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Limbe Leaf hands over K136 million school facilities

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Chang’anamuno (left) cuts a ribbon for the new teachers house assisted by Chikungwa

Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited (Limbe Leaf) has handed over school facilities worth K136 million at Kafutwe primary school in Lilongwe rural as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

The company renovated eight school blocks, a staff room, constructed a teachers house together with a pit latrine, drilled a borehole, fitting it with a solar pump and 10,000 litres tanks and constructed a 1,000 metres perimeter brick fence around the school.

Speaking during the handover event in Lilongwe on Friday, Limbe Leaf Director of Corporate Affairs Febbie Chikungwa said the tobacco company under its flagship program, the Agricultural Labour Practices (ALP), has a dedicated team that works on labour issues on farms including ensuring no child labour and forced child labour.

“Our policy is zero tolerance. Our belief is for children to be in school. We are aware that sometimes children are not in school because of resources, either structural or material. Through our field teams, the ALP program, and the farm diligence processes, we can identify gaps that limit or prevent children from being in school. It is through this process that the needs of Kafutwe School were identified.”

Chikungwa tastes the water from the borehole as Chang’anamuno opens the tap

“We believe a conducive learning environment is one that caters for pupils’ needs as well as teachers, hence the teachers house and a reliable water source. Water is an important and key resource for any community. The borehole will provide not only the teachers and learners with potable water but can also be a key element for a commercial vegetable garden for the school to self-sustain itself. We hope the school management will consider that prospect,” said Chikungwa.

She also pledged that Limbe Leaf will construct 2 more teachers’ houses and provide materials for ‘after school activities’ such as sports and board games.

“It is our hope that the Ministry of Education, the School Management or Committee, Traditional Leaders, and Parents will join us in ensuring that these structures are taken care to safeguard the provision of quality education to the children of today and those of tomorrow. Let us join hands in safeguarding the development, wellbeing, and future of our children,” said Chikungwa.

The brick fence

Receiving the donation, Deputy Minister of Education Monica Chang’anamuno hailed Limbe Leaf for the school facilities saying beautiful school infrastructure has created a good and conducive learning environment, which will also help to improve the learning outcomes of the school as well as security to learners.

“The gesture that Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited has shown in providing this beautiful infrastructure is highly commendable because it aligns to the Ministry’s reform agenda which aims at providing quality and standard education infrastructure through the use of the minimum essential infrastructure package,” said Chang’amamuno adding that she is aware that this was not the only social programme that Limbe Leaf is involved in.

Headmaster of the school Jeromy Mpunga also thanked Limbe Leaf for the donation saying it will go a long way in improving the grades of the 1,200 pupils registered at the school.

PIL restores potable water supply at Kunenekude Health Centre

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Mchiela (second right) hands over the water treatment plant

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has restored access to potable water to Kunenekude Health Centre in Mwanza by donating a solar powered water pump valued at K4.5 million.

The facility has stayed for over a year without water, thereby forcing health personnel to be fetching water from nearby sources for their day-to-day activities.

Presenting the donation on Friday, PIL Finance and Administration Manager, Kambani Mchiela said they decided to intervene and help Kunenekude Health Centre as part of supporting government efforts in the delivery of quality health services especially in remote areas.

Mchiela said clean water is an essential part of any health care facility, and therefore it was necessary to support Kunenekude which also helps patients from the borders with neighouring Mozambique.

“In our Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, PIL placed special emphasis on supporting health facilities in Malawi, particularly those in hard-to-reach areas as they continue to be disproportionately affected by inadequate or scarcity of medical resources and in some even basic utilities such as clean water which is an essential part in healthcare facilities”.

Mchiela (second right) hands over the water treatment plant

“With the current risk of cholera outbreaks and isolated cases of Covid-19 we believe the clean water supply will improve hygiene at this health centre and help reduce re-infections within the premises,” said Mchiela.

Health Services Administrator at Mwanza District Health Office (DHO), Emma Mapuchira commended PIL for the gesture saying the situation was dire.

“Almost 90 percent of hospital services require use of water, but since August 2021 we have had no water at Kunenekude Health Centre, thereby forcing us to be sending drums of water from Mwanza in a pickup. As expected, the drums will reach the destination almost half of it wasted. But now this is just a story,” said Mapuchira.

Mwanza district council chairperson who is also councilor for Khudze ward where the hospital is placed, Emmanuel Kapawe also appreciated the support by PIL, and asked members of the community to take responsibility for providing security to the new pump.

Kunenekude Hospital covers a population of 17, 000 people from 17 villages around Mwanza and part of Neno and Mozambique.

Apart from the water pump, the package also consists of solar panels mounted on the roof of the hospital.

The water tanks

NBS Bank partners Khala on Sunday Jazz sessions

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Part of the audience during the Sunday Jazz session

NBS Bank Plc has partnered with Khala, a Lilongwe based SME and event management company to support the popular Sunday afternoon jazz sessions that are held at Four Seasons in Lilongwe.

The partnership will see Khala giving a platform to NBS Bank to showcase its products and services during the Sunday jazz sessions which are proving to be a popular event for Lilongwe residents.

Speaking during the announcement of the partnership in Lilongwe during a jazz session on Sunday, NBS Bank plc Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Ng’ombe-Longwe said apart from been given a platform, where, among other things they will encourage customers to use their digital products including use of Point of Sale (POS) devices, the Bank is always looking for ways to invest in their SME customers who are interested in growing their businesses.

Ng’ombe-Longwe (right) with NBS Bank colleagues at Four Seasons

“Khala is one of NBS Bank’s SME customers whose growth the Bank has had the privilege of watching since they began banking with us. As NBS Bank, we strongly believe in investing in such SMEs as this reflects our purpose which is Making Banking Eazy. Our customers create their vision, we make it happen,” said Ng’ombe-Longwe.

She told the jazz audience that NBS Bank is now a new and improved Bank with various digital offerings for both individual and business customers.

Commenting on the partnership, Khala Chief Executive Officer, Thokozani Kaunda hailed the partnership with NBS Bank plc.

The NBS Bank stage

“Most banks do not partner with SMEs such as Khala but NBS Bank has taken a leap of faith because they understand the vision and acknowledge the growth this investment will yield. I encourage other SMEs to bank with NBS Bank due to the endless opportunities they offer,” said Kaunda.

“Through this collaboration, customers can expect to see NBS Bank at Sunday Jazz and look out for an exciting experience,” added Kaunda.

Speaking on the direction the Bank has taken, Pasimalo Security Services Managing Director Patience Kalanzi said as one of the Bank’s stakeholders, the partnership will give more insights into the products and services offered by the Bank.

CDEDI tells Chakwera et al cut short their UNGA tour…presses for an emergency parley meeting to settle ‘drug crisis’

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is pressing for an emergency meeting to probe and reach a consensus on the current medicines and drugs crisis that has hit the country’s health facilities.

In a statement signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, his organisation is asking the leadership of the Parliamentary Committee on Health to meet all relevant stakeholders in the health sector so as to discuss the present life-threatening shortage of drugs, medicines and medical supplies in the face of the forex crisis.

In a letter addressed to committee’s chairperson, Hon. Matthews Ngwale, CDEDI has brought to his attention a snapshot of the dire situation on the ground.

Namiwa has since asked the committee to use its powers to engage President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, Minister of Health Hon. Khumbizie Kandodo-Chiponda and the Principal Secretary for Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo to cut short their trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and come back home to attend to the crisis at hand.

“Today, evidence is there for every Malawian to see that the public health system has collapsed. This is clearly mirrored through, among others, the acute shortage of essential drugs and medicines largely due to the forex shortage, dysfunctional machines such as X-rays, Blood pressure monitors; scarcity of Dialysis consumables; lack of ambulance services due to budgetary constraints and the fuel crisis; no food rations to patients; poor disease surveillance on the current outbreaks of cholera and the Covid-19 pandemic,” he highlights the gravity of the problem in the statement.

Adding that the situation is a clear sign that Malawians should brace for worsening levels of malnutrition due to the impending hunger if the Malawi Vulnerability assessment (MVAC) report is anything to go by.

“This will, surely, erode the gains made in the fight against HIV/Aids, TB, Malaria and other diseases. It is strange, therefore, that given all these challenges, the President has decided to abandon Malawians for a lavish lifestyle with both the Minister of Health and the PS. In times of _crises like these, one would have expected our self acclaimed servant leader to be at home to steer the sinking ship to safety,” says Namiwa.

There is no immediate comment from Parliamentary Health Committee Chairperson Ngwale but our traces indicates that the letter from CDEDI has reached his office.

Malawians are passing through numerous economic challenges which commentators says is due to poor leadership style.

Corruption is topping the list that has caused the development partners including the international monetary fund (IMF) to abandon the country.

The prices of goods and services have also skyrocketed due indecisiveness of government to have the local currency devalued by 25 percent in May this year.

NBS Bank launches Kachangu Personal Loan

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LONGWE: We are moving towards a digital world where systems, processes and general operations are becoming more digital in nature

Listed NBS Bank has launched a new digitized personal loan called Kachangu targeting its retail customers.

Kachangu Personal Loan comes barely two months after a similar one called Kachangu Payday was launched to provide easy loan access to the customers within 10 minutes.

NBS plc’s Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Tamanda Ng’ombe-Longwe, the introduction of the digitized loan, which is accessible on the Bank’s website, reflects the growing digital world.

“We are moving towards a digital world where systems, processes and general operations are becoming more digital in nature. NBS Bank wants to move with the changing times by offering a quicker and convenient way of applying for and accessing loans through our digital banking platforms.”

“Kachangu has now gone personal and with time, we intend to add more products to create a full bouquet of facilities under the Kachangu umbrella,” said Ng’ombe-Longwe.

According to Ng’ombe-Longwe, apart from applying online, the loan also provides convenience to customers since the process to access it does not require paperwork or need to visit the banking halls and is approved instantly.

The loan, which targets civil servants receiving salary through the bank, and workplace banking customers, offers a minimum K100, 000 and K6 million cash limit. 

HS Winehouse welcomes Kilimanjaro hiking heroes

Mwamondwe (centre) being welcomed by HS Winehouse members

Blantyre’s trendy and upmarket pub, the HS Winehouse on Saturday trekked down to Lilongwe to give a ‘heroes welcome’ to two of its members who were part of a contingent of 19 hikers who hiked Africa’s highest peak on the Kilimanjaro Mountain in Tanzania.

About 10 patrons and directors of HS Winehouse travelled to Lilongwe on Saturday morning to welcome Emmanuel Maliro, an avid traveler, hiker and environmental enthusiast and Tumpale Mwamondwe, a financial consultant and a patron of HS Winehouse.

Both Maliro and Mwamondwe reached the highest peak on Kilimanjaro Mountain.

HS Winehouse team at KIA

The Blantyre crew was joined by their Lilongwe HS Winehouse counterparts who recently relocated to Lilongwe who included Edna Sewani, Towera Mpando, Yamikani ‘Ziggy’ Chinguwo, Golden Banda, Manganaye Kambauwa and Nkhwachi ‘Baghaya’ Mhango.

One of the patrons for HS Winehouse Alije Nyemera said they decided to give the heroes welcome to their colleagues for their achievements.

“These two colleagues have achieved a great milestone in hiking and we thought we should celebrate their home-coming in style, that is why we organized ourselves and travelled to Lilongwe to accord them a ‘thunderous’ welcome,” said Nyemera.

The two heroes..Maliro (right) and Mwamondwe

HS Winehouse made special T-shirts bearing the faces of Maliro and Mwamondwe of their exploits on Kilimanjaro Mountain.

After giving them a heroes welcome at Kamuzu International Airport on Saturday morning, the group went to Sewani’s house in the Area 47 suburbs where they had lunch and braai to celebrate their homecoming.

One of the directors of HS Winehouse, Gerald Tasaukadala said the joint felt ‘honoured’ that two of its patrons were part of making history as the first from HS Winehouse to conquer Kilimanjaro Mountain.

Heroes welcome

“We all followed the updates that our friends were giving us as they were hiking and to be honest it was not easy but through their determination, courage and faith, they made it to the top on Kilimanjaro Mountain. As HS Winehouse we thank all our patrons who contributed to support these two embark on this journey and also those who went to welcome them,” said Tasaukadala.

Maliro, who is also a director at HS Winehouse thanked patrons of the joint for welcoming them in a special way.

“I am elated! We did not expect that we were going to be given this huge welcome by our colleagues who travelled all the way from Blantyre despite some fuel challenges to be with us, we feel so special, I am at a loss of words,” said Maliro.

HS Winehouse members kuyipatsa moto

Mwamondwe also thanked HS Winehouse patrons for welcoming them in a special way.

“We are one big family at HS Winehouse and I am very happy with what they have done to give us this huge welcome, it feels so special,” said Mwamondwe.

Apart from being a drinking joint, HS Winehouse is proving a good venue for the development of arts in the country as some of the artists like musicians and cultural groups have been holding events at the venue.

The latest to hold an acoustic concert at the venue was the new music sensation Driemo early this month.

Mwamondwe (left) is welcomed by Manganaye Kambauwa

OOPS!Govt Kicking Out 500 Families From Their Homes, Land in Chileka

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By Lucky Mkandawire, Weekend Nation 17th September 2022

Some of the concerned community members in Chileka

Over 500 households close to Chileka International Airport in Blantyre are tussling with government over its intention to forcefully acquire their land, demolish their houses, and flatten their land and farms  for a multibillion dollar hospital project and pharmaceutical company project in Chileka.

The people say although they are delighted with the proposed development in their area, they have “serious reservations” with the manner government is undertaking the process which they allege contravenes the Land Acquisition Act as well as the country’s Constitution.

“The people told Government that they are not interested in their land being taken away and would want government ot find alternative land but in case that is not possible have sought fairness as their lives will be turned upside down” said the Committee representing the people.

Government plans to acquire the land for Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) who are working with some Americans  to construct a  university teaching hospital plus ancillary infrastructure at Chilangoma in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kuntaja. It also plans to build a Pharmaceutical corporation to manufacture drugs.

The compulsory acquisition process begun in June this year when valuers accompanied by officers from Ministry of Lands and Blantyre district commissioner’s office embarked on an assessment exercise to collect data for compensations.

However, the people claim government officers violated their constitutional right during the exercise and have since formed a task force against the acquisition and engaged lawyer Kuleza Phokoso to represent them as “we stand up for fairness in the dealings.”

Chairperson of the task force Ricky Kamtema confirmed the development in an interview saying government wants to grab almost 387 hectares of land “and almost 500 households are affected and will be resettled.”

“We are not against the project but the manner in which officers from the Ministry of Lands, district commissioner’s officer and T/A Kuntaja have undertaken the process all the way from the consultations,” he stated.

Kamtema also said the families have engaged an independent valuer to conduct a separate valuation exercise and produce a report by the end of September.

Kuleza confirmed on Thursday being given instructions to represent the people on the matter saying they are seeking transparency and accountability from government.

The genesis

 “About 500 ordinary villagers and families that have lived in the area for years and call it home will have to leave their land, their graveyards where their ancestors are buried and relocate to be strangers elsewhere and start from scratch.

Said said Phokoso in an interview: “Land is not easy to find and relocation is not easy to do. We are there to make sure the rule of law is respected; their constitutional right to property and not to be arbitrarily deprived of the same is respected as well as the dictates of the Land Acquisition Act are respected.”

The land targeted by government will affect 12 chiefs which include group village head Kammata, chiefs Denga, Mbedza, Kumanda, Tamvekenji, Dzineso, Lemu, Gomeza, Lipugama, Temani, Magombo and Chuma.

The concerns from the people are also contained in a letter dated August 12 2022 which Phokoso wrote to Commissioner of Lands at Ministry of Lands Kwame Ngwira who is currently the ministry’s acting principal secretary (PS).

In his six-page letter, titled “Compulsory Land Acquisition in Chilangoma Area of T/A Kuntaja-Chileka-Blantyre for Hospital City Project by Kamuzu University of Health Sciences”, Phokoso claims the officers tasked with the assessments and data collection “flagrantly disregarded the law eroding the trust of the land owners in the acquisition process.”

Reads the letter: “The officers did not assess correctly loss of occupational rights, loss of land, loss of business, relocation costs, loss of goodwill, cost of professional advice, nuisance, injurious affection, loss of business, loss of reduction of tenure and disturbance in line with Section 10 of the Land Acquisition Act 2022.

 “In addition, our clients report incidents of severe intimidation and bullying and threats of expropriation without compensation and the non-inclusion of crucial data regarding their land, property and fixtures thereon.

In an interview yesterday, Nkasala evaded the allegations but confirmed the complaints from the people which he said have affected the mega health project.

 “Engagement meetings with the local leadership and community were held and the general consensus was that they welcomed the project. On the basis of this consensus, processes of property assessment for compensation purposes kick started.

“But before a report for the compensations was released by the Ministry of Lands, recently there have been complaints from some sectors of the community who would want the whole exercise of acquiring the land and compensations to stop.”

However, the DC said relevant higher authorities were looking into the matter for an appropriate action and way forward.

But in a separate interview, T/A Kuntaja laughed off the claims of intimidation and challenged the distressed people to officially complain to him and not through the media. He said:” Nobody has come to me or the DC’s office to complain. We have

CDEDI demands disclosure of medical suppliers, CMST given 7 days to act

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) demanding disclosure of companies involved in the latest supply of medical essentials.

In a letter addressed to CMST Chief Executive, Dr Chikaiko Chadzunda, CDEDI wants the organization in question to make it clear on its stand so as to put right what is in public domain.

In the interest of transparency and accountability, CDEDI has since challenged the trust to seize the opportunity to inform Malawians on the state of the medical supplies in public health facilities and how it intends to maintain the supply chain in the face of the forex crisis.

“We are looking forward to hearing from you Sir, within the next seven (7) days,” reads the letter signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

He said his organisation has reached this extent after an independent investigations, recently revealed that the CMST has not procured essential drugs and medicines, a development that is believed to be the root cause of the acute drug shortages that have hit both referral and the District Hospitals not to mention of Health Centres.

Namiwa don’t discloses that it is within the investigations where it was further revealed that the CMST has run out of IV-fluids (Drips) which are critical in the health delivery services and now in the treatment of Cholera outbreak that has hit some parts of the country.

“It is against this background, that in line with the Access to Information (ATI) law, we write your office demanding records on the last time the CMST floated tenders for bulky supplies,” says Namiwa.

Additionally, he demanded CMST to make public the list of companies that participated in the tender, a list of companies that were awarded the contracts as well as a list of companies that successfully delivered the medicines.

Malawi has been hit by acute foreign currency(forex) crisis that has set millions of its citizens panicking over the unsustained availability of essential medicines and drugs in the public health facilities.

Currently both the mainstream and social media are awash with truths, speculations, half-truths and outright imaginations over the drug, medicines and medical supplies during these tough times.

CMST is yet to confirm receipt of the letter. The organisation has recently been in the limelight due to its negligence when handling procurement processes. It recently disposed expired medicine when at the time before expiry more health facilities were reportedly lacking a number of essential drugs that were enlisted on the disposed roll.

NBM supports Presidential Charity Golf with K20 million

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Boby (centre) presents the dummy cheque to Chimwaza (left) and Sam Mwale

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has supported the Presidential Charity Golf Tournament scheduled for next month in Lilongwe with K20 million.

President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima are expected to play in all the 18 holes in the tournament on 8 October 2022 at the Lilongwe Golf Club to raise funds for the vulnerable members of society.

Presenting the donation in Blantyre, NBM plc Head of Operations Brian Boby said the bank welcomes the initiative by Chakwera and his government saying the aim resonates well with corporate social responsibility programmes that the bank undertakes to make lives of vulnerable people better.

“We fully agree with the Presidential Charity Golf initiative because it resonates well with what we do as a Bank to make a difference in the lives of the less privileged. This is why today; we are pleased to support this initiative with K20 million. We believe this will go some way in making the Presidential Charity Golf tournament a success in ensuring that enough funds are raised to help vulnerable members of our society,” said Boby.

Among other things, the Presidential Charity golf tournament wants to raise funds to support needy tertiary students and survivors of tropical storm Ana which hit the country early this year.

Chimwemwe Chimwaza a member of the Presidential Charity Golf organizing Committee speaking at the function

Boby said the Bank is aware of the enormous challenges that affect vulnerable people like university students and survivors of natural disasters.

“As the Bank of the Nation, we are cognizant of the fact that one of the key enablers of Malawi’s vision 2063 development agenda is the development of human capital through provision of education and skills development for the youth. This is why we at NBM plc have been running scholarship programs for needy students in our public universities on top of awarding best performing students through our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) program for many years”.

“It is for this reason that we also supported the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) with K60 million for their Endowment Fund as a way of weaning the University from dependency on government subvention and establishing diversified revenue streams for the University which will also help needy students on top of research and infrastructure development activities.”

“We are all aware that as the Bank of the Nation, we did our part in helping those who were affected by the effects of the tropical cyclone Anna in the Lower Shire early this year,” said Boby.

A member of the Presidential Charity Golf Committee Chimwemwe Chimwaza thanked NBM plc for the donation saying it will go a long way in making the tournament a success.

“The bank today has really shown us that it is indeed ‘The Bank of the Nation’. We are humbled by this donation and we are hopeful that this tournament will be a success and we will achieve our goals of raising funds for the less privileged in our society,” said Chimwaza who was accompanied by fellow committee member Sam Mwale.

Boby (left) presents the cheque to Chimwaza (middle) and Sam Mwale another member of the Presidential Charity Golf Committee

Power Herbs From Warm Heart Herbs Selling Like Hot Cakes

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Power Herbs, herbal products produced by a local company Warm Heart Herbs, are selling like hot cakes on the market as many clients are praising it for its magic and healing powers.

Trading under the slogan ‘Malawi’s number one trusted source of herbs’, the products include; Mthubulo, Chiswa B, Mauka Cure, Manhood Enlarger, Tseketseke, Thubulo and Gondolosi.

The Herbal products, according to the Warm Heart Herbs Founder Joseph Kunjirima, among others are helpful in bedtime as it boosts sexual desire (Libido) and cures High Blood pressure.

“I have been receiving positive feedback from clients from across the country; everyone whom i have given my products is being sorted according to the needs” said Kunjirima

He added: “I’ m based in Blantyre and l send {the products} anywhere in Malawi through courier services. My Contact is +265881721040 for both whatsapp and direct calls.”

Warm Heart Herbs, which is one of the fastest growing and leading herbal companies in the country, started operating in 2013.

PIL gets $13 million for fuel importation

PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of four oil marketing companies has secured $13 million for fuel importation amid the escalating fuel crisis the country is facing.

However, this is $9 million short of the required amount to bring into the country about 22 million litres of fuel which the country consumes in a month.

PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko said in an interview yesterday that they have managed to secure the $13 million from local banks and urged the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to help them with the remaining $9 million to get the required amount of fuel into the country.

“PIL has been bringing enough fuel for the companies that we import for amidst the foreign exchange challenges in the country. In terms of the numbers, I can confirm that in the eight months to August 2022, we as PIL have imported 140m litres for our customers Puma, Total Energies, Petroda and Vivo and this is representing 56% of total imports which is 6% more than our 50% share. This indicates that we are covering up for others in this regard. This is in accordance with the SFR regulations for 2018,” added Msimuko.

Msimuko (centre) appreciates the ofloading of the fuel from a Cargo Train

National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) is also mandated by law to import another 50% of fuel and the company’s deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma told members of the Parliamentary committee on Industry, trade and Tourism that they have secured $10 million from National Bank of Malawi (NBM), $18 million from Standard Bank, 17.5 million Euros from FDH Bank and $8 million from NBS Bank for fuel importation.

Msimuko said they have noted the imbalance of the allocation of the forex and that they have raised the concern and are following up with the banks for the same type of assistance so that PIL can adequately import fuel for the country. 

“Due to rising world oil prices Letters of Credit (LC) facilities are getting utilized quickly, we are having to wait for room in the facilities to issue more LCs. We currently have secured $13m for September supplies which is $9m short of our monthly needs. We currently need $22m to import monthly requirements for our four customers. Clearly, we also need support from RBM for us to bring the required volumes,” said Msimuko.

Asked what PIL is doing to sort out the current fuel crisis in the country, Msimuko said they are working around the clock to source adequate forex to sort out the situation.

“We are working around the clock to find adequate foreign exchange and we have engaged our local banks, the central bank and other international banks to avail the foreign exchange required and we are hopeful that we will succeed.”

“With the amount already sourced, we are bringing in over 8 million litres of fuel, which has already started arriving in the country and we are confident that the situation will normalize as soon as we get the facilities we are pursuing. We would like to thank the Reserve Bank of Malawi  for the support they rendered to enable us access funds with one of the banks and would seek their continued support to unlock the extra $20 million . This facility is very crucial to unlock more volumes for us,” explained Msimuko.

Msimuko (right) witnessing the offloading of fuel from Cargo train

CDEDI wants parley summon Agriculture Minister over maize, AIP situation

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The country’s visible human rights organization, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Parliamentary Chairperson for agriculture Committee to summon Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe in a quest to seek light on maize scarcity and Affordable Input Programme (AIP) dilemma.

In a letter made available to this publication, signed by CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, the organisation calls for immediate parliamentary action considering that Malawi is an agro-based economy.

Namiwa says this has to be treated with urgency it deserves because almost all the four million farming families in Malawi entirely depend on chemical fertilizer as a major factor of production both for consumption and commercial purposes.

“We are now in the month of September and the 2022/23 growing season is just setting in. Shortly, some parts of the country will start receiving rains, and the latest weather forecast has predicted that most parts of the country will, this year, receive rains early, hence the call for parliamentary intervention,” Namiwa said.

Currently there is a cloud of uncertainty on the future of the AIP, compelling CDEDI on behalf of the vulnerable and marginalized farmers to ask government to explain before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture on whether it will proceed with the AIP or not.

“If yes, what will be the prices for the farm inputs and what is the number of the targeted beneficiaries,” queries Namiwa in the letter considering that majority farmers cannot afford a bag of fertilizer, whose current market price is now hovering at around MK60,000.

Through the process, Namiwa wants to see the government coming out clearly on the availability of fertilizer.

He has asked tor timely intervention on the maize and fertilizer situation in Malawi saying it will certainly save millions of Malawians from the imminent man-made famine by the current government.

“Therefore, our expectation is that your committee Hon. Chairperson, will treat this issue as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Namiwa has since cautioned Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture against its stand of sitting back and watching President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his cronies killing the Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperation (ADMARC) which has thus far proven to be a tried and tested tool in making both maize and fertilizer accessible to Malawians especially those in remote areas.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Chairperson Suleman has also expressed fears on how government is handling the AIP issue but is yet to respond on CDEDI letter.

NBS Bank urges customers to activate Visa Cards before travelling abroad

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NBS Bank Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe

Listed NBS Bank plc has urged its customers to activate their Visa Debit cards before travelling abroad to enjoy convenient and stressless banking services.

In a statement, the Bank said convenience is guaranteed through the ‘Eazy Banking’ package.

“Visa Debit cards work like cash, only better. They are issued by the Bank and use funds directly from customers’ bank accounts. Accepted worldwide, NBS Bank Visa Debit cards offer quick, secure, and convenient access to money in person, online, overseas and over the phone.”

“They allow our customers to enjoy the convenience of paying directly from their accounts, with the daily international ATM withdrawal limit at $500 USD on all cards; Point of sale/ Online daily limit of $100 for the red and silver cards, and $300 for Gold and Platinum cards, with all the security that Visa provides,” said NBS Bank Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe.

She said NBS Bank customers that are travelling out of the country can access their funds at thousands of ATMs and Point-Of-Sale (POS) machines worldwide and can make purchases anytime and anywhere that Visa cards are accepted with top-notch security features.

“Our cards come with an overall monthly limit of $1,000 for our red and silver cards and $3,000 for the gold and platinum cards. To increase limits, we encourage our customers to apply and present valid travel documents through their nearest Service Centre or Account Relationship Manager,” explained Longwe.

Longwe said additionally, the Bank has other digital services from which their customers can continue to experience convenience such as EazyMobile322, EazyWallet and EazyApp which offer services like bill payments including Road Traffic, ESCOM, various waterboards and DSTV payments.

One of NBS Bank customers Alfred Phiri hailed the bank on the initiative saying he used his cards when he travelled out of the country without any problems after failing to get hard currency forex.

“I had problems getting hard currency forex but I just activated my cards with NBS and travelled out of the country where I could withdraw cash and pay for my bills and shopping using my NBS Bank cards. This is very convenient especially now when we are facing forex challenges,” said Phiri.

Standard Bank E-Commerce gateway to boost digital payments

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HIWA: Standard Bank is helping local businesses create new and global markets for Malawian products and services

In a bid to promote Malawi’s digital financial services penetration, Standard Bank has launched an e-commerce gateway that allows businesses receive payments from local and international customers on their websites using debit cards and virtual payment tools.

Standard Bank’s gateway provides for a 12-hour settlement of funds and means that customers pay in their local currency from any location. It comes as the country’s usage of digital financial services more than doubled in 2021, according to official data recently released by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

Head of Client Solutions Ewen Hiwa said the bank’s e-commerce solution is in response to the growing shift by businesses to purchase their supplies and services online.

“Customers in Malawi have become accustomed to buying goods online as the world fast becomes a digitally connected eco-system. We noted that access to payment solutions was in high demand, with businesses of all sizes looking to offer e-commerce solutions. With our e-commerce gateway we are now able to collect payments for both local and international transactions,” he said.

Hiwa said Standard Bank’s e-commerce gateway is available as an add-on to an existing website or as a payment page link which businesses can share with their customers for payments without having to build a full website.

“The e-commerce gateway is ideal for both mobile and desktop demands. Its use applies in various business scenarios, which include but are not limited to courier services, health care, transportation providers, education institutions and government agencies,” he said.

The head of Client Solutions added that businesses that have so far implemented the Standard Bank gateway are able to create the best online shopping experiences, whether through smartphone applications, their corporate website, or other digital means as the service provides easy integration.

Hiwa said the other advantage of Standard Bank’s gateway is that it eliminates forex supply barriers.

“For local customers they pay using their card and Malawi Kwacha denominated account, and for customers outside the country they are paying using their own domestic currency (could be US$, Pounds, Euro, ZAR, as case might be),” he explained.

Hiwa said by increasing access to digital finance options, Standard Bank is helping local businesses create new and global markets for Malawian products and services in liner with #MW2063 goals under the industry innovation and infrastructure pillar.

In its recent National Payments System survey, RBM reported an increase by 62.1% in volume of transactions using digital financial service platforms, and an increase by 77.5% in actual value of the transactions to MWK101.6 Trillion.

The report attributed the upsurge in both the value and volume of the transactions is attributed to the growing customer confidence in usage of electronic payment channels.

NBM launches product for Accountants

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NBM Accounts Relationship Manager Mwayi Kalulu makes a presentation about the new product

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has launched a new product targeting Accountants who are registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) and those involved in  business which is registered.

Launching the product in Blantyre during an induction of new members for ICAM, NBM Service Centre Manager for Henderson Street Service Centre Tamara Mtuwa said NBM plc came up with the product after ‘listening’ to the needs of their customers.

“As the Bank of the Nation, we always strive to serve our customers better, we want to give what our customers want, not what we want, this, perhaps, is what has earned us the title ‘The Bank of the Nation’.”

“We have been listening to what our customers want through various interactions that we have had with our customers which have led us to come up with unique products that target a specific target group.”

“Today we are here to unveil a unique product specifically tailored for our Accountants. This special package for Accountants targets those accountants registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) whose salary has been consistently received through their NBM account. If the salary is not received through an NBM plc account, then they need not worry to access this product as long as they are willing to open an account with us,” explained Mtuwa.

Mtuwa speaks at the launch of the product as ICAM Acting CEO Charles Chimpeni looks on

NBM Accounts Relationship Manager Mwayi Kalulu made a presentation about the offering of the product to the newly inducted ICAM members.

She said among other offerings, Accountants whose net salary or income is MK2, 000,000.00 and above will automatically be invited to the premium platinum club while those who earn MK500, 000.00 and above will automatically be invited to the premium gold club.

Accountants in the age ranges of 18-35 years and whose salary band is between MK300,000.00 and MK1,000,000.00 will automatically qualify for our other product called Step up professional product.

“This product offers Accountants an overdraft facility whose maximum limit is aligned with net salary and is renewable in 12 months. They will also be offered a credit card with a maximum limit aligned with the net salary to cater for travel and e-payments requirements with a repayment ratio of 50%.”

NBM Henderson Street Service Centre Manager Tamara Mtuwa who launched the product

“The product also offers Accountants with a general-purpose loan of up to K20 million with a maximum repayment period of 48 months and a credit life on the loan amount. On top of that, the product offers a subscription loan of up to K1 million with a maximum repayment period of 6 months. There is also an insurance loan with a maximum loan aligned with the customer invoice and the maximum repayment period is 12 months,” said Kalulu.

She said to access the product, Accountants need to submit all Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation and a letter of undertaking from the employer and also submit a letter of introduction from ICAM confirming that they are a member of the accounting body.

Kalulu said Accountants with business income and their business is registered will also be considered for the product.

ICAM Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Chimpeni hailed NBM plc for the product targeting accountants saying it will help the accountants to be innovative.

“We all agree that we cannot depend on salary to survive and this product will make accountants to be innovative because they can start their eon businesses and some can use the same product to get a loan to pay for their subscription fees with ICAM. We welcome this product and we are hopeful that fellow accountants will embrace it,” said Chimpeni.

Malawi is falling apart, where is the leadership?-CDEDI ASKS

Press Statement

Lilongwe, Thursday, September 8, 2022

MALAWI IS FALLING APART, WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP?

The social and economic hardships facing our country today have prompted Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) to remind

Malawians about the statement we issued on October 2, 2020 in which we summarized the first 100 days in office of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration.

In the statement, CDEDI regretted and, also, warned Malawians that the June 23, 2020 court-sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections (PPE) sold us a dummy.

By all measure of patience, Malawians have become tired of extended electricity load-shedding and resurfacing of dry fuel pumps and unavailability of foreign exchange (forex) two years into President Chakwera’s regime.

