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FDH gives Farmers Union 11, 000 seedlings to support tree planting activities

Jussab (right) presents the dummy tree seedling artwork to FUM CEO Jacob Nyirongo

FDH Bank Plc has given Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) 11, 000 seedlings to support their tree planting activities within farmer groups.

Speaking during the symbolic handover ceremony in Lilongwe on Tuesday, the Bank’s head of corporate and institutional banking, Mary Jussab said they committed to plant one million trees by 2024 through various stakeholders including FUM, customers, partners and staff members in alignment with the Malawi 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“FDH Bank Plc recognizes the importance of a green environment and as a responsible corporate citizen has reinforced its commitment to champion a sustainable and resilient green environment that will foster the development of the country and nurture it against various environmental and economic forces.

“We also applaud the role that Farmers Union of Malawi is playing in supporting farmers across the country as well as promoting a green environment. Championing a sustainable environment is the key to a sustainable future in the agriculture sector, a progressive economy and for our wellbeing,” she said.

In his remarks, FUM president Mannes Nkhata commended FDH for the partnership saying farmers activities are regarded among the top environmental degrading aspects, and therefore need to take up a role in ensuring they restore the environment.

“FUM takes issues of reforestation and vegetative regeneration seriously and soon we will be launching our new Strategic Plan that will, among other things, promote climate-smart and sustainable agriculture systems. The partnership that we have with the FDH Bank is therefore already contributing towards this strategic direction,” she said.

Apart from adopting Chingale Hills Forest and sponsoring pro-green initiatives, FDH Bank also runs a “Be Green Smart Tree Planting Season Initiative”, where its staff members plant and nurture five trees each.

CDEDI gives Chakwera 7 days to rescue 60 enslaved Malawians in Oman

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By Iommie Chiwalo

NAMIWA: The only food they take on a daily basis is water and a few slices of bread

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) calls on the government to speedily act in a manner that it cares about the welfare of 60 Malawian women enslaved in the Middle East, Oman and six others whose whereabouts have remained unknown for the past six months.

In a press statement signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the calls are coming after noting with dismay that in the past seven months government lacks seriousness in dealing with the matter and, actually evident attempts to sweep the whole matter under the carpet.

“We have learnt with broken hearts that in Oman, where our women went to seek greener pasture, are called ‘Shagara’, which means slave over there. As the name suggests, our sisters were ‘bought’ by agents of slavery at $2,500 each,” says Namiwa.

The said amount is what was spent on individual air ticket, visa, medical tests, police clearance and related travel requirements as well as starting work straight from the airport.

“In most cases, they serve over 10 families living within a compound, forcing them to sleep only three hours a day. The only food they take on a daily basis is water and a few slices of bread. And in the course of their work and stay they endure unbearable sexual abuse and assault. If this is not chilling enough to make government act with speed, what would be,” queries Namiwa.

CDEDI resolves that if government was really serious about rescuing these enslaved Malawians, it could have used funds from the unforeseen circumstances budgetary allocation, assuming funding is the stumbling block.

He has given an example of a situation whereby government hired buses to rescue its citizens from South Africa in the face of xenophobic attacks and similar action was taken to rescue Malawian students trapped in a Covid-19 lockdown in China.

“It is against this background that CDEDI hereby challenges President Chakwera to address Malawians and acknowledge his government’s awareness about the Oman enslaved Malawians. He should explain to the nation why it has taken his Cabinet seven months to approve the spending of less than MK200 million to rescue these young women,” he says.

Namiwa however, warned that as a matter of urgency, failure by the President to make available the required funds within the next seven days will mean that leadership has failed to help the stranded citizens, and CDEDI will be forced to knock on the doors of the international community for its intervention.

The urgent call for quick action by CDEDI is also grounded on human rights aspect whereby one of the victims has confessed that she cleans a two-stoley building which accommodates 12 families, doing the laundry, cleaning the outside including two vehicles and as if that is not enough, some men in the compound take turns raping her and some of her female masters beat her up over very flimsy accusations.

“It is said that these women are forced to work even when they are sick. Worse still, they have no access to medical care. When they cry for mercy they are told they were ‘bought’ exactly for what they are experiencing hence the only way out is to serve for two years or pay back the $2,500. So far, only three women have regained their freedom after refunding the money, and are back home, albeit traumatized,” he said.

In its findings CDEDI established that President Chakwera silently set up a Cabinet Committee to handle the matter but sadly what is coming out is that Labour Minister Vera Kantukule is reportedly receiving death threats for attempting to disturb this slave trade.

“It is, however, disturbing to hear that the committee has decided to literally abandon the task for which it was formed,” said Namiwa.

He says his organisation has also learnt with shock that the efforts by the Malawi Government which in October, 2022 sent a delegation to Oman via Kuwait since there is no embassy in Oman, to pursue the matter has yielded nothing.

CDEDI also understands that since the Oman authorities claim these women sign legally-binding contracts, there is nothing their government can do about the emerging atrocities.

The story says the helpless women first lose contact with their agents while in transit and upon arrival, their work permits and travel documents are confiscated before being handed over to powerful and wealthy people who shamefully use them as symbols of prestige in what epitomises modern day slavery.

It is in the press that in an event that one has been caught trying to escape from the dehumanising conditions, they are mercilessly assaulted before being forced back to their slavery.

Efforts to get more information from responsible ministries proved futile but rights activists approached by this publication says much us labour export is as a result of high unemployment levels in Malawi, the exported labour is not supposed to undergo atrocities like what is happening in Oman.

HS Winehouse bids farewell to two patrons

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Walu (second right) and Olera (left) poses with Nyemera (third right) and other patrons during the party

An uptown and trendy entertainment joint in Blantyre, HS Winehouse on Friday organized a farewell party for two of its patrons who are leaving town.

The two are former Sunbird Tourism Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Olera who is relocating to Uganda and an IT engineer Walusungu Kita popularly known as ‘Walu’ who will now be based in Lilongwe.

The two patrons have been regular patrons of the joint for many years and management of HS Winehouse together with some patrons contributed cash to give a rousing sendoff of the two patrons.

Speaking on behalf of the patrons, Chairperson of HS Winehouse patrons Alijeao Nyemera thanked Olera and Kita for the time they spent at the joint describing them as ‘loyal patrons’.

“HS Winehouse is a family and today we are bidding farewell to two family members who have been with us for many years. It was fun to interact with Yusuf and Walu and the networking has been wonderful to all other patrons.

“We wish them all the best in their endeavors but I urge them that whenever they are back in Blantyre, they will be happily welcomed to their ‘home’ here at HS Winehouse,” said Nyemera.

One of the co-directors of HS Winehouse Gerald Tasaukadala said they decided to match the contributions made by the patrons for the party to make the event bigger.

“We really appreciate the support that we get from our patrons and that is why we matched what they had contributed to give our brothers a lovely send off.

HS Winehouse is a place where members interact and network to uplift their personal and business status and we will continue offering the best to our patrons who regard this place as their second home,” said Tasaukadala.

Kita said in an interview that HS Winehouse was like his second home after starting patronizing the place way back in 2019.

“I have made several friends at Winehouse that turned out to be my brothers and sisters. Leaving a place where you have had strangers who turned out to be brothers and sisters is hard but drinking at Winehouse with friends has made every moment memorable and felt like one happy family.”

“Now that I am leaving to start a new life in Lilongwe, I have to look for new partners in crime and a new drinking place like Winehouse which to me seems like starting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I will miss the place, the drinks, the food, the jokes and every patron here,” said Walu.

On his part, Olera, a Kenyan, said he has always been impressed with the operating model of HS Winehouse saying the joint provides patrons what they are looking for.

“I will have fond memories of HS Winehouse and its patrons and it is an honour that they organized a farewell party for us,” said Olera.

The patrons were treated to a cocktail of beverages, sizzling food and music.

Malawi’s Kombucha Juice Manufacturer Dismisses Social Media Photos…We Have Modern, Standard Equipment

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Leading Manufacturer of health drinks Kombucha juice and ginger, Nutricom Food and Beverages has dismissed trending pictures of Kombucha factory making rounds in various social media platforms.

In an interview with Malawi Voice on Saturday one of the officials from the company said the pictures which are being shared on facebook and WhatsApp platforms are not from its company, adding that ‘Nutricom and Food Beverages follows all health guidelines’.

A surprise visit at the factory’s headquarters at Njewa in Lilongwe revealed that the company has modern and standard equipment contrary to what is being shared on social media.

The official went on to say Nutricom Food and Beverages’ Kombucha juice and other products from the are duly certified by the Malawi Bureau Standards (MBS).

According to an investigation by Malawi Voice, the photos which are circulating are from a Zambian Company which has since been closed by the Zambian authority.

CDEDI to the rescue of Mchitanjiru primary school

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By Iommie Chiwalo

Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has embarked on environmental and sanitation drive with Mchitanjiru primary school in Lilongwe as its premier beneficiary.

The human rights organization which focuses much on general wellbeing has donated 500 tree seedlings and other utensils which include basins and soap.

Speaking during the donation CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said his organization thought it wise to make the donation because the school is almost bare and that is close to the waste refusal area which poses danger to the lives of dangers.

He said the place was identified strategically whereby apart from willing to revamp the environmental status on the school, CDEDI wants to nurture spirit of ownership among learners so that they can become ambassadors in the environmental protection drive.

Namiwa said time has come to take a step further in preventing cholera and that authorities should be transparent when handling issues that affects the general welfare of the masses.

He has since asked well-wishers to join hands with CDEDI in improving the welfare of the masses including environmental protection.

“If you are doing business, there must be customers and the customers must be alive. So as a quest to ensure that there is appreciation, business entities must come forward as a way of paying back to the communities,” he said

The headteacher for the school, Stella Mastala was all smiles and has since expressed gratitude for the gesture.

Master has also assured the public that in collaboration with surrounding communities as well as the Msamba Parish leadership will take care of the donated seedlings so as to ensure larger percentage of survival rate.

 “Trees are important in so many ways and will do everything to ensure that the woodlot reaches maturity state.

“On sanitation equipment, we are also grateful because it will improve the hygiene practices at the institution knowing that this area has been highly hit by the current cholera outbreak,” she said.

She disclosed that one standard two learner was diagnosed with cholera and the donation is timely as it will go a long way in improving the situation.

On his part the Catechist Yohane Kamwaza as Mchitanjiru primary school is under Msamba Parish, said the help from CDEDI is not only timely but also beneficial.

Kamwaza said will use church as a platform of encouraging people about the importance of taking care of the environment, a situation he hopes will help maximizing survival rate of the donated trees.

Speaking at the same function, Chief Golombe said the trees will improve the area by not only beautifying it but also through contributing to environmental restoration.

The local leader has promised to take care of the trees especially by coming up with bylaws that will be followed especially on people found on wrong side of the law.

Golombe also thanked CDEDI for sanitary kits such as soap and basins saying are a milestone towards improving the current situation whereby cholera cases kept on rising each passing day.

NBM supports Beit Cure gala with K4.7 million

Hiwa (Centre) handing over the cheque

National Bank of Malawi Plc has given Beit Cure Hospital K4.750 million to support its ‘Night of Shine’ gala event set for February 10, 2023.

During the gala night, people with special needs are given a red carpet and gifts apart from being dressed and referred to as ‘Kings and Queens’.

Speaking during the official cheque handover ceremony in Blantyre on Wednesday, NBM Plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa said the gesture is part of inspiring greatness in the people with disabilities so that they don’t feel discriminated against.

“As a Bank of the Nation, we understand the challenges that people with disabilities encounter in the society, including extreme poverty, high unemployment rate, stigmatization, poor provision of education and health services.

The efforts, therefore done by caregivers like Beit Cure Hospital in restoring the hope and confidence in these people through the surgical operations and other services on charitable basis cannot go unappreciated,” she said.

In his acceptance speech, Beit Cure Malawi executive director, Elly Chemey commended National Bank saying the support will surely offer a smile to people with disabilities.

“You have given them hope, faith, and confidence which they lack. People with disabilities indeed face a lot of challenges in our society. On that particular day, we ensure we bring a smile on their faces so that they do not feel sidelined. These people can also contribute to the development of the country and bank with National Bank in future,” he said.

Chemey also disclosed that through the support they get from various corporates like National Bank, they have seen an increase in people they help from 1500 in the previous years to 2145 last year, and projecting a growth of 2400 this year.

MultiChoice, SuperSport donate production equipment to MBC

Under the MultiChoice Expansion Program which aims to build collaborative relationships between MultiChoice and Malawi’s local film and TV industry, MultiChoice, through SuperSport has donated production equipment to Malawi’s national broadcaster MBC.

MBC technical professionals were invited to tour MultiChoice head office, MultiChoice City and SuperSport head office, SuperSport Outdoor Broadcast City in South Africa where they were presented with an assortment of production equipment to choose from based on the broadcasters needs. This took place over the course of five days from 3 – 7 October 2022.

