new-consciousness smile, he would be donating vehicles to the People's Party through its president, Joyce Banda. And Lutepo and Banda could do this in broad daylight.
Ah! Perhaps Malawians were foolish!
Ah! Perhaps Malawians are foolish!
Nobody cared about the countenance of Lutepo and Banda as they exchanged the keys in public, the donated vehicles behind them, but visible- very visible- to the media and members of the general public.
And, ah!, always Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Radio and Television would cover the events live!

Missed cues?
Now that Lutepo has received the sentence he deserves, I see how foolish the media and Malawians have been!
Look, Lutepo was a smiling gentleman wherever he went. No wonder, people scrambled to kiss his shadow. After all, he was a business magnet of sorts. A man who forsook formal employment  for self-employment.
Banda, too, was a smiling woman  whenever members of the diplomatic corps paid her a visit. Didn't she woo the British back, after former president Bingu wa Mutharika showed British Ambassador Fergus Cochrane-Dyet  the exit?
The truth is that she did.
In fact, Malawi was a replica of Zimbabwe before Banda wooed the world with her cosmetic smile: No diesel, petrol and paraffin in service stations; no sugar in shops, including reputable ones such as Shoprite, People's Trading Centre, Chipiku-Plus; and no hope among the citizens!
Malawi was suffering from a public crisis.
Coincidentally, this was the time the Democratic Progressive Party, on whose ticket Banda run as running mate to Bingu wa Mutharika, and Mutharika himself, had booted Joyce Banda out of the party, and sidelines her as Vice President.
Then, just in the nick of time, Bingu fell down in his office- at the New State House in Lilongwe- the type of fall one never wakes up from, and Banda became the president.
As the say, the struggles that followed her ascendancy, and the efforts to thwart her rise behind the scene, are common folder now.
From the blues [I mean, after the blue party- the Democratic Progressive Party] had embraced the exit door with qualms, Banda wooed everything in her path.
And she seems to have wooed the erstwhile business magnet, Lutepo, too. 
And when Lutepo started donating vehicles to Banda's People's Party in full view of the public, the media, and the nation, missed the cues.
What cues? One may ask!
The non-verbal cues.
On the faces of both figures.
The figure of Banda and the figure of Lutepo.
I mean the face of Banda and the face of Lutepo.
The two never smiled!
Maybe they knew what this was all about. Behind the scenes, of course.
Maybe Lutepo was being forced. Maybe Banda was forced Lutepo to donate the vehicles.
Only Banda knows. Wherever she is. Outside the country.