Today, Malawians can now agree with what CDEDI said during Chakwera’s 100 days in office, and warned that the country was headed for a wasted five years.

The several cases of indecisiveness that characterized Chakwera’s early days in office have culminated into full-blown poor leadership style.

Thus far, as a matter of urgency, CDEDI wishes to appeal governance think tanks, notably the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to call for an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting to rescue the country from further damage. Our fear is that leaving the current situation unchecked will lead to loss of millions of lives of vulnerable and marginalized citizens due to starvation.

It is disheartening to note that as electricity, fuel and forex woes are forcing the economy to its knees, the President and his lieutenants are busy peddling flimsy excuses in a futile attempt to cover up their cluelessness.

For a better Malawi, CDEDI hereby reiterates its call to President Chakwera to come up with tangible solutions, complete with a clear time-frame to the aforementioned challenges facing Malawians, or accept that he has failed the country and consequently step down.

Maize Availability

Further, we hereby remind the President and his government that a hungry person is an angry person, therefore, any carelessness in handling the maize crisis in the country is a recipe for disaster.

It is disturbing to note that despite all assurances of the grain’s availability, the situation on the ground is dire as evidenced by its soaring prices months away from the lean period.

The Future Of The AIP And Fertilizer Prices

We are in September and the 2022/23 growing season is just setting in. Shortly, some parts of the country will start receiving rains, and the latest weather forecast predicts most parts of the country will, this year receive rains early.

However, there is a cloud of uncertainty on the future of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP). Therefore, CDEDI would like to challenge government, through the Agriculture Ministry, to explain the following:

a) Whether government will proceed with AIP or not. If yes, what will be the prices for the farm inputs and what is the number of the targeted beneficiaries?

b) In the wake of forex shortage, we would like to see the government coming out clearly on the availability of fertilizer.

Imminent 3,000 Job Losses At ADMARC

To begin with, the Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperation (ADMARC) has proven to be a tried and tested tool in making both maize and

fertilizer accessible to Malawians. Therefore, it is a no brainer to play hide-and-seek with this entity’s existence at this critical moment. CDEDI’s unsolicited advice to President Chakwera and his cronies is that they should take their hands off ADMARC.

Needless to remind the President that he promised

Malawians one million jobs, therefore, the least one would expect is to see as many as 3,000 people losing their jobs at ADMARC.

Last, but not the least, CDEDI hereby gives President Chakwera 14 days to address aforementioned concerns or else CDEDI will be prompted to collect signatures to force the Speaker of the National Assembly to call for an

emergency meeting of Parliament in a bid to save the country from complete destruction.

Sylvester Namiwa

(Executive Director)

PCL H1 profit up 24% to K15.9 bn

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Conglomerate Press Corporation plc has registered a 24% profit after tax for the first half of the year despite operating in a challenging environment with severe foreign exchange scarcity and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement announcing the half year financial results ending 30 June 2022, Press Corporation plc said it has recorded a profit of K15.98 billion, up from K12.87 billion recorded at the same time the previous year representing 24% growth.

The statement signed by Press Corporation plc Board Chairman Randson Mwadiwa, Board Director Bettey Mahuka, Chief Finance and Administration Executive Moureen Mbeye and Acting Chief Executive Officer Lyton Chithambo also said the Board of Directors of the company resolved to pay an interim dividend amounting to K841.79 million (2021: K721.20 million) representing K7.00 per share (2021: K6.00 per share).

“The dividend will be paid on Friday, 28th October 2022 to shareholders whose names appear on the register as at the close of business on 14th October 2022,” reads the statement in part.

Moureen Mbeye-Chief Finance and Administration Executive

Press corporation plc notes in the statement that growth in profitability was driven by an 11 percent growth in revenue, improved gross profit margin by 4 percent and successful implementation of cost containment measures.

“Disposal of PTC has also contributed to the improved results as losses associated with this investment (2021: K2.3 billion) are no longer part of the Group results,” reads part of the statement.

On segmental performance, Press Corporation plc said in the financial segment, its subsidiary, National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc posted a 78 percent growth in its profit after tax to K22.7 billion (2021: K12.8 billion) driven mainly by a 48 percent growth in net interest income and a 13 percent increase in trading income following increased level of deposits and a marked growth of the loan book of 34 percent and 31 percent respectively.

However, the telecommunications segment consisting of mobile phone company, TNM and fixed telephony and broadband company MTL registered a 168 percent decrease in profit after tax as both MTL and TNM registered losses during the reporting period.

Press Corporation plc Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Lyton Chithambo

“The losses were exacerbated by the devaluation of the local currency resulting in exchange losses of K2.2 billion for the period. The Group is confident that the segment will soon benefit from fresh strategies currently being implemented that seek to arrest the losses and reverse the segment’s performance. The search for equity investors in the fixed telephony business is continuing,” reads the statement in part.

The energy segment comprising PressCane and Ethanol Company Limited (Ethco)registered a 56 percent drop in its profitability from the prior period due to production start-up timing differences.

“In 2021, PressCane started production early compared to 2022 due to feedstock availability. Nevertheless, both companies are currently on track and it is expected that in the second half of the year, the overall performance will improve markedly as full production resumes and both companies are expected to meet their respective annual targets,” reads part of the statement.

“Press Properties Ltd registered a profit after tax of K0.5 billion (2021: K0.4 billion). The Foods Company on the other hand made a loss of K1.2 billion (2021: K1.1 billion) due to persistent interruption in the fish feeding regime resulting from supply chain challenges brought about by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased finance cost.”

Betty Mahuka-Press Corporation plc Board Member

“The performance is expected to improve from the third quarter of the year as the company starts harvesting fish from its aquaculture operations. The critical project of establishing a floating feed mill is about to start. The feed mill will complement the aquaculture expansion program which is also currently being implemented,” reads the statement in part adding that the search for an equity investor in the Foods Company is on-going.

In joint ventures, PUMA delivered good performance when compared to the prior period because of increased volumes and expansion projects. Macsteel on the other hand was negatively impacted by high exchange losses following the devaluation of the Kwacha but the company has started making significant positive strides in the second half of the year.

On the associated companies, Press Corporation plc notes that Open Connect Limited continued reporting losses following strategic re-positioning i.e., product repricing to retain key customers and delay in commercialisation of key revenue generating projects but said the performance is expected to improve in the second half of the year following the commissioning of its flagship products. 

“Results from tobacco processing and trading were affected by its seasonality and are expected to improve in the second half of the year. During the period, LifeCo Holdings performance grew significantly, and it surpassed the entire business volume underwritten in the whole of 2021,” reads the statement in part.

“The Group remains steadfast in delivering on its strategy despite operating in a very challenging environment. Scarcity of foreign exchange, the pressure on inflation and persistent power blackouts remain significant risks to Group performance.”

“The Group will continue implementing turnaround strategies in companies whose performance is unsatisfactory. Further investment opportunities are also being explored in various sectors to further diversify the Group and its portfolio mix in market presence. There has been significant progress in scoping for a 50MW solar power production project,” reads part of the statement.

MultiChoice Reaffirms Commitment to Promote Malawian Content

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MultiChoice Malawi says it will continue promoting Malawian artistic content on its DStv and GOtv Channels as one way of giving back to its subscribers.

The content is to be promoted through Comedy or Drama series that now have a room on newly introduced channel, OneZed.

This is according to MultiChoice Malawi’s Managing Director, Emma Gichonge who has made the revelations during this year’s Media Showcase ceremony held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.

The showcase aims at summarizing and exhibiting how MultiChoice embraces its role as Africa’s most-loved storyteller through providing a world of choice to its customers.

According to Gichonge, Africa’s leading company will soon be announcing the successful candidate who proposed to be part and parcel of the team set to add flavor to the brand.

“We are committed to ensuring Malawian stories are told and it brings me great joy to have observed such a positively overwhelming response to the call for proposals for the first Malawian Comedy or Drama series that has been commissioned for OneZed,” said Gichonge.

She has on the other hand said their company will continue making sure that all groups of people with content of their choice by among others sustain sporting shows.

“We are so excited to provide our customers with all 64 of the FIFA World Cup Games live, on the home of sporting action, SuperSport on both GOtv and DStv from the 21st of November,” she added.

Also during the event, heads of different departments at MultiChoice Malawi highlighted different strategies their departments are setting up to ensure that entertainment the company offers is not interrupted.

It has been 25 years since MultiChoice started its operations and various quarters of the society have been rating its performance highly.

Standard Bank Launches Report to Society to Balance Business Interests with Social Needs

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Standard Bank CEO Phillip Madinga and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Malawi Mr Challa Getachew unveiling the report

Standard Bank Plc has launched its maiden annual integrated sustainability report which highlights its social, economic, and environmental impact in the country.

The Standard Bank Report to Society is a guiding tool the bank will use to record and track its contribution to Malawi’s national development. The report details these integrated efforts which balance its business and social obligations.

This year’s review highlights the impact of K248 million the bank committed towards various Social, Economic and Environment (SEE) impact areas as a contribution towards enhancing the growth for Malawi for Financial Year ended December 31, 2021.

Launching the 2021 Standard Bank Report to Society, Chief Executive Phillip Madinga told stakeholders in Lilongwe that during the financial year ended December 31, 2021, the Bank made positive contributions in six key areas aiming to uplift lives of people at grassroots and catalyze economic growth.

Head of Marketing Department Nyambura Chege and her team displaying the Report to Society

The areas are job creation and enterprise development, financial inclusion, trade facilitation and investment, health, education, and employee training and development.

“As a financial services provider in Malawi, we remain resolute in our purpose which is Malawi is our Home, and We Drive Her Growth. We are committed to playing our role to drive the country’s economic growth sustainably by serving our communities through impactful projects that touch lives and improve societies,” said Madinga.

The Chief Executive also added that Standard Bank Plc which recorded a net profit of K24.8 billion in 2021, committed K248 Million or 1% towards various SEE endeavors.

Madinga said as a key player in the banking industry, the Bank takes pride in championing initiatives that improve the country for its people.

Head of Governance and Legal Services Norah Nsanja discusses the report

“Through the report, Standard Bank is demonstrating its integral role as enabler of economic growth by applying its expertise in the local and regional financial sector,” he said.

He added; “Sustainability is multi-dimensional and is part of everything we do at Standard Bank Plc. It is about mitigating risks, building resilience, creating opportunities and transforming lives. It is the long-term goal of sustainable development which encompasses meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations.”

The Report to Society has been developed with guidance from the International Integrated Reporting Framework and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, linking the Bank’s activities and commitments to the global agenda for a sustainable future.

“As a passionate driver of growth, this report communicates how we have leveraged our SEE impacts to support our strategy and achieve our purpose. Furthermore, the report intends to detail how we plan to generate impact in the future by giving an overview of our key impact ambitions and how we intend to measure our progress and success,” said the chief executive.

MADINGA-Sustainability is multi-dimensional and is part of everything we do at Standard Bank Plc

Notable contributions by the Bank include the introduction of Unayo, a ubiquitous transactional and digital platform that provides money transfers to people in rural and urban areas, empowering women farmers and youth, providing bursaries and grants in the public education sector, facilitating trade through Africa China Trade Solutions and helping the public health system in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and corrective palate surgeries.

Under Unayo, Standard Bank Plc in the year 2021 recruited over 8,000 agents and merchants thus contributing towards financial inclusion as most of these were either un-banked or underbanked, while increasing financial liquidity to rural areas that have no access to formal financial services.

The Bank’s three-year program with UN Women under the smart agriculture initiatives, helped increase output of groundnuts for 10,000 groundnuts farmers in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Mzimba.

This is the inaugural report with a view of 2021. The Bank intends to publish the report on an annual basis.

FDH Bank progressive in Digitization, Innovation and Cyber Security

Ganizani Phiri-FDH Group Head of Information Technology

FDH Bank plc has made commendable strides in areas of digitization, innovation and Cyber Security.

FDH Bank Plc Head of Information Technology, Ganizani Phiri, one of the panellists considered to be regional Fintech Leaders, at the recently ended 9th Africa Bank 4.0 Summit for the SADC Region held in South Africa under the theme of ‘Scaling Up Digital Transformation’ made the remarks at the end of the summit.

“It was a great experience to be recognized as a key panelist to share our experience with Top Leaders in Banking and Technology from across the Globe. It shows how much progress we have made as FDH Bank plc in the area of digitalization, innovation, and Cyber Security. Feedback from other professionals indicated that our progress is worth emulating,” said Phiri.

He further said FDH Bank plc has worked tirelessly to narrow the digital divide and enhance access to financial services to customers through introduction of innovative products like 525Banking, One Click, WhatsApp Banking, Agency banking and the flagship Ufulu 525 Account.

“Customers can access these innovative products with any phone from a simple to an advanced one. FDH Bank plc has also taken serious steps to ensure that customers are safe while using our products. FDH Bank plc has committed to remain ahead in her pursuit to bring more innovative products and solutions to the market,” explained Phiri.

Giving a background to the panel engagements at the summit, Phiri said the discussions were mainly about how the SADC region can align efforts to digitalization, innovation while considering cyber security risks inherent in these initiatives.

“We also discussed issues of policy and inter-country collaboration to mitigate cyber- fraud. Overview of SADC’s Cyber Security Outlook, how robust and agile IT security policy can bridge the gap between innovation and security. We also discussed how countries can take progressive steps now to protect critical national infrastructure against cyber-crime,” said Phiri.

Picking on key lessons to the banking sector in Malawi as a whole, Phiri said there is no limit to innovation and there is need to be ahead of the game to give customers the best.

“Much as we are in competition there are many areas we can collaborate for the benefit of customers. We need to tackle issue of cybersecurity jointly for significant progress to be made,” he said

The 9th Africa Bank Summit was conducted to address a digital divide that has been created due to Africa’s internet coverage that is still lagging behind other regions due to the availability of poor services and issues for the remote and poor areas in many countries.

Premier League (PL) Open Weekend Coming to DStv & GOtv

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With the new football season in full swing, DStv and GOtv sporting fans can expect even more will choice and unmissable sporting action. MultiChoice has announced unprecedented access to Premier League across all GOtv and DStv packages through Premier League (PL) Open Weekend.

The Premier League (PL) will be accessible from 01 September 2022 to 05 September 2022 to our subscribers on GOtv from Lite to Supa on SS Football (Go Football Africa) channel 31 and on DStv from Access to Premium on SS EPL on channel 223, giving viewer’s access to unmatched nail-biting sporting action.

PL Open Weekend allows subscribers to have access to more sport content, starting with the Manchester United match and 6 key live matches, wrap-up, repeats, delayed games and highlights at no extra cost.

The PL channels will automatically pop-up on subscribers EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) with no further effort required, in the unlikely event the channels do not appear, subscribers can simply reboot their decoder.

For full programme schedules visit www.dstv.com or www.gotvafrica.com.

Open weekend  fixtures:

FDH Bank plc spoils customers during the ‘Swipe & Dash Promo” launch

Masangano (left) with FDH Bank plc Managing Director Noel Mkulichi after the 60 second dash

Some customers using Point-of-Sale (POS) machines at Chipiku Stores in Blantyre had a surprise of their day as FDH Bank plc spoiled them with 60 seconds Trolley Dash worth K300, 000 as part of a new promotion.

FDH Bank plc launched the ‘Swipe and Dash Promotion’ which will see all card holders who swipe using an FDH POS machine at Chipiku, Sana and other participating outlets standing a chance to win.

The Bank’s Managing Director, Noel Nkulichi said the aim is to promote usage of swipe machines as compared to hard cash.

“This is a competition where we want to sell our POS. We want our customers to be using our POS machines. Going forward we will be doing this campaign until December. Every month there will be two people winning K300,000 worth of shopping vouchers, four people winning K60,000 fuel vouchers, and the other four winning K60,000 shopping vouchers.”

“Using our POS machines is much easier and we want customers to embrace that,” he said.

Masangano in the 60 second dash

One of the winners, Kelton Masangano said he is a regular POS machine user and never expected it could make him winner one day.

“I am so excited because when I came here I didn’t know there was a competition, so when I produced my FDH Bank card, the Managing Director approached me that I am the winner. I just encourage my friends to trust the competition and who knows they can be winners,” said Masangano.

Linda Kachisa, an NBS Bank customer also benefited from the promotion.

“I just thank God because I never expected this. I just came here as a customer to buy as I do always,” said Kachisa.

After swiping, customers will leave their receipts indicating their names and numbers in the Swipe and Dash box in the outlets.

A lucky customer participates in the 60 second dash

NBM launches new product for vendors

Kawawa appreciates tomato business in the market

National Bank of Malawi plc has launched a new product called ‘Taoloka’ which offers vendors across the country easy access to financial products and services including loans of up to K5 million.

Speaking during the launching ceremony held at Blantyre Market on Wednesday, NBM plc Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mcfussy Kawawa said the Bank decided to introduce the product considering the cry for working capital by vendors.

“As the Bank of the Nation, we provide financial solutions to all Malawians and in this service offering, the urban vendors will have a chance of accessing unsecured short-term loans of up to K5 million with a maximum repayment period of three years. This product has been designed to offer lending and transactional products uniquely tailored to the needs of urban market vendors.

“This is also the Bank’s strategy to grow the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector while supporting the government’s initiatives to achieve equitable access to banking services among small business owners through financial inclusion,” said Kawawa.

Kawawa visiting a watermelon vendor

Inside the Taoloka product, urban market vendors will have an SME Savings account with a book balance of K2,500 and a current account with cheque book at 50% fee of a normal SME account.

They will also be granted access to premier mobile banking platform, the Mo626 Digital and our internet banking platform, the Banknet 360 all at a monthly fee of 50% of the normal fees.

“The urban vendors will have a specific Accounts Relationship Manager (ARM) or Accounts Relationship Officer (ARO) in their specific service centres to help them with the application process,” added Kawawa.

Kawawa addressing the vendors

Chairperson of the Blantyre Vendors Association, Martin Matchengo commended NBM plc for the initiative saying for a long time they have been rebuffed by banks to access loans to boost their businesses.

“Most Banks require collateral from us which becomes a challenge. Where do we get cars, houses, and other things to be used as collateral when we are struggling to raise capital for our businesses? This has therefore come at the right time and we are ready Kuoloka ndi National Bank,” he said.

To be eligible for the loans, the vendors need to own a registered business, registered with the vendors association, have a physical location by city council, and evidence of ownership through rental payments receipts among other conditions.

EthCO donates 400 litres of Ethanol to KUHeS

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Zamaere (right) hands over EthCo to Dr Kamng’ona (left)

Ethanol Company Limited (EthCo) has donated 400 litres of laboratory-grade 96% neutral ethanol to Kamuzu College of Health Sciences (KUHeS) to be used in Biomedical Sciences.

Speaking during the symbolic presentation of the ethanol at KUHeS campus in Blantyre on Wednesday, EthCo Operations Manager, Derek Zamaere said they offered the support after the health training institution extended an appeal to them.

“We have got a creative shared value approach and when KUHeS requested ethanol for teaching purposes, we realised that it was aligned with our pillars of helping in the education and health sector. Although they are outside our catchment area in Nkhotakota, because of their impact on the country we thought we should assist.”

“This is the only institution that is training doctors and it is important for us to help them because they produce doctors that help our communities. As health issues are sorted out in the communities, it means our employees will also be healthy and be able to produce quality products,” he said.

Zamaere touring KUHeS laboratory

KUHeS Acting Executive Dean for the  School of Life Sciences and Allied Health Professions Dr Arox Kamng’ona commended EthCo for the support saying ethanol is used in most of their laboratory activities.

“The department of Biomedical Sciences comprises a chain of laboratories for both students and staff. This is because the study is foundational to medical and allied training because it teaches the structure and function of the human body. Therefore, the ethanol by EthCo will go a long way in our everyday work as a solvent for herbal extracts,” he said.

He therefore extended the appeal to other corporations to support the research work at the institution.

Before the presentation ceremony, Zamaere and other EthCo officials were given an opportunity to tour the facility especially laboratories to appreciate works the product will be used for.

The ethanol cost EthCo K600, 000.  

NBS Bank half-year profit after tax up 16%

NBS Bank CEO Kwanele Ngwenya speaks during the AGM

Listed NBS Bank plc has recorded a half-year profit after tax jump from K4.4 billion to K5.1 billion representing a 16 % increase over the same period last year.

In a statement signed by NBS Bank plc board Chairman Vizenge Kumwenda, Director Matthews Mtumbuka, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwanele Ngwenya, and Chief Finance Officer, Vera Zulu, the improvement, amidst the current environmental challenges, is due to flexibility in strategy implementation which has enabled the Bank to focus on high revenue generating activities.

“The Bank continues to deliver a positive performance, responding effectively to a difficult operating environment with renewed focus on building resilience and a solid platform for future growth. Having successfully completed the first 5-year strategy covering the period 2017 to 2021, the Bank is driving further growth through a new five-year strategy (2022-2026) to increase market share and enhance efficiency. The strategy, which is being delivered through a detailed road map with clear targets will deliver a superior digital offering and deeper customer engagement,” reads the statement.

NBS Bank plc AGM in progress

The growth in profit-after-tax follows the growth in the profit-before-tax by 19 percent to K7.7 billion for the six months compared to a similar period in 2021 of K6.5 billion.

Growth of loan book and effective management of investments in money market instruments also improved net interest income by 23 percent to K18 billion compared to 2021 when it was at 14.6 billion.

However, non-interest revenue registered a decrease of eight percent to K5.7 billion on a prior year performance of K6.1 billion due to some once-off income realized in the prior period.

“Operating expenses registered a 19% growth to K15.5 billion from prior year expense of K12.9 billion due to changes to compensation structure affected in the second half of 2021 and increased investments in our operating systems aimed at increasing revenue generating activities. Impairment charges improved significantly to K0.5 billion, down 61% from K1.3 billion in 2021 due to enhanced portfolio management,” reads the statement in part.

NBS Bank plc Board Member Dr Matthews Mtumbuka

According to the statement, NBS plc registered a 61 % growth of customer deposits to K281 billion from K174 billion while Loans and advances grew by 85 percent to close at K106 billion and money market investments growth was 12 % at K211 billion from K188 billion.

“The economic outlook for the second half 2022 is challenging. Just when the world was recovering from the Covid 19 crisis, Russia invaded Ukraine sending the global economy on yet another unpredictable course. As a result, various institutions projects that the economy is expected to grow by an estimated average of 2.37 % in 2022 from an initial Government projection of 4.1%.”

“Inflationary pressures are likely to rise throughout 2022 due to global turbulence caused by the war in Europe and the continuous resurgence of new variants of the Corona Virus. The Bank maintains robust capital and liquidity positions and is well-placed to pursue opportunities for growth in 2022,” reads part of the statement.

Meanwhile, the Bank’s Board of Directors has recommended payment of an interim dividend of K2.47 billion representing 85 tambala per share which represents a 41 percent growth.

NBS Bank Board member Dr Matthews Mtumbuka speaks to the press after the AGM

Standard Bank repackages agriculture loans

Graham Chipande: Standard Bank’s Head of Business and Commercial Clients

Standard Bank Plc has launched a comprehensive range of loans aiming to empower both large and small-scale farmers in contributing to food security and Malawi’s export competitiveness.

The bank’s Head of Business and Commercial Clients Graham Chipande said at the launch in Blantyre the loans cover agro-processors, farmer cooperatives and those dealing in high-value cash crops such as tobacco, sugarcane, tea, macadamia, legumes, cereals, bananas and potatoes.

The finance packages include insurance cover.

“Our agribusiness solutions aim to empower both small and large-scale players across the value chain from farm to fork. Together with our partners Standard Bank aims to ensure that Malawi achieves food security while boosting capacity for agriculture commercialization, including export, in line with the first milestones of MW2063,” he said.

He said the bank’s fully-fledged agri-business department is offering expertise to guide customers choosing the right financing solution in line with their needs.

The financing solutions include Production Loans, Trade Finance, Working Capital Finance and Leasing for key cash crops and boosting the capacity of qualifying agriculture enterprises and cooperatives.

Production loans cover farm inputs, fertilizer, chemicals and other working capital requirements such labour during a crop cycle, while Trade and Working Capital loans provide short-term working capital support to facilitate trade and are suitable for processors, aggregators and agro-dealers.

Leasing and Finance covers assets that are clearly identifiable, moveable, durable, and insurable such as tractors, irrigation equipment, harrows, planters, combine harvesters and motor vehicles.

Standard Bank is also offering Long-Term financing to support capital expenditure of the business such as farm expansion, upgrading of infrastructure including construction of buildings, and other capital expenditure such as planting long term crops like Macadamia.

Chipande said realizing the risks that the agriculture sector faces due to adverse weather and climate change effects, Standard Bank has added a component of insurance.

“Our turn-key financing solutions come replete with the option of well-structured insurance products to cover associated risks, and ensure sustainability of the agriculture enterprises,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries of the bank’s loans Frederick Changaya said they have helped his grain milling company to scale up production capacity and expand product lines.

“When we started our company, we were turned down by other banks. But Standard Bank embraced us from the scratch. We are greatly indebted to them, and their loans are really well tailored,” said Changaya, a Blantyre-based miller who owns Applecore Grain and Milling LTD

NBS commits K60 million support to Region 5 games

Ngwenya (right) presents the cheque to Chimwendo

With three months remaining before the kick-off of the Region 5 games in Lilongwe, listed NBS Bank plc has boosted preparations for the event with K60 million support.

NBS Bank plc Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwanele Ngwenya unveiled the sponsorship package to the Region 5 local organizing committee through Minister of Youth and Sports, Richard Chimwendo Banda in Lilongwe on Tuesday.

According to Ngwenya, the money will be used to cater for some expenses for the tournament.

“As a local Bank, we have to support local initiatives. The Region 5 games are the first in the country and as a local Bank we felt the need to be part and parcel of the history that is to be made. We believe that Region 5 games will transform the lives of the youths in this country.”

“We are passionate about youth development, we are passionate about financial development, we are passionate about financial inclusion and we believe that growth of the nation lies in the youth, then if we develop the youth, our business will also grow.”

“We are not releasing K60 million cash to them but we will be paying some expenses like accommodation, transport and food using that particular amount,” explained Ngwenya.

Ngwenya further said they have decided to render their support to the tournament after noting its significance in the development and transformation of the lives of the youths in the country and across the region.

Chairperson of the Region 5 local organizing committee Stanley Mutoya commended NBS Bank plc for the support saying they feel relieved of the burden to meet some costs to be incurred during the tournament.

“As an African Union, one of the things that is key to us is investing in demographic dividends through the young people we have, so we are excited about it because the youths in this region will find options to kickstart their careers in sports and this is a rare opportunity that is difficult to buy.”

“We are also most grateful that this is a Bank that puts its focus on social development and you need capital development by advancing livelihoods of people so we are very proud of such corporates and we are very excited by the gesture expressed by NBS Bank plc,” said Mutoya

Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda also commended the Bank for the support.

“We actually made a call to NBS Bank plc and we are very thankful that they accepted our call. I would like to ask other companies to emulate what NBS Bank plc has done because the government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility,” he said.

Over 2000 athletes from eleven countries are expected to converge in Lilongwe for the Region 5 games to be hosted at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC), Griffin Saenda Malawi Aquatic Centre, Bingu National Stadium (BNS), Silver Stadium, and Civo Stadium.

The sport codes at the tournament include Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Judo, Volleyball, Tennis, Netball, Swimming, Taekwondo, and E-Sports. 

NBM concludes ‘Transact and Win Promo’

Akossa Hiwa delivering a speech at the final draw

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has concluded its ‘Transact and Win Promotion’ with five customers winning the last five VIP tickets for the Kizz Daniel concert on Saturday at Lilongwe Golf Club.

The Bank launched the promotion earlier this month and has seen 20 customers winning Standard and VIP tickets to the show they are sponsoring with K40 million in partnership with  Epic Lifestyle.

Throughout the promotion period, the Bank has been conducting activation shows in Zomba, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Mangochi with local artists performing at the shows.

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa said the Bank decided to sponsor the event as a way of creating time to interact with the customers, promoting the recently updated M0626 Digital +, as well as NBM plc brand visibility.

She disclosed that the promotion has helped to promote digital transactions among its customers.

NBM Business process Analyst Yusuf Mdala (seated second left) draws winners as journalist witness the process

“Since the promotion started, we have seen an increased number of POS transactions and as a Bank we are happy that our customers are using plastic money which is safe and convenient. We are also happy that most people have been buying tickets to the concert through our digital platforms like the recently improved Mo626 Digital+ and Mo Pay where they have been enjoying massive discounts, some as high as K15,000 depending on the type of ticket,” she said.

On the entertainment circle, Hiwa said the concert has helped to provide a platform to the local artists.

“Apart from the promotion shows in which we have been engaging the local artists, the actual Kizz Daniel show on Saturday provides them a chance to network with international artists to grow their talent and skills,” she said.

During the final draw, Berton Marrega, Dennis Njiko, Khumbo Shaba, Malera Simbeye and Rabecca Tembo won the  VIP tickets.

Illovo Sugar dangles K8 million in Chefs Competition

Katandula (Third left)) posing with the competition judges

Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc has relaunched the ‘Everyday Chef online cooking competition’ second series and K8 million will be up for grabs in the 8-week campaign.

The company has announced that the winner of the competition will walk away with K5 million with the second placed pocketing K2 million card and the third placed winner going home K1 million richer.

Illovo Sugar Malawi limited said it is a must for the contestants to use Illovo’s refined and dark demerara sugar as part of their ingredients. 

The decision to initiate the second series comes following the success of the inaugural edition launched last year in August 2021.

At the relaunch, Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc’s Managing Director, Lekani Katandula said the company found it befitting to reintroduce this initiative following its success, saying this year’s competition will also have shopping mall activations.

“The Everyday Chef campaign enabled our consumers to interact with the brand by increasing awareness of refined and dark demerara sugar as they shared their recipes thereby contributing to higher brand engagements.”

“Furthermore, the initial campaign allowed us to grow our Facebook community, which is in line with our strategy of continuing to be more consumer centric. As a business, we understand that ‘amazing things happen when you listen to the consumer’. The promotion has been relaunched in order to excite our consumers and engage them in a fun and creative way while cooking and baking using the different varieties of sugar produced by Illovo,” said Katandula.

The campaign kicked off on 11th August 2022 with a cooking competition in order to select five judges who would then become the judges for the competition.  The five judges who were chosen to oversee this year’s campaign are Ipyana Mwagomba, Thobekile Nthinda, Dyson Chikolera, Portia Alimoyo, and Nelson Dhiba.

Just like last year, the promotion will primarily be conducted online and run through Illovo’s Tseketseke brand Facebook page. Each week the company will give consumers a challenge to showcase either their baking or cooking skills which they will then have to share on the Facebook page. 

The recipe with the most likes on a weekly basis will automatically be entered into the final ‘Cook-Off’ competition that will be hosted at the end of the 8-week campaign.

To complement the online efforts, shopping mall activations will be running simultaneously during weekends.  The shopping mall activations will be hosted by the five chefs who were chosen during the kick off competition of this year’s campaign.

The shopping mall activations will further enlighten consumers on the multiple uses of the white refined and dark demerara sugars produced by Illovo.

During the current promotion Illovo will run in-store sales promotions and shoppers who will buy three or more kilograms of Tseketseke sugar will stand a chance to win assorted instant prizes such as T-shirts, Aprons, cooking utensils and many more.

The winner of last year’s campaign was a Lilongwe-based businesswoman, Manase Munthali who beat seven other cooking and baking contestants in the finale. The runner-up was Chinsinsi Daudi who went away with K2 million while Hajrah Kusweje was third and walked away with K1 million.

CDEDI unmasks causes of electricity woes

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By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has put bare the current electricity problems in Malawi with a call for presidential intervention.

In a statement made available to this publication, CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa challenges the President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to come up with a clear roadmap on the same or else his organization will have no option but to mobilize Malawians for nationwide peaceful demonstrations.

CDEDI conducted a fact validation exercise to unmask the causes of the electricity woes in the country where it discovered that ESCOM’s resolve to adjust the electricity tariffs as the parastatal does not get subvention from government.

Namiwa has since written the Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola, to stop this imminent electricity tariff hike.

“In addition to asking President Chakwera to come up with a clear roadmap on how he intends to address the electricity woes chocking the economy, CDEDI has also requested the minister to propose to the Minister of Finance to allocate resources in the 2022 – 2023 National Budget to meet the desired revenue requirements,” Namiwa said.

As observed in the fact validation exercise, Namiwa has also asked Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dr. Wilson Banda to stop giving preferential treatment to JCM Power by allowing them to be charging ESCOM in US dollars.

“Despite the Malawi Kwacha being the legal tender in Malawi, some IPPs in the country, notably JCM Power, is charging ESCOM in United States dollars. EGENCO has also applied to both the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and MERA so that they, too, should be allowed to quote their prices in US dollars, but we have written RBM Governor to stop the trend,” says Namiwa.

Commenting on the current single buyer contention, Namiwa said MERA awarded four licenses to ESCOM following the amendment of the Electricity Act of 2016, that also led to the unbundling of ESCOM, which resulted in the birth of EGENCO as a power generation company.

The licences that were awarded to ESCOM by MERA are: Transmission for 30 years; Distribution for 20 years; System Market Operator for 25 years; Single Buyers for 25 years.

“Section 5 of the Electricity Act (amended) 2016 clearly states that the MERA shall issue licences for system and market operation and single buyer to the current holder of transmission and distribution, which is ESCOM, therefore the law must be followed as long as it is to the advantage of the nation,” he said.

CDEDI has since penned MERA Chief Executive Officer, Henry Kachaje to explain the Single Buyer licence ownership between ESCOM and PML.

“This tug-of-war between ESCOM and PML is threatening the survival of the energy sector and if not resolved speedily will soon degenerate into demotivation and sabotage,” he said.

Namiwa asks Malawi Government to consider committing financial resources from the National Budget to meet the Revenue Requirements of the power market, in order to avert the imminent electricity tariff hike, and in the process protect further deforestation and that all the Power Purchase Agreements that are not making sense should be reviewed, including the JCM contract, for the sake of ordinary people to have access and affordable electricity.