“MultiChoice recognises the economic importance of the entertainment industry in Malawi and its substantial income generating capacity for government, the creative fraternity, and the citizens” said Zena Makunje, Corporate Affairs Manager, MultiChoice Malawi. “This is an investment in the future of Malawi’s creative industries through the public broadcaster, and we look forward to forging more partnerships in future” added Makunje.

GOtv customers get free upgrades in January

  • GOtv Customers upgrade and get one package higher than what you paid for
  • Upgrade to GOtv Value and get Bumped Up to GOtv Plus
  • Upgrade to GOtv Plus and get Bumped Up to GOtv Max
  • Upgrade to GOtv Max and get Bumped Up to GOtv Supa

Following the current offer that was run over December which gave customer free upgrade if they stayed connected, the upcoming offer expands to reveal even more of the great content available on the GOtv platforms.

From 25 January to 31 March 2023, GOtv customers will get upgraded to a higher package when they upgrade their GOtv subscription.

Now that connected customers have had a taste of the great entertainment to be had on upgraded packages in the past month, they need only upgrade to be view content on an even higher package.

‘We want to keep our valued customers entertained no matter what season it is, and what better way to enjoy the New Year than with more content than you pay for! This offer gives customers the opportunity to explore higher packages and enjoy more content. That’s surely a little something to get excited about this January’” says GM of MultiChoice, Emma Gichonge.

The campaign allows existing GOtv customers to see varied programming available across higher packages, at the price of a lower package, making great content more accessible to a wider group of viewers.

GOtv Lite customers, who upgrade to GOtv Value, will automatically be upgraded to GOtv Plus and experience great telenovelas on TLNovelas  like Heartless, a riveting story about a woman seeking revenge for her murdered husband.

On GOtv Value customers who upgrade to GOtv Plus will be upgraded to GOtv Max and be able to view the best of the best Martial Arts movies on KIX.

GOtv Plus customers will have the ultimate in entertainment – in February kids can look forward to brand new episodes of Paw Patrol on NickJr. 

This offer is open to both active and disconnected customers. For more information on this offer as well as other products and services, please visit: www.gotvafrica.com.

An upgrade is just a few taps away with the MyGOtvApp which you can download on you mobile App store.

CDEDI demands for fact validation exercise on Central Poultry premises

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By Iommie Chiwalo


The zigzag approach coupled with seemingly treatment with kid’s groves by the Lilongwe City authorities on matters concerning hygienic conditions of Central Poultry (CP) has compelled Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) to call for fact validation exercise.

The calls by CDEDI comes following the company’s resumption of business operations, after the purported closure by the city authorities as a preventive measure to contain further spread of the Cholera outbreak.


As cholera is still on the rise, CDEDI embarked on an independent investigations which established that CP refused to sign the letter to formalize the closure and that the decision to turn the place into a compost centre instead of just dumping waste raises a lot of questions than answers.

According to CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, in the said letter the Lilongwe City Council Deputy Director of Health Jorlex Kantokoma said the closure was necessary because Chicken waste attracts a lot of flies making the place a fertile ground for the spread of cholera and that CP was asked to destroy the structures.


A communication from Lilongwe City Council, CP was ordered to stop using the centre as a compost-making site with immediate effect until when proper procedures are followed [i.e. to prepare a project brief and submit the same to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources or Environmental Affairs Department for approval before establishing the compost making centre or waste station] and that when the approval is granted, the company was expected to come up with standard designs for waste transfer stations in line with Lilongwe City Council guidelines and standards.


However it has been discovered that CP never performed as expected by not submitting a project brief to the council.


On the prevailing events, CDEDI feels that consumers and indeed the general public are of the view that both CP and the city authorities owe Malawians an explanation.


“As a mouthpiece of the voiceless, CDEDI has, on behalf of millions of the consumers of your products, developed interest and embarked on a fact validation exercise, hence our interest to physically visit the CP premises for inspection in order to validate the information that is already in our possession,” Namiwa says.


Namiwa has since requested for Thursday, 26th January, 2023, from 10:00hrs as an ample time for fact validation exercise.


“CDEDI would also like to seize the opportunity during the said visit to discuss the long outstanding complaints to the company by the city residents of Area 1(Falls), Area 36, and those along the M1 road, who happen to continuously and painfully endure the pungent smell from your open waste disposal vehicles that literally pollute the air every time they carry refuse to the Area 38 dumping site in Lilongwe,” he said.


He has also requested the city authorities to allow Mr. Katokoma to join in the physical inspection of CP premises on the said date in order to appreciate the changes made to the site and the accompanying correspondence backing the decision to resume operations.


The company was shut down by the Lilongwe City Mayor Richard Banda, for operating a dump site used for compost without following proper procedures.


The closure took place following an exercise dubbed ‘sanitation inspection tour’ which also led to the closure of Waka-Waka market on Tuesday, 3rd January 2023.


It was in the press that the Mayor took this route because Lilongwe was and still is one of the hardest hit cities by the Cholera outbreak, and Area 36 where both CP and Waka-Waka are located, is also the hardest hit suburb.

Nonetheless, the news about the sudden ‘opening’ of the company has raised eyebrows and left tongues wagging considering the twists and turns.


“The majority of Malawians are of the view that some corners were cut in the process, given the supersonic speed at which major decisions were taken,”

Activist Munlo hits back at AG Chakaka Nyirenda…Pali ponse tingakumane ndiza kuswa makofi

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THABO NYIRENDA

Leader of the Mass Movement for Revolution Comrade Redson Munlo has challenged Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda to go ahead and sue him for ‘defamation’.

Comrade Munlo made the challenge after Chakaka Nyirenda threatened legal action against him over a viral audio.

In the audio, Munlo accused the office AG of practicing selective justice and torturing Norman Chisale, private bodyguard for former president Peter Mutharika by taking Chisale’s case personally.

Revolutionary Munho further accused Chakaka Nyirenda’s office of being used by governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to silence critics.

However, the audio did not go well with Chakaka Nyirenda who on Saturday told Zodiak Online that he will decide whether to take a legal action against Munlo or not.

But in reaction through a fresh audio clip, Munlo said: “Chakaka Nyirenda you are just a small boy, you can go ahead to sue, I will take you head on…You are not my size, ndiwe mwana kwambiri.

Ndipo even titakumana town nditha kukupasa makofi. In Fact, in the audio I was addressing the office of AG, not you as Chakaka Nyirenda.”

In a 20 minutes long audio clip, the fearless Munlo added: “I will show you that I fear no one. People like you {Thabo Chakaka} are the ones misleading the president, and it’s unfortunate that the president does not take action against you.”

In the controversial audio, Munlo called upon AG Chakaka Nyirenda to soften his hearts on Chisale and allow him to access his bank accounts. He further asked him to stop fighting personal battles using public office.

The audio came about after AG and Director of Public Prosecution, (DPP) lead counsel, Pilirani Masanjala objected to an application by Chisale to have one of his bank accounts unfreeze to withdraw some money to settle legal costs

Premier League Round 21 Live on GOtv, DStv

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SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to Round 21 action from the 2022-23 Premier League, with matches scheduled to run from Saturday 21 to Monday 23 January 2023.

The pick of Premier League matches this weekend is the round opener on Saturday afternoon between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield.

Neither the Reds nor the Blues have enjoyed the campaigns they would have been hoping for, though the Merseysiders have seen an improvement of late and will be confident of overcoming their London visitors.

“I don’t want to disappoint anybody, but we signed an outstanding player like Cody Gakpo and the next thing you read is ‘who next?’” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klop of the expectations for the remainder of the January transfer window. “It’s as if we wouldn’t have a team, honestly. We cannot play like Monopoly. It’s like this and we never did, so I don’t understand that.”

Another potential thriller in this round is the meeting of Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on the early evening of Sunday. The Red Devils handed the Gunners a 3-1 defeat when the teams met at Old Trafford back in September, and you can be sure Mikel Arteta’s side will be hungry for revenge – even if the Spaniard won’t say so himself.

“Of course we don’t speak of revenge, what happened is in the past, this is a whole new challenge that we must focus on,” said the Arsenal boss. “It’s about enjoying the moment and the challenge we have in front of us… a very good team that we have a long rivalry with.”

The weekend of English top-flight action also features key games in regards to the relegation battle, such as Bournemouth hosting Nottingham Forest and Everton visiting West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Elsewhere, champions Manchester City will look to put Wolverhampton Wanderers to the sword at the Etihad Stadium, Newcastle will chase three points on the road against Crystal Palace, and the round wraps up on Monday night with a London derby between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage.

Don’t miss the best football action 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.

Premier League broadcast details, 21-23 January 2023

All times CAT

Saturday 21 January

14:30: Liverpool v Chelsea – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League, SuperSport Maximo 1 and SuperSport Maximo 2

17:00: Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 1

17:00: Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 3, SuperSport Maximo 360 and SuperSport GOtv Football

17:00: Southampton v Aston Villa – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 2

17:00: West Ham United v Everton – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2

19:30: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League, SuperSport Maximo 1 and SuperSport Maximo 2

Sunday 22 January

16:00: Leeds United v Brentford – LIVE on SuperSport Variety 3, SuperSport Maximo 360 and SuperSport GOtv Football

16:00: Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2

18:30: Arsenal v Manchester United – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League, SuperSport Maximo 1 and SuperSport Maximo 2

Monday 23 January

22:00: Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2

Malawians sympathize with Norman Chisale… AG Chakaka Nyirenda asked to soften his heart

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Concerned Malawians are sympathizing with former President Professor Peter Mutharika’s private body guard Norman Chisale who is being psychologically tortured by President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse administration with cooked up charges.

This follows a recent application by Chisale to have one of his bank accounts unfrozen; an application which was objected by Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda and Director of Public Prosecution, (DPP) lead counsel, Pilirani Masanjala.

In a viral audio clip made available to the publication, a concerned citizen Comrade Redson Munlo a leader for Mass Movement for Revolution has described the actions by the state as ‘torture and political persecution’.

While applauding the courts for handling Chisale cases professionally, the vocal activist Munlo said: “Norman Chisale is a retired soldier, and has worked two former leaders namely Bingu and Peter Mutharika; therefore it is not on to question his source of wealth. It is very unfair to freeze his bank accounts”

The fearless Munlo then called upon AG Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda and the DPP to soften their hearts on Chisale and allow him to access his bank accounts. He further asked Chakaka Nyirenda to stop fighting personal battles using public office.

“Chakaka Nyirenda is using public office and legal instruments to fight his personal battles,” fumes Munho, adding that the AG is being used by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) administration to harm political opponents.

He then called upon all meaningful Malawians to prevent injustice by standing with Chisale and other Malawians who are being victimized by Tonse administration using the office AG’s and DPP office.

Meanwhile, both the offices of the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions are yet to comment on the accusation by Munlo.

Chisale recently applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal, asking it to stay civil proceedings regarding the forfeiture of his property and refer constitutional issues arising out of the matter to the Chief Justice for certification.

DStv welcomes Quincy Jones’ QWEST TV onto screens

With exclusive access to high-end music, great concerts, documentaries and never-seen archived interviews, the global music streaming platform QWEST TV will officially be DStv channel 330.

The channel will be open to DStv Compact Plus and Premium customers, with an open window from 20th January- 19th February 2023 for DStv Compact customers.

Music lovers will now be able to access QWEST TV via the DStv bouquet (channel 330). The Channel will be available in over 40 countries across the continent.

Available exclusively to DStv customers, the channels offering includes:

  • Exclusive concerts from legendary artists as well as Rising Stars from across the globe
  • Premium music documentaries
  • Archived artist footage
  • Unreleased interviews with music icons including Erykah Badu, Questlove, Salif Keita, Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Seun Kuti, Kamasi Washington and Fatoumata Diawara

Founded in 2017 by musical genius, the legendary Quincy Jones, alongside TV and music producer and programmer Reza Ackbaraly, Qwest TV plans to bring genre-agnostic musical content to the African continent.

“We are elated to be part of Multichoice family and to launch Qwest TV to the African market. We are expanding our mission to offer high end music to everyone. Africa is a land of traditions and music, and we’re very happy to build such a great partnership on this gorgeous continent! “says CEO Reza Ackbaraly.

“I’m so proud to announce that Qwest TV is now available on Multichoice, Africa’s leading entertainment network. This means that my friends in South Africa, and forty-three more African territories, will have access to great, genre-defying music, 24/7.

“From African legends proudly proclaiming their heritage to jazz, classical, electronic and amazing deep-dive music documentaries, Africa is the source of music’s heartbeat and the cradle of modern music. I’m looking forward to celebrating diverse sounds with y’all!” explains Quincy Jones, Qwest TV co-founder and music producer.

With the core focus of expanding the content offering for viewers with quality entertainment, Georginah Machiridza, Executive Head for General Entertainment Channels at MultiChoice Group harps on the importance of such partnerships.

“What is key to us is that, whilst our audiences are driven by an appetite for home-grown content, we also complement it with the best in international content. To this end, we work with a selection of partners to ensure a comprehensive one stop shop for our customers. Our partnership with QWEST TV is one we are thrilled about, and we cannot wait for our DStv customers to experience it,” says Machiridza.

QWEST TV will air on DStv channel 330 from 20 January 2023, for more information visit dstv.com.

Qwest TV is a celebration of unique talents, traditions, and rhythms. With more than a thousand music-related experiences on offer, the premium video hub strives to be the world’s home for jazz, soul, funk, classical, and music from around the world.

Qwest TV’s services include three premium linear television channels (in 7 languages with worldwide rights), Ad-supported Video On Demand (in 7 languages with worldwide rights) and a Subscription Video on Demand Platform (available globally, in 3 languages), and a Pay-TV for Africa on DStv (channel 330).

NFRA suspends CEO Brenda Kayongo over missing maize trucks

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The board of National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has suspended its Chief Executive Officer Brenda Masanza Kayongo with immediate effect.

According to internal memo, NFRA’s Board of Trustees has effected the suspension pending further investigations and disciplinary processes on the missing thirteen trucks carrying Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) maize.

The memo further directs that all matters requiring the attention of the Chief Executive Officer should be addressed to the Finance Director David Loga.


“I request all of you to continue working diligently and to provide support to Mr Loga and entire management during this period,” reads part of the memo signed by the NFRA’s Human Resources and Administration Director Humphreys Kalele Gunchi.


However, the most shocking news is that her suspension comes barely two days after the minister visited NFRA offices.


“We are very shocked that the whole board had to wait for the minister to come here to effect the suspension, this is out of order and very worrisome,” one of senior officials who opted for anonymity told Malawi Voice.

Kayongo recently appeared before the Joint parliamentary committee where she revealed that NFRA had already paid 143 million Kwacha to Smollett Kachere, a transporter responsible for the missing 13 trucks of Maize.


Kayongo added that NFRA was still processing invoices to pay Kachere a balance of 64 million Kwacha for the delivered Maize, a statement which did not go down well with the committee members.

Castel Malawi in Buy-Back-Bottles Campaign

Castel Malawi sales interns in buy back empty bottles campaign

Castel Malawi Limited has embarked on an intensive buy-back-empty-glass­-and-crates campaign to boost its empty beer glass and crates stock.

The campaign has seen the company recruiting 200 young men and women who are working hand in hand with its sales and marketing team throughout the campaign.

Castel Malawi’s Head of Marketing Frank Binauli, said the campaign seeks to boost the company’s empty glass bottles and crates circulation which is key for consistent supply of its beers.

“We use a returnable glass business model and on average, it takes about two months for the glass to return. So, when it stays with the consumer longer, we are not able to produce enough beers to supply the market.

‘This creates product stockouts and that is why we urge our consumers to always return glass bottles when they drink our beers at the outlets. We also request them to be responsible enough to return the plastic empty green crates as well as the empty bottles after drinking the beers off-premises.”

“The company re-injects into the business millions of empty glass bottles and crates every year. Sad to say that some are lost or damaged through the supply chain and many end up in peoples’ homes, hence the need to sensitize the consumers to bring them back to Castel,” he said.

Binauli also highlighted that Castel Malawi believes in youth empowerment and that is why it has recruited the interns to be assigned to each distributor’s territory across the country.

‘‘As you are aware of the high unemployment rates the country is facing, Castel Malawi is committed to making a difference in the lives of people in communities around us. So, we decided to give these young men and women an opportunity to work while they learn some skills of the trade.”

“This economic contribution has been anchored by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillars, through environmental preservation by collecting back the glass bottles and crates; meeting consumer expectations through consistent product availability and supporting our local communities, through the recruitment of interns,” he said.

Castel Malawi Limited is an equal opportunity employer with over 620 people nationwide and contributes significantly to the economic growth of the country.

Caucus calls for ministerial update on relocation of refugees, asylum seekers

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…wants an explanation on bloated relocation budget

By Iommie Chiwalo

With no sign to demonstrate implementation of the court ruling that refugees and asylum seekers must be relocated to designated camps, the Mzuzu Youth Caucus has written the Homeland Minister for an update.

In the ruling, the government was expected to relocate urban based refugees by end of November and those in rural areas by end January 2023.

But since there is no sign of the undertaking the organization thought it wise to request for an explanation on the status of Refugees relocation exercise.

In a letter signed by MYC’ Gomezgani Nkhoma says the request is part of ensuring that human rights are followed, especially on aspects of transparency and accountability.

“Since the onset of this initiative to date, we have not heard anything from your office on its progress nor the amount of resources used so far, nor the challenges experienced,” Nkhoma said.

He has also sought light on expenses by quoting the Homeland Minister’s previous remarks where she indicated that the exercise will cost K300 million but independent investigations show that it will cost MK1. 2 billion.

“Now we are requesting what has necessitated the change. Why not communicate the change to the public which constitutes tax payers,” queries Nkhoma.

Government in its earlier communiqué to the City and district Councils through awareness campaigns made it clear that the rural and urban relocation exercise shall come to an end by January to February 2023 respectively.

“But as a nation we are not seeing nor hearing any strange things happening to prove if indeed the exercise is taking shape and if at all that the deadlines will be met. Please tell the nation whether the Ministry has changed, canceled the exercise or not,” queries Nkhoma

Adding that it is alleged that the Minister responsible received kickbacks over the same exercise and has since asked her to clear her name on this allegation.

The responsible Minister never responded to our phone calls when pressed for her reaction to matters raised by the Mzuzu based organization.

However, on issues of safety bearing in mind the essence of human rights, Nkhoma has also demanded an explanation on the recent incident of explosives at Dzaleka Refugee Camp that led to injuries of refugees.

“When will the investigations be concluded so that the general public is informed of what happened? Can you also clear rumours that you are relocating people in silence yet the exercise was supposed to be public as it were the case with the sensitization campaign to build people’s trust in this noble cause which in the end will quash the notion that something fishy might be at stake,” reads the letter to the Minister.

CDEDI tips Chakwera to call for international support in cholera fight

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By Iommie Chiwalo

After President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration has miserably failed to contain the Cholera outbreak in Malawi, Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives CDEDI has asked him to throw the towel and request for international support.

Just as of Sunday, 8th January 2023, this is how the situation looks like: 704 deaths, 860 admitted to various treatment units and 21, 024 confirmed cases.

“We demand that President Chakwera should immediately declare cholera a national disaster and call for support from the international community. The call for local support is too little too late,” says CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

He says at this hour Chakwera needs to humble himself and disassociate from carelessness approach in handling cholera which currently equates to criminal negligence.

Namiwa recently expressed disappointment with disturbing revelations that in the wake of the unprecedented cholera outbreak, which is claiming scores of innocent lives every day, it is business-as-usual on the government side.

“Actually, not even the bare minimum is being achieved in providing resources to
treat cholera patients and, also, stop the spread of the outbreak,” reads an extract from the findings that has been attached in the statement.

CDEDI has also expressed worry on how government is handling the matter following concerns that guardians of cholera patients in some parts of the country are being asked to pay money for their patients to be treated or to buy cholera kits elsewhere.

He indicated that in its findings CDEDI has, actually, discovered that, for this month, government has only bought 200 out of the required 1.2 million doses of IV fluids, especially Ringers Lactate used to treat cholera.

Namiwa still demands that government should organize an emergency tour of major health stakeholders, including the media to appreciate the situation on the ground.

 “As far as we are concerned, government’s failure to provide resources to for fighting this outbreak is criminal negligence at its worst since the development has put in disarray the pillars of prevention and care in the fight against the outbreak,” Namiwa said.

Adding that nothing can be more worrying than the realization that the death toll to cholera is increasing with each passing day, a sign that more lives are at risk.

Ex-wife arrested on allegations of poisoning husband

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By Iommie Chiwalo

Even after struggle to justice through series of postmortems, relations of late Habimana Noel Emily can now smell justice as police in Lilongwe have arrested ex-wife Gentille Giraminiti for allegedly poisoning the husband.

Initially it was reported that Habimana Noel Emily died in a road accident but surprisingly the driver never reported the matter to police as required by law.

It only took a series of press conferences and demonstrations by concerned citizens to pressurize authorities in demanding justice as events surrounding the death were not adding up especially that two different autopsy reports were giving conflicting information.

Blocking the investigation further was the fact that the ex-wife Gentille Giraminiti who is now under police custody sought an injunction blocking any further investigation only so be frustrated by the recent autopsy report by Chief Forensic Clinician Andrew Master Mwale.

Police authorities at the National Police Headquarters have confirmed the arrest but refused to give more details saying doing so may affect investigations.

Sadly the arrest is coming after there was also alleged efforts by the police to conceal the death of Emmillie Habimana Noel who initially was believed to have died in a road accident but later on discovered that he was murdered by the ex-wife Gentille Giraminiti.

Through her lawyers, CTN Attorneys and Law Consultants obtained an injunction which was more of a threat to the justice seeking family as it indicated that in disobedience the defendants- in this case Habimana Noel’s relations – may be found guilty of contempt of court and may be sent to prison or fined and even having their assets seized.

However as a benchmark of justice, the order also provided that the defendants may apply to court in any time to vary or discharge but must do so by informing the claimant’s lawyers in writing at least 48 hours beforehand.

Now that the third postmortem report has shown to the advantage of the bereaved family and that the ex-wife has been arrested, the relations are now demanding for justice through speedy litigation.

Earlier today the family representative was in press expressing the need for justice saying there is need for justice, following a second postmortem report that suggests that he might have been poisoned.

The Rwanda born businessperson, who among others, owned some Supermarkets in Lilongwe, died on October 17, 2022 from what was initially said to be an impact of a road accident.

But now, a final report by Senior Forensic Clinical officer Dr. Andrew Master Mwale from Kamuzu Central Hospital reveals that Emily died of poisoning.

“We have experienced an autopsy case of death of 31-year-old Noel Habimana Emily due to commotio cordis, ruptured inferior venacava and concomitant poisoning with chlordane,” reads part of the report.

Meanwhile family representative Mukashema Josiane, says now that final report is out which reveals that their relation was murdered, they want justice to take it’s course.

Believe it! Chakwera is not in control – CDEDI

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By Iommie Chiwalo


The indecisiveness that is coupled with cluelessness by the current administration has compelled Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), to feel vindicated that President Lazarus Chakwera has abdicated his constitutional powers, and that it is some unknown people running affairs of government.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has expressed the observation following a clear manifestation demonstrated in Chakwera’s New Year message on 1 January 2023 and not on the eve of the New Year, which Malawians were used to.

“That, in all critical fairness, had no serious take-home message, apart from the usual Cabinet
reshuffle rhetoric and announcement of intention to appoint a Presidential Private Sector Council, which we strongly believe will be duplication of another entity,” he said.

Namiwa says is sad that at this critical hour of a pandemic that is claiming numerous lives, Chakwera only casually touched on cholera in what looked like a ‘forced message’.

Sadly his cabinet Minister responsible for Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda issues a statement that, because of cholera, all primary and secondary schools in Lilongwe and Blantyre will not open on January 3, 2023 as expected.

“Why did the President not make that announcement in his speech? If that would
not have been the most important part of the message, what was? His Happy New Year to you all? It’s chaos,” more questions than answers.


According to Namiwa, nothing qualifies this as total chaos than hearing that bus-loads of students were forced to return to either Blantyre or Lilongwe after hearing the announcement.


“The suspension of opening of schools in just the two cities, which came late as though the country has no Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and cholera, is not only laughable but also a sign that there is a disconnection between what the task force and the President know about the cholera situation in the country. Otherwise, the figures have been speaking loud and clear that the situation was bad on the ground,” he said.


Some commentators have also concurred with CDEDI saying the decision to suspend opening of schools only in the two cities, where cholera figures are actually lower than those of some districts where schools will re-open tomorrow, begs more questions than answers.


For instance the questions arise on how government intends to reconcile the school calendar whereby while some students will be learning and others not learning, at the end of this term both will be required to sit the same exams.

“That said, CDEDI hereby gives a vote of no confidence to the Presidential Task Force on cholera, because it has failed the President and all Malawians big time,” says Namiwa.


Adding that the way this matter has been handled, mirrors well Tonse Alliance administration’s casualness in handling matters of national importance.

CDEDI has since condemned the approach in its totality and call for change of doing things, saying otherwise Malawi as a nation, is doomed.

He has therefore called upon government to sympathize with parents and guardians who have been inconvenienced financially by its indecisiveness and lack of co-ordination on the suspension of opening of schools due to the cholera outbreak.

Chakwera given 48 hours to issue AIP report

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By Iommie Chiwalo

The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has stepped in on the controversies surrounding Affordable Input Programme (AIP) by demanding a comprehensive report from President Lazarus Chakwera.