“EGENCO and all the IPPs should be stopped from milking ESCOM with immediate effect; these companies are only benefiting the ruling elites and by extension skinning Malawians alive.

“Therefore, EGENCO should be forced to put in place meters that should show daily recordings of power generation, and this is what should be paid for by the consumers, not the current status quo where the consumers are paying for what has not been produced,” suggests Namiwa.

In a joint parliamentary committee meeting with ESCOM Chief, Kamkwamba Kumwenda confirmed that his organization is playing at a loss because they even pay for what has never been delivered to it.

DALITSO KABAMBE PRESIDENTIAL BID IN TATTERS AS HE BATTLES TO REMAIN IN THE RACE AMID FADING POPULARITY

THINGS FALLING APART

It is almost a year and half since former Reserve Bank Governor Dr. Dalitso Kabambe joined the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) race to become standard torchbearer in 2025 polls.

With pomp he came on the political scene and went straight into recruitment drive.

In days and months that followed, his bid failed to spark as he has only excited “a handful of already converted members of the DPP in some parts of the southern region.”

This has been worrying factor for his campaign team as they know winning the national vote requires 50+1 threshold.

All this while, DK, as Kabambe is fondly known, has been wrestling for control of delegates with erstwhile vice president for south and leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa and former finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha

It has been a bloody duel and Kabambe has failed to break resistance from Nankhumwa and Mwanamvekha’s fortified camps.

DK’s campaign has been dealt further blow with the coming on the scene of more credible aspirant in the name of vice president for east Bright Msaka.

Msaka made an announcement recently of his intention to contest at next year’s convention.

His announcement has excited mostly Malawians both within the DPP as well as non-DPP members.

Msaka, who comes from Machinga District, has an advantage as he comes with him vast experience as former head of civil service in all the years late Bingu wa Mutharika was President of Malawi as well as senior cabinet minister in Prof. Peter Mutharika’s 6 years as President.

Most political pundits we have talked to regard Msaka as formidable candidate to face incumbent head of state Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on the ballot in 2025.

One political science lecturer told this publication that Msaka comes with him in the race a clean record of no corruption baggage.

“Malawi needs a leader who is experienced and knows what he is doing. To me, Msaka has full package. Malawians booted out DPP partly due to nepotism and corruption. Msaka is not any of those two vices. If DPP is really serious of winning back power from Chakwera, then Msaka is the gem,” said the political scientist who did not want to have his name published.

Meanwhile, in desperate attempt to rescue his fading popularity, Dr. Kabambe is heading to Chingoli in Shire ward, Balaka district where there are by-elections in few days to come.

DPP is fielding Ishmael Mpina and the campaign was officially launched by vice president Msaka some weeks back.

According to party officials on the ground, all efforts to win the ward have already been done and Kabambe’s coming to the ward with a rally is desperate measure to make himself relevant.

“We have had Hon. Msaka here for whole week leading various teams on the ground. We did not see flyers to announce his involvement in the campaign. We don’t have problems with anyone coming to assist us with campaigning but doing so with pomp and all that just shows one is out to earn cheap publicity,” said a Mrs. Kambewu who is party official in Balaka district.

DPP LEADERSHIP RACE: KONDWANI NANKHUMWA IS STILL THE MAN

FAILED PROJECT

They say time is a river, it does not stop flowing. Like a river, the clock is fast ticking for the former ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) to finally exorcise its leadership succession demons as former President, Peter Mutharika, who is also the party’s President will retire next year after serving his second and final term. That is according to the constitution of the party.

So far, there have been several names that have come forward to show interest to take over from Mutharika as DPP President, and also the party’s torchbearer in 2025. Will that person be Kondwani Nankhumwa, or Dalitso Kabambe, Joseph Mwanamveka, or Paul Gadama, George Chaponda, or Bright Msaka?

Indeed, the public discourse has lately been awash with debate about who would be Mutharika’s successor in the DPP. There has been a lot of posturing and machinations by different individuals and factions to place themselves or their preferred candidate in a better position to take over.

One thing is clear for sure and that is the individual who will succeed Mutharika will have to go through an election process at a national convention in keeping with the DPP constitution. Eligible voters or delegates to the convention are drawn from the party structures from the constituency, district and regional levels across the country.

What it means is that after meeting the necessary nomination requirements, the next President of the party will have to appeal to a larger number of delegates at the national convention.

Many political pundits believe that Kondwani Nankhumwa, the incumbent Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, is the man the DPP can look up to in its pursuit to regain state power in 2025. They believe Kondwani Nankhumwa has demonstrated remarkable political maturity during the time that many senior leaders and members are engrossed in petty internal squabbling.

Kondwani Nankhumwa has demonstrated that he can command a large following with his often unifying speeches. During his public political rallies, including at Mgona in Lilongwe and at Nyambadwe in Ndirande, Blantyre, recently, Kondwani Nankhumwa decried the attitude by some party leaders who sow seeds of disunity amongst the DPP faithful, saying such attitude could cost the party heavily at the next polls in 2025.

Clearly, Kondwani Nankhumwa seems to be forward-looking and above board level of politics. Nankhumwa, who also serves as DPP Vice President (South) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Central, has noticeably displayed loyalty to party leader Mutharika and the larger vision of the DPP.

He does not condone politics of hate and admonishes anyone who propagates or incites political violence regardless of their political extraction.

Kondwani Nankhumwa’s ability to connect with the youths in this country is an asset for the DPP, especially in view of the fact that a majority of registered voters in Malawi are youths.

As Southern Region Vice President for the DPP, the party’s main support base, it appears Kondwani Nankhumwa is fully aware of the responsibilities that he has to ensure that this level of support is sustained.

He knows what ought to be done so that people in the region should retain the feeling of belonging to the party and that they do not become disfranchised. Kondwani Nankhumwa is also articulate and knows what must be said to the people and at which times.

Although Kondwani Nankhumwa is young and appeals mainly to the youths, it does not take away the fact that he is a very experienced politician with a detailed institutional memory of the DPP having risen through the ranks of the party to become Vice President for the South.

Kondwani Nankhumwa has served in the public service as Deputy Cabinet Minister and Cabinet Minister for Information, Local Government and Rural Development, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. In Parliament, he was appointed by President Mutharika during the DPP government as Leader of Government Business in Parliament (Leader of the House). He is currently Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

In a nutshell, Kondwani Nankhumwa has a good track record, as a politician. He is the true servant of the people and seems poised to take over the leadership mantle.

IT IS A MATTER OF TIME!

Saint Andrews board gags media, clings to power

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MBEWE-Clinging to power

St Andrews International Primary School (SAIPS) has obtained an injunction, gagging three online publications from reporting about the power struggle happening at the school as beleaguered Board Chairman, ex-politician, Lance Mbewe is clinging to his post.

Court documents we have seen, the board has taken an injunction against Malawi Voice, Nyasa Times and Malawi 24 from publishing stories about the power struggle at the institution.

The whole issue started when the disgraced former UDF Vice President Lance Mbewe and another board member walked out of a meeting with parents and resigned on 5 August 2022 after failing to resolve various issues raised by the parents over the management of the school.

Our investigations have revealed that a Mr. Mohammed Tayub, the Vice Chairman of the board of trustees stabbed members of the concerned parents in the back when he went to the board members and narrated a different version from what had transpired with the parents at the meeting.

As matter-of-fact Mr. Tayub, alongside Mr Karani Savjan and others, went on to force Lance Mbewe not to resign as Chair but instead to rescind his decision. He then later on wrote the Chair of the concerned parents, Dr Luis Gadama , that Mr. Lance Mbewe’s resignation was not accepted by the Board.

The board of the school is ‘practically illegal’ because the school is still under the Designated School Board and its board can only be appointed by the Government. But the board is still clinging on to power by forcing Mbewe not to resign.

Ironically, the same Mr. Muhammed Tayub and Mr Karani Savjani and other board members accepted the resignation of a Mr Kenwell Khumbanyiwa without any qualms.

This duplicity and double standards and the ferocity with which the board is clinging on to power in a school board which is voluntary has heightened speculation of some very deep-seated dark schemes at the school and is even attracting the attention of other crime busting government agencies.

One parent who did not want to be named said the current injunction by the board on the three online news platforms is evidence ‘of the determination to hold on to power by all means by an otherwise illegal board of trustees.’

Our deep investigation of the issues at SAIPS have revealed that the genesis of the problem is the ‘inappropriate relationship’ of the Headteacher Ms. Naomi J. N. Charles with a Swimming Instructor Mr. Walasi which forced the husband Mr. Charles to leave their matrimonial home and seek refuge somewhere else.

Our investigations reveal that Ms Naomi Charles cut short her holiday in the UK to come back and ‘deal’ with those suspected to have revealed her affair with the Swimming Instructor.

Surprisingly, the board seems to back the Headmistress in the saga after some concerned parents demanded that she be disciplined.

Ms Naomi has been ballistic since coming back to Malawi abruptly on 3rd August 2022 to sort out the issue which has included hacking into some senior members of staff especially Malawians emails to send emails to members of staff appealing for support for Ms Naomi, purporting that the emails were coming from fellow members of staff.

We have the fraudulent emails and even the voice recording of the victims complaining.

St Andrews guards barred our journalists from entering the premises in Blantyre to seek comment from Ms Naomi while Mbewe could not be reached for comment on why he has rescinded his decision to resign from the board.

Five more NBM customers win concert tickets in promo

NBM Business Process Analyst Yusuf Mdala (seated) draws the winners as Malawi Gaming and Lotteries Board and NBM officials look on

Five more National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc customers have won standard tickets to the Kizz Daniel concert in the on-going NBM Kizz Daniel Transact and Win promotion.

In the third draw held in Blantyre on Tuesday, the five bring the number of winners to 15 of whom 5 won VIP tickets to the concert which the Bank is sponsoring in partnership with Epic Lifestyle.

The five customers who won the standard tickets are Christopher Mlauzi, Exquisite Cleaners, Lillian Macheso, Mayamiko Mwamadi and Victor Walawala.

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa said five more customers are expected to win VIP tickets during the final draw of the promotion next week.

“We provided a total of 20 tickets to the Kizz Daniel Concert which will be held in Lilongwe on 27 August 2022 and so far we have seen 10 of our customers winning 10 standard tickets and five won VIP tickets. The response to the promotion has been very good, our customers are using our Point of Sale (PoS) devices a lot more,” said Hiwa.

She added that the Bank partnered Epic Lifestyle on the concert to promote the Bank’s digital platforms Mo626 Digital+, which has new features, Mo Wallet, Mo Pay, POS devices and Agent Banking among others.

Hiwa said those purchasing the concert tickets using the digital platforms such as Mo626 ice, Mo Wallet, Mo Pay and POS are enjoying massive discounts of up to K15 000 depending on the type of the ticket.

Ticket sales on Mo626 ice will be discontinued at midnight on the 26th of August 2022.

The Popular Nigerian musician Kizz Daniel will perform at the Lilongwe Golf Club and will be supported by almost 10 local popular acts.

MOVIE ROOM: New Movie Channel Coming to DStv & GOtv

All is set for the launch of new movie channel, Movie Room on 27 August and will be available to DStv subscribers on to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family & Access packages on channel 113.

And for GOtv customers it will be available on Supa and Max packages on channel 28.

The movie channel is the brainchild of Ngwato Nkosi Group, known as the founders of Newzroom Afrika news and information service airing on DStv channel 405.

The company, which is a partnership between television entrepreneurs Thabile Ngwato and Thokozani Nkosi, is building on the strong platform created by Newzroom Afrika to expand its entertainment business with the launch of Movie Room.

“This channel will offer entertaining local and international movies 24/7, from big blockbuster hits to unforgettable cinema classics,” said Nkosi. “We’ll be carefully curating the line-up to cater for every mood – whether it’s edge-of-your-seat action you’re after or the comfort of an old favourite. Of course, we’ll also apply the unique perspective that we’ve become known for,” Nkosi said.

Ngwato said the company had a bold ambition to build an African news and entertainment platform for the future.

“This is an exciting next step in our journey. Newzroom Afrika has been successful beyond all expectations, and we will use the experience of setting up the channel from scratch to make smart decisions in our approach with Movie Room.

Movie Room will give viewers even more options in their selection of entertainment for every viewing occasion

For more information and Movie Room schedules visit www.dstv.com or www.gotvafrica.com

Illovo Back with Every Day Chef Promo…MK8 Million Up for Grabs

Illovo Sugar Malawi, a leading sugar producer operating in the country, has launched the second series of Everyday Chef Promotion in which winners will share MK 8 Million.

Company’s Managing Director Lekani Katandula said the Everyday Chef Campaign which is an online focused promotion will run for a period of 8 weeks from 11th August to 6th October 2022

According to Katandula, the Everyday chef campaign enabled illovo consumers to interact with the brand by increasing awareness of refined and dark demerara sugar as they shared their recipes thereby contributing to higher brand engagements.

“The promotion will primarily be conducted online and run through our Illovo Tseketseke brand Facebook (FB) page. Each week Illovo will give consumers a challenge to showcase either their baking or cooking skills, which they will then have to share on the FB page.

“The recipe with the most likes on a weekly basis will automatically be entered into the final ‘Cook-Off’ competition that we will host at the end of the 8 week campaign.

A total of K8 million will be won; this will include a first place prize of K5 million, second place prize of K2 million and K1 million for third place,” said Katandula at Mount Soche in Blantyre during the launch.

Katandula further said: “To complement the online efforts, we will simultaneously be running shopping mall activations during the weekends which will be hosted by the winning Chefs selected tonight as part of this 1st phase of this year’s campaign.

“The purpose of these activities is to further educate our consumers on the multiple uses of the white refined and dark demerara sugar.

“In addition we will also run sales promotions in store, where shoppers who will buy 3 or more kgs of Illovo sugar will stand a chance to win assorted instant prizes like t-shirts, aprons, cooking utensils and many more.”

He added: “We hope this promotion will excite our consumers and engage them in a fun and creative way while trying cooking and baking using the different varieties of sugar which we produce.”

Illovo Sugar Malawi Plc supplies more than 60% of its total sugar sales into the domestic consumer and industrial markets, and a portion of the balance exported regionally within the sub-continent.

Standard Bank ups the drive on digital banking: Dangles K6 million in Tisanje

Standard Bank’s Head of Consumer & High Net Worth Clients Charity Mughogho

As more Malawians turn to digital technology for their financial inclusion needs, Standard Bank Plc has dangled a grand prize of K6 million to any lucky customer who transacts more with the bank’s digital platforms.

Launching a promotion dubbed Tisanje in Lilongwe, the bank’s Head of Consumer & High Net Worth Clients Charity Mughogho said it seeks to reward clients frequently using self-service digital channels available on mobile phones, laptops and computers.

“With our online platforms 247 Mobile (*247#), 247 Online (Internet Banking) and 247 Smart App we have achieved remarkable growth; a sign that we are exciting our clients in the digital transformation journey. We remain confident that we will do more as we continue to innovate and come up with promotions like Tisanje,” she said.

She said the promotion reiterates the bank’s commitment to being client-centric and helping clients maximize their experience in the digital banking ecosystem. To enter this promotion, an account holder needs to maintain an account balance of MK20,000 within a month and transact at least 3 times on the bank’s digital channels. Through*247#, the Standard Bank mobile application or 247 Online.

“We are glad to note that our digital offerings continue to help clients manage their lives better and efficiently. This promotion is aimed at engaging customers in the difficult economic times by offering cash prizes to lucky participants,” said Mughogho.

The promotion comes as there is growing usage of digital channels by Malawian clients, whixh has reduced reliance on physical banking at branches, according to official statistics.

Tisanje will run for three months to October during which clients will win cash prizes every month and a grand prize of K6 million.

“As a Bank we recognise that our clients are sailing through hard economic times hence we have outlined different cash prizes. In addition to the grand prize, monthly draws will see one client winning K500, 000, two clients carting home K300, 000 each and K100, 000 going to five lucky clients,” added Mughogho.

Mughogho urged clients to continue enjoying the bank’s safe, reliable, smart and convenient online platforms to maximize their chances of winning.

“To enter the Tisanje promotion clients need to maintain a minimum account balance of K20,000 and transact at least three times a month on *247#, 247 Online or 247 Smart App,” she said.

Amongst the many transactions that are available on Standard Bank digital channels, customers can buy airtime for both TNM and Airtel, purchase ESCOM prepaid units, pay water bills for all Water Boards, taxes to MRA and TV Subscriptions for DStv and GOtv.

Standard Bank has vowed to continue driving the growth of Malawi and remains committed to transforming lives using innovations that give people convenience as they run their daily personal and business transactions.

Bushiri, Janta buy several copies of Kelvin Sulugwe’s book

A friend inneed and indeed

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and musician Janta have bought several copies of Kelvin Sulugwe’s In Honest Ways Book.

Sulugwe posted a photo of himself and Bushiri after the man of God had bought 20 copies for himself and the people around him.

“Thank you Prophet Shepherd Bushiri for buying 20 copies of my book, In Honest Ways. I will always be grateful to him for the support. Our journey has had its lows and highs, but through it all, the spirit of reconciliation and oneness has prevailed. It’s been 6 years since I ceased being his Public Relations Officer (PRO), but it still feels like just yesterday,” posted Sulugwe.

According to the post by Sulugwr, Bushiri also asked him to write his story.

“I am glad that he is proud of my personal growth, achievements and the man I have become for the society. And he said, “I still want you to write my story someday, you are one of the few people who understand my beginning and the struggles I faced. Tell it as you see fit,” he said.

Musician Janta also posted his encounter with Sulugwe when he announced that he had bought 5 copies of the book, 4 of which he intends to share with his top fans.

“If there is one person I am glad to support willingly without being approached to do so then it’s Kelvin Sulugwe. I will buy 5 copies of his book, In Honest Ways,” posted Janta.

According to Sulugwe, his book will be officially out this monthend and will be available on all digital stores, however, he is currently selling promotion copies at K100,000 each. From September, the book will sell at K20,000

NBS Bank hails junior golf tourney

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NBS Bank plc Chief operating Officer Shadreck Chikusilo (left) awarding Kilian M’mangeni winner of the 18 Holes Boys category

Listed NBS Bank plc has said it is delighted to see the growth of golf in various age groups including the youth saying it signifies the growth of the game.

NBS Bank plc Chief Operating Officer Shadreck Chikusilo spoke at the weekend during the prize presentation of the NBS Bank sponsored junior golf tournament staged at the Blantyre Sports Club.

“As a Bank, we have long since valued golf as a sport, and I am delighted to see the growth of the game to include various age groups including children and the millennial generations. You can attest that supporting golf has been, and is, one of NBS Bank’s legacies,” said Chikusilo.

The junior golfer winners poses with NBS Bank officials, BSC and parents

He also advised parents that they can be saving for their children by opening the NBS Bank Youth Account which they can manage on their behalf until they attained a required age and the account can be fully transferred to the child’s name.

During the junior tournament, Kilian M’mangeni came tops in the 18-hole boys category followed by Nkhwazi Kamkwalala and Nathan Juma while in the girl’s category Kayla Chihana was in first position followed by Clara Makawa and Hilary Mavimira.

In the 9-holes boys category, the accolade went to  Bhezikiwe Muyaya followed by Lian Nsapato and Nicholas Muhire while in the girls category Mary -Grace Mphatso carried the day followed by Glory Dzimbiri and Tamanda Mkandawire.

Some of the Junior golfers poses before teeing off

The 5-holes mixed category had Luthando Longwe in first position followed by Wala Kamkwalala and Jeremiah Mphatso while Jayden Nkhata won the 3-holes category.

BSC Vice Golf Captain Honest Chirwa hailed NBS Bank plc for sponsoring the junior golf tournament saying the gesture will help in promoting the game of golf in the country.

“There is no hope for golf in Malawi if companies do not invest in Junior Golfers. NBS Bank plc is indeed helping to build our nation. Let us be a part of it. Over 50 junior golfers have participated in this event,” said Chirwa.

NBS Bank sponsors Junior Golf Tournament at BSC

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NBS Bank plc Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe

Listed NBS Bank plc has organized a junior golf tournament to be played at the Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) on Sunday.

NBS Bank plc Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe said the Bank felt compared to supporting the junior golfers with a tournament as it believes in nurturing talent of youths.

“NBS Bank is already into mentorship of young girls and boys through our partnership with Shaping Our Future Foundation and in line with this, we’d like to nurture the junior golfers in the sport which the Bank has long since supported. They are the future of golf in Malawi,” said Longwe.

She also said the young golfers will have a surprise special guest on the day to motivate them to do well in the sport.

BSC Golf Captain Chimwemwe Chimwaza commended NBS Bank plc for the sponsorship of the junior golf tournament.

“The game of golf complements child development very well. It teaches planning, patience, discipline and many other values. The children really enjoy having a tournament and this is the first time this year they will have their tournament sponsored.”

“We as Blantyre Sports Club Golf section are very excited to have NBS Bank headlining this event. It shows how much the Red Brigade (NBS Bank) cares about making a difference and this gesture must not be taken lightly. All the children and parents are looking forward to a great golfing day,” said Chimwaza.

Rephaiah, Kuhes partner to manufacture medicines

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Dr Kumpalume sharing ideas with the team

Rephaiah, a research focused pharmaceutical company registered in Iceland has partnered Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), a leading science and medical institution in Malawi to manufacture vaccines, fluids, antibiotics and painkillers in a deal worth US$33 million (about K33 billion).

Kuhes has an ambitious strategic plan of establishing a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with over 7000 square meters  and construction is projected to start in the first quarter of  2023.

Dean of School of Life Sciences and Allied Health Professionals, at KUHES, Associate Prof Arox Kamng’ona said  when COVID-19 hit, people were asking where College of Medicine is (as it was known then) saying they were justified to ask such questions.

“As the leading institution housing advanced medicine research experts in this country, we had no locally developed product to help in the fight against coronavirus disease. All we offered was our expert training in patient care. We were urged by the Minister of Health and by The President to rise to the challenge.”

“The university has placed research and manufacturing of medicine at the top of our deliverables and we intend to meet this target within the next five years,” said Kamng’ona.

From L to R Dr Felix Khuluza, Prof Gizurarson, Ass. Prof. Kamng’ona, Dr Peter Kumpalume

He said when completed, the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant will be able to manufacture vaccines, fluids, antibiotics and painkillers.

“As a university we realize we need partners with complementary skill sets and expertise. We have found in Rephaiah a perfect partner,” said Kamng’ona.

Rephaiah’s mission in Malawi is to establish a not-for-profit pharmaceutical manufacturing entity and its core business is pediatric medicines because very few medicines are developed with the special needs of children in mind.

In Malawi Rephaiah has established a Not-for-Profit pharmaceutical manufacturing entity with Hellen Chabunya as one of its directors.

“Our commitment is to propel Malawi as a center of excellence and preferred supplier for medicines in Africa, Rephaiah was registered in Malawi because our plan is that Rephaiah will be fully owned and operated by indigenous Malawians once we have fully leverage on the global expertise we have with our partners and have trained the necessary people for the sustainable continuity of this business in keeping with our mission and service to Malawi,” said Chabunya.

Founder of Rephaiah Prof Sveinbjorn Gizurarson said Rephaiah couldn’t find a more perfect partner than KUHeS.

This is an institution already in the business of providing the best care for patients, Rephaiah and KUHeS  have shared common values and together we have the expertise to set our goal on Malawians manufacturing medicines for both a national and an international market.”

There is already a strong demand for certain drugs in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa and we see therefore no need to wait any longer for manufacturing to start”, said Prof Sveinbjorn.

The two institutions plan to start small scale manufacturing at the current Kamuzu University site in Blantyre as they wait for the construction of the much bigger facility near Chileka airport.

 The team toured some facilities that can be renovated to meet WHO standards for manufacturing of medicines.

The two organisations committed to clearing the legal and agreement terms before the end of this year with possible manufacturing commencement in 2023.

Five NBM plc customers win VIP Kizz Daniel concert tickets

NBM plc Business Process Analyst Yusuf Mdala (second left) draws winners

Five National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc customers have won VIP tickets to the Kizz Daniel concert through the on-going ‘Transact and Win NBM Kizz Daniel promotion.

Speaking during the second draw of the promotion in Blantyre on Tuesday, NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa said the Bank is impressed with the response of the customers in the promotion ahead of the concert.

“Our key objective with this partnership is to promote  use of our digital platforms and in this particular promotion;  our customers stand a chance of winning tickets to the Kizz Daniel Concert if they transact using their NBM plc card at any NBM plc POS device nationwide ,” said Hiwa.

“An analysis of the transactions reveals an increase in usage, which we will work to sustain as they come to appreciate the freedom that comes with not having to carry cash around when shopping,” added Hiwa.

NBM plc recently announced a partnership with Epic Lifestyle ahead of the Kizz Daniel Concert which will take place in Lilongwe on the 27th of August..

During the draw on Tuesday, five people won  VIP tickets. Those who won the tickets are Khama Chibwana, Kundai Mbawala, Madalitso Nyanjagha, Mateso Kazembe and Naibiao Chen.

Last week, during the first promotion draw, another five people won standard tickets to the concert.

Hiwa added that apart from the ‘Transact and win promotion’, customers who are buying their tickets to the concert using other NBM plc digital platforms –  Mo626 ice, Mo Pay and POS will enjoy massive discounts that range between K15,000 to K5000 depending on the type of ticket purchased.

Parliament passes Gaming and Lotteries Bill

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Mijiga-We are happy

Parliament has passed the Gaming and Lotteries Bill which will see the merging of the Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) and the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to create the Malawi Gaming and Lotteries Authority (MAGLA).

The passing of the bill will see the repeal of the Lotteries Act and the Gaming Act and create a unified framework (Gaming and Lotteries Act of 2022).

Malawi Gaming and National Lotteries Boards Chief Executive Officer Rachel Mijiga hailed the National Assembly for passing the bill saying the new Authority will bring sanity in the industry.

“We are very happy with this development. We have been fighting for this bill to be passed so that MAGLA should bring sanity in the industry and also promote healthy competition and efficiency among operators for the benefit of players as well as growth of the industry,” said Mijiga.

She said the new Act, among other things, introduces  Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) and also brings in responsible advertising requirements as well as an obligation to be compliant with the Financial Crimes Act where there will be confirmation of beneficial ownership as a licensing condition and  risk-based approach monitoring of operations.

“The new Act will also allow for the multiple licensing option for the state-franchised National Lottery License to  open up more revenue streams to raise funds towards the National Lottery Distribution Fund whose sole purpose is projects  for ‘Good Causes’ and to secure continuity in case of business failure by one operator,” said Mijiga.

Mijiga also said there was benchmarking with other jurisdictions within the region with desk research done using legislation from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and a study tour to Malta was also undertaken to make the new Act relevant ‘to the times we are in’.

The CEO also said that a provision has been inserted in the Act to legislate online betting adding that regulations will be promulgated to that effect.

“We will also have an Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) for monitoring activities and we will also establish the ICT department and recruit ICT officers so that we properly regulate online betting,” said Mijiga.

She further said the Act has introduced stiffer penalties for those operators accommodating minors and that their  expectation is that everyone will adhere to the law and protect the future leaders, future workforce of Malawi.

“Over the years, the magnitude of offences has increased and therefore the stiffer penalties are there to deter offenders and going forward, we will be updating legislation to align it with current world trends,” explained Mijiga.

Asked on how the new Act will address issues around addiction, Mijiga said ; “This is already being attended to, for instance, there is an MOU with St John of God where problem-gamblers are treated and the Board covers the cost of treatment and we will also enforce self-exclusion and continue with our awareness campaigns.”

Standard Bank invests K23.5m in greenhouse farming

Lowe cuts ribbon to symbolize official handover of the green houses from Standard Bank

Standard Bank Plc has invested K23.5 million in two greenhouses and a training centre at Inosselia’s GGL farm near Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

The facilities will be used to train smallholder vegetable farmers from surrounding districts and are part of a strategic relationship between Standard Bank Plc, agriculture investment group Inosselia and the Green Belt Authority (GBA).

“At Standard Bank we are taking a deliberate position to forge partnerships in the agriculture sector aiming to contribute towards food security, income generation and enterprise growth as since agriculture remains the main pillar of our economy,” said Margareth Chirwa, the bank’s Board Director.

LOWE: What is happening at Standard Bank is a radical shift and very inspiring

In the wake of climate change which has challenged traditional methods of agriculture, Standard Bank’s focus is on promoting farmer’s adaptation to smart agriculture and create sustainability of the sector.

“We believe that the green house farming will help smallholder farmers expand their crop variety within a small area, extend their growing season as they will not be wholly reliant on rain fed agriculture. With a greenhouse, many different techniques can be used to keep the temperatures stable, causing less stress to the plants and promoting strong growth much earlier in the year. And minimize external threats to their crops,” she said.

Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe said horticulture is an important source of income for smallholder farmers and commended Standard Bank for recently repositioning to support the agriculture sector.

“Banks have been passive on supporting farmers with finance, but what is happening at Standard Bank is a radical shift and very inspiring. The agriculture sector is benefiting a lot from the bank’s passion through implementation of initiatives that aimed at propelling Malawi’s development,” he said.

Chirwa: At Standard Bank we are taking a deliberate position to forge partnerships in the agriculture sector

Inosselia Malawi Country Director Michael Gorelik applauded Standard Bank’s unique Corporate Social Responsibility approach which he said would benefit smallholder farmers through skills transfer in horticulture.

“We were lucky to partner with Standard Bank. Their CSR vision and social commitments coincides and matches with Inosselia’s and that of the Ministry of Agriculture. It is a match made in Lumbadzi,” said Gorelik.

Under a partnership with the Greenbelt Authority, Inosselia is running a high-tech 16-hectare greenhouse field with a weekly output of 50 tons of vegetables supplied to major retailers in Malawi.

The project has helped facilitate import substitution for vegetables in major retail shops such as Shoprite, Food Lovers and Sana with plans to challenge the export markets in SADC.

Chakwera’s Tonse Administration Must Create 1 Million Jobs for Youths – Nankhumwa

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Malawi youth unemployment rate is relatively one of the highest in the world and the President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance government must ensure that there are practical programmes to absorb Malawi’s young men and women in meaningful enterprises, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has said.

Speaking moments before Parliament rose after the 6th meeting of the 49th session of Parliament on Friday Nankhumwa said among other things, the Tonse Alliance promised young men and women jobs, loans to start businesses, and skills’ development programmes so that they become self-reliant and stand on their own two feet.

“Today, it appears a cat has eaten out all those promises. Today, under the Tonse Alliance administration, there are no jobs for the youths. The much-touted 1 million jobs in the first 12 months of this government are now a thing of the past.

“We also just hear from the media that the government is distributing loans through NEEF, but we have no clue about who exactly is getting these loans,” said Nankhumwa

The Mulanje Central legislator said “without being personal”, this is not the time for the government “to be plucking people from their retirement to take up jobs in the public sector”.

“Malawi has so many qualified young men and women who are suffering due to lack of jobs. Should they still wait for tomorrow to get a job in the public sector even when they are well qualified? How far is this ‘tomorrow’?

“Madam Speaker, Some of the decisions President [Lazarus] Chakwera makes are not just a mockery to our young women and men but also sinful in the eyes of God. Should we be surprised, therefore, when the youths rush to the streets every time there is a call for demonstrations?

“I challenge President Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance government to fix the economy because that is the only language Malawians can understand. The economy should not be fixed by word of mouth alone but it must positively impact the daily lives of Malawians,” said Nankhumwa.

Opposition Leader Nankhumwa Says Malawi’s Economy in ‘ICU’

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, says Malawi economy ‘is not performing well’ as claimed by President Reverend Dr.  Lazarus Chakwera.

“Last week, I heard President Chakwera saying Malawi’s economy is doing fine, and that it is on the rise. Mr. President, you do not need to shout from a rooftop for people to come and see an economy, which is on the rise.

“An economy on the rise is self-evident,” said Nankhumwa when he presented his closing at the end of the 6th meeting of the 49th session of Parliament in Lilongwe on Friday

Nankhumwa said the opposition has talked persistently about macroeconomic fundamentals that are telling a sad story about our economy, observing that inflation is currently in the double digits and prices of basic goods continue to skyrocket. Additionally, the government continues to borrow too much domestically, he said.

“The austerity measures as announced by President Chakwera and the Secretary to the President and Cabinet have just crumbled before our own eyes because the addiction to spending is just too much starting from State House down to government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Something is just so wrong about the management of our economy. I can go on and on to demonstrate that ours is not a profile of an economy on the mend,” he said.

Nankhumwa, who is also opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President (South) said when economy is ticking, “the citizens can feel it in their houses, and in their pockets”.

“The citizens can feel it when they go to the market to buy food; when they walk on the road; when they go to work; when they go to school; when they go to Church; and when they go to the Mosque.

“Madam Speaker, I am afraid; this is not the case with our economy right now. At the moment, the Malawi economy is in ICU, and to say that Malawi is rising against all these economic hardships is an insult to Malawians.

I, therefore, condemn the President’s statement in its entirety,” said the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, adding that the variables of the Malawi economy tell a different story “than the one being trumpeted”.

He said for example, the government announced recently that the number of Agricultural Inputs Programme (AIP) beneficiaries will be reduced by half this growing season. What this means is that the number of people that will be prone to hunger next year has increased, he said.

“As I am talking, this government does not have any idea of how to bring fertilizer into the country for AIP this year because of inadequate forex to pay for the product. What is even worse is that the little fertilizer that may be imported will be very expensive for Malawians to afford translating, again, to hunger next season.

 “What this also means, Madam Speaker, is that despite all the pomp about AIP, the programme is not a feasible solution to this country’s food security challenges. I have always said that as a country, we need to graduate from relying on rain-fed agriculture and instead focus on serious irrigation farming.

“We have plenty of water in Lake Malawi, and plenty of other water bodies that are underutilized. I am of the opinion that this government is not doing enough on irrigation and that it is important that more effort and resources are invested in massive irrigation development to ensure long-term food security,” he advised.