According to CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the demand is in line with Section 12 (c) of the country’s Constitution.

“President Chakwera to prove us wrong by giving the AIP status report within the next 48 hours, detailing how funds Parliament set aside for the 2022/23 AIP have been spent so far,” narrates Namiwa.

He further demands that Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale must step down for creating a lie about AIP transportation crisis, forgetting that AIP funds Parliament allocated included transportation.

“We wish to emphasise that failure to act as demanded above will be understood as a further
deliberate war against the poor; and that will leave us with no option but to mobilize farming communities to hold vigils at the offices of all district commissioners, starting from January 9, 2023, as one way of defending themselves from the impending war waged by President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration,” says Namiwa.

The CDEDI Chief has also expressed concern over what he has described as amateur public relations stunt saying that the purported transportation challenges were an example of such level of lack of seriousness on part of leadership.

“In a serious issue like AIP knowing that Malawi is an agro based economy is uncalled for to employ amateur public relations (PR) stunt to hoodwink Malawians into believing that there are stockpiles of ready fertilizer somewhere in the country. Yet the fertilizer AIP beneficiaries are redeeming is coming straight from the blending plant at Liwonde, and it is being loaded hot onto waiting trucks,” he reveals.

He has further revealed that in all its undertakings, government is just seeking cheap political mileage.

For instance Namiwa points out that the call by government for vehicles from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) was a ploy for someone to be seen caring and doing something about the AIP situation; with the hope of earning cheap political mileage from the unsuspecting public.

“By the way, who can sympathize with government on this outright case of poor planning? After all, when the Budget was being passed in April, contracts had already been awarded to transporters. We wonder what has become of those contracts? But we will not be surprised to hear that some transporters are claiming damages for breach of contract,” he said.

It has happened before that in breach of contracts taxpayers have been paying for government’s inefficiency.

Meanwhile, Malawians will have to wait a little longer for the fertilizer said to have been in some docking vessel at the port.

Following numerous complaints on how current government is implementing the 2022/23 AIP, CDEDI went undercover and established that the only available fertilizer is from development partners.

A report from the undercover shows that since the launch of AIP to-date, all the fertilizer that has been available and redeemed is from some development partners under the banner of African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).

According to the report, this includes the 10,000 metric tonnes of MAP fertilizer (Phosphate component) the Kingdom of Morocco donated, and it was blended to 52 000 metric tonnes of NPK.

“As we report, none of the 2.5 million 2022/23 AIP beneficiaries has redeemed any fertilizer bought using the K188 billion approved by Parliament. Yet, much of the maize crop in the fields
has gone past time for receiving NPK, and we only have 14 days before the recommended time to apply Urea elapses,” reads the statement.

It also discloses that for a fact, the Chakwera-led government is yet to buy a bag of fertilizer using the funds approved by Parliament.

The current arrangement and another hope for Malawians is that AFAP is set to provide fertilizer to 1, 040,000 beneficiaries.

“AFAP is working towards giving one 50-kilogramme bag of NPK each to 1,040,000 beneficiaries
from the 2022/23 AIP earmarked 2.5 million beneficiaries.

To the rescue of Malawi government it has been established that AFAP is also footing the cost of blending the donated fertilizer, which is taking place in Liwonde, Machinga, including the
transportation.

The donated fertilizer from Russia is neither NPK nor Urea, and an arrangement has been made with some African country to exchange it with fertilizer that is compatible with Malawi soils.

Chakwera panics on Chizuma Commission of Inquiry report, stooges release fake SKC resignation letter

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The centre cannot hold. Malawi Congress Party-MCP stooges are panicking on the after effects of the Martha Chizuma Commission of Inquiry report which puts President Lazarus Chakwera in an awkward position with revelations that he actually ‘Knew’ about the arrest of the ACB Director General.

As a result, State House media team led by State House Director of Communication Sean Kampondeni has released a fake letter purportedly indicating that Vice President Saulos Chilima has resigned from his constitutional position.

Insiders said the ‘fake’ resignation letter had to look legitimate hence the use of Kampondeni and his crew for the ‘believable perfect English and narration’.

“This is all fake, it is our own work, some of us did not agree to this route but they went ahead anyway,” said one MCP media guru who refused to take part in the scheme.

Tonse Alliance is a bunch of Pathological Liars, Crooks–Prophet Mbewe

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Highly respected man of God Prophet Dr. David Mbewe has branded President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance Administration as a bunch of ‘pathological liars and an association of crooks’ who promised Malawians a heaven on earth but only to deliver a living hell.

 Prophet Mbewe, who is also the founder of Freedom for Worship and Economic Liberation for Development (FOWEL), was speaking during SHALOM’s Cross Over night on new year eve in Machinga district.

“President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration lied to us, they promised Malawians three meals a day, cheap fertilizer and above all they promised a modern day Canaan,” said a visibly angry but well-composed Prophet Mbewe.

He added: “I’ m not a politician and l will not be one; my mission is to liberate millions of Malawians who are suffering under Tonse Alliance administration. Enough is enough Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance must go, they have failed to govern the country.”

According to the fearless Prophet Mbewe, Malawi is far worse during the current regime {President Chakwera’s administration} than the previous regimes; as corruption, nepotism and favoritism have characterized the Chakwera’s Tonse Administration.

“Chakwera’s administration is worse as compared to the previous administration; the president has been surrounded by people who are on a self-enrichment mission,” said Mbewe while calling for the immediate resignation of Chakwera for failing to run the state affairs.

Meanwhile, Minister of Information who also doubles as government spokesperson Gospel Kazako and President Chakwera’s spokesperson Anthony Kasunda are yet to comment on Prophet Mbewe’s direct-attack on Chakwera’s Tonse administration.

In a related development, President Chakwera, who is also president for Malawi Congress Party(MCP)-a key partner in the Tonse Alliance administration- is this evening Malawians this evening from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

Italian Rotary Club powers Balaka hospital with solar energy

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Installation of solar panels in progress

An Italian Rotary Club in partnership with the Rotary Club of Blantyre has installed solar power at Comfort Community Hospital in Balaka which will see the hospital being independent of electricity for the next 25 years.

The project by the Rotary Club Milano of Italy with technical and extra funding from Seva Africa has cost 62,000 Euros (about K68 million) and has been implemented with the help of an Italian Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Orrizonte Malawi ODV and the Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust (AYCT) in Balaka.

Technicians from Seva Africa flew into the country to install the 88 solar panels, three power inverters and 7 capacitors which have been divided in three modules to generate 25 kilowatts of power per hour, making the hospital run 24 hours with uninterrupted power supply.

Comfort Community Hospital Acting Hospital Administrator Foster Usale said in an interview yesterday that with the new solar power, the hospital would be saving about K900,000 which they were using to run a generator in times of national power failure.

“We are grateful for this gesture because as a hospital we could not function properly with frequent electricity blackouts especially in our maternity wing. We are now guaranteed constant power supply for the next 25 years,” said Usale.

He said the hospital has 66 beds for pediatric and maternity wings but handles almost 77,000 patients a year including out-patients.

President of Orrizonte Malawi ODV Emmanuel Todeschini who has been instrumental in getting support to the community hospital said Orizzonte Malawi, apart from the solar power project also deals with a lot of expenses to manage the hospital especially in the rainy season like medicines mainly to treat malaria and pneumonia.

Solar panels at Comfort Community Hospital

“I would like to thank the Rotary Club Milano, the Rotary Club of Blantyre and Seva Africa for the funding and technical expertise to power this hospital with solar power. The hospital will now be operating without problems since it is assured of constant power supply and more community members will be served here without any problems,” said Todeschini.

Rotary Club Milano Project Coordinator Alessandro Coggi said his club aims to define and develop a project that can be shared with other Clubs which represents a concrete collective commitment to the implementation of some specific objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

“This why we partnered with our colleagues at Rotary Club of Blantyre so that we could bring sustainable power supply to the Comfort Community Hospital in Balaka,” said Coggi.

Rotary Club of Blantyre Projects Chairman Dango Mkandawire described the project as a major milestone in health care especially to the people of Balaka.

“We are very pleased with the development and the number of lives it will positively affect as this centre serves 70,000 patients and 2,000 births a year, so this is a major milestone,” said Mkandawire.

The hospital, apart from the pediatric and maternity wards, has an operation theatre, an analysis lab, and is completing the setup of a service of radiology and imaging.

Prophet Mbewe’s FOWEL to welcome big fishes tomorrow in Mangochi

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Prophet David Mbewe’s Freedom of Worship and Economic Liberation for Development (FOWEL) is set to welcome top politicians, Malawi Voice can reveal.

According to information made available to the publication, the historic welcoming ceremony will take place tomorrow on Wednesday December, 28 in Mangochi district.

According to sources within FOWEL, the new catch will help to strengthen the party ahead of 2025 Presidential elections as well as weakening other parties in the Eastern Region.

FOWEL was founded by a good Samaritan, workaholic and a developmental conscious Prophet David Mbewe who is well-known for charitable works in the country..

DStv and GOtv Customers Get Free Upgrades This Festive  

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Providing free upgrades during the festive period was the perfect opportunity to do so- EMMA

GOtv and DStv comes bearing gifts this festive season, where customers get a free subscription upgrades simply by paying for their subscriptions. This offer will run from Monday 19 December to 24 January for GOtv and DStv customers who pay or renew their GOtv and DStv subscriptions will be upgraded to a higher package at no extra cost.

To qualify for this offer, customers must pay their subscription through any of the available payment options, via *470# MyGOtv app or MyDStv app, to enjoy a viewing experience on a higher package (offer does not apply to GOtv Supa and DStv Premium customers).

Here is how it works: all customers currently on the GOtv Value bouquets will get an upgrade to GOtv Plus, while GOtv Plus customers will be bumped up to GOtv Max and GOtv Max customers will automatically get boosted to GOtv Supa.

For DStv, all customers on DStv Access will get upgraded to DStv Family. DStv Family customers will get DStv Compact, DStv Compact customers will get DStv Compact Plus and Compact Plus customers will automatically be upgraded to DStv Premium.

“We aim to constantly display the choice and added value our packages provide to our customers and providing free upgrades during the festive period was the perfect opportunity to do so” said Emma Gichonge, MultiChoice Managing Director.

Active, new and returning GOtv and DStv customers can take advantage of this offer to sample entertainment available on higher packages by just paying for their subscription. New customers and those currently disconnected can simply connect or signup during the offer period to benefit.

GOtv and DStv customers will enjoy the benefits of superior entertainment offerings packed with world-class live sports, great content, fun kids’ shows, captivating telenovelas and international movies.

For more information on this offer and other products and services, please visit: https://www.gotvafrica.com/en-mw or www.welcome.dstvafrica.com/en-mw

DK HOLDS INTERACTIVE MEETING WITH 64 DPP MP’S…shares insights on Malawi economy, calls for unity of purpose in DPP

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Former Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor, Dr Dalitso Kabambe fondly known as DK by his supporters, on Wednesday December 13, hosted 64 Members of Parliament of the mighty Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to an interactive meeting.

During the meeting, Dr Kabambe shared his insights into what has gone wrong in the Malawi economy since 2020 and what it would take to resuscitate the economy.

He opined that the current economic challenges manifested in form of rising cost of living and basic necessities; scarcity of foreign exchange and currency depreciation; rising cost of production and capital; and growing inequalities and poverty in Malawians are due to a large extent explained by poor economic policy mix of persistently elevated budget deficits, impotent monetary policy and continuing exchange rate misalignment.

Dr Kabambe went further to expound on the past, present and future prospects for the Real, External and Fiscal sectors of the Malawi economy.

Dr Kabambe observed that fluctuations in macroeconomic fundamentals of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation, exchange rate, foreign exchange reserves and interest rates, have been the order of the day in Malawi since independence and that it depends on the prudency of the Administration in charge.

In particular, Dr Kabambe singled out the periods of the DPP led Administrations as being relatively stable with fairly strong growths of mean 6.5 percent between 2004 and 2012 and 4.5 percent between 2014 and 2019 compared to 1.2 percent between 2020 and 2022.

Dr Kabambe therefore called for unity of purpose in DPP to put the current Administration in check and guarantee a return to Government in 2025 so that the Party can restore back what it best knows, macroeconomic stability and strong economic growth which alone will benefit Malawians substantially.

Dr Kabambe also indicated intentions to contest at the Party’s upcoming Convention as President.

Kasakula’s Reign Of Terror at MBC

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Fear and uncertainty has gripped the corridors of public broadcaster MBC following Director General’s George Kasakula style of leadership that is characterized with heavy handedness, favoritism and dictatorship.

Kasakula keeps firing people, subjecting some to unexplained disciplinary hearings, demotions and transfers.

He is also well known for shouting at his staff, calling them cadets and has formed his own circle of Blessings Kanache, Chawezi Banda, Peter Makawa and the Director of News and Programs Zilani Khonje that is being used as the center of terror on fellow staff members.

Just recently Kasakula has laid hands on veteran Journalists Ayam Maeresa and Doreen Sonani transferring them from the news department to the programs department at the Lilongwe office along with Charles Wahara, accusing them of being “DPP cadets”.

He is not yet done with the Lilongwe office as he has called all the 5 members in the Marketing Department at area 4 for disciplinary hearing starting from today, Tuesday. He is accusing them of being cadets that are frustrating sales in the Capitol.

Kasakula recently issued warning letters to all members of the business department in all the regions accusing them of under collecting. The staff members refused to sign them.

Since the coming of Kasakula MBC has failed to collect enough revenue because he has turned it into an MCP mouthpiece that is failing to attract business deals.

NEPOTISM

Kasakula has also turned MBC into a Kasungu club. He fired Controller of Business Affairs Ralph Chienda for being a “cadet” and promoted Principal Sales Executive Theresa Sungani as the Acting Controller. Sungani comes from Kasakula’s home district of Kasungu.

If that is not enough, Kasakula demoted Wilson Kumtambila as Controller of Engineering to Chief Engineer and promoted his homeboy Raphael Kasawala to the position of Acting Controller.

Kasakula is also recruiting his Kasungu clan as on “temporary” employment Without following proper procedures.

FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY

The leadership of Kasakula has crippled most services at MBC, morale gone and staff members are working with fear.

“You need faith and trust in God for you to survive the hand of Kasakula at MBC”, lamented one member of staff from the programs department.

He added; “Kasakula accuses everyone of being a cadet, including drivers. He shouts at you like a child and you even wonder that such a big man would be exchanging words with his juniors, and you call that management?”.

Kasakula is also reported to have scrapped off some allowances and apart from Kanache, Makawa and Chawezi, the rest are not given opportunities to travel internally or even external travel.

Kasakula has turned MBC into hell.

NBM Top Mandala aids Zingwangwa Health Centre in Christmas celebration

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Kamwinda (right) presents the items to Mpanje (left) as another nurse looks on

As the National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc 12 Days Christmas initiative continues, Zingwangwa Health Centre in Blantyre has been the latest beneficiary from Top Mandala Service Centre.

On Friday, Top Mandala Service Centre Manager, Chifundo Kamwinda led his staff to donate 20 mattresses, 20 delivery packs, 10 solar lumps and 72 bed linen worth K3.5 million.

According to Kamwinda, they chose Zingwangwa Health Centre considering the large population it serves.

‘’The Bank values the partnership with the various service providers and the communities around and felt obliged to celebrate this year’s Christmas with the people of Zingwangwa and surrounding areas through the health centre which caters for a population of over 135,000. The donation was meant for the average community member who gets services from the health centre,” said Kamwinda.

NBM Top Mandala Service Centre staff members and Zingwangwa Health Centre staff members pose with some of the donated items

He asked community members and health workers at the facility to take good care of the donated items so that more people could benefit over a long period of time.

“We also discourage the tendency of vandalism and careless use of public facilities as that discourages potential donors from making more donations,” said Kamwinda

District Nursing Officer for Blantyre Modesta Mwangomba and Maureen Mpanje, Nursing Officer for Zingwangwa Health Centre expressed gratitude to the bank for the timely donations.

“The situation was worrisome at the facility, but through this donation, we feel relieved that we will provide total healthcare to our patients,” said Mpanje.

Before NBM plc’s donation, the facility had 13 mattresses only and no back up power.

Kamwinda (left) presents the mattress to Mwagomba

NBS Bank opens Mchinji Post to ease border transactions

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The new NBS Bank Mchinji Border Post branch

NBS Bank plc has opened a branch in Mchinji to serve better travellers between Zambia and Malawi utilising the newly opened Mchinji-Mwami One-stop Border Post. 

Earlier last week, President Lazarus Chakwera and his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema opened the One Stop Border Post saying it will enhance trade bilateral relations between the two countries. 

NBS Bank plc Chief Operating Officer, Shadreck Chikusilo, the new branch will bring the banking services closer to the people.

“We feel it’s our responsibility to serve Malawians. Knowing that at every border there are alot of financial transactions taking place, as a Bank we thought it wise that we provide that convenience to the nation. So we have got service points and a full branch. All banking services will be available to our customers and also we will be serving the community around here because the branch that we have opened inside is open even to people that are not travelling,” he said.  

Chikusilo further added that the facility provides the convenience to the customers since it will be operational 24 hours. 

“One of the deterrents to the saving culture is the distance that people have to travel to get to the place where they can bank the money. The essence of us making these banking facilities closer to the people is actually to encourage the aspect of saving, but we are also bringing that convenience so that issues of security and comfort as you see that we are right inside, a secure area, so everybody should feel safe to come here anytime.”

“This place is open 24 hours and we are making banking service provisions at the same time so that people can utilise these services throughout the day and even at the time of their convenience later after the daytime,” explained Chikusilo.

Castel Malawi amplifies Anti-corruption voice

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Castel Malawi staff captured during the march- photo by Benjamin Maona

Castel Malawi has expressed commitment towards the fight against corruption in the world by declaring itself a ‘corrupt free organisation’.

The company’s Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Director, Gloria Zimba made a declaration on Friday as they celebrated the International Anti-Corruption Day at their Head offices in Blantyre.

According to Zimba, they believe they are a big organization in Malawi with extensive business and therefore needed to take part in the fight against corruption by encouraging employees to speak up when they encounter some corrupt activities.  

Castel Malawi Managing Director Reynaud delivering his speech-photo by Benjamin Maona

“We believe that the fight against corruption cannot just be a management fight, everybody, every employee must take part if we are to stop corruption and if we are to win the fight. Castel Group believes in the fight against corruption, Castel Malawi also believes in the fight against corruption. We believe we are going to be ambassadors holding hands with the Malawi Government and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the fight against malpractice,” said Zimba.

Guest of Honour at the event, Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Patrick Mpaka commended Castel Group for the initiative saying that is the best strategy to defeat corruption before it even happens.

Castel Malawi’s Zimba addressing the staff present at the event

“Prosecution should not be the only way to deal with corruption cases. Most corruption cases take time to be prosecuted. But we have to put strategies that will prevent corruption from taking place,” he said.

During the event, Castel Malawi’s Managing Director, Thomas Reynaud announced an increase to K1 Million from K250, 000 a reward for everyone who is going to report corruption activities at the company or its products.

The event started with a march from the company’s offices to Clocktower and back, led by the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) Brass Band.

Castel Mw staff carrying placards

Castel completes change of name from Southern Bottlers Limited

KAUKA:The sole Shareholder of the Company remains Castel Malawi Limited

Castel Malawi Brewery Limited has announced that it has completed a change of name from Southern Bottlers Limited to Castel Distribution Limited, months after selling its soft drink business to Coca Cola Beverages.

A notice placed in the country’s two national newspapers signed by the company’s Head of Legal and Company Secretary, Chipiliro Kauka said the change will not affect the shareholding or corporate structure of the company.

“A new Certificate of Incorporation on change of name of the Company was issued by the Registrar of Companies on 29th November 2022 under Registration Number COYR-K901ABA. The sole Shareholder of the Company remains Castel Malawi Limited,” she said.

The notice also indicates that the change has not affected its Head Office and contact details, and will continue to operate various distribution centres for sale of its products throughout the country.

NBM plc in second edition of ‘12 Days of Christmas’

A friend indeed, Chichiri Shopping Centre Service Centre Manager Richard Mwamadi (Right) hands over the sewing machine to Tidzalerana Shelter Manager Musuli

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc will for the second year in a row celebrate Christmas with its stakeholders by donating various items to educational and health-care institutions through a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme dubbed ‘12 days of Christmas’.

Last year, NBM plc introduced the initiative which saw educational and health care institutions in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, Kasungu, Mulanje, Karonga and other areas benefit.

This year’s program targets 12 areas through its Service Centres namely Chitipa, Nkhotakota, Blantyre, Mzimba, Mangochi, Dowa, Mchinji, Salima, Ntcheu, Mwanza and Liwonde.

In a statement, the Bank said donations made through the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ initiative have been guided by the Bank’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) policy amounting to K50 million and will run from 7th-22nd December 2022.

All smiles from beneficiaries at Tidzalerana Shelter in a group photo

“As Malawi celebrates the festive season with Christmas carols playing in shops, homes and churches, we thought to align our year-end donation program to the well-known ‘Carol 12 Days of Christmas’, in which the singer lists down all the gifts that their true love has given them over a 12-day period. As a Bank of the Nation, NBM plc has the country at heart and strives to reach out to those that require assistance,” said NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa.

She said the Bank prioritizes Education and Health because they are an integral part of the Bank’s CSI Policy. 

Items to be given include learning aids, medical equipment and other items.

“Our decision of initiatives to support was highly influenced by sustainability. We would like the items presented to keep on going long after the 2022 festive season is over when learners return to school or medical centres continue to operate in 2023,” explained Hiwa.

Mwamadi (Left) handing over the sewing machines to Musuli

She said each of the 12 donations would be made by NBM plc employees led by Service Centre Managers nationwide.

NBM Chichiri Shopping Centre Service Centre kicked off the 12 Days of Christmas campaign by donating and aiding people with disabilities at Tidzalerana Shelter at Ndirande Township in Blantyre with 19 sewing machines.

Service Centre Manager for Chichiri Shopping Mall, Richard Mwamadi, who led the staff, said they decided to help the shelter as part of ensuring that the residents are empowered which will later benefit the facility.

Tidzalerana Shelter Board member, Geoffrey Musuli commended NBM plc for the gesture saying it complements this year’s theme of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.

Standard Bank Launches Instant Interbank Transfers

MUGHOGHO: As Standard Bank, we value our clients’ time and seek to always simplify transactions while offering convenience and security

Lilongwe December 8th, 2022–Standard Bank Malawi Plc has unveiled Instant Interbank Transfers from 247 Mobile to other local Banks.

The Bank’s clients are now able to send and receive money from other Banks in real time, any day of the week, including public holidays. The added convenience means the transactions are no longer limited to normal banking hours.

Previously, both express and normal inter-bank transfers were time-constrained and would not be cleared after hours, on weekends and public holidays. This meant that customers sending or receiving funds from other Banks after hours, weekends and public holidays were inconvenienced and, in some cases, compelled to visit two Banking halls (withdraw cash from Standard Bank and deposit into another Bank or vice versa).

Speaking as the Bank unveiled the new solution, the Head of Consumer and High Net Worth Clients (CHNW) Charity Mughogho said that “As Standard Bank, we value our clients’ time and seek to always simplify transactions while offering convenience and security. The launch of instant inter-bank transfers on *247#, comes at the right time as we enter the festive season when we celebrate several holidays throughout the world and here in Malawi.”

The Bank observed customer behaviour and noted that there is a high volume of transactions which were being initiated after the inter-bank transfer windows had closed. Such transactions would be delayed until the following business day or next available clearance window.

“As a Bank we are aware how crucial time is and the instant transfers solution will keep up with the fast-paced transactional needs of our customers. The solution is accessible through the USSD channel (*247#) which is available on all mobile devices from feature phones to smart phones,” she said.

This initiative aligns with the Bank’s strategy of being responsive to customer needs whilst matching the brand purpose: ‘Malawi is our Home; we drive her growth’. Growth and development are closely tied to more people getting access to financial services as and when they need it. Instant inter-bank transfers will also reduce queues in banking halls and provide customers safety through seamless transfers instead of handling hard cash between different Banks.

In addition to inter and intra-bank transactions, the Standard Bank 247 digital platform also supports a range of subscription payments (GOtv, DStv, MASM, etc), airtime recharges (TNM and Airtel), bill payments (Water, ESCOM, MRA, amongst others) and various payment services.

Castel contributes K2.5 million towards World AIDS Day

Zimba (2nd Right) hands over cheque to Kankhomba (middle) as other officials look on-photo by Benjamin Maona

Castel Malawi has contributed K2.5 million towards this year’s World AIDS Day which was commemorated on December 1.

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the cheque to National AIDS Commission (NAC) at Mpemba Veterinary ground in Blantyre on Thursday, Castel Malawi Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Director, Gloria Zimba said they joined the cause to support Government and other stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, because as a company they believe they have employees who could be affected or infected.

“We believe we are part and parcel of this country as well as the NGOs that are running several functions in the country. One of the functions is the fight against HIV/AIDS. At Castel we have 625 direct employees and about 5,000 indirect employees. When we are look at the value chain, we have got over 11,000 that are affected by us in our value chain, so we believe we should also take part in this fight against HIV/AIDS because we know if it is not our direct employees, it could be those people in our value chain who could be affected in one way or another,” said Zimba.