The opposition leader said Malawians “are tired” of the non-stop blaming of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine for our economic woes, urging the Tonse Alliance government to deliver for Malawians as promised during the campaign period.

“Malawians need practical solutions to their economic hardships. Malawians need rapid improvement in the quality of life and standard of living,” said Nankhumwa.

Illovo Hailed for Renovating Blood Bank Room at Ngabu Hospital in Chikwawa

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Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has commended Illovo Malawi, a leading sugar producer company operating in the country, for renovating the blood bank room at Ngabu Hospital in Chikwawa district.

MBTs Public Relations Manager, Allen Kaombe, made the commendation on Thursday during the official handover of the blood bank room which has been renovated to the tune of MK 5 Million.

“On behalf of the government and MBTs, I would like to commend Illovo for renovating this blood bank room,” said Kaombe adding that “This blood bank room will help to save lives of people in need of blood in the lowershire and the surrounding district”.

Kaombe further described the donation as timely considering that Malawi is in need of blood bank rooms across the country. He also called upon companies and organizations to emulate Illovo’s gesture.

On his part, Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited Nchalo Estate General Manager, Geoff Trott, said the company decided to rehabilitate the blood bank room as part of corporate social responsibility as well part of ensuring a thriving community.

“Today’s event counts as part of our efforts to remain socially responsible by playing a role in ensuring a thriving and healthy community in areas we operate” said Trott

He further said that Illovo Malawi recognizes the need for having a safe and reliable blood bank room.

In March, Illovo Malawi donated a multi-million kwacha Blood Bank Fridge which has been installed at the renovated site.

Illovo Malawi is one of the country’s largest single private-sector employers providing direct employment for 9 000 people permanent, seasonal and casual employees and an additional 5 000 direct and indirect contractors creating a total of 14 000 jobs.

Illovo is also a major contributor to the Malawian tax authorities through direct and indirect taxes. The company further supports an estimated 5 200 smallholder cane farmers through various smallholder schemes.

OneZed Channel Encourages Malawian Filmmakers to Submit Proposals for Series  

OneZed, a pan-African Channel that caters for the Zambian as well as Malawian markets, has encouraged filmmakers to submit proposals for Comedy and Drama TV series that tell Malawian stories.

In an interview with Malawi Voice on Wednesday Head for OneZed Channel and Zambezi Magic, Mosibudi Pheeha, said they are looking for proposals that reflect authentic Malawian stories with an outstanding storyline.

“We are encouraging filmmakers with unique Malawian stories to tell; to submit their proposals for a Comedy and Drama TV series,” said Pheeha in a Zoom interview with Malawi Voice

Among others, Pheeha, said the proposal must clearly highlight the main theme, character biography for main actors; clearly explain why the story is important and why it should be produced.

The closing date for receiving the proposals is 29th August 202; and the proposals are submitted through the M-Net corporate submissions portal.

For full proposal requirements and submissions applicants can visit https://submissions.mnetcorporate.co.za/channel/one-zed.

OneZed is on DStv (channel 172) and GOtv (channel 8); the channel provides viewers with shows that tell truly African stories.

Friends of Sattar family’s Bursary Fund bails out 25 Chitukula CDSS learners from dropping school

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About 25 learners from Chitukula Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in the rural Lilongwe have been rescued from being chased out the institution following paying of their fees, thanks to Friends of Sattar’s Family Fund able hand.

Out of 25 learners who were in the verge of dropping school 19 are girls.

The support comes amid huge drop outs at the school as many female learners are opting for early marriages.

According to the fund’s team leader Lumbani Tembo, school management approach them after a number of learners were not reporting for classes due to school fees.

Tembo told this publication that the paid school fees will cover the students education life circle at the institution.

“The needy students will be supported with school fees till they finish their education at the institution. We can’t afford brilliant young girls dropping out school of MK15, 000. 00 per term.

“We want to carry them all into their education life circle at the institution. We have started with 25 learners for this final term that come October, in new term, the number will increase depending on school management assessment on needy student,” assures Tembo.

He added that apart from school fees, the fund is expected to support self boarding female learners at the institution.

One of the beneficiaries Ruth Lester, a form One learner minced her words with excitement of attending classes at peace while assuring fund’s team of working hard to realise her dream of becoming a nurse.

School’ Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) Baloni Yolofesi lauded the fund team for the timely support towards needy learners fees.

Yolofesi assured the fund team of proper utilisation of the support rendered to their children.

The School’s Headteacher Patson Khumalo applauded the team for the support while appealing for more help on the need for administrative block which the school do not have.

Khumalo disclosed that the school’s performance lower than anticipated due to lack teacher houses who travels about 12kms daily for work.

“With long distance the teachers take for work, learners are always unable to finish syllabus hence poor results in national examinations.

“Imagine, one classroom is used for administrative, library and laboratory. How can you expect learners to do well in national examinations? worried head teacher.

He added, “The school has only two houses out of 13 teachers with only for three school blocks.

“However, with the school fees provided, we expect reduction of drop outs as many learners will be back to school and motivate others.

“We therefore other well-wishers to help also with girls hostel as many travel long distances that affect their classes attendance”.

Established in 1997, the school has the enrollment of 260 (126 boys and 134 girls) and is located at Traditional Authority (T.A) Chitukula headquarters in the Lilongwe City North Constituency.

Sattar’s family bursary fund rolled out three years ago aimed at supporting needy students in primary, scondary and tertiary education across the country.

Last month the team’ s fund donated of assorted items worth millions to the financially struggling Malingunde School of the Blind in the rural Lilongwe.

Currently, the fund is being restructured to cover also following areas talent identification and vulnerable communities.

NBS Bank concludes ‘Win a Car’ promo

A journalist draws a winner in the promotion

Listed NBS Bank plc has concluded a four month ‘Win a Car’ promotion which has seen a teacher named Humphrey Sandram being a proud owner of a Tayota Vits.

Speaking in Blantyre during the final draw of the promotion, NBS Bank plc Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Longwe said the promotion was aimed at promoting a saving culture amongst their customers and also encouraging them to transact using their various digital platforms.

For customers to win prizes in the promotion which also included fridges and cash, all they had to do was to open a savings or current account, deposit a minimum of K50,000, plus register on at least 2 digital products for new customers while existing customers were required to deposit a minimum of MK50,000 into their savings or current account and conduct at least 3 transactions on any digital products.

“This has been an exciting time for our customers as well as a rewarding one as the Bank has always been passionate about positively changing the lives of our customers by providing financial solutions that offer convenience as well as an impact on their lives,” said Longwe.

She gave some examples of how the Bank has impacted on the lives of ordinary Malawians.

“The Bank changed the life of a Primary school teacher in Liwonde after she won a house worth K20million in the NBS Bank Nyumba Yanga promotion in 2015. Another customer from Area 25 Lilongwe won a shop full of groceries worth K3million in the NBS Bank Win A Shop Promotion in 2019. Lastly, another customer, a vegetable seller from Rumphi, also won a MK15million house in the Win A House Promotion in Mzuzu City in 2014.”

“The rewards we give are in line with our tagline ‘Your Caring Bank’. Being a local Bank, we feel that our impact must be felt beyond simply offering ‘Eazy’ banking solutions,” said Longwe.

NBM plc concludes Independence month promotion

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has concluded a month-long Independence month promotion where the bank was running quizzes on its social media pages on facts about Malawi as part of 58 years independence celebrations in the month of July.

The promotion saw 20 people who got the questions right winning the Bank’s My Fuel card loaded with K100,000 worth of fuel or cash if they did not want the fuel and another 20 people getting hampers with Malawian products worth k50,000.

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa said in an interview yesterday that the Bank is satisfied with the promotion which created excitement among Malawians about some facts about their country.

“We are happy that the promotion created excitement as many people participated and all of us, ourselves inclusive, learned some interesting facts  about our country. Our social media pages were very active during this period and the engagement on the Trivia cascaded to engagement on our products, services and general information.  As ‘The Bank of the Nation’ we found it meaningful to conduct this promotion during the independence celebrations month of July,” said Hiwa.

Throughout the month of July, the Bank posted trivia questions on its Facebook page every Friday. .

Esau Kalungulu, a fourth year Public Health student at Malamulo College of Health Sciences who won K100,000.00, hailed NBM plc for the promotion.

“This money will really help me in my education because I won it when I was too broke. I wish the Bank could have conducted this promotion for at least two months. But I am grateful to NBM plc for the trivia quiz promotion that has taught us about our country,” said Kalungulu.

He said  he won after correctly responding to which medical school in the United States of America (USA)  Malawi’s first President the late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda graduated from. Kalungulu’s answer was Meharry Medical School.

PIL ‘fuels’ Senga Bay Primary School with textbooks

Msimuko (left) presents the books to Chigwetseni and other pupils at Senga Bay primary School

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has donated textbooks worth K3 million to Senga Bay Primary School in Salima as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.

PIL General Manager, Martin Msimuko led the staff in the exercise on the sidelines of a business review meeting which was held in Salima at the weekend.

“Petroleum Importers Limited with the approval from the board decided to help with learning materials to Senga Bay primary school as part of giving back to the community. PIL believes that education is key to development and that it is only educated youths that can help in the socio-economic development of our country.”

“We know that education helps ordinary young men become extraordinary citizens of their country, with this donation of books we believe the learners will be recharged to work extra hard in their studies,” said Msimuko.

He added that PIL is aware that  many schools in the country lack a lot of things for their education to go on smoothly.

“That is why PIL has education support as one of the important pillars in its Corporate Social Responsibility programs. We are ready to support the government to ensure that our learners have adequate learning materials for them to excel in their education,” explained Msimuko.

PIL staff members presents the books to Senga Bay Primary School pupils

Senga Bay Primary School Headteacher, Daliken Chigwetseni commended PIL for the donation saying it will help the learners follow lessons as they are being taught.

Chigwetseni then pleaded for more assistance saying the books will still not be enough for 2257 pupils at the schools.

“During the COVID-19 holiday, we gave some few remaining books to the pupils for studies, but most of them were not returned. Teaching without textbooks has really been a challenge until PIL remembered us. We are grateful,” he said.

Cecilia Njoka, a Standard Seven pupil also thanked PIL for the assistance.

“The situation has been forcing us to be learning in pairs or groups sharing a book, but this time we will be able to follow what we are taught with a book each,” she said.

According to Chigwetseni, out of the total number of pupils at the school, 1080 are boys.

PIL imports bulk fuel into the country since 1999 and is wholly owned by Puma Energy Limited, TotalEnergies Malawi Limited, Petroda Limited, and Vivo Energy.

GET TO KNOW BRIGHT MSAKA (SC):DPP’s Presidential Hopeful

Get to know Bright Msaka SC-The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) eastern region Vice President who has declared his interest to join the race for the DPP presidency at the convention slated for 2023.

BUT WHO IS BRIGHT MSAKA SC? Here is his profile;

 Bright Msaka SC (Senior Counsel) is a Malawian politician, long serving diplomat, a former cabinet minister in different portfolios, former Secretary to the President and Cabinet for a period of Nine (9) years and a lawyer by profession who was born on 4th October 1959.

He is the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for Eastern Region and a Member of Malawi Parliament for Machinga Likwenu Constituency since May 2019.

BACKGROUND:

Bright Msaka SC was born in Zomba district from the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kuntumanje. He did his Primary school education at Nkasaulo F. P school in Machinga District and proceeded to Zomba Catholic Secondary School (also known as Box 2) where he obtained his Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).

He then later got selected to University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 1978 to further his studies from where he graduated with a Law Degree in 1983.

He holds LLB (Hons) from University of Malawi (UNIMA)-Chancellor College, Masters of Science (MSc) in Global Management from University of Salford in the United Kingdom(UK), a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Diploma from IP3, Washington DC.

He got Conferred the Status of Senior Counsel (SC) in 2009.

EARLY CAREER:

Bright Msaka SC was admitted to practice as a lawyer in Malawi from 1983 and his areas of emphasis were Commercial litigation, Personal Injury liability claims, Restructuring, Insurance Claims, Libel, Civil and Criminal Litigation.

His major clients were Banks, Road Construction companies, Tobacco Companies, International Shipping companies, Insurance Companies, Trading Corporations, and Motor Vehicle Franchise Holders

He also served as an academician as follows;

1.         1987-1992: Examiner, English Company Law for ACCA Accountants board.

2.         1992-1993: Examiner, Malawi Company Law for ACCA Accountants board.

3.         1993-1994: Lecturer in Law (Civil Procedure), University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Zomba.

DIPLOMATIC CAREER

After a successful legal and academic career of over ten years, Bright Msaka SC accepted to serve as a diplomat in several postings as follows:

1.         High Commissioner for the Republic of Malawi to Canada

Duration: 12 Jan 1995- Sept 1998

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

2.         Malawi Delegate to the 6th (Legal) Committee of the United Nations

 Duration: 1995 and 1997

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

3.         High Commissioner of the Republic of Malawi to the United Kingdom

Duration: September 1998 to December 2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

4.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Portugal

Duration: 18th May 2000-2001

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

5.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Sweden

 Duration: 24 May 2000-2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

6.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Norway.

 Duration: 21 Nov 2000 – 2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

7.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to The Kingdom of Denmark

Duration: June 2002- 2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

8.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Finland

Duration: 25 Jan 2001- 2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

9.         Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Iceland

Duration: 13 March 2002- 2003:

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

10.       Presidential Special Envoy to various countries

Duration: Sep 1998- 2003

He was appointed by Malawi’s first democratically elected President, His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi who served as Malawi President from 1994-2004.

LATE CAREER:

Bright Msaka SC has served in the Malawi government’s civil service and in the Presidential cabinet in the following capacities:

1.         Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and Deputy Head    of the Malawi Public Service

Duration: Jan 2004- June 2004

2.         Chief Secretary to the Government, and Secretary to the President and Cabinet and Head of the Malawi Public Service

Duration :June 2004- March 2013,

He was appointed by Malawi’s 3rd President after Independence, late Ngwazi , Professor  Bingu Wa Mutharika who was the President of Malawi between  2004 to 2012.

3.         Minister of Lands, Housing, Physical Planning, Surveys and Urban Development

Duration: June 2014 to April 2015.

He was appointed by Malawi’s fifth President, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was the State President of Malawi between June 2014 to June 2020.

4.         Minister of   Natural Resources, Energy and Mining. Responsible for Mineral Resources, Energy, Environment, Conservation, Climate Change, National Parks, Wild Life, Forestry Duration: April 2015 – 2017

He was appointed by Malawi’s fifth President, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was the State President of Malawi between June 2014 to June 2020.

5.         Minister of Education, Science and Technology

Duration: 2017 to 2019

He was appointed by Malawi’s fifth President, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was the State President of Malawi between June 2014 to June 2020.

6.         Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Duration: June 2019 to June 2020

 He was appointed by Malawi’s fifth President, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was the State President of Malawi between June 2014 to June 2020.

OTHER PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS

Between the period of 2004 and 2013, Bright Msaka SC was appointed in several positions as follows:

1.         Chairman, Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and Democracy

2.         Chairman, Democracy Consolidation Programme

3.         Chairman, National Refugees Committee

4.         Chairman, National Anti-Terrorism Committee

5.         Chairman, Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee.

6.         Chairman, National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA). 

BOOKS AND SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Bright Msaka SC has authored a book called, The Modern Diplomat-A Beginners Handbook .

The following are the published Articles by Bright Msaka SC:

1.         Cloning Democracy. Malawi, 2002

2.         Poor Galileo. (The Role of the Church in Malawi Politics). Malawi, 2002.

3.         Democracy and Oxymorons.  Malawi, 1999.

4.         Of Independent Candidates and Democracy. Malawi, 1999

5.         Justice with One Eye Open. Malawi, 1998.

SELECTED PUBLIC SPEAKING ENGANGEMENTS

1.         The Challenges of a New African Democracy. Address to the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council, London, 20th February, 2003.

2.         Malawi and Food Security. Address to the International Development Committee, Westminster, 16th July 2002.      

3.         The Myth About Malawi’s Strategic Grain Reserves. Address to a Seminar, London 11th July 2002.

4.         AIDS. Address to a Seminar, London, 11th May 2002.

5.         Why Africa Matters. Address to Eton College, Windsor, 6th October 2000.

6.         Patriotism.       National Day Celebrations. London, July 2001.

7.         Democracy Second Time Around. Address to the University of Edinburgh, 3rd November 1999.

OTHER KEY SELECTED ROLES AND ACTIVITIES

Bright Msaka SC has been engaged in several key roles and activities as listed below:

1.         Patron, Malawi Foundation (A UK Charity) 1998-2002.

2.         Patron, Malawi International AIDS Network (A UK Charity) 1998-2003.

3.         Member, Mwanza Accident Commission of Inquiry, 1994.

4.         Member, The Rotary Club of Ottawa, 1995-1998.

5.         Delegate, International Bar Association, New York, 1990.

6.         Delegate, National Constitutional Conferences for Multiparty Democracy in Malawi, 1993-1994.

7.         Director, Royal Commonwealth Society, Ottawa Branch, 1997-1998.

8.         Malawi Representative to the Southern Africa Moot Court Competition, Lusaka, Zambia, 1983.

9.         School Representative, National Top of the Class Quiz Competition.

10.       School Prefect, Zomba Catholic Secondary School, 1977-1978

11.       Chairman, Students’ Christian Organisation of Malawi, 1977

12.       Chairman, Young Christian Students’ Organisation, 1980

PERSONAL LIFE:

Bright Msaka SC was born in a family of Eight (8) children, three brothers and four sisters.

He was married to Primrose Msaka who passed on in September, 2011 and he has four children.

Lance Mbewe forced out of St Andrews school board

Parents of the Saint Andrews International Primary School( SAIPS) forced the Chair of the School’s Trustees Lance Mbewe after the parents of children at the school  were grossly displeased and totally disappointed with the failure by the board to reign in the moribund acts of the School’s Senior Leadership Team led by Naomi Jn  Charles.

The resignation comes in exactly three days shy of a month since the prestigious school made breaking news headlines on social and formal media when video clips of an assault  of a teacher by G4s guards who were violently forcing the victim out of the school premises.

Before the disrespectful walk out by ex Politician Mr Lance Mbewe, parents had declared the forced resignation of Mr Karan Savjani for calling the first meeting of the parents with the board on 11th July 2022 ‘nonsense and bullshit’.

“The actual words he used that day was ” I have been sitting here for the last four and half hours listening to this nonsense and Bullshit”. This  attracted animated calls for him to step down and apologise and he never apologised to date,” said one of the parents who attended the meeting.

Inside sources said there has been a period of heightened tension between   a section of patents that were incensed by the perceived failure by the board to address a lot of complaints by teachers who were being abused by the Schools head teacher Naomi Jn Charles and Her Deputy Hanna Bradly.

The two are accused of running the school like a personal estate and brutally suppressing any attempts by members of staff at the school to speak out for sanity.

Immediately after the incident of violence at the School on Friday the 8th July 2022, parents called for  an interface meeting with the board.

At the interface, parents came up with key concerns that included; the toxic working environment for teachers at the school that was forcing experienced and long serving teachers to either quit or being pushed out by Naomi, the change of  the school uniform and school logo by the leadership without consulting stakeholders and procurements that were done without proper transparency and following open tendering process, inappropriate relstionship of the Headmistress with a junior member of staff that was amongst the sources of the frictious working relationship in the school and poor communication with stakeholders.

 At the end of the meeting the parents demanded that the board investigate the matters as well as consider getting rid of the Senior leadership team in view of its failure to effectively lead the school and for showing unprofessional conduct.

The board accepted the points raised and asked the parents to put forward recommendations to the board within a week, which was duly done by the parents by Friday the 15th of July 2022.

Then once the recommendations were submitted to the board , the board started to behave with some level of lack of good faith including creating a parallel group of parents that called itself ” positive ” parents and which included the members of the board and their  spouses as administrators.

The group went callings its ‘positive parents’ went underground after some parents challenged it for being a divide and rule instrument of the board.

The board then grudgingly responded to the recommendations after two weeks instead of the committed seven working days and when they did, they totally sidestepped all the recommendations by the parents and instead went in an exercise of profiling all the parents who had signed for the recommendations, purportedly to calculate how much the school had to raise fees to cover for those parents that would potentially withdraw their children.

“As a result the school sent individual notices to parents that the fees had gone up to K3.3 million including a development fund component, per term.”

“The profiling had an additional dark motive of targeting the children of the parents who signed the petition , for victimisation. The misplaced focus of the Senior Leadership and the board on retaliation, instead of addressing the recommendations, incensed parents ahead of the meeting on Friday which led to the heated exchanges that became too hot during the meeting and saw the Chair walk out of the meeting, effectively resigning,” said another parent who attended the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, a senior citizen who happens to be a member of the board, praised the parents for the determined fight to rid the school of a moribund leadership and a very ineffective Chair who failed to provide effective governance oversight and in the process risking the school to get into a state of chaos it has found itself in.

The school belongs to Government as part of the Designated Schools Board.

The silver lining is that with the resignation of the moribund board there is now an opportunity for Government to put in place a more competent board that will clean up the affairs at the school and make SAIPS prestigious again.

DStv and GOtv customer in store for New Football Season

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can enjoy the New Football Season. With the premier game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace kicking off the 2022-23 football on SuperSport Premier League at 21:00 CAT. Football fans can look forward to the world of champions bringing you the best leagues, teams, players and managers from ‘The Beautiful Game’.

The feature selection for the 2022-23 New Football Season will come from the heavyweight European divisions of the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, while the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League provide thrilling continental battles.

In the Premier League, all eyes will be on the battle between Manchester City and Liverpool, as these two brilliant teams look set to battle it out for the title once again – but will Chelsea or an energised Tottenham Hotspur provide a threat? And what of Manchester United and their new era under Erik ten Hag?

Real Madrid will begin La Liga as the favourites to retain their title, but a determined Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid will be itching to knock their rivals off the perch, while Barcelona could be a wildcard under the leadership of club legend Xavi.

In Italy’s Serie A, AC Milan are still revelling in last season’s championship triumph, but arch rivals Internazionale will be gunning for their title, as will the likes of Juventus, Napoli and Roma in what could be another thrilling race for the Scudetto.

The UEFA Champions League is unquestionably the gold standard for club football around the world and the big question is whether the ‘new money’ of Man City or Paris Saint-Germain can finally become kings of Europe, or will it be the established royalty of Real Madrid which triumphs yet again?

And the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League provide a platform for other clubs to search out glory, as evidenced by the respective triumphs of Eintracht Frankfurt and Roma last term.

And if all that was not exciting enough for the New Football Season, the sport’s most epic event will take place right in the middle of the campaign, as November and December brings the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, an historic event which will see one nation crowned as the globe’s leading football light.

Don’t miss the New Football Season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on the DStv App.

UGI, Car Select sign MoU

Chibwe (right) and Chimombo sign the MoU documents

Insurance giant, United General Insurance (UGI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Car Select, a local car selling company which will see the insurance company covering vehicles from the port of entry into the country.

Speaking in Blantyre during the signing ceremony, UGI Acting Chief Executive Officer Mc Donald Chibwe said the partnership with Car Select will offer convenience to Car Select customers as they would no longer need to source two separate quotations for vehicle purchase and insurance.

“What we have witnessed today is that two major brands have partnered to offer a unique service to customers in terms of affordability, convenience and fast service of claims. We feel this is timely and will offer convenience to the customers especially in these hard economic times,” said Chibwe.

He said Car Select offers customers, mostly the working class, good and affordable terms to purchase a vehicle where a customer pays 40% of the total value of the vehicle for the company to start the process of purchasing the vehicle and another 30% when the vehicle has reached the port of entry.

“The remaining 30% is paid through monthly installments of 10% each while the customer already has the vehicle. So, customers will now get the whole package where we cover them from the port of entry up to delivery of the vehicle to the customer which is convenient and as you can see the terms are affordable,” said Chibwe.

Chibwe(right) and Chimombo after signing the MoU

Car Select Managing Director Sarai Chimombo hailed the partnership of the two companies saying customers will benefit more.

“Car Select offers unique vehicle purchase solutions where  customers do not need to pay a lump sum to purchase their vehicles. Our partnership with UGI will help our customers because their vehicles will now be covered from the port of entry up to delivery, a thing which was difficult to do before.”

“We thank UGI for the partnership and we encourage Malawians to buy vehicles from us because they will not be worried about where to get forex as we will handle everything and they will be flexible in terms of payments,” said Chimombo.

She touted Car Select, established in 2017, as the first of its kind car selling company which offers convenient car payment plans.

The insurance facility which UGI will be offering Car Select customers has been christened ‘AutoSelect’, a multi-branded comprehensive motor insurance product which has three package options namely AutoSelect Silver covering vehicles valued between K4 million to K10 million, AutoSelect Gold covering vehicles valued between K10 million and K20 million and the AutoSelect Diamond covering vehicles valued above K20 million.

Scandalous Chizuma at it again…caught in a housing allowance web

CHIZUMA: Under fire

The scandalous Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma who has never won any court case since her appointment, has been caught in an allowance scam where she is getting paid heft sums for accommodation yet she stays in a government house.

This is a direct breach of the integrity code of her job. According to sources, Chizuma resides in an upmarket estate in Lilongwe in one of the 14 Presidential villas along the Presidential Drive.

The source further revealed that the house belongs to Malawi Government and she does not pay rentals, yet since she was appointed ACB DG she has been drawing monthly allowance for housing.

“When she assumed office she begged to be housed at the villas for security purposes, a request that was granted. However, she was supposed to stop receiving her housing allowance knowing fully well that government is already taking care of her accommodation.

“It is sad that she continues to feign ignorance on an issue that is very straightforward. And it is surprising that her office requires integrity and after realizing this, Chizuma was supposed to raise a red flag and alert the Bureau on the anomaly,” added the source.

The inside source said her conduct is surprising especially because she has been in the forefront speaking against corruption in society and championing austerity with government coffers.

“You may remember that the director has time and again gone to Parliament to complain of limited funding that is channeled to the bureau. With that in mind, it is surprising why she has chosen to be getting from the bureau what she is not entitled to. What she is doing is purely wastage of government resources and pure theft,” said the source.

A commentator has said if this is true, Chizuma’s conduct is an abuse of office because she is getting double benefits for one line of expenditure.

“This is purely against the dictates of the fight against corruption, corporate governance and good practice,” added the commentator.

The commentator said if Chizuma had integrity she was supposed to inform the human resources department in writing of the anomaly and further ask for proper corrections to take place.

“Failure to do so means she is complicit in this wrongdoing and can be taken to task both administratively and legally,” he said.

The 14 Presidential villas were constructed during Bingu wa Mutharika’s first term but opened in 2015 to house high-level delegates during their stay in Malawi. Since then the estate has hosted heads of state and government and top dignitaries from across the globe.

Five win in NBM plc Swipe and win promotion first draw

NBM plc System Development and Implementation Officer Fodrick Nyirongo draws the winners as other officials look on

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc Tuesday conducted the first draw for the ‘Swipe and Win Kizz Daniel promotion’ which saw five people winning standard tickets to the August 27 2022 Kizz Daneil concert in Lilongwe.

NBM plc has partnered with Epic Lifestyle to sponsor the concert at a whopping K40 million and is currently running a promotion which requires its cardholders to use any of the bank’s Point of Sale (POS) machines to win tickets to the concert.

Speaking in Blantyre during the first draw of the promotion where five people won standard tickets each, NBM plc Manager, Cards Acquiring David Tamula said there are 10 standard tickets and 10 VIP tickets to be won during the promotion.

“Our customers are encouraged to use their NBM Visa Card  at any National Bank POS machine and they could win a ticket to the concert. We have 10 standard tickets and 10 VIP tickets up for grabs. One transaction at any NB POS is equal to one entry, so I encourage customers to frequently use or swipe so that they increase their chances of getting that ticket,” said Tamula.

NBM plc Manager, Cards Acquiring David Tamula speaks during the first draw of the promotion

He also said those buying the concert tickets through their other digital platforms like Mo626ice, Mo Pay and POS will enjoy massive discounts on the tickets of up to K10,000 or K5,000 depending on the type of ticket.

The five people that won the standard tickets to the concert include Beatrice Chikusa, Beatrice Mwimba, Dolla Chitseka, Kumbukani Rashid and  Lucy Ngomba.

Tamula said NBM plc decided to sponsor the concert as they are aware that they will be interacting with most of their customers and prospective customers at the event.

“We also want to use the concert as an opportunity to promote our recently updated Mo626 Digital+, Mo Wallet and Mo Pay. We want to make sure that the NBM brand is visible to the expected high turnout for this concert and for those who want to join our winning brand, we will set up a desk at the concert where we will sort out their financial needs including opening accounts,” said Tamula.

NBM plc System Development and Implementation Officer Fodrick Nyirongo draws the winners as others look on

EthCo powers K4.5 million Crocodile ladies golf  tourney

Mtambo (right) presents the cheque to Luhanga

Ethanol Company Limited (EthCo) has sponsored the Ladies Golf Union of Malawi (LGUOM) annual  Crocodile Interclub Challenge to the tune of K4.5 million.

This year’s two-day tournament will be held at Nchalo Golf Club in Chikwawa on 6th and 7th August 2022.

LGUOM vice president Ulemu Luhanga said in an interview yesterday that a record 45 lady golfers will be trekking down the Chikwawa escarpments to compete for the Crocodile Interclub Challenge.

“We have teams from Lilongwe Golf Club, Kasasa Golf Club in Dwangwa, Blantyre Sports Club and the hosts Nchalo Sports Club. The Crocodile Interclub Challenge is played in Teams of 3 players, where 2 best scores at the end of the round will count as Team Score,” said Luhanga

She said the current holders of the Crocodile is Blantyre Sports Club, who will be looking to fiercely defend their title against the hosts, who may have home ground advantage and the other clubs.

Mtambo and Luhanga display the cheque

Luhanga said the annual showcase will also be featuring 5 junior players from Lilongwe and Blantyre.

“Ladies Golf Union of Malawi appreciates the massive support that we have received from EthCo. EthCo has been our partner for years but this year, they have come out bigger and better as the exclusive sponsor of the tournament,” said Luhanga.

EthCo’s Digital Marketing Officer Mphatso Mtambo said the company is geared to spoil the ladies saying they would like to encourage women to play golf.

“Traditionally, only a few women play golf in comparison to men and yet there’s a lot of valuable interaction on the golf course other than the game itself. Business deals are sealed, problems are shared and solved, leads are discovered, and networks are strengthened.”

“Apart from sponsoring the tournament, we intend to create shared value with the ladies and eventually the society by introducing business ideas for the products that we produce so that they can consider partnering with us,” said Mtambo.

Friends of Sattar family’s Bursary Fund donates to Malingunde School of the Blind

NOBLE CAUSE: The beneficiaries and some of the donated items

The friends of business tycoon Zuneth Sattar’s family bursary fund over weekend donated of assorted items worth millions to the financially struggling Malingunde School of the Blind in the rural Lilongwe.

Donated items including Soya pieces, soap, lotion and sugar that will benefit about 46 learners at the school.

The group leader Lumbani Tembo who is also a fund beneficiary told journalists after handing over the items that the grouping has been in existence for the last three years with charity work across the country.

Tembo disclosed that the grouping’s charity work has not been visible to the public hence not well-known as being silent all along.

He added that the bursary fund has been benefitting both secondary and university students in the country’s schools.

“The fund has been running not only on needy learners but also those in abject poverty to get support for family incomes. We want to restructure the funding well into a number of categories; education, talent and vulnerable communities.

“We have been carrying a number of charity work for the last three years but not visible to the public. But now we want intensify our work to reach more communities hence decision to support the Malingunde School of the Blind,” delighted Tembo.

The School’s Headteacher, Huxley Tundulu lauded the grouping’s gratitude and timely support appealing to others to emulate good gesture.

Tundulu however requested the support of the fence at the school arguing that puts learners lives at risk.

Top Standup Comedian Daliso Chaponda Set to Perform at Amaryllis Hotel, Tickets Selling As Hot Cakes

Celebrated UK based Malawian stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda is set to perform at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre on Sunday as advance tickets are selling out as hot cakes in all designated outlets.

Daliso, who is a son to the former cabinet Minister George Chaponda, will perform alongside a Kenyan-born British stand-up comedian, who has appeared on various British radio and TV comedy shows, Imran Yusuf.

According to a poster advertising the show, advanced Standard tickets are going at MK15,000, VIP at MK25,000 while VIP table for eight people going at MK250,000.

At the door Standard tickets will be going at MK20, OOO, VIP at MK30,000 and VIP table for eight people at MK300,000.

The top Standup Comedian Chaponda has appeared in a number of shows and festivals around the world.

He performed three successful one hour, one man shows in the UK and Canada: Feed This Black Man – a show about the way the developed world sees Africa; Don’t Let Them Deport Me, a show about immigration and Westerners Calm Down, a show about the global financial crisis.

After 6 months of touring the South African comedy scene he moved to Manchester, England.

He regularly appears in comedy clubs and theatres across the UK. He is a versatile comedian and is best-known for his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, where he reached the semi-finals and achieved third place.

He hasn’t looked back since and has gone on to build a worldwide comedy career which includes performances at the 3 biggest comedy festivals in the world – Melbourne, Edinburgh and Montreal.

In addition to standup comedy, Daliso is also a prolific fiction writer. He has published science fiction, murder mysteries and fantasy fiction in numerous magazines and anthologies. Recently, a play he co-wrote aired on BBC Radio 4.

Notable TV appearances include, Paramount’s The World Stands Up (UK), CBC’s Trans Canada Comedy Trail (Canada), Show Time Arabia Presents (UAE), SABC Comedy Awards (South Africa) and Good News Week (Australia).

GOOD SAMARITAN’ K MOTORS AWARDED FOR REPAIRING AMBULANCES FOR FREE, OUTSTANDING SERVICES

One of the country’s outstanding Vehicle repairing and panel beating company, K Motors has being decorated with two awards.

The Chief Executive Officer (CE0) for K Motors Karim Mansoor received the awards courtesy of Liquid Visions Malawi at a red-carpet event held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.