Team Castel Malawi at the World AIDS Day – photo Benjamin Maona

NAC Commissioner McLan Kankhomba commended Castel Malawi for the gesture saying the money will be used in various ways including capacity building of its stakeholders including organizations that work in communities.

“We are going to use this donation to further the aims and the mandate of the Commission. As you are aware NAC is established under the HIV/AIDS Management and Prevention Act 2018. Its functions are to coordinate, lead and intervene in coordinating HIV/AIDS activities in the country. We are also there to encourage people not to discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS in the communities. So, this money will be used for civic education, awareness, and dissemination of HIV/AIDS information in the country,” said Kankhomba.

This year’s AIDS Day was commemorated under the theme: Equitable Access to Quality HIV/AIDS Services for All. 

Zimba (far right) flanked by NAC officials – photo by Benjamin Maona

Castel Malawi dresses Kabaza operators on Road Safety Day

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Kabaza operators clad in safety reflectors donated by Castel Malawi- photo by Benjamin Maona

Castel Malawi supported this year’s Africa Road Safety Day commemorations by dressing up Kabaza operators with 200 branded reflective vests and some branded Shirts worth K2.5 million.

The commemorations took place at Katoto Ground in Mzuzu on Saturday after a big walk from Mzuzu High Court. The commemoration was under the theme Cyclists Adhere to Road Traffic Rules and Regulations, or Else, Hospital or Mortuary Awaits You.

Speaking after officially presenting the goods to the government through Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) and Guest of honour, Minister of Transport, Jacob Hara, Castel Malawi Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Linda Kolomba said the company values lives including those of their customers and consumers.

Kabaza operators clad in safety reflectors donated by Castel Malawi- photo by Benjamin Maona

“We decided to join this cause because we want to take responsibility in taking care of our customers and consumers. We have our distribution fleet driving on the roads across Malawi every day. These roads are shared with other road users such as pedestrians, motor cyclists as well as bicycle cyclists, who are at risk of accidents. Everyone on the roads including cyclists are our stakeholders, so we need to care. That is why we gave out the reflective vests so that they are visible all the time during the day or night. This can help to reduce accidents on our roads,” she said.

Director of Road Traffic and Safety Services Andrew Sandula commended Castel Malawi for the gesture, saying it will go a long way in eradicating road accidents which have already claimed 121 lives by November this year.

Team Castel Malawi-photo by Benjamin Maona

“As government we are very grateful for the support and we are also encouraging other stakeholders to join hands because those reflective materials will be distributed to motorcycle taxi operators so that they should be visible,” said Sandula.

In his speech, Minister Hara also applauded partners like Castel Malawi for their continued support towards road safety.

Last week, Castel Malawi trained its 164 drivers and scooter riders in defensive driving as part of ensuring road safety.

The Africa Road Safety Day was set aside by the Assembly of African Union in 2012.

Castel’s Kolomba (left) handing over safety reflectors to as Minister Hara looks on -photo by Benjamin Maona
Motorcycle operators dressed by Castel Malawi-photo by Benjamin Maona

Private lawyers to prosecute Ntcheu ‘Fake’ Malawi Gin case

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Chibayo and wife with their counterfeit products

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has given consent to two private lawyers to prosecute a case where a young couple in Ntcheu are accused of producing counterfeit Malawi Gin.

Before his suspension, DPP Steve Kayuni gave consent to private practice lawyers Davis Njobvu and Noel Misanjo of a Blantyre based law firm DNC Chambers to prosecute Shavison Chibayo, 34 and wife Karishima Machewere, 29, who were busted by Castel Malawi officials and Ntcheu police producing the ‘fake’ Malawi Gin recently.

Misanjo told the Ntcheu Magistrate Court during the start of the hearing of the case last week of the consent by the DPP before asking for an adjournment of the case.

“We have consent from the DPP to prosecute the case but we would like to seek adjournment of the matter because the accused persons have approached us that they would like to get legal representation. The police are also left with one witness to record a statement which they will do in the next seven days,” said Misanjo.

He also said they were waiting for the results of the samples of the ‘fake’ Malawi Gin which were sent to the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas) for tests which they had just received and would want to share with the defence lawyers once they have been identified.

Machewere also told the court that they have identified a lawyer from Lilongwe who is going to represent them but was not in court and would need more time for the lawyer to study the case.

Magistrate Joshua Nkhono allowed the adjournment and set 6 January 2023 for the start of the hearing of the case advising the accused persons to make sure that their lawyer files a notice with the court and gets all the necessary documents ready for trial.

Castel Malawi officials assisted by Police officers from Ntcheu Police Station busted the production of the counterfeit Malawi Gin about three weeks ago after receiving reports that some people were producing ‘fake gin’ packaged in Malawi Gin branded bottles.

Castel Malawi announced on 7 October 2022 that it had stopped production of its spirits line namely Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Premier Brandy due to the scarcity of packaging materials which require forex to access.

Castel Malawi Head of Marketing, Frank Binauli said they are investigating similar cases and warned the perpetrators to stop the vice before the long arm of the law catches up with them.

EXPOSED: Cleophas, Masophenya shielding Grimatta in the Emmilie mysterious death…Bribes Police IG, MCP officials

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By Given Tamani

A Rwandan national, who deceitfully obtained a Malawian citizenship Cleophas Barajiginywa is allegedly using his political clout displayed through his proximity to ruling Malawi Congress Party(MCP) to block the Malawi Police Service(MPS) from arresting Munyenkwani Masopenya  and Gentile Girimata who are master-minders in the mysterious death of a 31 year-old Lilongwe Based businessman Emmilie Halimana Noel on October 17, 2022 along the M1 at Northgate residential houses near Malawi Institute of Management(MIM) in Lilongwe.

Gentile Girimata is the ex-wife to Emmilie, while is a friend Masoyenya, according to page 10 of the preliminary report prepared and signed by Andrew Master Mwale senior forensic officer at the Kamuzu Central Hospital(KCH), the two are among the list of those connected to the death. According to the sequence of events surrounding Emmilie’s death, the two played a pivotal role.

Masopenya was arrested and convicted in his home soil of Rwanda and escaped a jail term in connection with the 1994 genocide. He used a fake Burundian passport to benefit from the passport scandal that landed former Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa a jail term.

Of late, Cleophas has forced tongues wagging due to his closeness to President Lazarus Chakwera. On z number of occasions, he has been spotted at the airport either seeing off or welcoming the President to the dismay of those who know him and his roots.

Cloephas, is using his influence to purportedly shield Grimata from facing the long arm of the law. He is reportedly, collecting huge sums of money from Masopenya and Grimata claiming to allegedly bribe MCP Members of Parliament to block an impending summoning of the Inspector General(IG) Merlyn Yolamu following a petition some concerned citizens presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday, 30 November 2022.

A few days before the peaceful demonstrations, Giramata through her lawyers, CTN Attorneys and Law Consultants has obtained an injunction declaring her late husband’s Area 2 shop a no go zone for the deceased’s relatives.

An order dated November 25, 2022 is one such futile attempt to block justice since the shop in question is according to divorce documents in her own name therefore her-in-laws have nothing to do with the same. 

At this point it is very clear that the ex-wife and her friend Masophenya have found a shield in their ‘political heavy’ weight to ensure that justice is not served in a clear case of conspiracy to murder where till now the police have only arrested the driver who is on remand at Maula prison. 

In an earlier interview from prison cells Raffiki implicated the ex-wife and Masopenya. Surprisingly, the driver, is on record fearing for his own life while on remand at Maula prison. 

It is sad to report that these people are that powerful to an extent that Rafik is feeling insecure while in prison. 

Giving the whole incident grey areas is the fact that the driver did not report the accident to the nearest police station at Kanengo. But the police instituted initial investigations that led to the driver’s arrest only to be released on bail without being charged.

Drama as ensued as Masopenya and the ex-wife took control of everything including buying a casket, clothes and paying for embalming services the same night in preparations for burial the following day October 18, 2022 without waiting for the police to do their work as is always the case during road accidents.

When contacted Cleofas and Masopenya declined to comment on the allegations.

Meanwhile, the concerned citizens led by Wells Khama gave the Defense and security committee of parliament 7 days to summon Yomu to explain why the police besides shielding the suspects they have turned themselves into spokespersons for the suspects, warned for a vigils at the parliament building.

MultiChoice Begins Malawi Production for OneZed

The MultiChoice Expansion Program – Project Pamodzi, which launched in Malawi in July, sought to reiterate MultiChoice’s commitment to investing in Malawi’s TV and film industry through skills development programmes offered through the MultiChoice Talent Factory and has initiated the production of the first Malawian series for the OneZed channel on GOtv and DStv.

From September to October 2022, MultiChoice broadcast an open call for proposals to film and TV industry professionals to submit their proposals for a 13 part drama or comedy series depicting authentic untold ‘African’ experiences.

After a rigorous shortlisting process, MultiChoice has announced Actor, Writer, Producer, Cameraman, Editor and Director, Precious Pungulani Denja, owner of Tauka Arts Pictures Production Company as the successful candidate who will be commissioned to produce the first Malawian series for OneZed, which is set to begin production this month.

Born and raised in Malawi, Precious Pungulani Denja began his career in film in 2006 working on productions in Malawi and collaborating with fellow industry veterans and featuring in more than 20 productions.

“It is an honour, I owe all this to God almighty, the provider of talent. I am not special, but my Lord is. I thank OneZed for according Malawi such an opportunity” said Denja.

“We are excited to contribute toward the enablement of local job creation and entertainment through the production of this series” said Emma Gichonge, MultiChoice Malawi Managing Director. “Through our skills development programmes and investment in Malawi’s creative industries, we hope to provide a stage for authentic and original Malawian stories to be told” Gichonge added.

The series is schedule to premier in early 2023 with more details to be shared by MultiChoice.

FDH Bank injects K45 million in Graduate Start-up Primary School

FDH Bank Deputy Managing Director George Chitera with Mubas Vice Chancellor Dr Nancy Chitera and Rise and Shine representative Vincent Kambuku pose with the pupils

FDH Bank Plc says it is geared to empowering young Malawian university graduates, with innovative sustainable entrepreneurship project ideas that can help them to employ themselves and create other rooms for employment to fellow youths.

Deputy Managing Director of FDH Bank Plc, George Chitera said this on Tuesday in Mulanje during the launch of Rise & Shine Private Primary School which has seen the Bank inject K45 million.

The school is a project run by a group of Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) graduates under FDH Bank Graduate Start-up Program which was launched in December last year.

Chitera said they decided to come up with the program after being concerned with the increased unemployment rate among the youths in the country.

“As you are aware, challenges of unemployment are not a secret at all. Majority of students think they will get employment soon after graduating, which is never the case. Through this program, we are trying to encourage students to start thinking of venturing into entrepreneurship and we have also been engaging lecturers to take a responsibility in encouraging their students to also think of good business ideas which they can manage after finishing college.

“Today, we are impressed to see that after challenging these students last year during their symposium program where we asked them to come up with a business plan, they managed to introduce this school project,” Chitera said.

The FDH Bank Graduate Start-up initiative, which is the first of its kind in the financial services industry as well as the corporate world, identified five companies for the support including Rise & Shine School; Clean Energy of Enterprise (CLEE); Direct-Connect Real Estate Solutions (Di-coRES); Kuwali interior Design & Decoration (KIDD) and My Artistic Dream (School of Art and Gallery).

MUBAS vice-chancellor, Nancy Chitera, who attended the event, applauded FDH Bank for introducing the program saying it will help the young graduates who find it hard to secure jobs.

“It is true that most people believe that once they graduate, they will get employed, but FDH Bank has come to change that culture by encouraging graduates to produce a good business venture. We are now happy that our graduates managed to convince the bank and it is our expectation that a number of students will benefit from this program,” Chitera said.

Director for Rise & Shine Group, Cynthia Mayele also commended FDH Bank for the support saying their choice to open the school was part of their contribution towards quality education in Mulanje district.

“Before we reached where we are today, we went through primary school stages,” she said. “So, we considered establishing this school where children can acquire all the necessary education needs which they cannot access anywhere,” she said.

Rise & Shine Group has eight members and has already employed over 20 members of staff.

DEMOS ON HALIMANA MYSTERIOUS DEATH:Parley given seven days to summon IG or else face vigil

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By Iommie Chiwalo

Hundreds match to parliament demanding justice on the death of Emmillie Halimana Noel who died mysteriously in what was initially believed to be a road accident but postmortem proved otherwise and Parliament has since been given seven days to summon police Chief Merline Yolamu.

The demonstrators led by Concerned Malawian Citizens in a company of Wales Khama, Cynthia Chikalema and Esther Kubwalo convened demonstrations after Lilongwe DC Lawford Palani succumbed to pressure from the grouping that opted to seek legal redress should the controlling officer continued with his tactics of persistent postponement of the peaceful demonstrations which was initially scheduled for November 23.

In the petition to parliament, the grouping has highlighted that Noel’s case is not the only one involving the mysterious
death of a Malawian of Rwandan origin.

In a petition the grouping says it is now worrisome because such cases are always kept under wraps and they die a natural death without reaching logical conclusions.

For instance the grouping has outlined three cases of similar nature that occurred in the past.

“On December 12, 2015 in which a 32-year-old Jean Claude Gasana, another Lilongwe-based business person from Rwanda was killed at Discorium entertainment joint but till now nobody has been taken to task yet,

Further to that on July 10, 2017, unidentified gunmen shot dead another businessperson at Puma filling station in Salima before attempting on the life of another Malawian business person of Rwandan origin, Vincent Nyiongera who survived the attack albeit wounded,” reads the petition.

The Parliamentarians have also been notified that another Malawian of Rwandan origin Romeo Mukisa 30, who until his death was plying his trade in Area 25, on November 11, 2018 died in a mysterious accident at Wullian Shop close to Bwaila Hospital after the car he was travelling in allegedly plunged into a very shallow drainage on his way home from Rwandan Diaspora meeting that was held around Malangalanga in Lilongwe.

“Honourable members of the Assembly, you may wish to note that these are just a few cases out of the many cases that go neither unnoticed nor unreported like was the case at hand where the suspect, who was the driver for the deceased did not report the incident to police,” reads the petition.

Meanwhile Parliamentary Committee on security representative has promised to take the matter with keen interest it deserves.

BREAKING NEWS: Chimwendo strategises to become Speaker

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CHIMWENDO: Let’s fight hard to remove Vice President Saulos Chilima from his position

Minister of Youth Richard Chimwendo Banda called a meeting for a few selected MCP gurus in Lilongwe last night where he is positioning himself for the position of Speaker of the National Assembly, we can reveal.

Chimwendo told the meeting that they should ‘fight hard’ to remove Vice President Saulos Chilima from his position following his arrest and charges over Zuneth Sattar corruption allegations.

Chimwendo told the meeting that if that plan works, then current Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara will be appointed Vice President and himself will be the Speaker of Parliament.

We will bring you full details of the story as it unfolds

CASTEL MALAWI BRINGS BACK PREMIER BRANDY FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

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Binauli shows the new bottle for Premier Brandy

Castel Malawi will introduce limited stocks of Premier Brandy for the festive season, a month after stopping production of the spirits line.

The company announced last month that it had stopped production of its flagship spirits namely Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Premier Brandy due to the scarcity of packaging materials which require forex to access.

Castel Malawi Head of Marketing, Frank Binauli, said the limited stocks of Premier Brandy will be in special edition bottles.

“We are introducing limited stock of Premier Brandy for the festive season to give our consumers something to spice up their festivities with. This Brandy will be packaged in a special bottle with cork closures, the same bottle that was previously used for other special and limited editions of the spirits” he said.

Binauli further said apart from the closures, the new bottle will be fetched at a different price of K12,000 from K10,000.

“Consumers will also notice this is a heavier glass bottle compared to the standard spirits bottle,” explained Binauli.

Reacting to the development, Mzati Phiri, a resident of Lunzu said he was happy with the news.

“I am a fan of Premier Brandy. I miss the drink because it is rarely found. Bringing it back for the festive season for Christmas means we will have more fun as usual,” he said.

PIL donates desks to Mzimba school

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Over to you- Msimuko (Left) officially hands over desks to Moyo and students representative – photo by Benjamin Maona

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of four oil marketing companies in the country has given a lifeline to students at Makhosikazi Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mzimba through a donation of 45 desks worth K4.1 million.

The school, which was opened in 2000, has had not enough desks thereby forcing students to be sitting on the floor, a situation which was described as unpleasant, especially by girls at the facility.

“Education is one of our pillars in Corporate Social Responsibility. We do look at health, road safety and schools in education. The aim is to equip Community Day Secondary Schools by donating books or desks. As such when we got the call we thought it wise to assist Makhosikazi CDSS, we considered the request.  When making these donations, we consider regional balance, therefore this is the third school to benefit this year after Chikwawa and Senga Bay,” said PIL general manager Martin Msimuko during the handover of the desks on Thursday in Mzimba.

A form three student at the school Collida Magawa, 17, said the situation has been disturbing for a girl child considering that all teachers at the school are male.

Girls can now afford a smile sitting on the new desks – photo by Benjamin Maona

“Every time you are in class you have to be thinking about sitting properly while changing positions frequently due to the comfortability of the floor. Sometimes we were forced to leave the class for a few minutes to relax and stretch ourselves while lessons were in progress and we ended up missing some crucial topics. Every day we also have to go home dirty and you know it is very difficult here in the village to manage soap for washing uniforms on a daily basis. But now we have been saved,” she said.

The school’s headteacher MacMillan Moyo concurred with Magawa saying sometimes the students scramble for the few desks available and end up injuring each other, which also led to high dropout rate.

“I am a very happy teacher today after getting this help from PIL. I was always worried for the girl child. By nature, they are different from boys and need a comfortable environment. We have had situations where girls get our office chairs and we couldn’t stop them because we understood their situation. This has forced 12 girls to drop out this year alone as compared to three boys. So, you can see that girls are the most affected,” he said.

The excitement in the students was visible as they scrambled to sit on the new desks during the event.

Makhosikazi CDSS has over 180 students and since it was opened, the school has only managed to send one girl to Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).

Msimuko (Left) sampling the desks at Makhosikazi CDSS- photo by Benjamin Maona

CDEDI calls for total suspension of refugees and asylum seekers’ relocation, says no to State sponsored xenophobia

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By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has challenged government to suspend its inconsiderate decision of relocating refugees and asylum seekers as the exercise is just but one state sponsored xenophobia.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa in a press statement further warn Homeland Security Minister Jean Sendeza and the Deputy Inspector General of Police responsible for operations Casper Chalera, to desist from using sentiments that may culminate into state sponsored xenophobic attacks on refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi.

The warning follows Chalera’s instructions to the police to start spotting or identifying refugees and asylum seekers living outside Dzaleka camp ahead of the November 30, 2022 and January 31, 2023 deadlines for refugees and asylum seekers to relocate to the camp from rural and urban centres respectively.

According to Namiwa, his organisation and of course well meaning Malawians find such an order by authorities highly insensitive and ill-timed owing to the conduct of the bad apples that seem to have hijacked the police service.

“This is a blank cheque to these bad apples to start looting and plundering innocent foreign nationals’ property in the name of carrying out such an order on one hand, while some criminal elements outside the service may also take advantage of the same to victimize innocent people,” he said.

He has since reminded Minister Sendeza and DIG Chalera that refugees and asylum seekers are human
beings, hence have basic human rights and ought to be treated with dignity.

“Although, there is nothing illegal with the exercise, CDEDI and all well-meaning Malawians fault both the approach and timing. Malawi should channel available resources and energy to find solutions to the multiple challenges facing millions of Malawians such as food shortage in prisons, sky-rocketing maize prices and fertilizer, not spending the same on a non-priority area.

Meanwhile, CDEDI has proposed total suspension of the whole exercise pending an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting where all the contentious issues shall be discussed and ironed out using human rights based approach.

According to a police internal memo dated November 25, 2022 which is now in public domain , the decision by Chalera follows a government directive that the refugees relocate to Dzaleka by set dates.

Government set November 30, 2022 and February 1, 2023 as deadlines for refugees and asylum seekers residing in rural and urban areas respectively.

Bolt speed: TNM boosts Internet speed and agility with Fibre

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Acting CEO Gowera

TNM Plc, Malawi’s pioneer mobile network and ICT services provider has unveiled fibre packages to provide the fastest Internet connectivity possible for medium scale to large businesses.

TNM’s Acting Chief Executive Lloyd Gowera said at the launch in Lilongwe on Friday night that the fibre internet compliments the telco’s strategic intention in accelerating digital adaptation.

“As TNM our goal is to provide enhanced experience to our valued customers in the digital ecosystem. The fibre packages will enable subscribers to be connected to super reliable fast internet in the process contributing to our overall vision of becoming Malawi’s leading digital services provider,” said Gowera

He said that the ultra-fast internet will propel social-economic growth for customers in offices and homes.

“Internet usage is the order of the day, it is offering efficiency and effective connectivity in various vicinities. Therefore, our fibre internet is designed to enable Malawians unleash their potentials regardless of whether they are at office or home,” said the ACEO.

During the launch, customers were dazzled with high quality and high speed streaming of a World Cup game between England and USA.

Chief Marketing Officer Frank Magombo presented the product benefits

With the surge in super internet demand, TNM’s fibre internet is responding to this growth being influenced by the changing business environment and increasing streaming demand.

“The growth in video-on-demand services such as Netflix, ShowMax and other streaming services has helped drive internet appetite. TNM understand such demand and growth hence innovating to fibre internet for our customers’ productivity,” added Gowera

According to the Acting CEO, the integrated telco will continue investing in technologies aimed at bridging the internet divide.

TNM has partnered Open Connect Ltd (OCL) to roll out the unlimited bandwidth capabilities and offer fastest high-speed data connectivity in the country.

Aside ultra-high speeds fibre internet is also touted for its reliability as it is not prone to outages, has same speed for downloads and uploads, no throttling, higher quality television output, multiple device connectivity, and better game play among its key benefits.

The TNM fibre offering comes in two main options of Fibre to the Home/FTTH and fibre to the business/FTTB.

Under FTTH, customers have the option to choose from 5Mbpsftth,10Mbpsftth, 20 Mbpsftth, 50 Mbpsftth, 100 Mbpsftth and 200 Mbpsftth,

Under FTTB, customers can opt for 20 Mbpsfttb, 50 Mbpsfttb, 100 Mbpsfttb and 200 Mbpsfttb.

Illovo Celebrates Silver Jubilee on MSE

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Illovo Sugar Malawi, which is one of the sugar producers operating in the country, has clocked 25-years on Malawi Stock Exchange.

The company was listed in November 1997 with a market capitalization of around K1 billion, which has grown to over K300 billion.

Traditional dances, music performances, cake cutting and speeches characterized the Silver jubilee celebrations which took place recently at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.

In his speech, Managing Director for Illovo Malawi, Lekani Katandula said the 25-year old journey has not been easy but fruitful.

On his part MSE Chief Executive Officer, John Kamanga said the listing of Illovo on the stock market has been profitable for both the company and investors. He also urged other companies to list on the market.

Illovo, which employs over 11 800 permanent and non-permanent people, 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.

Exports also take place to the EU and the USA markets, which include a range of specialty sugars.

NBM contributes K5 million towards KUHES Research Conference

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By Benjamin Maona, a Contributor

Mwazani (Centre) handing over cheque to Mubas representatives-photo by Benjamin Maona

National Bank of Malawi (NBM plc has contributed K5 million towards the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES) Research Dissemination Conference set for Thursday and Friday.

The conference, which takes place at the University’s campus in Blantyre, is expected to attract over 800 local and international delegates.

Speaking during the cheque handover ceremony on Wednesday, NBM plc Business Development Manager, Wezi Mwazani said the Bank values the relationship between the two institutions and also takes pride in the health solutions the University offers to the nation through its training, research, clinic, and sports developments.

“We understand that during the conference, participants will present their findings in Nutrition, Mental Health, Infectious diseases, Environmental Health and other related issues. We as a Bank fully support these discussions and are keen to know some of the resolutions that will help improve our health services delivery in the country. We need healthy staff and customers for our daily operations,” she said.

Mwazani delivering the speech-photo by Benjamin Maona

KUHES Acting Dean of Students Affairs, who is also co-chairperson for the conference organizing committee, Benjamin Kumwenda commended NBM plc for the support saying it will mend the gaps in the budget.

“Our budget is K150 million and by last week we had collected about K100 million. Therefore, this gesture by NBM will push us forward so that we do not finish our conference with debts. Research is very important not only to KUHES but even the nation in various aspects including source of employment and foreign currency. We get our grants in foreign currency for various research projects. This conference will also give a chance to investigators to deliberate on various health issues and the findings will be useful to the nation,” he said.

Minister of Education, Agnes Nya Lonje will grace the conference.

US$18 million bill chokes Castel Malawi…Carlsberg Green on the verge of suspension

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Ganda-We pledge our support

Castel Malawi has disclosed that it has unsettled outstanding bills totaling to US$18 million (approx.. K18 billion) due to unavailability of forex and the situation, if it continues, will see the production of its flagship brand, the Carlsberg Green being suspended.

Already, the company has stopped production of its spirits line namely Malawi Gin, Premier Brandy, and Malawi Vodka due to acute shortage of raw materials which can only be accessed through forex.

Speaking in Lilongwe last week when he was introduced to government officials including members of parliament, newly appointed Managing Director for Castel Malawi Thomas Reynaud said acute shortage of forex has seriously impacted the operations of the company.