The first award was a special recognition towards his contribution to the health sector. Mr Karim through his K Motors has been repairing ambulances for free from across the country.

The second award was an appreciation for an outstanding motor vehicle services through his K Motors.

K Motors embarked on a project of repairing ambulances in public hospitals some months ago after noting challenges health facilities were facing due to inadequate number of ambulances.

MK163 MILLION HOSTEL FOR LILONGWE GIRLS…Education Minister NyaLonje Applauds Standard Bank

Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje has applauded Standard Bank Plc for investing K163.5 Million in the construction of a 112-bed hostel at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School, and choosing to increase access to formal education for girls.

The girls hostel project is a jointly funded project between Standard Bank Plc and Press Trust, who contributed K112 million and K51.5 million, respectively.

“By helping narrow the resource gaps in girl’s education, Press Trust and Standard Bank have responded to a pertinent need that government alone could not ably meet,” said NyaLonje.

She said the decision to invest in girl’s education is well supported by various studies that have shown that girls face the most hardships to complete formal education due to inadequate resources.

“Across Malawi, most girls must walk long distance to school due to lack of boarding facilities,” she revealed.

Standard Bank Chief Executive Philip Madinga said the bank firmly believes that investing in educating girls is one of the strategic ways of developing the country’s economy and grooming future leaders.

“More educated girls lead to an increase in ratio of female leaders and reduces the pressures related to social economic status,” said Madinga.

Press Trust Trustee Audrey Mwala said the partnership with Standard Bank Plc is in recognition the crucial link between social environmental and economic issues that affect the livelihood of Malawians.

“We believe that we all can go further when we work together. Therefore, we partner with like-minded organizations like Standard Bank and others to change the fortunes of Malawians. This donation makes the learning environment conducive. We hope that this will catalyze improved learning outcomes for the girls”, she said.

Earlier this year the partnership made remarkable strides as Standard Bank and Press Trust continued to support 74 students in various government secondary schools across the country through their Standard Bank and Press Trust Merit Scholarship fund.

Standard Bank has a track record of investing in the country’s education sector with notable contributions being the Mzuzu Government Secondary School classroom project, Che Januare Primary School in Chiradzulu and a girls’ mentorship and fundraising initiative through the Be More Race.

Illovo Malawi Striving for Thriving Community

Illovo Malawi, a leading sugar producer operating in the country, has reiterated its commitment of creating a thriving community.

Managing Director for the Company, Lekani Katandula, was speaking on Friday at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre during company’s investors forum.

According to Katandula, Illovo Company strongly believes that business cannot succeed in a society that fails hence the need to create thriving communities.

Katandula then disclosed that during in the first half of the year 2022 Illovo spent 318 Million Kwacha in cooperate social responsibilities as one way of creating a thriving community.

“Illovo spent 177 Million Kwacha for Nchalo and 141 Million Kwacha for Dwangwa community support projects,” said Katandula adding that the projects include education infrastructure and purchasing Health Equipment among others.

In the first half of 2022, Illovo Sugar Company registered a 10 Billion Kwacha profit after tax.

Illovo Malawi, which is one of two sugar producers operating in the country, supplies more than 60% of its total sugar sales into the domestic consumer and industrial markets, and a portion of the balance exported regionally within the sub-continent.

MCP and its savagery tactics wont solve Malawi’s economic crisis situation

BY LINDA PENDAME

One Professor P. L. Lumumba once said if a leader is asked to say what they have achieved and it take hours explaining just know they have done nothing. According to Lumumba leaders that have done something do not waste their time explaining. In few seconds they simply say let the works of my hands speak for me.

Today, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) regime has literary nothing to show for the two years they have been in office, and forget the Tonse Alliance hoax, all what we see is the old MCP trying so hard to register its bouncing back into power after over 26 years in the wilderness.

Even the events can attest that this is the only MCP, think of the arrest of human rights activists, shrinking civic space, the gaging of the media including arrests of journalists, and more recently, the Chakwera regime is trying to wage war against the business captains.

For starters, in 1975 MCP led government under dictator Kamuzu Banda made a decree that forced all the Indians to move from wherever they were prying their trade to the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.

Kamuzu was a dictator and he got away with it!

However, over 47 years down the line, and in this day and age, Rev. Chakwera is trying to repeat the same mistake but he will not get away with it!

Chakwera government is using the Nsundwe gang that was trained at Ntakataka Police training school in Dedza to terrorize Malawians that are contributing immensely to the development of this country. People that have literally used their hands to build and shape this economy.

In a space of one week business magnet Leston Mulli of Mulli Brothers has been arrested twice! At a time when the voters were expecting answers on the worsening economic situation compounded by job losses as companies are closing down, shops shelves are empty and unprecedented foreign exchange shortages, MCP is redirecting negative energy arresting innocent sons of the soil.

In a futile attempt to divert peoples attention from the rampant corruption that has rocked the Tonse Alliance government, the ever increase in cost of living and the imminent fuel increase MCP was at it again, this time launching a character assassination campaign on a long-time investor and business guru Shiraz Karim of Kukoma cooking oil.

Karim is providing jobs to over a thousand Malawians who may become jobless if he may decide to invest elsewhere! Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) stand to lose billions in taxes if the Karim’s may decide to invest in another country!

The MCP media team was all over claiming Karim was found in procession of a whopping US$ 4 million, when in fact the whole thing was just silly, to sum it all up.

The amateurs just sent one Nsundwe boy who hurriedly took a photo of the sign post at the gate and used the details to cook up a junk of a warrant of arrest using Shirazs late father’s names in the process.

Isnt that embarrassing as to how MCP is abusing our police?

After failing to get what they thought they would get, we are told Shiraz was taken to Soche police station where he was detained for five hours and released unconditionally! Isn’t this a good example of arbitrary arrest?

What if Shiraz decides to sue, isn’t this a good example of unnecessary burden to the heavily taxed Malawians who can no longer afford Nirma soap now at MK400 up from MK80 before this clueless and corrupt Chakwera regime?

Shiraz is known to be a legitimate business person who often times travels and just like any other person from time to time would have a change in foreign currency.

But wait a minute, where on earth would 20 pounds, and three notes of US$100 value each add up to US$4 million, an equivalent of over MWK4 billion? Is that arithmetic the MCP way?

That things are going south we all agree. That Chakwera is under pressure to deliver on his promises we all agree. But what we dont agree with is the character assassination campaigns and torture of the very same people that work around the clock to pay the very same taxes that Chakwera and his bunch of crooks are looting. This must stop!

APM SPEAKS TO VOA: Dresses down Chakwera’s propaganda on albino killings

Malawi’s Former President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika will be live on Voice of America (VoA) DSTV Channel 853 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The exclusive interview will start at 18:05hrs (6:05pm-local time) on both days.

Among others, the former Malawian leader Professor Mutharika is likely to clear President Lazarus Chakwera’s propaganda implicating him in albino killings.

This follows plans by Director of Public Prosecutions and the Malawi Police Service (MPs) to open a criminal case against Mutharika and his former chief adviser Dr. Heatherwick Ntaba in connection to the killing of albinos.

However, recently Professor Mutharika denied allegations linking him to the killing of people with albinism in Malawi, accusing government of attempting to divert people’s attention from economic woes rocking the Southern African nation.

Mutharika further said that during his reign, he set up a taskforce and, later, a commission of inquiry to investigate make findings and recommendations on any matter incidental to and connected with the attacks, abduction and killings of persons with albinism.

Veep Chilima Dares Chakwera to Strip off presidential immunity

Malawi’s Vice President Dr.  Saulos Chilima says he is ready to cooperate with Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigations and renewed his call to remove presidential immunity, so that Presidents can also be prosecuted for wrong doing.

“This is the time to amend the Constitution of Malawi in order to remove the immunity which Presidents of this country enjoy under section 91(2) of the Constitution so that everyone in Malawi can be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing,” he stated. Chilima said removing presidential immunity is one of the campaign promises of the Tonse alliance and that UTM believes it is time to amend the Constitution to ensure the immunity of the President from prosecution is removed so that the holder of that office is not shielded.

“One of the concrete goals of the Tonse Alliance, which has yet to be attended to, was to remove presidential immunity from criminal prosecution. This promise was pronounced under the campaign agenda of the Alliance,” he recalled.

The Veep said he appreciates that the law does not provide immunity to the Vice-President which is progressive to the fight against corruption.

“While we salute the fact that the Vice President of this country can, and must be investigated or prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing, it is completely misplaced that Presidents of this country have a veil of constitutional protection from criminal prosecution through immunity while in office,” he pointed out.

The Veep said he is ready to cooperate with investigations by ACB and will welcome an opportunity to clear his name.

“I will welcome the opportunity to respond to allegations of my alleged corrupt dealings, for which decisions have been taken without sight of the evidence, but I will do so strictly within due legal processes. To be clear, I will not fuel media trials, let alone even appear to impair the work of the Anti-Corruption Bureau,” he said.

He emphasized that UTM, a key Partner in the Tonse Alliance administration,  is in support of the fight against corruption and called on Malawians and his party followers to let ACB do its work without any interference.

However, he called on ACB to work independently without any undue pressure.

“I wish to, therefore, appeal to the entire membership of the UTM and all well-meaning Malawians to support and also let the Anti-Corruption Bureau carry out its mandate without undue interference. No one should interfere with the work of the Bureau regardless of which side of the political divide you belong to.

Corruption is evil. It is also legitimately expected that the Bureau should not entertain any efforts to be abused or misused by any quarters for whatever reason,” he narrated.

The Veep says has been quiet since he got into power because he wanted the government to be run in an orderly manner.

“I have been mostly quiet since we got into Government; not for the misbegotten reasons some may find appealing, but out of a sense of duty and responsibility for the orderly running of Government. I have not been quiet out of arrogance towards you, fellow Malawians,” he said

He says at this time he has been focusing on delivering his duties as delegated by President Lazarus Chakwera.

CHILIMA, CHAKWERA AGREED ONE TERM EACH

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Malawi’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima has disclosed that he and President Lazarus Chakwera signed a 10-year-agreement where each will rule the country for one term only.

Speaking during a press briefing on Friday at UTM headquarters in Area 10 in Lilongwe, Chilima disclosed that contents of the agreement are that President Chakwera would not be presidential candidate beyond 2025 but cede the mantle to the running mate to become candidate.

“That subject to the decision of the national executive committees or, as the case may be, of the UTM and the Malawi Congress Party, the presidential candidate during the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020 shall not be the presidential candidate during the immediate next election and shall cede the candidacy to the running mate in the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020″ reads close number 11 of the agreement.

The veep Dr. Chilima said the agreement is binding and any departure from it amounts to political fraud.

“Beyond this, I would like to state that the Agreement was signed for a period of 10 years in which both Dr Chakwera and I would support one another to lead for one term.

“Any departure from the Agreement amounts to political fraud not only on the parties to the Agreement, but also on the popular will that mandated the Alliance in the first place,” Chilima stressed.

The Veep reprimanded those with political ambitions, saying their personal interests and ambitions should not paralyze the entire country.

“There is no wisdom in name calling, abuse, arrogance, humiliation or indeed violence for something that came into being amid smiles and a sense of hope for many generations” he lamented.

He said he is flabbergasted that power which was supposed to be shared under the Tonse Alliance has become sweet to some in MCP who are fueling political fights.

“If there is insistence from other elements within the Alliance and their advocacy for a split as we move towards 2025, the best would be to terminate the Alliance now.

“Of course the instigation and termination of the Alliance by all parties now would also amount to cheating on the popular will of the people of Malawi that mandated the Alliance to form Government,” he emphasized.

He said if others insist that there should be departure from the agreement then the alliance should be terminated now and call for fresh elections to seek fresh mandate.

“Indeed, if we were to terminate the Alliance, in honesty we would have to call for a fresh presidential election. We should not continue our journey to 2025 with two hearts: One inside and another outside of the Alliance,” he stressed.

On Tonse alliance; Chilima said Tonse partners contributed to have the Alliance win the election in the 2020 fresh polls through prayers, food, time and even money.

He thanked Chikosa Silungwe, Prince Kapondamgaga, Titus Mvalo and others for helping during the Tonse agreement.

Chilima says it is heartening that some things in the agreement have worked and also disheartening that some things remain outstanding.

In the Agreement they also agreed to promote national unity, good governance, no discrimination, mutual trust, mutual respect, integrity, and work for the interests of Malawians, among others.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure you all that the commitment we made to be your servants remains intact. No amount of propaganda, innuendo, insult, humiliation will move us an inch. We as the UTM, are a big part of this Administration and no one must be under any illusion to believe otherwise,” he said.

He reminded Tonse alliance members that it was counterproductive to engage in political campaigns and fights three years away from another election.

“I wish to remind members of the Tonse Alliance that we NEVER at any stage promised Malawians another campaign, we promised them the Land of Canaan. And our mission should, therefore, solely be to get them there.

“If, for whatever reason, our mission is challenged, we should own up and re-engage the people of Malawi and explain why the course must change. Another campaign, 3 years away from an election, is most unfortunate, regrettable, abuse of the political process, and completely unnecessary,” he emphatically said.

The Veep disclosed that the Tonse agreement was signed on good faith and to promote transparency, mutual trust and respect among partners, national interest, and that there would always be consultations and consensus where UTM and MCP are equal partners.

STATEMENT BY Dr. SAULOS KLAUS CHILIMA ON MATTERS OF NATIONAL INTEREST

“Living True to Our Promise and Mission”

Fellow Malawians, Good morning.

I have been mostly quiet since we got into Government; not for the misbegotten reasons some may find appealing, but out of a sense of duty and responsibility for the orderly running of Government. I have not been quiet out of arrogance towards you, fellow Malawians. As the Vice President of this country, I took oath to serve my country, to serve you, fellow Malawians, and to do so by assisting His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, in executing the duties of his office. I have to observe the limits of the powers and duties as provided for by the Constitution. I believe that is the logic of our Constitutional set up and one I am committed to observe. And so, I have rather been focussing on delivering on assignments that were entrusted to me as part of delivering on the promises we made to the nation. At all times I have aimed at meeting the expectations of the President and Malawians, even when some things appeared impossible to deliver on face value. A notable example is the Public Sector Reforms Report with recommendations, which is under consideration by the President.

Let me emphasise this: there can only be one President of the Republic of Malawi at a time. All of us must rally our support in unison as the President leads the nation on a very difficult path towards our country’s prosperity. And so, when the President speaks, he articulates Government’s policy direction. It would be remiss of me to be seen to be pulling in a different direction for political convenience, creating discord in the Executive leadership of this country and, in the process, shifting the nation’s focus from the objects for which a government exists. 

This is particularly important to bear in mind because the foundation of the present Government, being a political alliance, some may think being the Vice President is the same as being the Co-President of this country as if this is a power-sharing arrangement. It is not. The present administration got into office as a political alliance. I will return to the political alliance in a moment. What we must – as Malawians – bear in mind is that we have a nation in dire straits to lead; a nation we promised so much; and a nation whose political leadership, both past and present, owes a huge debt of development. We are way behind time and ourselves and everyday it is urgent that we act towards progress; towards a nation we say must be a middle-income economy in the next 40 years or so from today.

Today, I have to address you, fellow Malawians, because in the period of my relative silence in speech, a number of developments have emerged that have made it imperative that I address you.

A walk down memory lane

Firstly, I would like to humbly invite you, fellow Malawians, on a brief memory lane for our reflection. Over the last 28 years, we have had so many false starts as a country. At each instance, we have had the delusion that we probably had just found the missing formula for unlocking the gateway to our long-awaited prosperity. Sadly, when we believed that we had taken one step forward, we have found ourselves taking two steps backwards. Indeed, exciting moments that have made us believe in the redemptive power of our shared aspirations, have been followed by the dark clouds of uncertainty over the whole democratic project and the prosperity it is meant to deliver for us.  We are a nation that is blessed and cursed by two opposing forces: the blessing of men and women in charge of State and non-State institutions who exert their lives to achieve our desired prosperity on the one hand; and the curse of destructive and selfish actions of a cabal of similarly placed men and women who do not share the common cause for a better Malawi but only look after narrow, parochial interests based on family, tribe and blatant cronyism. In this latter group, there are those who prioritise the politics of a moment over the common interests of Malawians. And so, for the sake of gaining, retaining or consolidating political power, the interests of the nation are perpetually subordinated and sacrificed and we waste a

great deal of effort on political posturing and pulling each other down. Because we have done this for too long, we have not focussed on meeting our aspirations for the prosperity which we only hear our neighbours and humanity at large are enjoying. This is our sad reality, one which we must constantly be aware of, and one which we must deliberately work on changing, if we are to ever rally support for, and encourage those, who mean well for our country.

But may I convey a little message of encouragement and hope, Fellow Malawians. And I convey this little message amidst all the seemingly dark and hopeless state of our nation and our lives. Amidst the paralysing politicking we engage in, we have, and should remain steadfast and vigilant, in our resolve and desire for a better homeland, a better life for all of us, right here in our country and in our lifetime. We owe this to ourselves, and generations to come. 

We have demonstrated remarkable vigilance many a time, and mostly recently, in the events of the run-up to the 3rd February, 2020 and 8th May, 2020 judgements of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal respectively, culminating in the fresh presidential election on 23rd June 2020. The fresh presidential election saw the exercise of true popular will in the election of a leader. That was a remarkable national project of political unity that enlisted the participation of a great majority of the nation without regard for colour, tribe, religion, geography or political choices. In a true sense of the word, by that project, we ushered in our fifth administration under the Second Republic; anchored – as it is – on what has proved to be our strong constitutional and democratic order that immediately before these events was on the deathbed at the hands of those who saw themselves well above the law. The participants in that national project will forever deserve our salutations and our respect! 

Regarding The Fight Against Corruption

Fellow Malawians, UTM – as one of the partners under the Tonse Alliance – remains committed to the fight against corruption in this country. We are aware of the negative economic impact that this vice has on whole societies and many countries, including Malawi. This is why during the campaign period, we, in UTM, strongly advocated for the amendment of the section 91(2) of the Constitution of Malawi which provides undue

protection to the occupant of the office of the President of this country. The provision provides for the immunity of the President from criminal prosecution. While we salute the fact that the Vice President of this country can, and must be investigated or prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing, it is completely misplaced that Presidents of this country have a veil of constitutional protection from criminal prosecution through immunity while in office. One of the concrete goals of the Tonse Alliance, which has yet to be attended to, was to remove presidential immunity from criminal prosecution. This promise was pronounced under the campaign agenda of the Alliance. This is the time to amend the Constitution of Malawi in order to remove the immunity which Presidents of this country enjoy under section 91(2) of the Constitution so that everyone in Malawi can be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing. 

The fight against corruption must be attended by all the integrity that is necessary for its legitimacy. We believe that where there is suspicion for wrong-doing, law enforcement agencies must be left to do their job in accordance with the law. And the law must thereafter take its course without fear or favour of anyone. That remains our commitment to the people of Malawi and there are no two ways about it. 

I wish to, therefore, appeal to the entire membership of the UTM and all well-meaning Malawians to support and also let the Anti-Corruption Bureau carry out its mandate without undue interference. No one should interfere with the work of the Bureau regardless of which side of the political divide you belong to. Corruption is evil. It is also legitimately expected that the Bureau should not entertain any efforts to be abused or misused by any quarters for whatever reason. The Bureau must not put its investigative or prosecutorial methods in question. For my part, as communicated through my Press Secretary last week, I will welcome the opportunity to respond to allegations of my alleged corrupt dealings, for which decisions have been taken without sight of the evidence, but I will do so strictly within due legal processes. To be clear, I will not fuel medial trials, let alone even appear to impair the work of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Regarding The Economy

It is common knowledge now that the fundamentals in the economy are a cause of concern and we can list a whole litany of problems and their origin but what is worthy highlighting is that we all need to rally together when the whistle in blown so that everyone gets busy by being productive in this country. The three pillars under MW2063 are a solid foundation for both recovery and growth. As an agrarian economy, we will not wish our agricultural sector away. The Government has embarked on an ambitious program to establish mega farms. This is an effort we must all applaud and rally support for. It is a venture that promises remarkable returns for our economy. Beyond mega farms, we should be thinking of cascading such investment to cooperatives which should be linked to Mega Farms as their primary markets. This is where agro-business processing must commence as we aim to drive industrialisation at the local level in our country’s strata and increase our export base. The potential to create jobs for our people working in, or as members of, cooperatives is also apparent in this initiative. We have all the resources we need to turn around the fortunes of this country but we need to sober up from the excitement and anxieties of political fights; show up; and get working. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. 

Regarding The Tonse Alliance 

The Tonse Alliance has two main partners; the Malawi Congress Party and UTM.

Inspired by our forebearers’ wisdom of unity of purpose and determination, we came together in March, 2020 to put up a common political front in what was, for all purposes, meant to be a watershed presidential election for this country. We faced a battle for the soul of this nation. The battle had to be won. We all contributed in one way or another: prayer, time, food, life, money; you name it. We even prayed to unite with those who we felt let us down. Perhaps that is part of what we mean when we say we are a God fearing nation. The unity of national purpose we demonstrated must always remind us that we are one people, anthufe tonse ndi amodzi!!

March 19, 2020 is a historic day in Malawi. The Malawi Congress Party and UTM publicly signed a Political Alliance Agreement. The signing ceremony marked the conclusion of a pulsating process involving technical teams from the two political parties. The consultations and engagement between our two teams were based on instructions that Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and I gave to them after our respective political parties had separately passed resolutions mandating us to finalise and agree on a Political Alliance Agreement with a view to fostering unity and bringing the liberation to the people of Malawi. A lot of people were involved in this process. However, let me thank the following people who put together this Political Alliance Agreement; as a representation of the aspirations of the people of Malawi and to which the political class had to respond to: Honourable Titus Mvalo, Ambassador Steve Matenje SC, Dr. Chikosa Silungwe, Mr. Lekani Loga and Mr. Prince Kapondamgaga, among other members. I would like to acknowledge the role played by Pastor Martin Thom who, while others were talking in groups, brought Dr. Chakwera and I in one place to discuss Malawi’s future.

 The UTM did not join the Alliance for political convenience. Rather, it was a profound recognition that beyond the fresh presidential election, the immense challenges that we face as a nation could only be defeated through unity of purpose, commonality of interests and harnessing all the available capacities and abilities across the nation. The Alliance represented, to the extent possible, the aspirations of the people of Malawi as we best understood them. It was an Alliance, by public demand and popular will, in the true sense of these terms. It is important that we always remember this genesis, so that we must guard against, and nip in the bud, any regressive elements that would divert our efforts to focus on fighting division and petty bickering; instead of concentrating our efforts to deliver on our promises made on the campaign trail. 

I would like to emphasise that the Political Alliance Agreement that we signed on that day was premised on trust, mutual respect and the common desire for a better Malawi.

Today, as I speak to you, Fellow Malawians, it is heartening to note that our intentions for getting into that Alliance have borne some fruits but at the same time disheartening that a few things remain outstanding and surely need resolution. 

I know that the contents of the Political Alliance Agreement have remained unknown to the wider general public. On reflection, because the Alliance is a product of popular demand and the sense of duty we felt to give ear to what the general public wanted, it is important that you have a fair idea of what was agreed to give effect to what you required of us. I will highlight a few matters from the Agreement. 

Firstly, the spirit of our Alliance is captured in the preamble of the Agreement. The Alliance is anchored on the following mutually recognised needs: 

(a) for contesting the fresh election as president and running mate, which we resolved in the best interest of the nation – there was no place for personal priorities, there was a nation before us to be saved and served and a clear path to that had been mapped by the people of Malawi; 

(b) to increase the chances of winning the fresh election, which we phenomenally achieved together; and importantly,

(c) to work together after the election in pursuit of the parties’ common goals of serving the people of Malawi in the attainment of their development aspirations. 

Further, the Political Alliance Agreement also clearly sets out guiding principles and modalities of its implementation for the sole benefit of the people of Malawi. I highlight Clause 2 of the Agreement which stipulates the Guiding Principles of the Alliance as follows:

(a) Transparency whereby “UTM and MCP agree to be open with each other and transparent in their dealings with regard to the implementation of [the] Agreement” : clause 2.1.1;

(b) Good faith whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to implement this Agreement in good faith and not to do anything that may frustrate this

Agreement” :clause 2.1.2;

(c) National interest whereby “UTM and MCP agree to implement this Agreement in the interest of national unity and development in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws of Malawi for the benefit of the people of Malawi” :clause 2.1.3;

(d) Unity and togetherness whereby “UTM and MCP agree to be united with a common vision and unity of purpose in the implementation of [the] Agreement” :clause 2.1.4;

(e) Good governance whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to be guided by the principles of good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights in the implementation of [the] Agreement” : clause2.1.5;

(f) Non-discrimination whereby “UTM and MCP undertake not to engage in any form of discrimination of any kind and all appointments pursuant to the implementation of [the] Agreement shall be on merit” :clause 2.1.6;

(g) Mutual trust whereby “UTM and MCP shall ensure constant engagement with each other to build trust and confidence” :clause2.1.7;

(h) Mutual respect whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to respect each other in all undertakings, shall not undermine each other in any other form or way both in public and in private and shall treat each other including their respective members as equals” :clause 2.1.8;

(i) Integrity whereby “UTM and MCP shall execute [the] Agreement with utmost integrity, especially when faced with the choice between what is convenient and what is right;” :clause 2.1.9

(j) Consultation whereby “UTM and MCP shall consult each other thoroughly before any decision that may be deemed crucial by any of the Parties is made” :clause 2.1.10; and

(k) Consensus whereby “UTM and MCP undertake to make decisions [under the] Agreement by consensus in order to formulate a nationally owned, and broadly supported, policy position” :clause 2.1.11.

Further, the Agreement was made in pre-election and post-election contexts respectively. The post-election context starts in clause 3.2 where the Malawi Congress Party and the UTM committed to a few covenants and I highlight a few:

(a) To implement the recommendations of the 2007 Law Commission Report on the Review of the Constitution; (b) To amend section 91(2) of the Constitution in order to remove immunity of the President from criminal prosecution; and (c) The Malawi Congress Party and the UTM agreed to be equal partners.

And in the Pre-election contest, the following was agreed:

i. That the Presidents of the Malawi Congress Party and the UTM shall agree in writing who would be candidate and who would be running mate ii. That subject to the decision of the national executive committees or conventions, as the case may be, of the UTM and the Malawi Congress Party, the presidential candidate during the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020 shall not be the presidential candidate during the immediate next election and shall cede the candidacy to the running mate in the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020.

Beyond this, I would like to state that the Agreement was signed for a period 10 years in which both Dr Chakwera and I would support one another to lead for one term.

But if for any reason this were to change, a process similar to what ensued before the Agreement was signed ought to follow. There is no wisdom in name calling, abuse, arrogance, humiliation or indeed violence for something that came into being amid smiles and a sense of hope for many generations. Any departure from the Agreement amounts to political fraud not only on the parties to the Agreement, but also on the popular will that mandated the Alliance in the first place. 

From my end, I want to assure you, Fellow Malawians, that every effort is being, and will be made to resolve any departures from the Agreement, and this is all for the purpose of achieving the logic and objects of the Agreement for the sole benefit of the people of Malawi who trusted us under the Alliance and ushered us into Government. 

However, if there is insistence from other elements within the Alliance and their advocacy for a split as we move towards 2025, the best would be to terminate the Alliance now. Of course the instigation and termination of the Alliance by all parties now would also amount to cheating on the popular will of the people of Malawi that mandated the Alliance to form Government. The behaviour that seems to place some partner under the Alliance as the sole voice that swayed the popular vote of the 23 June, 2020 presidential election must be frowned upon. Indeed, if we were to terminate the Alliance, in honesty we would have to call for a fresh presidential election. We should not continue our journey to 2025 with two hearts: One inside and another outside of the Alliance. May I repeat, we have a nation to serve. Our political ambitions should never paralyse national progress. It is utterly irresponsible to be narrow and parochial in conducting the affairs of this country using the power and place merely entrusted to us by the people. Politics must serve the people of Malawi as a whole by the end of the day. Politics must not be practiced in a way that serves the interests of a few and ends up frustrating the aspirations of the people of Malawi. We need to unlearn our obsessions with power and privilege. It is a disservice to the country and completely misguided. 

Conclusion

Fellow Malawians, I would like to take this opportunity to assure you all that the commitment we made to be your servants remains intact. No amount of propaganda, innuendo, insult, humiliation will move us an inch. We as, the UTM, are a big part of this Administration and no one must be under any illusion to believe otherwise. 

The moments we faced death during the campaign period will not be erased by a statement made by a hungry member of the Alliance who rants because they would want to earn their space at the dinner table by spewing garbage on national or other television station. We should not allow history to be changed because someone or some people have now just realized that power which should be shared has become sweeter and begin to display as much excitement as a 2-year old at the sight of candy.

I wish to remind members of the Tonse Alliance that we NEVER at any stage promised Malawians another campaign, we promised them the Land of Canaan. And our mission should, therefore, solely be to get them there. If, for whatever reason, our mission is challenged, we should own up and re-engage the people of Malawi and explain why the course must change. Another campaign, 3 years away from an election, is most unfortunate, regrettable, abuse of the political process, and completely unnecessary. It is what this Administration will deliver that will endear Malawians to this Alliance and give them a vote when that election day of reckoning comes. As the late President Bingu wa Mutharika said, let the works of our hands speak for us, instead of artificial narratives aimed at misrepresenting matters to the people. 

May God bless us all and, most importantly, may He remind us what we signed up for so that we remain true to Our Promise and Mission to our country, Malawi.

I thank you.

SAULOS KLAUS CHILIMA

LILONGWE

JULY 1, 2022

USA Gospel star on a collaboration drive with Malawian artists

By Roselyn Phiri (Mana) & Ireen Kayira (Contributor)

United States of America (USA) based gospel artist, Delois Massey Nkosi, is on collaboration drive with Malawian gospel artists to help them gain recognition on the international scene.

In an interview the artist who is married to a Malawian man Steve Nkosi said this collaboration drive is also one way of giving back to the country of her husband.

“As someone who has Malawi at heart and with vast experience in the music industry I thought it wise to give back to the country with what I know best that this is music.

“With my music I decide work with more local gospel artists in the Malawian music industry through the collaborations,” she said.

She said she is not just there for the collaborations but she also wants to establish herself on the Malawian local music scene.

“She said so far she is currently working with Faith Mussa on a single that will be released soon with a video that is being shot by Chipi Khonje.

She said she has once performed at one of the former president Malawi Dr. Joyce Banda visits in USA sometime back and in Malawi she has performed at the Fountain International church in Blantyre and in Lilongwe

In a separate interview Faith Mussa who is working with the artist said it these collaborations are important because they are the best way for each artist to present themselves to a new audience.

“There is nothing more exciting in an artist life than a new platform so both of us will be appealing to a new group of people through these collaborations,” Mussa said.

Delois Massey’s passion for music started at a very early age. She began singing gospel music with her six siblings who together travelled all over eastern Kansas and the Delta areas in the USA.

Delois has shared the stage with some of the legends in the Gospel music circles such as Dr, Marvin Sapp, Vashawn Mitchel and Lamar Campbell.

On production she has also worked with the Stellar Award-winning producer Roger Ryan of after touch Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nelchem Clinic Slashes Health Care Costs by 50 Percent

A Blantyre based fast-growing health care service provider, Nelchem Clinic which is located at Mbayani Township, has announced 50 percent reduction on their services.

Managing Director for the Clinic, Nelson Edward Munthali, who is also the clinician at the facility, disclosed the development in an interview with the publication on Monday.

“We decided to reduce our service fee by half as one way of siding with Malawians who are going through economic hardship but in need of health services,” said Munthali in an interview with our business correspondent.

According to Munthali, the clinic has well qualified health personals, enough drugs on stock and laboratory equipment.

The Clinic which provides services like Family Planning, Immunizatio­n for less than five, scanning among others and it is recognized by the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) and Medicines and Poisons Board.

Mulanje Porters Race Returns After Two-Year Break..Slated for July 9

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By Phyllis Chingana

Blantyre, June 18: Mount Mulanje Porters Race is back after a two year break due to Covid-19, organisers of the event have confirmed the good tidings saying the race is set for July 9.

Porters Race lead organizer, Kondwani Chamwala, said the race will start from 6:00 am and is expected to finish with a prize presentation ceremony at noon; thereafter there would be the finish-line party known as Island in the Sky Concert with popular artists.

“This year will be the 24th anniversary and it will be a huge event since people missed the event for two years due to Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The race attracts runners both male and female, locally and internationally and they run a distance of about 25 kilometres up and across Mulanje Mountain.

Chamwala said the race plays a crucial role in improving sports (athletics) in Malawi, besides contributing to development of tourism and adding a voice in conservation of Mount Mulanje.

The race, which starts at Likhubula Forest Office right at the foot of Mount Mulanje and runners trek to Chambe Plateau; then proceed to Lichenya Plateau and back to Likhubula, will also assist to raise awareness of the importance of mountain areas in recent years.

CDEDI pushes for arrest of racist Susu

By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has once more requested authorities including Chinese Embassy to facilitate the arrest of racist suspect only identified as Lu Ke and popularly known as Susu.

The push comes after CDEDI has sadly uncovered yet another tactic and shameless attempt by some sectors of the society, who are trying to defend racist Chinese national Lu Ke by twisting information to suit their selfish interests, and issuing threats to well-meaning citizens who are urging authorities to bring the suspect to book.

In a statement released on Friday June 17, 2022 and signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa says the tactics are aimed at diverting attention of the general population on the sins committed by one Lu Ke.

Namiwa says some misguided individuals seem to have taken advantage of CDEDI’s calls for justice on the matter, and are reportedly busy scheming attacks on some innocent Chinese nationals.

Namiwa feels the conduct is just a deliberate ploy to divert Malawians’ attention from real issues raised by CDEDI and other human rights bodies within and outside Malawi as regards the dehumanizing said videos. 

“It is worth putting on record that the filming incident as it stands is an isolated case by an individual, and not the entire Chinese community in Malawi; therefore, it is not a matter that affects all Chinese nationals staying in this country; hence, we should not use one brash to paint all,” he says.

He has since condemned such plans and those behind them saying by giving the seven-day ultimatum, CDEDI and any of the concerned citizens and human rights campaigners are not in any way calling on anyone to take the law into their hands.

Namiwa further reiterates his organisation’s earlier stand of calling on authorities to desist from any attempts to employ delaying tactics and/or downplaying saying doing so amounts to serious crime against humanity.

He also suggests that since the matter also borders on aspects of profit-making, it is important for relevant authorities to ensure that survivors of the exploitative filming should benefit by way of compensation. 

The CDEDI boss therefore said the zeal employed in blocking South African Dancer Zodwa wabuntu by Minister of Tourism and culture should also be demonstrated in this child exploitative matter.
“Malawians are missing the efficiency of the responsible Minister Hon. Michael Ussi, and the Department of Immigration, including the Malawi Police Service, who exchanged memos until Zodwa, whom the authorities reportedly feared posed a threat to Malawi’s culture, was barred from entering the country,” he says.

Demonstrating that the current one is just a delay tactic, the same Malawi police witnessed the arrest of Erik Aniva after a BBC investigative report and this is the kind of swiftness Malawians expected to see in Susu’s case. 

“It is against this background that CDEDI and all well-meaning Malawians will stop at nothing but push for the arrest of Susu,”

Despite some tactics aimed at diverting attention of state agencies, CDEDI still demands that Lu Ke must be arrested within seven working days, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi to make a public apology to Malawians
and that the Immigration Department, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Trade and Investment Centre to flush out all Chinese nationals that are staying or doing business in the country illegally. 

Namiwa says failure by stated institutions to act as demanded, CDEDI wil with no choice but to mobilise the masses to hold peaceful demonstrations until Mr. Lu Ke faces the law. 

Standard Bank Contributes MK5.2 Million to Operation Smile Towards Cleft Lip, Palate Surgeries

The healthcare sector is one of the victims of the first two years of the Covid-19. The pandemic has altered delivery of most essential healthcare services, and one of the conditions affected is that of people born and living with cleft lip and cleft palate conditions.

Following the impact of Covid-19, one of the healthcare organizations that provides free corrective surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate—Operation Smile Malawi—suspended its services.  The result was nothing to grin about; hundreds of people with the cleft lip and cleft palate conditions were unable to receive surgery and supportive rehabilitative healthcare.

This year Operation Smile Malawi resumed corrective surgeries by conducting a month-long programme that intends to cater to the cleft backlog in their system. The initiative is taking place at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe where patients are accessing free surgeries alongside free transport, food and accommodation.

Standard Bank on May 25, 2022 donated K5.2 Million towards the surgeries as a continuation of its long-term commitment towards supporting the Operation Smile Malawi Initiative in the country.

“Supporting the health sector is one of the key focus areas of Standard Bank. We believe that we drive Malawi’s growth by taking care of our people and ensuring they receive support when needed to ultimately contribute to the country’s development,” according to Nyambura Chege, Standard Bank’s Head of Brand and Marketing.

Standard Bank appreciates the role of Operation Smile Malawi plays by supporting the health sector but mostly enabling access to a health care service that families including those in the rural and peri-urban areas would not be able to afford.

Cleft lip and cleft palate conditions can develop into further complications in areas of nutrition, hearing, dental and speech while facing stigma and discrimination.

While outlining the situation of the cleft lip and cleft palate in the country, Desiree Mhango, Operation Smile country manager acknowledged discrimination as a major challenge associated with the defect.

“In Malawi it is estimated that we have about 3000 people in the communities who have not received this surgical and rehabilitative support. This is a combination of limited capacity in the health sector as well as financial means for the families to access the health care required,” said Mhango.   

Mhango hailed Standard Bank for the donation saying it will go a long way in supporting the patients that are serviced through the initiative at Kamuzu Central Hospital.

“These patients require a lot of things when they come for surgeries; they need transport, food and accommodation. Therefore, this gesture will make it possible for us to conduct many surgeries and create more smiles,” she said.

Lucy Chiumia, a parent from Chilumba in Karonga, hopes that the surgery is the end of stigma on her son.

“My son’s condition is talk of the society; I receive all the funny and painful comments even discrimination.

“However, the surgery that will be done on him will change everything and bring joy to my family. Thank you, Operation Smile and Standard Bank,” said Chiumia.

 In Malawi, Operation Smile started its operations in 2012. Since its establishment, the charitable organization has managed to perform over 2, 000 surgeries.

New SPC Zamba Reports Late For Her Own Meeting…Arrives 39 Minutes Late

Not impressive. Newly appointed Secretary to the President (SPC) Colleen Zamba kept heads of parastatal organizations waiting for a meeting she herself called.

Slated for a 2pm start in Lilongwe, Zamba only arrived for the meeting 2.39pm; that is 39 minutes later. All the people at the meeting were seated by 1.45pm.

“Amayiwatu anayamba bwino koma ndiye atayilira msangatu( she started very well as SPC but she has relaxed early enough)” remarked one of the participants.

Zamba was only appointed almost a week ago to replace Zangazanga Chikhosi and started with a pomp announcing austerity measures to cut down government expenditure.

Ironically, a department within her office defied her austerity measures by conducting a meeting at the lakeshore Hotel although Zamba banned lakeshore government meetings.

“Folks were rushing to be on time and she turns up for her own meeting late, let’s talk about talking the walk or walking the talk.”

“This is the most critical constituency for the SPC to get the country running efficiently, other than Ministers and PSs. She needs to get across the right message in action not words.”

“So if she is late for her own meeting she is sending the wrong signals,” said one of the participants to the meeting.

NBS Bank unveils ‘Kachangu’ Payday loan

Esnart Mchembe: NBS Bank Transactional Products and Services Manager

Listed NBS Bank has launched ‘Kachangu’ payday loan, a digitized, immediate, advanced loan for salaried employees accessed through the Bank’s website link and its digital platforms.

Speaking during the launch in Blantyre, NBS Bank Transactional Products and Services Manager Esnart Mchembe said the ‘Kachangu’ payday loan will help their customers to meet their short-term financial needs while avoiding dealing with loan sharks.

“This ‘Kachangu’ payday loan will help our customers get between K30,000 and K1 million as an emergency within the course of the month which will be payable at the end of that month. It is a cheap system where our customers can access the loans without going to the bank or filling some forms, it is instant,” said Mchembe.

She said all the customers need to do is to process the loans using their gadgets through their website and they will receive it within the same day and will be repaid by their next salary.

Mchembe said they have put in place plans to ensure that customers do not abuse the system by giving out loans according to one’s salary limit as well as accessing the loans to a maximum of nine times in a year.

“We know that this loan system is cheap and therefore we do not want customers to abuse it. If one takes less than K100,000, we will charge them K5,000 only and if it is more than K100,000 we will charge 4% of the amount taken,” said Mchembe.

CDEDI cautions against shielding Chinese racist

By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has warned government to desist from employing delaying tactics and futile attempts to shield Chinese national Lu Ke over his perceived racial discrimination conduct.

The suspect is believed to be behind video recordings, that have gone viral, containing racial attacks and child exploitation incidences that were filmed at Njewa in Lilongwe.

In a statement signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the organization has challenged both the Malawi and the Chinese governments to treat the matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.

 The organization has emphasized that any attempts to downplay the issue or help the suspect to beat the long arm of the law will only succeed in stirring avoidable actions with far-reaching consequences.

However, according to CDED’s investigations the suspect, who, reportedly, was previously charged with human trafficking offences, is no longer in the country.

Namiwa says if CDEDI investigations are anything to go by, it speaks volumes about the status of the country’s security and lack of its seriousness on cracking down criminal acts.

CDEDI has therefore given authorities seven (7) working days to bring to book Mr. Lu Ke and that if the suspect has really bolted as feared; the onus is on the Chinese Government to
bring him back to Malawi to face the law.

He has also demanded that the Chinese Ambassador must make a public apology to Malawians, in particular the black community.

Additionally, the CDEDI Boss has given state agencies such as the Immigration Department, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Trade and Investment Centre 48 hours to flush out all Chinese nationals staying or doing business in the country illegally.

“Failure by the stated institutions to act as demanded above will leave CDEDI with no choice but to mobilize the masses to hold peaceful demonstrations against Mr Lu Ke and like-minded racists.

Recently CDEDI issued a statement challenging authorities to immediately work with the Immigration Department, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Trade and Investment Centre in tracking down the racist Chinese national, and other like-minded bad  apples among so-called investors who are dehumanizing Malawians.

But according to Namiwa, there has been a lukewarm response from the authorities in dealing with the matter.

He said since the Chinese Embassy in Lilongwe, through a social media post, is on record to have strongly condemned racism while urging a crackdown on such incidences there is need to spell out actions taken against their national or ensure that the video didn’t go viral.

The remarks come after, the Embassy has revealed that they were aware that the video was recorded in 2020.

The video recordings have been made public through an investigation done by ‘Africa Eye’ of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

More stakeholders have condemned the conduct and have asked government to act with speed in addressing the matter by arresting the perpetrator.

Old Mutual declares a bove inflation bonus

Tawonga Manda Old Mutual Pension Services Company General Manager

Old Mutual has declared a 2021 guaranteed fund bonus of 11 percent from pension contributions of its members.

The company announced the 11 percent bonus in Lilongwe on Friday.

Old Mutual Group Chief Executive Officer, Edith Jiya admitted that during the past two years, the company was not spared from economic hardships just like other companies but she said the company learnt how to survive to mitigate the challenges to ensure that products on offer remain relevant.

“We have not had this event in two years. As a brand we have learnt that what really matters does not change. That is, our purpose was to help customers thrive,” Jiya said, citing Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic hardships as some of the challenges the company went through.

Old Mutual General Manager for Old Mutual Pension Services Company Tawonga Manda said the annualized fund bonuses for three; five and 10 year periods were above inflation “thus delivering a real return to our clients over medium to long term.”

During the year, according to Manda, the fund investment environment was rough as headline inflation accelerated on account of increases in both food and non-food costs. Inflation averaged 9.3 percent in 2021 down from 8.6 percent.

He said interest rates increased from around 13.8 percent to 14.5 percent over the year while the policy rate remained constant at 12 percent throughout the year.

“Equity market performance was bullish in the second half of 2021with All Share Index return of 40.05 compared to 7.08 percent in 2020. Over 10 year-old period, the MASI has returned to 22.39 percent,” Manda said.

The Old Mutual Guaranteed Fund is a trusted fund for pension contributions. The fund aims to provide long term capital preservation with an income focus.

Apart from declared bonus over the years the fund has grown significantly and the assets under the fund are worth 390 billion; not profit as earlier reported.

The pooled funds are invested in high performing secure and diverse investments to ensure the best returns for members. The contributions are guaranteed even in adverse market conditions. -(By Deogratias Mmana, Times Group)

Chakwera’s cluelessness irks CSOs… Malawians can’t pay taxes to finance Executive opulence-CDEDI

By IOMMIE CHIWALO

President Lazarus Chakwera’s leadership is never short of controversies and disbelief as he is being accused of cluelessness from all angles latest being Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

And the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has joined rights watch organisations who have noted with great concern about Chakwera’s cluelessness on how to cushion the suffering of poor Malawians owing to the turbulent times the countrys economy is facing. 

In a statement made available to this publication CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has said that Malawians must for once be spared from public relations stunts and be given what they deserve through their hard earned taxes.

He said it is disheartening to note that living conditions of millions of Malawians keep deteriorating, yet the Chakwera-led Tonse Alliance administration has for the past 23 months been collecting taxes on a daily basis yet failing to use the billions collected to improve lives of Malawians who are faced with unprecedented skyrocketing cost of living, including the recent rationing of essential commodities such as cooking oil and sugar.

This, according to Namiwa, speaks volumes of the cluelessness of the leadership.  

The CDEDI Boss cited the recent announcement about the 20 percent fuel cut for Cabinet Ministers whereby the President conveniently forgot to announce his own as an example of bad leadership that ought to be exemplary.

“Truth be told, unless the President includes among the austerity measures a cut in his salary, he is not prepared to suffer with Malawians. Otherwise, cutting on ministers fuel allocations is welcome but puts the President on the other side of the road where he will watch his juniors nurse their wounds as he criss-crosses the country at will. Simply put, it is morally wrong for the President to force everyone to tighten their belts in the face of the economic hardships, when the President continues living in opulence,” says Namiwa who has termed the current austerity measures as nothing but financial discrimination since are largely for the voters only when the ruling elite are swimming in riches.

Namiwa has, therefore, challenged President Chakwera and his Cabinet to cut their salaries by 50 percent; trim the Cabinet; trim the crowd of his advisers; and learn to delegate those assisting him in running government to go and cut ribbons while he stays in the office figuring out how his government can protect the vulnerable and marginalised Malawians using resources accrued from the announced cost-cutting measures. 

Namiwa has reminded Malawians that at the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Chakwera, who was then leader of opposition, and Dr. Chilima who was still the countrys Vice-President, announced their salary cuts as a contribution to the national Covid-19 response and queries the whereabouts of such morality.

“Where has that morality gone two years down the line? A Cabinet minister in the former President Dr. Bakili Muluzis regime, the late James Makhumula, set a good precedent when he directed Treasury to channel his salary to a special rural development fund. Given the examples above, it is possible for leaders to sacrifice their benefits for the good of the country. If they cannot do this, then why should Malawians keep suffering by paying taxes, when there is nothing to show for their lives to get better? Malawians cant breathe!,”

The whole scenario has been worsened by recent public relations stunts when the President told the nation that he had decided to save money by cutting down on his travels, which undoubtedly eat a lot from the public purse.

But to the surprise of many, while hand-clappers were still showering praise on the President for the announcement, the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) shamelessly released an itinerary for the President that saw him on the road from Saturday to Monday. 

Marking the sign of cluelessness of highest order, Chakwera demonstrated his appetite for travel and is still promising one thing today and doing to the contrary the next day.

“We wonder how such a leader can be trusted?,”

In circulation there is an audio clip recorded by Times Radio in one of its phone-in programmes, in which a concerned Chilomoni resident in the City of Blantyre, by the name of Maggie Kaiyatsa, is appealing to the Executive arm of government to listen to the cries of poor Malawians.

“By now CDEDI believes that Dr. Chakwera, the Vice-President Dr. Saulos Chilima, and all Cabinet ministers have listened to the audio in circulation. If we were in a serious country, heads would have rolled by now and a social protection initiative could have been launched already since
Kaiyatsa has spoken for millions of Malawians that are suffering due to President Chakweras poor leadership style. It is for this reason that Malawians are asking themselves the morality of paying taxes when their money ends up just enriching those in the Executive arm of government at the expense of the poor millions who are suffering,” Namiwa says.

EXCLUSIVE: What exact interest does NCA have on Sattars?

Reports show that British National Crime Agency (NCA) keeps on torturing businessman Zeneth Sattar by unlawful arrests on suspected corruption act with Malawi government.

Sattar who is a successful Malawian businessman is being denied access to his assets, businesses as if he has been already sentenced.

The British NCA act on Sattar is unacceptable in the court of law.

The agency actions are not based on proper legal procedures but rather jealousy over the Sattars successes.

For starters, NCA has been investigating Sattar without proper involvement of Malawi government particular office of Attorney General (AG), Police, immigration and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The agency only uses embattled Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Martha Chizuma who works with social media friends.

To this far, Malawi government has never complained anything to Britain on Sattar business dealings with the state.

The British NCA in the said investigations has never probe on any Malawi government official on the alleged corruption but only focusing on supplier. What are the Britons interests?

This is why both AG and DPP have always told Chizuma to seriously look into the matter with sober minds than being emotional and personal vendetta.

One of Malawi government’s ministry of justice officials revealed that NCA has failed to establish real public officers who were involved in the alleged corruption while targeting the suppliers only, who is Sattar.

He added that NCA frequent arrests on Sattar is aimed at torturing him due to envy and jealousy on his successes.

“The British NCA are in a fix on how to proceed with their illegal investigation on alleged corruption probe; firstly, AG, DPP, NIB and Immigration were by-passed this means by law their (NCA) work is invalid. Secondly, there is only one side the British NCA and Chizuma are interested on supplier only not public officers who requested the services.

“If Sattar as supplier is being questioned for contract. Where is the buyer’s statements or explanation? Nothing is done or questioned. No witness statements either. Sattar is a target of Harassment. According to law. Supplier is the last to be asked. Buying entity is first to be questioned. But buying entity is free and only the supplier is harassed,” said the source.

The source added further that AG, DPP do not have enough grounds to prosecute someone which later will cost government heavily.

“With also the leaked audio case in court puts the British NCA on spotlight disarray which was also mentioned in the audio. The audio exposed all NCA and Chizuma (not ACB office) personal vendetta on businessman Sattar. Chizuma’s public trust is gone,” says the source.

ACB acted illegally by communicating and accepting a team from NCA to operate and run affairs in Malawi without permission.

However, AG Nyirenda told the news conference early this year that; “My office is ready to cooperate with the United Kingdom on exchange of evidence through normal diplomatic channels on prescribed legal framework while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of the two countries.”

Nyirenda added that the Immunities and Privileges Act plus the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations as well as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to recover any money that might have been illicitly transferred from Malawi to United Kingdom shall be used.

“The office shall also ensure that all legal formalities including the prescriptions under the mutual assistance in criminal matters act are followed to the letter when collecting evidence from the UK or sending evidence to the UK to avoid needless and undeserving acquittals or needless and undeserving loss of lawsuits and a matter of compliance with the rule of law,” he said.

Both the AG and DPP argue that ACB contravened the Laws of Malawi: Chapter 8.04 and Chapter 16.01 which deals with mutual assistance in criminal matters and immunities and privileges respectively.

The NCA has so far not made any request to have the information shared with Malawi government either.

What is always being communicated is that Sattar has been arrested, properties freezed without Malawi government involvement.

Prosecuting Sattar without Malawi government involvement is against international statutes while violating someone rights to business.

The British NCA must respect Malawi as sovereign state, period.

Chilima Dates North on Council Reforms Progress

Chilima: In previous Reforms engagements in Central Region

Vice President Salous Chilima – who also over sees public sector reforms – will next week be in the Northern region for a week to track progress of various reforms taking place in councils as well as visit various projects.

The firebrand and workaholic Chilima has an overstretched schedule from Monday to Friday as he embarks on inspecting some major projects and holding public reforms meetings in the Northern region.

The Veep held a similar reform progress tour in the North in April 2021 to track the government’s reforms agenda.

A packed programme for the Veep for the week that we have seen shows Chilima will kick start his week long tour in the Northern region on Monday in Chitipa .

According to the loaded programme, Chilima will start with Chitipa to inspect the Emergency Treatment Unit – Chitipa Isolation Centre, Rehabilitation of Chitipa Council Chamber & Office Premises and hold full council meetings at the boma

Later in the afternoon and on Tuesday morning the Veep will be in Karonga where, among other projects, he will tour Karonga North Rukuru Dyke and Hara Women Briquettes Production and thereafter hold council meetings.

On Tuesday Chilima will be in Rumphi where he will inspect the Community Based Floods Early Warning System and hold reform meetings at Rumphi boma.

On Thursday, the Veep is expected to engage Nkhatabay and Likoma councils where he is expected to visit NkhataBay District Hospital (Paying Ward, Restaurant, Printing Services) and Standardized Exams in Primary Schools at St Maria Goretti before holding council meetings at Chikale beach.

The same day in the afternoon he will tour Mzuzu Civic Centre Construction and hold a reform meeting with Mzuzu City Council officials.

Chilima is expected to wind up the week-long tour in the North with a visit to Mzimba on Friday where he will appreciate progress of the Kasangazi Irrigation Scheme and Innovation Project: Hydro Power Generation.

The public sector reforms are being implemented in various government departments and councils to modernise the country, moving the country to a middle income nation and anchoring the implementation framework of the key priority areas in the Malawi 2063 development agenda.

NIGERIAN IDOL 7 FINALE: Watch Who Walks Away with $240,000 Worth of Prizes This Sunday

Show’s host IK Osakioduwa: Set to announce a winner who will walk away with $240,000 worth of prizes

The finale episode of Nigerian Idol Season 7 will air at 20:00 CAT on Sunday, 22 May 2022, live on DStv and GOtv. Show’s host, IK Osakioduwa, will announce a winner who will walk away with $240,000 worth of prizes.

Don’t miss a moment of the action, make sure you’re connected. Easily use the MyGOtv or MyDStv apps to manage your subscription and watch the finale on Africa Magic (DStv channel 151), Africa Magic Urban (DStv channel 153; GOtv Supa channel 6), and Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154; GOtv channel 2).

After weeks of watching the top 12 contestants sing their hearts out on the live shows to earn fan votes, the competition is down to two finalists –Progress and Zadok – vying for the title of ‘Nigerian Idol’. Whoever wins will go home with a cash prize of $240,000, a brand new SUV, a Bigi branded refrigerator and a year’s supply of Bigi drinks. They will also get to record an EP and a music video, a weekend getaway from TravelBeta, and a DStv Explora fully installed with a 12 months premium subscription.

As a platform created to help exceptional musicians, the first runner-up will also walk away with an EP produced by a leading music producer in Nigeria and a top-notch music video shoot.

The fate of the finalists will depend on the results from the final voting round which ends on Friday, 20 May at 22:00 CAT. Voting on Nigerian Idol is via the website, mobile site, MyDStv, and MyGOtv apps.

Fans can vote via the Africa Magic website, www.africamagic.tv/nigerianidol, and the Africa Magic mobile site by selecting your winner, entering the number of votes and clicking VOTE. Voting via these platforms is limited to 100 votes per user. Voting is also free on the MyDStv and MyGOtv Apps. The number of votes each subscriber gets is allocated based on their subscription packages.

Follow Nigerian Idol across all social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest details. Visit www.dstv.com/africamagic/en-ng/show/nigerian-idol for more information.

Fish farmers hail Maldeco support

BVC members harvesting fish from the cages on Lake Malawi

Some fish farmers in Mangochi and Zomba have hailed The Foods Company Limited (TFCL), a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc (PCL) trading as Maldeco, for supporting them through their fish farming and providing them with a ready market for their fish.

Speaking to journalists in Mangochi and Zomba at the weekend, the farmers said Maldeco has been giving them assistance in terms of the technical know-how in aquaculture farming as well as assisting them to access the much needed fingerlings so that they are economically independent.

Maldeco is running a community transformation initiative dubbed ‘One Village, One Cage’ (OVOC) Initiative where in each of its surrounding five villages, Beach Village Committees (BVCs) have been allocated a cage on Lake Malawi where they grow the fish. The company is also supporting other farmers who practice fish farming in fishing ponds in Zomba.

Kanyerere Jnr.- We are grateful

Under the initiative, Maldeco, with the support from the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) matching grant facilitated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) supplies the high quality scarce fingerlings and coordinates feed supplies to the BVCs and when the fish is harvested, Maldeco procures the fish and the cost of the inputs is deducted from the sale proceeds and the profit is what the BVCs take away as their income.

Michesi Beach Village Committee Chairperson Jordan Kanyerere Junior said they made a total of K1.7 million during their sales from the first phase of the project.

“This is a lot of money to us. Apart from sharing the money as committee members, we also managed to buy school uniforms for needy children from 23 families in our village so that they too should benefit from our relationship with Maldeco,” said Kanyerere.

Miteche-Beneficial relationship

Siwema Daniel from Makokola BVC also thanked Maldeco for the support that it is giving to the community saying her BVC has been economically empowered by the initiative.

“We are now thinking of increasing our fish stock so that we make more money during the second harvest,” she said.

A fish farmer who practices fish farming at her five fish ponds at Domasi in Zomba, Rennie Kawaga hailed Maldeco for supporting her with the aquaculture know-how and providing her with a ready market for her fish harvests.

Miteche-Beneficial relationship

“I am happy that Maldeco, apart from supplying us with the fingerlings and the fish feed, is also giving us a ready market for our fish,” said Kawaga.

Another fish farmer Norah Miteche from Songani in Zomba who also practices fish farming in her 6 fish ponds, also hailed Maldeco and Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi (AEM) for the support which includes fish growth monitoring (sampling), extension services, aquaculture technologies and business management courses.

“As a new fish farmer, I can say that this has been a beneficial relationship because apart from supplying us with fingerlings, feed and a ready market, Maldeco has also been conducting business management courses for us farmers which have been an eye opener and essential for enterprise sustainability,” said Miteche.

Kawaga- Ready market available

Maldeco General Manager Andrew Santhe said the initiative has helped to improve relationships with villagers especially in Mangochi where the company engages in cage fish farming on Lake Malawi.

“We have seen that issues of security of the cage fish have greatly improved because the communities around the company have their own cages on the lake and hence the company and the community are collaborating in securing the fish. We are also happy that we are contributing to the economic development and independence of these communities around Maldeco and elsewhere where we are supporting the fish farmers,” said Santhe.

The initiative is within a bigger project where Maldeco is constructing a modern fish processing facility with funding from PCL and additional funding from UNDP which Maldeco won as a matching grant.

CDEDI moves in to wake up Chakwera from his deep slumber

By Iommie Chiwalo

Cdedi senior officials addressing the media

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has moved in to wake up President Lazarus Chakwera and his administration to from deep slumber by devising mechanisms that will resuscitate the country’s economy from its death bed.

The move by CDEDI follows country’s economic status which is heading south as
evidenced by the rationing of essential goods and services, scaling down of local
production due to scarcity of foreign currency, the ever-weakening Malawi
kwacha and increasing electricity load shading hours.

In a press statement signed by its Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa and made available to this publication, CDEDI has challenged the President and his administration to ring-fence forex for essential services and products such as drugs and medicines, fuel, wheat and cooking oil, before the situation gets out of hand.

Namiwa observes that the dire economic outlook is dampening the spirits and aspirations of Malawians each and every passing day with headlines clearly pointing to a clueless and helpless leadership.

“Just to cite a few examples, CDEDI has learnt with shock revelations that this
month the country has only managed to secure forex just enough to procure essential drugs and medicines for 20 days, production in most of local industries is at zero, essential commodities such as cooking oil and sugar are being rationed in shops, reputable airlines have scaled down their services in the country due to unavailability of forex, businesses have grounded to a halt due to the unavailability of forex,” says Namiwa.

With the prevailing trends, Namiwa has on a sad note observed that Malawi will soon begin to needlessly lose productive lives to preventable diseases due to lack of drugs and medicines in both the public and private health facilities.

CDEDI is of the view that the current government erred big time by cancelling the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

“As they say bad politics makes bad economics, apparently, we have established that such a costly decision was made to accommodate their litany of campaign promises such as the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), the duty-free week, not forgetting the global trotting by President Chakwera and his Cabinet. Such extravagance would have certainly have put the IMF programme off track, hence the cancellation,” he narrates.

CDEDI has also been vindicated on indecisiveness of current government through its recent letter to Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe who did not bother to either respond or only acknowledge receipt of the said letter.

In the letter, CDEDI was demanding an explanation on the status of forex in the country, and policies that have been put in place to reverse current trends.

“With inflation rate as high as 15.7 percent, Malawians have now lost the pride that goes with being a citizen of this great nation, as they are trying in vain day and night to save their families from starvation.

It is worth pointing out that for the past two years of current regime, the business community has survived on the parallel market to access forex to run economy. It is, therefore, a mockery for the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), to peg the US dollar at MWK825 when, in fact, the authorities are aware that the green buck is not available in the first place and wherever it is found, the rate is pegged at more than MWK1,150. It is sad that government is exerting negative energy by blaming everyone and everything from the Covid-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine and not its poor leadership for the skyrocketing cost of living, thereby conveniently forgetting that Malawi is a predominantly importing and consuming nation, hence any rate of fall of the kwacha means more misery for the people,” he observes.

And CDEDI is further demanding Chakwera to swallow his pride and accept that the involvement of his government’s high ranking officials in forex externalisation, non-trickling of proceeds from the sales of agricultural commodities on the international market such as South Sudan and India and his own cluelessness in running State affairs, saying are some of the reasons that have pushed the country’s economy into the ditch.

“With President Chakwera’s tendency of shielding corruption, it is not automatic that Malawi will get the IMF nod. He should not put all the eggs in one basket by banking all his hopes on the IMF, which by the way is not a charitable organisation. This therefore, calls for plan ‘B’,” says Namiwa.

He has further urged government to plan and act for a future that must be defined saying as it stands now, Malawi is on autopilot and, unfortunately, the captain is in deep slumber,”

Apart from CDEDI, more CSOs have expressed displeasure with Chakwera’s style of leadership which they say is benchmarking to dictatorship.

Companies are now scaling down as they cannot spend more on expenditures than the revenue.

Basic commodities are not only expensive but are also not available.

Malawi on right track to end child labour, says Vice President Chilima

Chilima with Ramaphosa at the summit

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima has addressed the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, stressing that Malawi has intensified her efforts to decisively end child labour.

Addressing the conference in Durban, South Africa on Sunday, Chilima said Malawi is implementing many interventions and has ratified several conventions to end child labour

He said the Malawi government is concerned that an estimated two million children – aged between 5 and 15 – are still involved in child labour in the country.

“We cannot, therefore, afford to watch and contemplate to postpone ending child labour to a later date. Immediate action is required to reverse these trends,” Chilima emphasized.

He said much focus should be interventions to the Agriculture sector which accounts for 70% of child labour, saying sector needs multi-faceted approaches that promote inclusive rural transformation and rural development.

The Malawi Veep informed the conference delegates Malawi has ratified the relevant ILO Conventions including, all fundamental conventions, such as, Conventions 138 on the Minimum Age of entry into employment, as part of efforts to elimate child labour.

“Corresponding legislation has been enacted in my country. We have the Employment Act aimed at regulating minimum standards of employment and prohibit child labour and forced labour. We also have the National Action Plan on Child Labour, the Malawi Decent Work Country Programme and the country’s current development blueprint, the Malawi 2063,” he told the delegates.

The Malawi VP also said Malawi has abolished the Tenancy Labour system due to its resemblance with forced labour or bonded labour, which is a crucial step towards the sustenance of the country’s efforts in the fight against child labour.

He called for quick interventions and policies to extend social protection coverage for children and their families; scale-up investment in free and good-quality education; promote rights of children from birth to adulthood; and promote decent work for young people.

Earlier, Chilima conveyed Malawi’s condolences to South Africa following the loss of over 400 people in Durban during the catastrophic floods last month.

The Durban conference is being attended by high profile delegates including Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, and Guy Ryder who is ILO Director General.

It follows a similar conference on the Elimination of Child Labour that took place in Argentina five years ago where Buenos Aires Declaration, which outlines the principals and actions to be taken. was adopted.

The Buenos Aires Declaration called for action to accelerate efforts by the Sustainable Development Goals’ deadline of 2025 to end child labour and 2030, for forced labour and for the generation of more decent employment opportunities for young people around the world.

Chilima is expected to return home on Tuesday, May 17.

DPP SHOULD FORGET IT WITH POLITICAL SPENT FORCE APM ON BALLOT IN 2025

By Rebecca Mtalimanja Mkandawire

MUTHARIKA: Peter Mutharika is considered arguably the worst President that Malawi ever had

Some officials are demanding that former President, Arthur Peter Mutharika or ‘APM’, be the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate in the 2025 presidential election. DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha is championing the campaign for APM’s candidature against intense calls from other sections of the party for APM to step aside and give the party some breath of fresh air after his defeat at the 23 June, 2020 fresh presidential election.

The fresh presidential election followed a Constitutional Court’s annulment of the May 2019 presidential election. Peter Mutharika was the first respondent in the election case at the Constitutional Court, which he lost together with co-respondent, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

The five Constitutional Court judges had punched a stinging blow to Peter Mutharika’s political reputation and that of the DPP. No question, the DPP took a serious image beating from the court case ruling and the subsequent fresh presidential election in 2020, which Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the Tonse Alliance comfortably won against Peter Mutharika.

According to various expert analyses, the former President was booted out of power because many Malawians were tired of DPP regime’s worsening governance record. Under his presidency and the DPP regime, corruption, theft, tax-evasion, money laundering and murders of perceived enemies of the regime were the order of the day.

Peter Mutharika is considered arguably the worst President that Malawi ever had. He is famous for being aloof and disconnected from the common Malawian. His oratory skills leave a lot to be desired, which many Malawians make fun of, particularly on social media platforms. With such negative attributes, it is surprising that Mchacha and a few youngsters masquerading as politicians on various social media platforms, are agitating for the return of the 83-year-old Peter Mutharika.

SERIOUS IMAGE FALLOUT

Peter Mutharika’s defeat in 2020 posed a serious image fallout to the DPP and the party required a serious image cleansing exercise to stand any chance of winning future elections. Most DPP members have been agitating for the retirement of Peter Mutharika to effectively deal with the image battering and rebrand the party in preparation for the next election in 2025.

But since he was shown the government exit door, Peter Mutharika himself has refused to step aside, claiming he never lost and that he was a victim of some “judicial coup” because the fresh election was sanctioned by the courts in connivance with now President of the Republic Chakwera and partners.

Whatever the precise intentions for clinging to the DPP leadership are, there is little doubt that Peter Mutharika is a spent political force. He is not only old but he is also too old to be the party’s presidential candidate in the next election. Now is the time that Peter Mutharika and his stooges acknowledged the reality that politics is now beyond him and that the more he clings on to the DPP leadership and fight against his perceived enemies within the party, the more he risks further reputational damage. With his evident governance failures when he was President of the country and at his old age, it would be very difficult if not impossible for Peter Mutharika to convince Malawians otherwise.

Politics may be addictive, so they say. But being an elderly and educated person, as well as being a United States of America (USA) Green Card holder, Peter Mutharika should have been the first person to realize that leaving the political stage early enough would save him the embarrassment of being ‘forced’ out of politics.

So far, the government of President Chakwera has been very lenient with the former President by not subjecting him to any serious criminal investigation despite many allegations of wrong-doing. It would, therefore, be good judgement on the part of Peter Mutharika to quietly go into retirement rather than clinging on to active politics.

Peter Mutharika should borrow a leaf from Bakili Muluzi who is happily enjoying life in retirement, without looking over his shoulders about politics. On 24 August, 2021, Hakainde Hichilema became the seventh President of the Republic of Zambia. There was a smooth handover of power in Zambia and the outgoing President Edgar Chagwa Lungu immediately announced his retirement from politics. What else is APM looking in active politics at such an advanced age?

Clinging to the party presidency and banging tables in anger against perceived enemies within the DPP is not the best choice for an aging law professor who should instead be spending quality time with his grandchildren.

Peter Mutharika has no place in the current political space. He lost an election because Malawians did not want him to continue as Head of State. Today, the DPP is heavily divided because of APM’s lack of leadership skills. Peter Mutharika is now a recluse, shackled in Mangochi, very far away from the party’s southern region stronghold.

It is a general consensus among political pundits and analysts that the DPP is suffering its lowest moment right now regarding its political image because of APM. When the DPP lost government power, it required some fresh mind to spearhead a robust marketing campaign and to re-energize its grassroots structures in readiness for future elections and not Peter Mutharika who wants to manage party affairs by remote control.

Peter Mutharika is a failed leader who has brought divisions in the DPP. The party needs someone who can purify its systems; a unifying figure who will embrace all leaders and members, not someone like Peter Mutharika who supports certain individuals aspiring for top leadership positions in the party against others.

Indeed, it is a general consensus that the DPP must put its act together now if it wants to stand any chance of reclaiming its lost political glory. However, that can only happen if and when Peter Mutharika steps aside. He is a bad apple and his presence does not help the DPP to salvage the little sympathy that was left after 23 June, 2020.

FLAWED DECISIONS

Decision making lies at the heart of every political leader’s personal and organization’s life. A decision that a leader makes has far-reaching consequences on the people they lead. The DPP finds itself in the opposition today because of some flawed decisions that Peter Mutharika made when he was in power. For example, his decision to send the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda into early retirement when the law was not in favour of such an action seriously haunted him. That decision cost him millions of Malawi Kwacha in both legal fees and costs.

Another flawed decision was his choice of the politically little known and inadequately educated Everton Chimulirenji as his presidential running-mate in 2019, snubbing all possible and qualified candidates in the DPP.

Following the backlash that accompanied Chimulirenji’s choice, APM dumped him and ran with Atupele Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) during the fresh presidential poll in 2020, a decision that also sparked controversy and divisions within the party ranks and outside.

BAD ADVISORS

Some quarters say the former President is ‘captured’ by his wife and the former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, who allegedly makes crucial political and other decisions on his behalf. But others have suggested that Peter Mutharika also suffers from poor selection of close advisors who have led him into making some of his most unpopular decisions.

The party’s unpopular Administrative Secretary, Francis Mphepo, is one of such advisors. In 2018, a few months before the elections, the old and tired Francis Mphepo was recorded insulting people from the northern region of the country as ungrateful and not deserving any development, seriously affecting APM’s popularity in the north.

Indeed, Peter Mutharika is disconnected from local politics despite having returned home about over a decade ago from years in exile in the United States. If he was live to the realities of Malawian politics, APM could have known that people like Francis Mphepo cannot be trusted.

If Gertrude Mutharika and Mphepo were good advisors, they should have advised Peter Mutharika to retire from active politics because that is the wisest thing to now and not in 2023 or 2025.

Shalom!

STANDARD BANK INTRODUCES DIASPORA ACCOUNT: Account will allow remittances back home for investments and other social needs

MUGHOGHO: The account comes with the option of either having a Malawi Kwacha account or keeping savings in a foreign currency denominated account

Lilongwe, May 13, 2022– Standard Bank Plc today proudly announces launch of the Diaspora Account to facilitate remittances for Malawians living abroad and wishing to invest back home.

Available in United States Dollar, Euro, South African Rand and British Pound sterling currencies, the Diaspora Account is supported with Malawian investment options, and carries no monthly fees.

Standard Bank’s Head of Consumer and High Net Worth (CHNW) Charity Mughogho said the account offers competitive exchange rates and can be opened with a passport by simply clicking here to download and complete the application documents.

“The account comes with the option of either having a Malawi Kwacha account or keeping savings in a foreign currency denominated account (with four currency options). The account carries no management fees with same day delivery of inward telegraphic transfers. It also allows customers to choose between a single or joint account that comes with a debit card which can be activated for use internationally,” she said.

Mughogho saiddiaspora account holders will be assigned to a dedicated account manager and would not be required to maintain a minimum book balance and will enjoy a number of bundled free services such as mobile and internet banking, e-mail alerts, same-day inward telegraphic transfer settlements and online purchases together with a streamlined account management service.

The CHNW Head said Standard Bank’s sister company, Standard Bank Bureau de Change will allow diaspora account holders to exchange their foreign currency into Malawi Kwacha at competitive rates. This option can be facilitated between the foreign currency account and Malawian Kwacha account upon instruction from the customer, she added. She said in coming up with the Diaspora Account, Standard Bank wanted to address challenges Malawians living abroad face when they want to invest back home or make important remittances to relations and causes.

She said the new account is line with Standard Bank’s purpose of offering innovative financial solutions designed to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Mughogho said “The new diaspora account goes in line with our purpose which is that Malawi is our home and we driver her growth. As Standard Bank we are giving diaspora clients the option to build their dream house without the stress of monitoring the project, as the bank works with accredited property developers to manage the project for you. If you already own a home, you can opt to access equity release to free up capital tied in an existing house. Equity release financing goes up to 70% of the home value. The funds accessed through equity release are available for use at the discretion of the account holder and can go towards property development or a new business,” said.

She said other services available with the diaspora account include funeral cover, travel insurance, vehicle insurance, loan protection cover and home owners insurance which are under the Bancassurance portfolio.

In addition, diaspora account holders will have access to their cash from anywhere in the world using Standard Bank’s 247 digital application, which will also provide full account management at the touch of a button and with no additional cost.

“Standard Bank is well aware of the many frustrations and challenges that Malawians in the Diaspora face when they seek to open a Malawian bank account, get the best exchange rates, send money back home and manage their account for future needs. This new account and bundled offers go some way in creating sustainable solutions to the need of Malawians living and working throughout the world. As they look to contribute to the economic growth of the nation and also put in place assets for an eventual return back home. Standard Bank is available to support Malawians living in the diaspora through every step of the journey,” Mughogho said.

Completed account opening documentation needs to be supported with a certified copy of the applicant’s demographic page of their passport, scan of a passport sized photo or digital equivalent, certified copy of residential permit and certified proof of income. The full application can then be emailed to diasporasupportcentre@standardbank.co.mw

Malawi Court chides Govt on FISD contracts freeze

FISD DIRECTORS: Have every reason to walk tall

The High Court in Zomba has quashed the government’s decision to deny Foundation for Irrigation and Development (FISD) an opportunity to participate in public tenders on account of criminal charges against four of its directors.

Four FISD directors are currently under trial allegedly for receiving double payment in  a Ministry of Agriculture project funded by the African Development Bank (ADB). 

Early last year FISD won a Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) tender to sink boreholes in Thyolo and Machinga.

The   board withheld awarding of the contract to the firm based on the legal opinion from the  former Attorney General who argued that FISD did not deserve public contracts because of criminal proceedings against some of its directors.  

FISD sought a judicial review against the decision. 

In his judgement, dated May 5, 2022 High Court Judge Justice Mzondi Mvula has quashed the SRWB decision describing it as unlawful and tantamount to passing a guilty verdict contrary to constitutional provisions under section 42 (2). The judge has also ordered the board to award the contract worth about K350 million.

JUSTICE MVULA: Delivered the judgement

Justice Mvula indicated that the presumption of innocence entitles an accused person to live a normal life and to carry out business, enter into contracts, until the fate is determined by the trial court.  

 “The withholding of the Contract by Government, in this contract and indeed all contracts pending against the Claimant has no backing of law. No legal provision under PPDA and indeed our laws sustain that act. The court in proper exercise of its discretion grants the application for declaratory orders sought.  The defendant is condemned in costs of these proceedings,” reads the judgement in part.

Justice Mvula also observed  that the law that governs public procurement does not provide for exclusion from contracts suspects of criminal proceedings.

“Criteria for award or denial to award a contract in our laws has been well laid down under Section 52 of the PPDPA. Denial, let alone withholding an award because of pending criminal proceedings, has not been listed as one of the criteria for eligibility to be awarded a procurement contract,” said Justice Mvula.

A lawyer in the government familiar with public contracts, who did not want to be named,  described the AG’s legal advice as ‘very strange’.

“It has nothing to do with the law but politics. Even if the four directors were guilty of an offence, you wouldn’t exclude the firm from participating in public contracts. And here they are just mere suspects and someone thinks they shouldn’t be given contracts. This is quite outrageous and costly. If acquitted, the directors may sue the government for this ill-treatment. I see the politics of victimization here,” argued the lawyer.

Martha Chizuma left in the cold as British NCA backtracks on illegal invasions in Malawi

After using the embattled Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma for illegal entry into Malawi, British National Crimes Agency (NCA) has now backtracked its actions on corruption probe.

The British NCA used Chizuma who is being now for by-passing other state agencies including Attorney General Office (AG), Director of Public Prosecution (DDP), National Intelligent Bureau (NIB), Immigration department on the alleged corruption investigations involving businessman Zuneth Sattar.

ACB boss Chizuma admitted that ignored and alienated the Attorney General (AG) in pursuit of the businessman after the NCA had tipped them on their two years’ investigation.

Sources within ACB told this publication on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 that British NCA is ashamed of its conduct on corruption probe.

The source said that with the leaked audio case in court has left NCA no option but to leave Chizuma alone as how will proceed with the case.

The source added that NCA failed to establish real public officers who were involved in the alleged corruption while targeting the suppliers only, who is Sattar.

“The British NCA are in a fix on how to proceed with their illegal investigation on alleged corruption probe; firstly, AG, DPP, NIB and Immigration were by-passed this means by law their (NCA) work is invalid. Secondly, there is only one side the British NCA and Chizuma are interested on supplier only not public officers who requested the services.

“If Sattar as supplier is being questioned for contract. Where is the buyer’s statements or explanation? Nothing is done or questioned. No witness statements either. Sattar is a target of Harassment. According to law. Supplier is the last to be asked. Buying entity is first to be questioned. But buying entity is free and only the supplier is harassed,” said the source.

The source added further that AG, DPP do not have enough grounds to prosecute someone which later will cost government heavily.

“With also the leaked audio case in court puts the British NCA on spotlight disarray which was also mentioned in the audio. The audio exposed all NCA and Chizuma (not ACB office) personal vendetta on businessman Sattar. Chizuma’s public trust is gone,” says the source.

However, there is a few names on social media circulating being tagged in the investigation including President Lazarus Chakwera, Veep Saulos Chilima, Prince Kampondamgaga (State House Chief of Staff), Chimwendo Banda (Sport Minister), Eisenhower Mkaka (Natural Resource Minister), George Kainja (Inspector General of Police), Vincent Nundwe (Army Commander), Suzi Banda, Atupele Muluzi (UDF leader), Dan Kuwali, Judge Chikopa and others.

This publication managed to contact Kapondamgaga, Mkaka, Muluzi who they denied of being involved in the alleged corruption.

Sattar was contacted for an interview where he went no comment and said he was traveling and could not continue the call.

However, when contacted Sattar’s Press officer, Zoe Iktiactivit said the said names do not give contracts.

“We have all information and supporting documentation if needed. A government contract is not awarded by an individual. Neither the said names have powers to give contracts. It’s a shame people think this way.

“A contract is discussed at first amongst an IPC. Then goes to the director of the department who then recommends to the senior management. Then it’s sent to PPDA who amongst 10-15 officers decide to approve or recommend to their board. Then the board of 5-10 officers sits to discuss,” says iktiactivit.

She added, “Then the recommendation is sent to ACB for vetting to check if there is no criminal record with the requested company. Upon no objection from ACB, the decision is still pending seeking the Ministry of finance to approve the procurement confirming funding is or will be available

“Upon this confirmation the matter is then sent as a provisional approval to the requesting department. Who then inform the supplier of the award of contract preparing a draft contract to then send to the ministry of justice for confirmation. Then after it is sent to government contracting unit. Further after there, it is then sent to OPC where the SPC signs the final approval for the contract to be awarded”.

Zoe quarrels, “The contract is binded and signed amongst the two parties. The contract literally goes through 70-80 government personnel’s till approved. How would one bribe all these officers? Just doesn’t make sense. And should there have been anything suspicious, at least one officer would have raised a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). Anyway let’s wait and see what the outcome comes out. We are all set with our calculations for our losses”.
“It is very unfair to suspect honest officers to be corrupt. It’s a shame. And again who is the complainant’? asked Zoe.
She added, “Government of Malawi is receiving the shipments as well and honouring their contracts and payments, so who is the actual complainant. If it’s the British government then who’s complained to them as in representative to GOM.
“Let’s not forget. Malawi is a sovereign nation and has its own decisions and cannot be ruled for others political interests”.

This publication understands that Sattar is waiting for the NCA to charge him and proceed to court.

That’s when the first argument Sattar’s Representatives from Raymond’s buildings called Simon Farell QC will ask for the legal mutual assistance in court as a start to the case argument.

Simon Farell QC is expected to cross examine the mentioned Malawi Government officials to confirm if there was any sort of corrupt practice amongst them as per the intelligence information the NCA have.

However, if no Legal Mutual Assistance was followed then all intelligence information cannot be used as evidence at all as per law it is unlawfully obtained and according to law it becomes irrelevant and inadmissible in a court of law.

“Knowing the British law and judges, they are no time wasters and very professional where they will trash such cases which don’t follow protocol.

“This case seems very difficult and one of the first of this type in the history of England where no witness statements or whatsoever from the buying entity of another country and a supplier who is based in UK to face charges on suspicion of corrupting and bribery,” admits British legal expert.

Sattar’s lawyer Simon Farell is a very senior QC who even at times is hired as a judge on some cases.

Simon Farell QC has dealt with cases for the Sultan of Brunei and we hear but have no confirmation that his charges are £1,500.00 an hour.

“If this case continues, it will cost Malawi government heavy legal billing that’s why both AG and DPP are studying the matter thoroughly without emotions the way Chizuma is currently doing.

“The current Tonse government is unable to conclude suspected corruption cases as arrests were done without enough evidence”, chipped in another legal expert.

Besides the disclosure about the ACB conduct in handling the matter, ACB did not collaborate well, thereby according to law putting the whole case in jeopardy in Malawi and United Kingdom.

“Why selling entity is being harassed and business accounts blocked. Anything that British NCA got is irrelevant and not submisible in court. This is illegal operation could cost the Malawi government billions of kwachas in losses to the supplier”, says senior legal advisor in the Ministry of Justice.

He added, “Chizuma’s trust among the public completely lost though some quarters of the society including CSOs do not want to come up against her for breaching ACB’s Office oath.

“Where on earth does someone continue to work when break Office oath? The pressure on Chizuma step down, is nothing to do with gender, being woman but respect of law in public office of ACB”.

Sources have confirmed Sattar to have signed a massive contract with the government of Ukraine of which deliveries have been shown but again Sattar when asked just laughed and said no comment again.

ACB acted illegally by communicating and accepting a team from NCA to operate and run affairs in Malawi without permission.

Both the AG and DPP argue that ACB contravened the Laws of Malawi: Chapter 8.04 and Chapter 16.01 which deals with mutual assistance in criminal matters and immunities and privileges respectively.

This means that any ACB involvement with British NCA without AG is invalid that the graft body needs to start all over again.

Mutharika’s Ex-Private Bodyguard Norman Chisale Ordered to Pay MK10 Million for Assault

The High Court in Lilongwe has ordered former president Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard, Norman Chisale, to pay Dingani Soko K10 million for assaulting him on November 22, 2018.

An order on assessment of damages by Assistant Registrar Brian Sambo that Nation Online has seen shows that Chisale has been given 14 days to pay the amount from Tuesday, May 10, 2022 when the order was made.

Chisale was found guilty on February 24, 2022 by High Court Judge William Msiska for assaulting Soko in 2018 when they had a misunderstanding at the roundabout which connects Mzimba and Paul Kagame Highway in Lilongwe.

Meanwhile, Chisale’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe says he has received instructions from his client to appeal the matter.

Think you’re made for film and TV? Then apply to join the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Class of 2023!

MultiChoice is once again searching for 60 aspiring film and TV content creators from Southern Africa, West Africa and East Africa to be part of the Class of 2023.

Now approaching its fifth year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy is excited to once again call for applications for its world-class film and TV training programme which kicks off in October this year!

The call is open to all emerging filmmakers with either some industry experience or a relevant post-school qualification, to apply for this exciting opportunity to hone their television and film production skills. Our curriculum combines film studies such as directing, sound design, the business of film, to name a few with workplace experience on M-Net’s top productions.

The 12-month fully-funded programme is open to candidates from Southern, Western and East African countries.

Under the leadership of three new academy directors, this will be a landmark year for the MTF Academy programme.

This year’s newly-appointed MTF academy directors are Atinuke Babatunde (West Africa hub), Victoria Goro (East Africa hub) and Christopher Puta (Southern Africa hub).

MultiChoice Africa is committed to building and sustaining the training-to-employment pipeline within Africa’s film and TV industry. The MTF initiative also aims for a 60/40 split in favour of women since its inception.

Coming in with 15 years of experience in audio and video production, Southern Africa Academy Director Christopher Puta believes that the growth of Africa’s film and TV industry starts with providing young people with the opportunity to produce quality content.

“By equipping students with what it takes to be world-class film and TV professionals, the MTF Academy programme is effectively raising the next generation of African storytellers and historians.” he says.

In addition to the hands-on training that all students will receive as part of the programme, they will also get enhanced training experience from the Academy partnerships, which include the New York Film Academy (NYFA), the Henley Business School, Dolby and Canon, among others.

Previous cohorts have also worked with the United Nations’ Verified campaign, and have pitched projects to Partners Against Piracy (PAP) and Creative Development on a climate change campaign.

“The continued support from stakeholders, partners and students has been overwhelming, and we couldn’t be more excited to have reached our fifth year as one of the MultiChoice Group’s leading initiatives directly investing in young African filmmakers,” says MTF Director Nwabisa Matyumza.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Then visit https://multichoicetalentfactory.com/ to find out more!

Applications will be open from Monday, 9th May and close on Friday, 3rd June 2022, and have to be completed on https://cte.multichoicetalentfactory.com/  Applications made outside of this website will not be considered.

Winiko Is My Ex-Husband- Whatsapp Admin Whom Winiko Sued For Defamation Speaks Out

Dollah Samson, a human rights defender and concerned citizen, whom comedian-cum politician Winiko sued for defamation, has exclusively revealed that Winiko is her ex-hubby.

Samson disclosed in an interview with the publication a short while ago, saying the two have been cohabitating for a couple of years before they part ways over Winiko’s suspicious deeds.

According to Samson, her ex-husband Winiko could borrow money from her {Samson} without returning back, which she said forced the two to separate, saying he (Winiko) was a ‘gold digger’ in the family.

To support her claim, Samson produced a court document dated 9 September 2021, in which she through her lawyer of YD Attorneys demanded Winiko to pay back the sum of MK 2,230,000 which he obtained as a loan from her, but up to date the comedian has not yet paid.

Out of anger and frustration, Samson created a whatsapp group named ‘Winiko Mbava’, where she demanded Winiko to pay back the loan.

In reaction Winiko through his lawyers accused Samson of defamation and went on to demand MK50 Million in compensation to be paid in seven days from Wednesday, 4 May 2022.

Kalindo is also demanding an apology from the Samson on the WhatsApp group she created namely.

However, the iron lady Samson said she is not moved by the lawsuit insisting that ‘Winiko ndi Mbava, Zanga Abweza.’

Chakwera settles for Speaker Gotani as Runningmate

As calls in MCP are getting louder to have President Lazarus Chakwera tear the agreement he has with his Vice President Saulos Chilima to rotate the presidency in 2025, it has now emerged that Chakwera will pair with Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara.

MCP is adamant and confident it will win the elections by pairing with Aford and have female candidate from the north.

“If you notice, the Speaker now is becoming powerful because she has been told of this plan. It was not surprising that she endorsed Chakwera over the weekend,” said our source.

However, the plans threaten to divide MCP as several people  are also eyeing to pair with Chakwera – one of them being Information Minister Gospel Kazako who is degenerating into an MCP cadet.

Politically and geographically, the move could be an outright political suicide in the event that DPP and UDF decided to support the candidacy of Chilima.

To prevent this, said the source, MCP has gone flat out to discredit Chilima with fake stories including the one that he has bought 200 vehicles using K3 billion.

EXCLUSIVE: EXPOSING SCHEME OF MULTI BILLION THEFT AND CASHGATE ON KENYATTA ROAD PROJECT

We have gone through the contract document which the government through the Roads Authority (RA) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation signed for the construction of the six lane Kenyatta Road project in Lilongwe. The revelations of plunder of public resources contained in the contract document are heartbreaking, Malawians will be ripped off their hard earned taxes!

1. The total project cost, on paper, is K19 billion. But there are projects within the project through which close to K10 billion will be stolen.

2. The Roads Authority valued the relocation of water pipes at K200 million. Government and Lilongwe Water Board are pricing the relocation of water pipes alone at K5.2 billion. That means K5 billion of public funds to be siphoned.

3. The Roads Authority valued the work of relocating electricity cables at K100 million. Government and Escom have now started claiming they need K2.5 billion. Another scheme to siphon K2.4 billion of public funds.

5. The works (moving the pipes and telecom and electricity wires was already a component within the project works totalled at K19 billion. These parallel schemes have created projects within a project through which officials will steal close to K10 billion.

6. To perfect the theft, the same company, China Civil Engineering,  that was awarded the work to construct the road (at a bid price of K19 billion) has been awarded the other alternative contracts.

GOSH! KABAMBE BOYS COORDINATING ANTI-CHIZUMA DEMONSTRATIONS IN LILONGWE

In a desperate attempt to avert prosecution and possibly conviction for his various alleged crimes, the retired RBM governor-turned politician, Kabambe has finally resorted to physically fight the ACB chief, Martha Chizuma.

It is believed that the DPP aspiring presidential candidate has bankrolled some three Lilongwe based men to lead calls for the removal of Martha Chizuma.

With direction from Kabambe, the three men, Fredrick Malata, Agape Khombe and Redson Munlo are on record to have obtained permission to hold demonstrations, calling for Chizuma’s head.

The former Central Bank chief, is implicated in a number of crimes committed when he was the top boss at the bank.

It is feared that once prosecuted, the guy will end up serving a long jail sentence and all his political ambitions will be shattered at once.

As such, he is willing to go to every length inorder to avert his

It is sad that, at a time when the country is reeling from the ills of corruption, one aspiring presidential candidate is busy fighting those fighting corruption.

MultiChoice Introduces Direct Sales Force

In an effort to increase accessibility to digital television and further provide customers with a world of choice, MultiChoice Malawi has introduced a Direct Sales Force (DSF) who will engage in door-to-door sales of GOtv and DStv decoders.

The service on offer from the DSF will include; assistance with subscription activations and customers education on the DStv and GOtv digital self-service options like, *470# USSD code, MyDStv app and the MyGOtv app, to effortlessly manage their subscriptions.

Customers can easily identify DSF’s through their distinct blue DStv and yellow GOtv reflective vests.

The MultiChoice DSF’s are dispersed through Malawi’s northern, central and southern region equipped with the knowledge and customer care for new and existing customers in the comfort of their own homes.

“Our ‘Sankha Wekha’ theme emphasizes our commitment to put our customers at the heart of everything we do, this initiative reiterates that commitment by bringing choice directly to our customers” said Zena Makunje, MultiChoice Malawi Corporate Affairs Manager.

“As a contributing business citizen MultiChoice remains dedicated to enriching lives and growing hand in hand with our communities by upskilling our agents through our Sankha Wekha kiosks and creating jobs through our DSF initiative for powerful social upliftment,” she added.

MultiChoice Malawi currently has over 152 agents and 58 accredited installers’ across the country with Sankha Wekha Kiosks located in Blantyre at Wenela bus depot, Ndirande by old Peoples shop, and Chemusa.

In Lilongwe in Area 25 Pamathanki, Area 25 Nsungwi and Area 36 Kaphiri and in Mzuzu along M1 road and Mzuzu market with 10 additional kiosks introduced in Blantyre at Blantyre Market, Area 1 Machinjiri, Area 1 Simama, Area 1 Kaviwale, Luwinga, Area 49, Area 29, Likuni and Kamba.

MALAWI’S HIDDEN TREASURE: Ntchisi Rain Forest

By Chigomezgo C. Nyirenda- Contributor

Today we bring to you another hidden Malawi’s treasure, Ntchisi Rain Forest in central Malawi. Ntchisi Rain Forest Reserve is one of the last remaining indigenous rain forests in Africa. 

Before it became a protected area, the forest was used as a refuge by the local Chewa tribe against attacks by the warring Ngonis in the 19th Century.

Because it proved as vital as a shelter for people, it largely escaped the deforestation for firewood that has unfortunately decimated so much of Africa’s indigenous woodlands. 

It later became a designated Forest Reserve. It is small at 75 sq km and is characterized by rolling hills cultivated by subsistence farming and dotted with traditional villages and situated on the escarpment of the East African Rift Valley.

The rain forest is some luxuriant, dense forest rich in biodiversity, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall.

There is alot to do in this quaint little spot due to its location, in the Ntchisi Rain Forest Reserve. You can choose to head out on a lovely short stroll into the forest, or hike for a few hours and take a lovely picnic with you and sit near one of the rivers or waterfalls.

Look out for the incredible birdlife around or the gorgeous orchids that continue to pop up along the way. Hard to imagine this is just outside the busy capital city…it is heavenly.

Ntchisi Rain Forest is home to many animals. Especially birds love the variety of trees and the undisrupted ecosystem. They know their home very well and always have an eye on you when walking around in the forest.

If you want to spot them, we recommended taking a local expert with you to show you their homes and explain more to you about their habits.

Ntchisi Rain Forest is the unspoiled area that is yet to be discovered by many. Enjoy the sunny days at the brand new eco pool. Filled with spring water from the mountain, heated by the sun and filtered by Malawi’s first UV-Filtration System.

The rainforest is directly next to the lodge and offers you a wide variety of possibilities. One of the most recommendable activities is to go on walk with a local tour guide. They will take you through the marked and hidden paths of Ntchisi Rain Forest.

Learn about the history and importance of the forest for the surrounding communities, eat local fruits you have never about in your life and take a deep forest bath to recharge your batteries.

And my special request to the authorities is that they should put strict measures to protect it before it is damaged. 

You can enjoy the sunny days at lodge’s brand new eco pool. Filled with spring water from the mountain, heated by the sun and filtered by Malawi’s first UV-Filtration System.

How can we protect Ntchisi Rain Forest Reserve? 

To successfully protect the rainforest, one has to understand the deep-rooted threats of the rainforest. Poverty is the main driver of deforestation in the region of Ntchisi, Malawi. 

People lack other sources of income and go in to the forest to cut down trees to sell it on black markets to have at least some food for their families. Climate change is affecting the way of life of every farmer. Rainfalls do not come that regularly anymore and pests like the armyworm threatening up to 25% of the yearly harvest.

Combined with a big growth of population, the private fields are no longer big enough to feed everyone. So, to stop deforestation one has to create new sources of income.

You can manage a day drive from Lilongwe or at least spend a night at Ntchisi Forest Lodge and lodge offers food from local farmers to reduce CO2-Emissions, guarantee fresh food and create a vital marketplace.

Accommodation: www.thecommonage.mw

Nankhumwa, CSOs tell President Chakwera to stop arresting, attacking Journalists

Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, has asked President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration to stop arresting and torturing journalists in the country.

Nankhumwa, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South, made the call on Tuesday in a statement to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day which is being celebrated under the theme “Journalism Under Digital Siege”.

According to Dr. Nankhumwa, President Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration has brazenly gone full throttle in muzzling press freedom, including harassing and arresting journalists for merely doing their job.

He cited the arrest of Investigative Journalist Gregory Gondwe, Social media influencer Joshua Chisa Mbele and a nurse from Ntcheu nurse Chidawawa Maine as serious infringement of media freedom in the country.

“As journalists commemorate this very important day, I would like to call upon President Chakwera and his government to resist the temptation of taking Malawi back to the one-party totalitarian practices where journalists were arbitrarily arrested and detained for many years for reporting the truth.

“Under that one-party oppressive regime of the late Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda, journalists were forced to toe the party line and to always glorify the ‘Ngwazi’ as a demi-god,” said Dr. Nankhumwa in a statement

He added that: “I will not fold my hands and watch the Tonse Alliance government snuff away various freedoms that Malawians gallantly fought for in 1993 and 1994, including the freedom of expression.”

In a related development, Civil Society Organizations in the country has ganged up urging President Chakwera and his Tonse led Alliance Administration to drop all criminal charges related to freedom of expression.

According to the 2022 Freedom of the Press Index published by Reporters Without Borders, Malawi slipped in ranking from 62 in 2021 to 80 in 2022 in terms of promoting freedom of the press and access to public information by journalists.

Chief Maloya’s body arrives at Mgona, Ready for Burial Tomorrow Saturday… DPP Madala Team Rally cancelled

The body of Group Village Headman Maloya who died on Thursday evening has arrived at Mgona in Area 25 in Lilongwe from Kamuzu Central Hospital’s mortuary ready for burial tomorrow on Saturday, 30th of April.

Meanwhile, Chewa Chiefs from Lilongwe district have maintained their stand that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ‘Madala’ team should not precede with their rally slated for tomorrow Saturday at Mgona Ground.

According to death announcement made available to the publication on Friday morning, Chewa Chiefs from the area have since banned all public events such as political rallies that were slated to take place on Saturday as way of paying homage to the departed Group Village headman.

“Mwambo wa Maliro uchitikira pa bwalo la Mgona mawa Loweruka; chomcho mafumu onse kwa Mgona ati pasepezeke wina ochita zinthu zake bwaloli (Funeral ceremony will be held at Mgona Ground, therefore it is prohibited to conduct rally at the said venue on the on Saturday),” reads the announcement

Initially, the ‘misguided’ DPP members who are enjoying support from party leader Peter Mutharika, planned to hold the rally at Mgona Ground on Saturday, to counter attack Kondwani Nankhumwa rally slated for Sunday.

Meanwhile, DPP’s Vice President for the Central region, Zeria Chakale, who is also key organizer for the rally, is reported to be calling the chiefs pleading with them to bury the departed chief during the morning hours, in order to pave way for the political rally but the chiefs are refusing.

However, according to Chewa and African culture chiefs, it is a taboo and very disrespectful to bury a chief in the morning hours.

EXPOSED: DPP’s “Madala” Team Prints Fake T-Shirts to Decampaign Nankhumwa…Ignore Fake News KN Not Launching Any Party

Some disgruntled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials, who are enjoying support from party’s leader Peter Mutharika, have launched uncivilized attack on Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is party’s vice President for the South.

The publication has exclusively established that with full support from Page House the ‘DPP Madala’ team has printed fake T-shirts bearing Nankhumwa face and further spread fake news claiming that Nankhumwa is planning to launch his political party on Sunday, which is a total lie as Nankhumwa remains a dedicated DPP die hard.

The ‘misguided’ DPP gurus, who are being led by Party’s Vice President for the Central region, Zeria Chakale went a step further parading people on social media in the fake branded T-Shirts.

The attack on Malawi’s next president Nankhumwa, who is also leader of opposition in Parliament, aims at disturbing Nankhumwa’s Mother of all rallies slated for Sunday at Mgona Ground, area 25 in Lilongwe.

Meanwhile, Over 50 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have thrown their support towards Nankhumwa rally where he (Nankhumwa) is accepted to address the people alongside Party’s Secretary General, Grezelder Geoffrey.

The rally will be graced with live music performances by Annie Matumbi, the chiphaso star Lawrence Mbenjere, Atoti Manje and traditional dances such as Gule Wa Mkulu which is common in Lilongwe.

YAKWIYA NDI MIZIMU: Chewa Chiefs block DPP’s Saturday Rally Over Chief’s demise

Chewa Chiefs from Lilongwe district have asked the ‘Misguided’ Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members to cancel their planned Saturday rally following the death of Village Headman Maloya from Mgona in the district.

According to death announcement made available to the publication on Friday morning, Group Village Headman Maloya died peacefully last evening after a short illness, at his loyal house in the area.

“Amfumu a Maloya ochokera kwa Mgona atisiya usiku wapitawu, Maliro ngoyika mawa Loweruka,” reads the announcement in vernacular

The announcement further said: “Mwambo wa Maliro uchitikira pa bwalo la Mgona chomcho mafumu onse kwa Mgona ati pasepezeke wina ochita zinthu zake bwaloli (Funeral ceremony will be held at Mgona Ground, therefore it is prohibited to conduct rally at the said venue on the on Saturday).

Initially, the ‘misguided’ DPP members who are enjoying support from party leader Peter Mutharika, planned to hold the rally at Mgona Ground on Saturday, to counter attack Kondwani Nankhumwa rally slated for Sunday.

Meanwhile, DPP’s Vice President for the Central region, Zeria Chakale, who is also key organizer for the rally, is reported to be calling the chiefs pleading with them to bury the departed chief during the morning hours, in order to pave way for the political rally but the chiefs are refusing.

However, according to Chewa and African culture chiefs, it is a taboo and very disrespectful to bury a chief in the morning hours.

BREAKING NEWS: Over 50 DPP MPs Endorse Nankhumwa’s Sunday Rally

Over 50 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have thrown their support towards Kondwani Nankhumwa’s rally slated for this Sunday at Mgona Ground in Area 25, Lilongwe.

Malawi’s Leader of opposition in Parliament, Dr. Nankhumwa, who is also DPP Vice President for the South, will address a rally alongside DPP’s Secretary General Gledezer Jeffrey and other senior party officials from the Central Region.

The patriotic DPP members of parliament have thrown their support towards the crown puller Nankhumwa after some ‘misguided’ members of the party organize a counter rally to be held on Saturday in the same district.

Some of the MPs are Nicholas Dausi, Sammy’s Suleman, Mark Botomani, Welani, Joy Chitsulo, Ralph Jooma and Yusuf Nthenda.

First to announce their rally, scheduled for Mgona School Ground in Lilongwe, was the Nankhumwa side which is enjoying the support of DPP Secretary General Grezeldar Jeffrey.

Few days later, a rival camp which apparently is enjoying the support of DPP leader Peter Mutharika, announced their own on Saturday to be addressed by the party’s vice president for the central region Zeria Chakale.

Meanwhile, DPP’s General Secretary Wa Jeffrey has described the counter rally being organized by misguided DPP leaders on Saturday as a curtain raiser to their Sunday rally.

“As CEO of the party, I have organized this rally and invited Nankhumwa in his capacity as leader of opposition to be the guest of honour.

“As leader of opposition, Nankhumwa has no boundaries. The rally being slated for Saturday is a curtain raiser to our Sunday rally,” said Jeffrey.

CDEDI Exposes Tonse Alliance On Forex Scarcity

By Iommie Chiwalo


There are fears that Malawi is in deep crisis concerning foreign currency to the extent that the situation has forced authorities start rationing the much needed green bulk.


Sadly all borders on leadership whereby an independent research carried out by Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) establishes that the Tonse Alliance high ranking officials are involved in the externalization of forex.


CDEDI also reveals that Forex scarcity has reached alarming levels due to the fact that proceeds from the recent sales of agricultural commodities to South Sudan and India by some high-ranking government officials were deposited into foreign bank accounts, and did not trickle back to Malawi.


CDEDI has also cited the cancellation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended credit facility by the Tonse Alliance Government as among reasons for ugly face on the country’s economy.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa says although the money is small but it provides a signal and gives confidence to bilateral donors that someone is monitoring government’s economic programs.


Worsening it all, according to Namiwa, is President Chakwera’s tendency of shielding corruption, instead of fighting the same, saying the acts by the Malawi leader has scared away existing and potential donor partners.


CDEDI’s findings have been validated looking at the fact that the three and half months import cover that was there prior to the ascension of the Tonse Alliance government to power in June 2020, under President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, has totally been depleted hence business community has for the past two years struggled to get forex to meet their import demands.


“At some point they used to find solace in the Rand and the Euro, which can hardly be found in the commercial banks today. Even though the RBM pegged the US dollar at MK825, the figure is just on paper since on the market it is selling at over MK1,150,” Namiwa says.


As it stands, Namiwa says, there is lack of a clear policy to encourage inflows of forex through the Foreign Denominated Accounts (FDAs), as well as conflicting government policies.

“A classic example being the trade and industry minister’s decision to solve the current escalating cooking oil prices by ‘inviting’ new players instead of creating business sense that should attract more players to join the market.

It is an open secret that these new players will still need forex to operate and at the same time they will not help in the creation of the much-needed jobs by our unemployed youths,” he says.


He has since written Finance Minister Gwengwe to clarify on the matters that are pressing Malawians especially as a result of Forex scarcity.


“This far, we would like to demand nothing but an explanation as to what
policies your ministry is putting in place to resuscitate the economy from its death bed as clearly evidenced by the ever-weakening Malawi Kwacha,” reads the letter in part addressed to Minister Gwengwe.

 
Meanwhile, Gwengwe and his boss Saulos Chilima are in America lobbying developed countries to have debts for poor countries cancelled, a thing majority have said won’t be plausible looking at the levels of corruption as well as extravagance of the current regime.

Saturday’s Rally Is Curtain Raiser to Our Sunday Main Rally- Jefu Wa Jefu

Side Organizers of a rally to be addressed by Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa on Sunday, have described a counter rally being organized by some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders on Saturday as a curtain raiser to their rally.

Infighting in the DPP have reached stunning levels with two rival camps organizing separate rallies at the same venue with only 24 hours separating them.

First to announce their rally, scheduled for Mgona School Ground in Lilongwe, was the Nankhumwa side which is enjoying the support of DPP Secretary General Grezeldar Jeffrey and some senior DPP officials and members of Parliament.

Few days later, a rival camp which apparently is enjoying the support of DPP leader Peter Mutharika, announced their own on Saturday to be addressed by the party’s vice president for the central region Zeria Chakale.

The Chakale side, through organizing Secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu has since disowned the Nankhumwa rally. In reaction, Jeffrey said the Saturday rally is a curtain raiser to their Sunday rally.

“As CEO of the party, I have organized this rally and invited Nankhumwa in his capacity as leader of opposition to be the guest of honour.

“As leader of opposition, Nankhumwa has no boundaries. “The rally being slated for Saturday is a curtain raiser to our Sunday rally,” said Jeffrey.

Malawi Police Faces Public Lash For Threatening Media

By Sekani Sekani

The Malawi Police Service (MPs) is under fire from members of the general public for threatening journalists and media houses which are deemed to be government critics.

This follows a statement issued by Deputy National Police Spokesperson, Harry Namwaza, on Tuesday evening, in which the police threatened to deal with Malawi Voice Publication and other media houses.

The Statement accused Malawi Voice of publishing a fake article that police had arrested two Indians for drug smuggling, a story which was not even published by the said publication.

According to Namwaza: “As people continue enjoying right to access to information, right to opinion, freedom of expression, among others, let them be reminded that enjoying one’s right should be accompanied with responsibility.”

Inside police sources told this publication that the law enforcers acted in this matter after being pressurized from the Indians businessman to clear image in their eyes.

Reacting to the development, a social media user Tina Nantawa said: “Mulibe zochita ndithu…M’malo mosova mavuto mudzikhala busy checking on who is saying or writing what kuti muwamange…you are a joke.”

Another user posted: “Kuli mbava zambiri ku capital hill ukoo nanu busy kunanga anthu pa social media aaah zachibwana! Kuti tifufuze muma file anu muli mlandu phwii yosamaliza koma busy kulanda makala mukapsa ma guy.”

James Affick said: “Police we love you only that Corruption is killing you professionalism….s­top bribing people so that we build the Trust we ought to have.

“Sometimes fake news comes when you cannot tell the nation what they want to hear from a particular matter hence, these speculations.”

Recently, the police also came under heavy fire after arresting Gregory Gondwe, a Malawian Investigative Journalist, who was accused of bringing to light corrupt deals within the Tonse alliance administration.

BLUE SEA: Nankhumwa Invades Mgona Ground in Lilongwe on Sunday

Malawi’s Leader of Opposition in Parliament and main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for South, Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, will on Sunday invade Mgoma Ground in Area 25 in Lilongwe.

Dr. Nankhumwa, a crowd puller, will address a rally alongside DPP’s Secretary General Gledezer Jeffrey and other senior party officials from the Central Region.

Dubbed Mother of all rallies, thousands upon thousands of DPP supporters from Lilongwe and surrounding areas have vowed to grace the blue jamboree.

The rally will be graced with live music performances by Annie Matumbi, Lawrence Mbenjere, Atoti Manje and traditional dances such as gule wa mkulu which is common in Lilongwe.

Chilima’s busy week in USA

Malawi’s Vice President Salous Chilima has a packed schedule in the United States of America with several high level meetings lined up to attend the whole week.

The Malawi Veep started his work schedule by interacting with Malawians living in the USA on Sunday, immediately after his arrival in New York.

Chilima is in the USA to attend the 2022 United Nation (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum for Financing Development in New York, USA, where he is representing President Lazarous Chakwera.

According to a hectic programme,  Chilima is on Monday morning scheduled to attend a high level and important meeting for Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by increasing fiscal space for an inclusive and sustainable recovery.

He is also scheduled to attend a meeting aimed at aligning the global debt architecture with the SDGs later in the day and then participate in general debate on behalf of Least Developed Countries LDCs and Africa.

On Tuesday, the Veep is scheduled to attend a special high-level meeting with Bretton Woods Institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, WTO and UNCTAD aimed at securing an Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery.

On Wednesday, Chilima will attend a meeting on building a fair and effective tax system and combating illicit financial flows, meeting on Boosting private investment in  the SDGs and another meeting on expanding concessional finance aligned with national sustainable development strategies

The programme gets busier everyday and on Thursday, the Malawi Veep is scheduled to attend a high level meeting on Digital transition: Opportunities and risks and later be a Guest of Honour at the launch of International Labour Organiastion (ILO) Report on Future of Work.

Earlier on Sunday the Malawi Veep interacted with Malawians living in the USA where he thanked the USA Diaspora community for the invitation and the commitment that they have for their country.

“A number of issues and questions were raised during the meeting ranging from Passports renewal to national development issues,” he said about the meeting.

He assured the Diaspora community that initiatives like the Public Sector  Reforms are bearing fruit and that improved means of processing the Malawi passport are on course.

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development that Chilima has been invited to is an  intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking to the media before departure on Friday, Chilima said the trip is important for the country as delegates at the event will discuss ways of advancing development in least developed countries such as Malawi.

He is expected to return home on 30th April, 2022.

THINGS FALLING APART: PPDA Chair chides DG, staff

SUZI BANDA: Has attacked his DG

Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) Board Chairman has chided his secretariat staff including the Director General Edington Chilapondwa for ‘leaking’ information after the board declined to approve a ‘No objection’ application for a government department recently.

In an email to Chilapondwa and secretariat staff, PPDA Board Chairman John Suzi Banda, a lawyer by profession, said he was disappointed that members of the secretariat leaked the decision of the board which declined the ‘No objection’ application.

“Last night I received some information that seemed to suggest that some of the discussions which took place at our Tuesday’s meeting in Salima regarding our decision whether to approve a certain application or seek further clarification from the applying PDE were leaked. Now, there’s a difference between going back to the PDE and stating that the Board wants this or that clarified and saying ‘the Chairman was angry with your application!’ Surely! C’mon!”

“It is not my intention to pursue this matter further. I think that as an institution we’re already dealing with more important and critical issues requiring our urgent and total focus and concentration. We mustn’t allow ourselves to be derailed with this. For the record, the leakage came from the Secretariat. Let’s do better, folks,” reads the email in part.

Suzi Banda said as Chairman of the Board, he gets all sorts of enquiries, calls, demands, ill-conceived ‘instructions’, even threats regarding some of the issues being handled by the PPDA.

Chilapondwa: Accused of leaking information

“These come from all manner of people – interest groups, NGOs, senior politicians, senior government officers, suppliers and some ‘hired guns’. I have shared with some of you these challenges. It has always been my modus operandi to ensure total professional independence of everyone involved in the approval process (which seems to be the one area of most interest to many) – this is from the analyzing desk officers, their immediate supervisors, the DG and each and every member of the Board.”

Suzi Banda therefore motivates his charges that his board is out to work and send the right message by remaining professional and respecting the law.

“As I have said before, this professional independence and open and transparent debate deepens our engagement of issues before us and enriches the quality of our decisions,” said Suzi Banda.

“However, this is only possible if everyone engages on issues without fearing that their personal position on an issue shall leak out. It’s just not the right way to manage ourselves. Irrespective of the constant pressures from all manner of people, some of us have taken the default position that either ‘the Secretariat will analyze and give us their view’ or ‘that the Board shall discuss and revert with its position’ and, of course, ‘I stand by the analysis given’.”

“When such a decision is made, it is then up to me, as the leader, to explain to those that are entitled to any explanation. This is probably the worst and perhaps the most risky part of my ‘job description’. But I suppose it comes with the territory. There’s, therefore, no reason that any member of the Executive should feel pressured to explain anything to anyone,” advised Suzi Banda.

“In short, let’s de-risk the approval process from foreign contamination (either from political pressures, financial interests or whosoever) by refusing to draw a sharp focus on anyone by singling them out for their position on an issue. Don’t feel pressured to do this. I too deal with those pressures every day! It’s simply the nature of the beast! Let’s get back to work!” said Suzi Banda in the email.

Malawians in New York pledge support for Malawi

By Sam Majamanda

New York, Mana: Malawians living in New York, USA have reaffirmed their continued support to the development of Malawi, because they feel they are indebted to their home land.

Representative for the Diaspora community in New York Cliffton Bobe made the assurance, Sunday when the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima hosted members of the community at the Lotte New York Palace where he is currently lodging.

The Vice President is in New York to attend the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Summit which will be held from April 25 to 28.

Speaking on behalf of the grouping, Bobe said the Diaspora community is very committed to contribute to national development through investment and creation of new jobs and asked the leadership to continue creating conducive environments for them to connecting more with Malawi and play their role in development.

 “We appreciate the manner in which government supports us and we would like to assure the leadership that we will always remember that we are Malawians and Malawi needs us in its development,” said Bobe

He added that through partnerships, members of the community are investing in businesses being held in Malawi with a core intention of ensuring that fellow Malawians benefit from the proceeds of the businesses.

Bobe However raised the concern on foreign currency shortages which he said heavily affects their businesses at the time they want to stock their outlets in Malawi, consequently causing lucrative business opportunities slip through their fingers.

Aside getting involved in businesses in Malawi, the grouping of Malawians in Diaspora is known to have taken part in raising funds to support Malawians back home during the calamities caused by the recent Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe.

Taking his turn in the engagement, the Vice President commended the Diaspora Malawians for their continued interest in Malawi’s development, further inviting them to be part of a mindset change project that Malawi needs to undergo for sustainable development to blossom.

He said the obsession with negativity that is at reign in the country is not fueling development but rather killing the spirit of togetherness that is critical for national development.

“In order to deal with this we need everyone to take part because the government alone cannot manage. That is why every Malawian needs to take the role in their hands, and n this we would like to invite people like you who have been exposed to other cultures to be part of this expedition to redeem our country’s future,” the Vice President said.

On the Malawi government’s commitment to work with them in development, the Veep further added that there would be more engagements through the Mission in New York and all missions across Malawi’s diplomatic relations.

Apart from investment and mindset change the two sides discussed various issues of national interest in areas of education, health and national security in which the Diaspora Malawians raised questions on areas they needed clarification from the Malawi leadership.

NKHOMA SYNOD’S PASTORAL LETTER GETS BT SYNOD’S ENDORSEMENT

The CCAP Blantyre Synod has agreed with the contents of Pastoral letter by its Sister Synod of Nkhoma who have punched holes into the Chakwera led adminstration calling it weak, corrupt and nepotistic.

Speaking at Mitawa CCAP in Mulanje Presbytery, General Secretary for BT Synod, Rev Dr Billy Gama said as a Synod, they agree with the contents of the Pastoral letter as they are a true representation of the country’s social, economic and political situation

Rev Gama who spoke amid a biggest applause and ululation from the congregants, said as Blantyre Synod they too will be sitting to reflect over the issues affecting Malawi and come up with their own Pastoral letter guided by their relevant church courts.

He said it is true that the current leadership has failed to bring the desired change following the highest cost of living, nepotism, corruption, security lapse, among other dents under the Tonse government as highlighted by the Nkhoma Synod.

The sermon was held to induct Rev Charles Ntonya as Moderator for Mitawa CCAP under Mulanje Presbytery of the Blantyre Synod.

Rev Ntonya has taken over from Rev Kondwani Cheuka who has been posted to Matope CCAP of Mangochi Presbytery.

How does the 2022 FIFA World Cup affect next season’s Premier League schedule?

SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv will be counting down the days to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the tournament set to run from 21 November to 18 December and provide the most thrilling distillation of ‘The Beautiful Game’.

Qatar 2022 will not only be the first-ever World Cup played in the Middle East, but also the first to be played in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months of November and December (the tournament has always been held in the summer months of June and July in the past).

This means that major European leagues, such as the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A will have to be suspended while the 2022 FIFA World Cup is ongoing, bringing on major changes in their schedule for the 2022-23 season.

The 2022 World Cup begins on November 21st, with the Premier League set to be suspended roughly a week before. Matchday 16 will be the final round of fixtures before the break, with those games falling on the weekend of November 12th and 13th. Then, the call-up period will begin on Monday 14th November, where international managers select their squads.

The season will be adjusted slightly to accommodate the tournament, with the opening day now set to take place on the earlier date of August 6th.

The 2022 World Cup final will take place on Sunday 18th December 2022, and there won’t be much time for Premier League players to recover, as Boxing Day, December 26th, marks the resumption of the 2022-23 season.

Due to the aforementioned adjustment, the Premier League campaign will end later than usual on May 28th. Other leagues which run from August to May are expected to follow a similar schedule to the Premier League’s.

The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League will also have adjusted schedules to accommodate the World Cup. The Champions League, for example, will  complete its qualifying rounds by the end of August, while the group stage will be crammed into the time from 6-7 September until 1-2 November.

The knockout phase of the competition will resume as usual in February 2023 after the World Cup has come and gone, but the final will only be held on 10 June 2023 (with the Conference League’s final on 7 June and the Europa League’s final on 31 May).

Don’t miss the New Football Season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Access a world of choice and easily manage your subscription using the MyDStv and MyGOtv app, subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on the DStv App.

Mtumbuka Senior Chiefs Urge President Chakwera to Cancel Installation of GVH Bongololo As Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe

PRESS STATEMENT FROM TUMBUKA SENIOR CHIEFS AGAINST INSTALLATION OF GVH BONGOLOLO AS PARAMOUNT CHIEF CHIKULAMAYEMBE

22nd April, 2022

Told to cancel the installation ceremony

In utter-disbelief and state of shock to what has transpired in the Chikulamayembe succession wrangle, specifically government’s handling of the issue, we would like categorically communicate our strong stand and stance against government’s plan to proceed with the installation of GVH Bongololo as Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Chikulamayembe of the Tumbuka Tribe and Cultural.

We are greatly disturbed and disappointed that despite all the overwhelming evidence of tension, disunity and political interference surrounding the Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy succession wrangle, a government voted into power on a promise to uphold the rule of law, unity, fairness and justice would proceed to conduct an installation amidst out right political interference evidence, division, disunity, tension among the Tumbuka people. We find this absolutely unfortunate by the government particularly Head of State Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Ministry of Local Government.

To our further disappointment, we have not received any feedback from our numerous letters to the Office of President and Ministry of Local Government regarding the grave and generational harm approval of GVH Bongololo.

A commission of inquiry was instituted to mediate/bring the two parties in the wrangle into peace and as of today no report has been issued by the commission of inquiry to the Head of State and Ministry of Local Government, yet the Head of State went ahead to approve GVH Bongololo as the rightful heir to the throne rendering a strong question in public domain on what basis was used in the approval. We find this utter unfortunate from the Head of State who is expected to handle and treat issues with sensitivity, thought leadership and scrutiny, especially cultural issues which a single mistake carries a lifetime effect on a tribe’s future generations, unity and culture.

We would like to make the public aware that on the 17th of April 2022 through the Rumphi District Commissioner Emmanuel Bulukutu, Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud called for a meeting of Chikulamayembe Clan Heads with the meeting invitation letter dated 14th of April 2022 to a meeting on the 18th of April, which was a public holiday and without any agenda specified, where the Chairman of Clans Heads GVH Khalapamhanya responded in writing advising the Honourable Deputy Minister against the meeting as the clans heads included in the invitation were not the rightful ones of the Chikulamayembe royal families.

To our disappointment, the meeting still took place without the royal clans chairman GVH Khalapamhanya and with only GVH Bongololo side representatives where the deputy minister of local government Hon. Halima Daud was quoted to have been satisfied that there are no longer chieftainship wrangles which we find absolutely unfortunate, unprofessional, unfair and shameful of the Hon.

Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud, especially that only one side was present in the meeting. To our further most shocker, we received another letter from the Rumphi District Commissioner on the same 17th April 2022 dated 14th April 2022 demanding the Royal Highness Acting Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Mtima Chikulamayembe Mtima Gondwe to surrender his chieftainship gown, office keys and stamp rendering a question to what exactly was the basis of the meeting by Honourable Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud if a determination was made before the meeting, of which we refused to hand over any regalia or keys. We are aware of rumours that members of the instituted commission of inquiry in the Chikulamayembe chieftainship succession wrangle are being denied an audience with the Head of State to question the president’s basis of approving GVH Bongololo in absence of their report and against their recommendations, which we find very unfortunate from a leader who was voted into power on the promise of changing the status quo of how affairs are runed in the country, Malawi.

We further would like to bring the public to awareness that we filled for an injunction application with the Mzuzu High Court on the 12 of March 2022 and we are yet to have a ruling which is quite strange especially with the fact that our legal representation Kitta & Company and Kawelo & Company filled the application with certificate of urgency per required by law in matter that requires urgent determination.

The case was assigned to Justice Maureen Kondowe of Mzuzu High Court. We are fully aware the extent of political interference in the wrangle to the extent where T/A Mwankhunikira who is looked at as Acting Paramount Chief’s Mtima Gondwe sympathiser, was invited to Lilongwe by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson  Rev. Maurice Munthali on the 6th of April 2022. The Senior Chief met Rev. Maurice Munthali on the 7th of April 2022 at 4:30PM at the Ministry of Local Government offices in Lilongwe at Capital Hill where Rev. Maurice Munthali was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud and Aford Party President Enock Chihana.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali with the aid of Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud and Aford Party President Enock Chihana coerced T/A Mwankhunikira to support the unlawful and unculturable ascension of GVH Bongololo to the Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy with a promise to purchase a vehicle and construct a house for the Traditional Authority, which we find very unfortunate and of great concern.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali, Aford President Enock Chihana and Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud went further to persuade T/A Mwankhunikira to convince his Royal Highness Acting Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Mtima Walter Gondwe to take up a diplomatic/embassy post in exchange of GVH Bongololo’s ascension to the Paramount Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy, which we find laughable, immature, unacceptable and further render the deputy minister of local government Halima Daud way compromised to handle this issue.

We would like to once again communicate our strong stand against the approval and installation of GVH Bongololo as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe as it is unculturable, illogical and of grave harm to the Tumbuka culture and tribe, and if the government decides to proceed with the installation, unspecified cultural actions will be deployed which will unlikely render the installation impossible.

In conclusion, we urge the government not to proceed with the installation until all matters are resolved in this issue and furthermore to save government and Head of State of an impeccable embarrassment and humiliation, and most importantly for the sake of peace in Nkhamanga Kingdom and among Tumbaka’s across the world.

T/A Mwankhunikira

T/A Mwahenga

T/A Mwalweni

GVH Hunga

(Chikulamayembe Royal Family Spokesperson)

TNM enables financial inclusion for rural masses…Launches Mpamba Village Bank at Chatoloma, Kasungu

TNM Ngamise Gumbo (standing) engages one of village banks

TNM Mpamba Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of TNM plc, has launched Mudzi Wathu Village Bank at Chatoloma in Kasungu to promote a culture of saving by people in rural areas.

Speaking at the launch, CEO Arnold Mbwana said Mpamba Mudzi Wathu Village Bank is a mobile technology financial tool that will broaden inclusion and participation of rural people in the mainstream of financial services ecosystems.

“Mobile technology is the new bridge connecting community development to financial services to catalyze social-economic development of rural and remote areas. With Mpamba Mudzi Wathu Village Bank, TNM is introducing E-Commerce to the unbanked and under-banked, while offering both security and convenience to savings groups to meet their development needs,” said Mbwana.

He said the Mpamba-based group Village Bank service will migrate rudimental savings and lending from traditional to digitally-enabled platforms with enhanced safety and transactability for cash.

According to Chris Sukasuka, TNM Mpamba Limited General Manager the service will bring equity in financial inclusion.

“The service breaks geographic barriers ensuring that both urban and rural people get equal access to financial services and benefit equally from the diversity of new financial technologies,” he said.

Plan International Malawi Country Director Phoebe Kasoga said the innovation will take financial inclusion to great heights more especially among women.

“Elsewhere in Africa the model has proved to be an effective tool for driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment. We are therefore required to build trust so that women in Malawi can understand that the service by TNM can make their lives better,” said Kasoga.

Appreciating the impact of the product, Kasoga said called for intensive awareness of Mudzi Wathu Village Bank to enhance adoption.

“There is a need to generate enough resources to be able to train women for them to understand the meaning of digital capabilities and ensuring that the product delivers best value in their lives,” she said.

On her part, Chairpeson for Kawiya Village Bank, Loveness Nyirenda is optimistic that the service will secure their club’s money.
“Mudzi Wathu Village Bank has come at a right time when groups are searching for ways to improve safety of savings. The challenge we have been encountering in keeping cash has been sorted with the product,” said Nyirenda.

The community launch of Mpamba Mudzi Wathu Village Bank follows its unveiling during the 1st Generation Equality Conference in Lilongwe on April 16, 2022 hosted by former President and prominent Pan African women’s activist Dr Joyce Banda.

Chilima off to USA for high level UN meeting with a small delegation

Chilima interacting with UTM women

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima on Friday left for the United States of America (USA) to attend the 2022 United Nation (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum for Financing Development in New York, USA.

Chilima has been delegated by President Lazarus Chakwera to represent him and lead a lean Malawi delegation of 15 people from the Ministry of Finance and other sectors to the four day forum scheduled for 25th to 28th April 2022.

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking to the media before departure, Chilima said the trip is important for the country as delegates at the event will discuss ways of advancing development in least developed countries such as Malawi.

The Vice President said only 15 people are on the list of his delegation, stressing it was unfortunate that people bent on denting his image fabricated stories that he will be accompanied by a bloated delegation of 40 people.

According to the Vice President’s Press Office, some of the side engagements that the Vice President is expected to undertake while in New York include a meeting with the current Chair of ECOSOC Collen Vixen Kelapile.

The Vice President is also expected to have meetings with the Acting Representative of the Office of Least Developed Countries and the UNDP Global Administrator.

Chilima has also been requested to make a Keynote Statement at a high level Leaders Dialogue on Green and Climate Resilience Bonds organised by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

The Vice President left through Kamuzu International Airport where he was seen off by hundreds of UTM party officials, supporters and government officials.

He is expected to return home on 30th April, 2022.

MCP to launder money at fundraiser

Grand scheme of things. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has thought of a ‘clever way’ of money laundering by staging a fundraising event.

The party will hold a fundraising dinner on 6th May 2022 but little do Malawians know that it is a money laundering scheme.

Press adverts for the event have started fighting in the local newspapers indicating that those who will buy a platinum ticket will have to part with a whopping K10 million for a six hour event.

Gold tickets are going at K5 million while silver tickets are at K2.5 million while bronze and green tickets will be at K200,000 and K100,000 respectively.

To fool the intelligence of Malawians, the party has put a disclaimer that tickets will not be for sale to government agencies.

“This is a great grand scheme of things. This is money laundering at its best. What is happening is that the people buying the platinum tickets have been given government contracts and businesses and in return they will be giving back to the party through the fundraising dinner, this is so pathetic, ” said one of the officials behind the concept.

“This was carefully thought by our strategists when they looked at how the other former ruling parties conducted these similar events. At first I thought this was the way to go until when they released the prices for the tickets,” said the member.

“The way things are now, who can part with K10 million for a six hour event without expecting anything in return? Only a fool I guess!”

“All those who have got contracts and businesses from government will be paying back MCP ‘cut’. Instead of paying the famous 10% cut at source, these people will pay the MCP through these dinner and dances,” added the member.

The story was corroborated by another senior member of the party who disclosed that people buying the tickets have already been identified and have already benefited from the party.

“You will see the people who will go there, they have already gotten their payments and this is paying the MCP for the support. Tell me if this is not money laundering, then what is it?” We are doomed as a country.”

“We hope we will know those who bought the K10 million tickets for the sake of transparency,” said the source.

The former ruling DPP is in court over similar events where state bodies were forced to buy tables for fundraising events.

Martha Chizuma faces arrest over leaked audio upon arrival from abroad private trip

High placed sources with law enforcing agency has confided in this publication that embattled Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma is expected to be arrested on leaked audio saga.

Chizuma who is currently abroad on private trip will be arrested upon arrival in the capital Lilongwe.

She left Malawi on Sunday, April 10, 2022 to meet and convince “her financiers about her allegiance on corruption fight in the country’

This following Office of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) indorsing Chizuma’s arrest after studying a court order to decide the possibility of commencing criminal charges on a leaked audio that contravenes ACB office’ oath.

“ACB boss Chizuma will be arrested upon arrival from a private trip over the leaked audio that injured many including contravening ACB office oath.

“As we speak, DPP just indorsed the arrest after examining court order on criminal charges on her,” says the source within Malawi Police Service.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 confirmed the DPP was served with an order that Mzuzu senior resident magistrate Godfrey Nyirenda granted last month ordering the Malawi Police Service and the DPP to investigate the leaked audio.

“I can confirm that we have been served with the court order and we are evaluating it,” he said.

Ruling on an application by Mzuzu resident Frighton Phombo, Nyirenda further ordered Police and DPP to ascertain if criminal charges can be brought against Chizuma.

Sources privy to the matter said the DPP was expected to write the Office of the Attorney General to seek direction because the office of the DPP does not have investigative powers.

“It’s a legal process and what is happening is that the DPP does not have investigative powers, so they have to engage either the police to do that. But the DPP is writing the Attorney General seeking direction on the matter,” added the source.

Phombo moved the court to open a case against Chizuma on allegations that she violated the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) by revealing to a third party information on investigation for corruption.

He contended that Chizuma committed an offence of directly revealing official information to un-authorised person, contrary to regulation 4(a) of the CPA, and that of making use of speech capable of prejudicing a person against a party to judicial proceedings, contrary to Section 113 (1) (d) of the Penal Code.

But Nyirenda said even though a leeway is given for private citizens to institute criminal proceedings, the overall and ultimate authority over such proceedings remains with the DPP.

On January 24, 2022 President Lazarus Chakwera reprimanded Chizuma for the leaked conversation, indicating that he had summoned her for a meeting where she confirmed speaking about ongoing investigation in the leaked audio that had gone viral.

He described her action as unfortunate but said he would not dismiss her. Instead, he issued a stern warning that he will keep an eye on her conduct.

Chizuma is also facing defamation charges lodged by Ashok Kumar Sreedharan, who sued her for alleging in the audio that money changed hands to have him released after an arrest.

In the audio, Chizuma put in the spotlight churches, judges, lawyers and the Presidency as not helping matters corruption fight.

This comes a few days after political-activist Bon Kalindo gave five-days President Lazarus Chakwera to fire Chizuma over the same leaked audio that breached ACB’s Office oath.

Another shameless plunder exposed, Chinese contractor charging ten times than initial bill of quantity…CDEDI pens ACB to investigate the matter

By Iommie Chiwalo

The recent report by Afrobarometer concerning the worsening levels of corruption in Malawi can only be treated as a guess work at owners risk but exposé by Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has cemented it all – massive plunder of public resources is at play.

The foul play has been sniffed after Roads Authority (RA) is suspected to have conveniently paid a blind eye to the fact that the works that the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) intends to award to China Civil Engineering form part of the six-lane expansion works, under Contract No. RA/DEV/2020-21, which was already signed, and works have commenced on the site, such as the relocation of water pipes, sewer, communication cables and electricity poles, whose Bill of Quantities was pegged at MWK507 million.

In a statement from CDEDI and signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the organisation is worried with continuous daylight plunder of public resources and has since reported the matter to graft bursting body – Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for action.

“To begin with, the RA in July 2021 awarded a contract worth MWK19 billion for a six-lane Capacity Improvements of Kenyatta Road and Sharrar Street project to China Civil Engineering.

Just a few months later, the LWB obtained a ‘No Objection’ letter from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) to award yet another contract, to the same company, to the tune of MWK5.2 billion, purportedly for the relocation of water pipes yet bid evaluation report shows that China Civil Engineering came fourth, with MK5.2 billion, and surprisingly, the company was picked by the LWB to do the job, without any justification for the choice of the company that came fourth among the bidders, or why they rejected the other three lower bidders,” says Namiwa.

The lower bidders were Victory Vision Construction with MWK3.4 billion; Projex Group Ltd with MWK3.6 billion and Malbro International Ltd with MWK4.8 billion.

“It has come to the attention of CDEDI that the LWB, the RA and China Civil Engineering are involved in what we strongly suspect is a plan to defraud unsuspecting taxpayers and voters public funds amounting to MWK5.2 billion,” Namiwa says in the statement.

Namiwa has since confirmed that in the interest of the country, his organisation has written the Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara to consider stopping the contract awarding process by the LWB, pending further scrutiny of this process.

CDEDI Chief who disclosed that his organisation is in possession of the contract documents awarded to China Civil Engineering by the RA, where the evidence of fraudulent transaction has been sourced from, believes that is a serious case of double dipping,
where Malawians are being robbed of billions in broad-day light.

“This coincidence of giving another contract to the same contractor by the LWB, and seeking a “No Objection’ for the same, was so glaring; hence, the move by CDEDI to invoke the ATI law in order to expose the shameless attempt to plunder the public purse,” says Namiwa.

He says at all cost there is no justification for LWB to seek the services of a sub contractor and paying MWK5, 242, 933, 311.64 which is over ten times the recommended rate, when the same contractor, in the main contract, pegged the same works at MWK507 million.

“With issues that have emerged, and require concerted efforts, there is need for Malawians to save the country from some selfish individuals who are bent on nothing but plundering at will the country’s already depleted resources,” he says.

CDEDI has also written the Minister of Transport and Public Works to consider withdrawing the intention to award contracts to China Geo Engineering, pending investigations and due diligence on how the company was awarded a MWK19 billion contract, when the same company was unable to raise MWK4 billion in less than six months ago, as initial capital, due to what the company described as “lack of capacity”.

For starters, what is very confusing is that RA recently published an intention to award China Geo Engineering, to upgrade the first 42-kilometre of the Thabwa-Chitseko-Seveni (S152 East Bank) Road in Chikwawa, to bitumen standard despite the fact that the very same company was awarded the Mwanza-Neno Road project, which has since stalled despite the contractor escalating prices for over four times.

It is after such serious considerations that CDEDI feels it is high time Malawians started demanding answers from the present government on issues to do with public funds, which are slowly being depleted willy-nilly.

The country’s procurement especially in public infrastructure development are mostly being flouted and is becoming sickening that Malawians are paying huge bills in servicing the projects who are mostly being damaged before launch due to poor quality.

Surprisingly authorities have been defensive when eventualities occur.