 “Spirits production has been suspended due to acute shortage of returnable bottles since we do not have a local supplier and Carlsberg Green is at the verge of suspension as well due to unavailability of materials. Foreign suppliers have stopped supplying key materials due to old overdue bills.”

“The Company has a total unsettled outstanding bills of US$18 million and we require US$14 million immediately to ease the pressure with our suppliers to release new materials and in order for us to sustain the business, we require at least US$2 million per month,” said Reynaud.

On the steps that the company has taken so far to sort out the situation, Reynaud said they have met with all banking partners with no clear commitments so far.

Thomas Reynaud Castel Malawi Managing Director

“We are lobbying for assistance to source forexto enable our growth and expansion plans as we want to build a state-of-art brewing plant here in Lilongwe because we have a long-term ambition to expand the business and contribute more to the job creation as well as revenue generation for the government,” said Reynaud.

Reynaud also said Castel Malawi, which has been operating in the country since 2016 after buying majority shareholding in Carlsberg Denmark, has invested more than MK80 billion in the past five years to improve machine capacity and product quality.

“The Company contributed more than MK200 billion to the revenues of the county in form of taxes over the past 6 years and this year we project to pay taxes amounting to K40 billion if we receive necessary support in terms of forex availability,” he said.

Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament Gladys Ganda pledged her committee’s support in lobbying the government to allocate the forex that the company requires so that it does not shut down.

“We can not allow this company to shut down considering that it is employing a lot of Malawians and is contributing to our economy through tax revenue, so, we pledge our support,” said Ganda.

Castel Malawi Ltd directly employs 625 permanent employees and almost 300 temporary contract employees through brokers. Castel Malawi also provides about 100 000 indirect employment through distributors, suppliers, bars and groceries.

CDEDI wants SPC Zamba relieved from her duties

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By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), is has urged President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to exonerate himself from serious allegations levelled against the Secretary to the President and Cabinet
(SPC), Colleen Zamba, by relieving her from her duties.

The former Acting Chief Executive Officer for the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) Hellen Buluma has accused Zamba of abuse of office by alleging that by virtue of being the Chairperson for the NOCMA Board of Directors, she influenced oil deals amid fuel crisis in the country.

This has been revealed when Buluma was summoned to appear before the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of parliament, on Wednesday November 23, 2022.

“Having heard a one sided story, Malawians waited with baited breath to hear from Zamba, who was set to appear before the same committee but in a clear case of impunity and arrogance, she never showed up. The absence of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Members of Parliament (MPs) during the hearing, and the gravity of the allegations levelled against the SPC gives the impression that we are dealing with a clear case of organized crime where Dr. Chakwera himself should explain to Malawians not by words but through deeds and actions, by firing the SPC with immediate effect,” reads a statement by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

Namiwa said if it were in a serious country, Zamba would have resigned before Buluma walked out of the PAC meeting.

“Similarly, if it were that President Chakwera was not involved in all these heinous acts, he would have fired Zamba by now,” says Namiwa who has assured Malawians that his organisation will keep on monitoring the events as they unfold, and will address Malawians at an appropriate time.

Buluma has told the committee that on September 26, Zamba sent her profiles of fuel suppliers Iconic Venture and Horizon.

She further claims that a few days later Zamba called her and introduced a man called Chief.

Buluma claims she doesn’t now his name but Zamba just called him chief.

She claims Chief later called and made inquires on the issues of fuel supply.

Buluma says Zamba told her to consider ‘Chief’, a Nigerian who presented letters of a company from South Africa.

Buluma says when the Badea fuel facility came through on November 10, Zamba sent her a message to the effect that “Kodi za Chief zili pati? Mpakana mumaliza ndalama zonsetu”.

She further claims that ‘Chief’ later called her and started shouting at her as to why she was delaying signing the deal.

Castel Malawi introduces new boss to Govt

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Reynaud speaks at the event

Castel Malawi on Thursday evening introduced their new Managing Director Thomas Reynaud to government officials including members of Parliament in Lilongwe.

Reynaud has replaced Herve’ Milhade who has been assigned to BGI, a Castel subsidiary in   Ethiopia.

Reynaud said he was happy to serve the company in Malawi and stressed that he wants to improve the relationship between his company, the Malawi government, and other stakeholders.

“We are going through a lot of problems right now in terms of access to forex to enable us to buy raw materials for our products, but we are encouraging local sourcing of raw materials and encouraging agribusiness to grow and support the local economy so that we use local raw materials in these hard times.”

“We are here to grow the business by introducing new brands and building the state-of-the-art brewing plant here in Lilongwe. We want to maintain good relations with the government authorities and other stakeholders like customers, distributors, suppliers, and trade associations,” said Reynaud.

He hailed the Malawi government for reducing the alcohol excise tax regime which was considered as the highest in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region and led to high production costs for the company.

Castel Malawi Corporate Affairs Director Gloria Zimba also hailed partners and stakeholders who helped to lobby for the reduction of the excise tax regime.

“We want to thank various stakeholders who assisted in lobbying for change of the alcohol excise tax regime for clear beer from 90% then 60% and now 40%. For opaque beer the excise tax was reduced from 40%, to 30% to further 10%. We must commend the Malawi government for this bold step which aligned Malawi to the SADC region on the excise tax regimes for opaque and clear beer,” said Zimba.

She further noted that the change has brought in many positive benefits to Castel Malawi like maintaining affordable retails prices for local products, growth of production volumes which has in turn tripled sales contributing to government revenue through taxes.

Speaking at the event, Chairperson for Budget and Finance Committee of parliament Gladys Ganda welcomed Reynaud and pledged the committees’ support in lobbying the government on forex allocation for business sustenance, continuity  and further growth .

“We know that you employ a lot of Malawians, and you need forex for your production. We are here to offer our assistance in lobbying for support because we cannot let you close down,” said Ganda.

UGI celebrates men on international men’s day

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Chikuse (right) handing over the gift to Ngwira- photo by Benjamin Maona

Men seeking insurance services at United General Insurance (UGI) offices were on Friday and Saturday showered with gifts as part of celebrating International Men’s Day.

This year’s International Men’s day fell on Saturday under the theme Helping men and Boys where UGI joined the world in the celebrations.

UGI Chief Finance Officer Gloria Chikuse said the gesture is part of celebrating men’s struggle for their socio-economic accomplishments.

“One of the objectives of International Men’s Day is to focus on men’s health and wellbeing. That is the social, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Men carry a lot of responsibilities and in their quest of life, most of them struggle silently. In their struggle they suffer silently because the community believes men don’t cry. As UGI we are celebrating men by sending a message of hope, love and thanks to all men including our clients that men can talk if they are struggling. Men need help!” she said.

Chikuse (right) and Ngwira (left) celebrate the mens day-photo by Benjamin Maona

One of the customers who got a gift, Dan Ngwira, who is also Communications Director for The Institute of Marketing in Malawi (IMM) commended UGI for remembering men.

“It feels great, moments where men are celebrated are quite rare in a calendar year. This is a very good opportunity for UGI to excite their customers and give them a good experience. This is a good reason for me to insure my car with UGI because I have been celebrated. Everyone needs emotional support regardless of gender. We have moments where women, children celebrate and this initiative of celebrating men is good,” said Ngwira.

Early this year, UGI also gave out gifts to women on Valentines and Mothers days.

NBS Bank eases transactions with Tha! Tha! Tha! digital campaign

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Dzoole Mwale (right) speaks at the launch

NBS Bank plc has launched a new campaign dubbed Tha! Tha! Tha! with an aim to give the Bank’s existing and potential customers a better digital experience.

NBS Bank plc  Head of Digital Banking, Inqxhuiniso Dzoole Mwale said the three months campaign will engage customers with digital banking products under the EazyBank umbrella, enabling simplification, ease and convenience for the customer.

“We fully comprehend that our customers are busy and banking should not be one item on their day-to-day to-do lists. We fully comprehend that our customers want quick banking services which they have control of anytime, anywhere.”

“EAZY Banking is the solution. Just like; Tha, or 1,2,3, or ABC! EazyBank is an umbrella term for the Bank’s digital banking offering that includes EazyMobile, EazyApp, EazyWapp, EazyOnline, EazyCash (ATM), EazySwipe (POS), EazyCard (Debit and Credit).”

“The digital banking platforms provide a seamless banking experience that answers to customer convenience by providing vast self-service solutions and a wide range of products. All these assist the customer to process all their transactions or payments with the convenience of their phones  and cards, as easy as Tha! Tha! Tha!,” said Dzoole Mwale.

He said the Tha Tha Tha campaign has three elements aimed at educating both existing and potential customers about Eazy Banking solutions, the festival element where customers use  the NSB Bank’s EazyPay solution in the retail outlets and stand a chance to win ‘trolleyful’ prizes and the world cup experience.

Dzoole Mwale further said that the third element is the partnership which the Bank has with Regional 5 games to build and celebrate future athletes.

NBS Bank plc Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Tamanda Ng’ombe-Longwe said this is part of their five-year strategy to improve service delivery through digitization.

“This is to ease access, ease interaction with the Bank and to ease the pressure of time for our customers hence our digital banking slogan EazyBank. What we, as NBS Bank plc, are trying to say is that banking should be as easy as Tha Tha Tha.”

“Therefore, this campaign aims to let our customers and the market know more about our digital products and services that will spell convenience for our customers. As you may be aware, you can now access various personal loans digitally from NBS Bank plc without visiting our banking halls,” she said.

NBS Bank plc Marketing Manager, James Chikaonda said the three Tha!s represents the educative series aimed at educating both existing and potential customers about Eazy Banking solutions.

“The Bank therefore invites Malawi and all Regional 5 guests that will be participating in the tournament to this digital banking party. Digital is the future of banking. We are bringing the future banking experience today and now to ensure our customers access banking service wherever they are,” Chikaonda concluded.

CDEDI tells Chakwera not to sell donation, urges Malawi to protest the MK15,000 AIP price

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By Iommie Chiwalo

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has warned President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to stop playing hide-and-seek on availability and accessibility of fertiliser as wall as maize in the country.

The call comes amid inconsistency from authorities when explaining about matters to do with fertiliser donation which government says it will still spend a whopping K40 billion only in blending.

In a press statement signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, says his organisation rose to the occasion after it is evident that President Chakwera has departed from his campaign promise of selling a 50 Kilogramme bag of fertiliser at no more than K4,500.

“In fact, we have a video clip where an old woman, identifying her-self as Virginia Kalifale, is vowing to vote for Chakwera on the strength of this promise for cheap fertiliser. To those that could not afford the K4,500, Dr. Chakwera, actually promised free fertiliser. Now, what evidence is there that such people’s economic fortunes have improved that they can now afford to contribute K15,000 towards the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) fertiliser? Today, Virginia Kalifale represents millions of Malawians who voted for Chakwera hoping to buy fertiliser at K4,500,” queries Namiwa.

Adding that such people have had a shock of their lives at hearing from the AIP task force that this year they are expected to
contributed K15,000 for their subsidised fertiliser bearing in mind that these are commodities which poor Malawians, who are majority depend on for survival.

He said the conduct of Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration is nothing but a total betrayal given the current economic challenges facing Malawi clearly mirrored through the sky-rocketing cost of living that has made life for an average Malawian family practically difficult.

Namiwa has therefore, challenged all farming communities to refuse the global economic downturn and the Ukraine war stories, which are being used by the current administration to cover up its incompetence and cluelessness because elsewhere, leaders that have the welfare of their people at heart have worked out mechanisms to bail out citizens.

“But, here, is all about excuses. If the leaders are giving excuses on problems their people are facing, who, then, will give citizens solutions? As we stand, it is clear that Malawians are paying the price of voting into office leaders who were not up to the mark,” hints Namiwa saying from the look of things, in the coffers that President Chakwera controls there is money for anything else save for fertiliser and food for the poorest of the poor.

“Evidence is there that every month the President has money to travel somewhere with a bloated entourage at the expense of poor Malawians, most of whom do not know where their next meal is going to come from. To prove that President Chakwera does not care about the likes of Virginia Kalifale—that only need affordable fertiliser not handouts—his cronies are ready to pounce on the donated fertiliser by selling it at K15,000 per bag,” he said.

As authorities are failing to explain, CDEDI and numerous Malawians are not getting response of where the already budgeted for AIP will go.

“Where the money already budgeted for this exercise will go is anybody’s guess. Simply put, this decision has been arrived at because Malawians have accepted to be taken for granted by politician. As citizens, we seem to enjoy suffering in silence. Had we protested the 2021/2022 price of K7,500 this year, matters would not have come to this point. Should we accept this price, next year the same AIP fertiliser will be at K50,000 per bag!,” highlights the CDEDI Executive Director.

Namiwa has since challenged President Chakwera to reverse the decision by his cronies to sell the donated fertilizer and also revise the price of AIP fertiliser to K7,500 before the launch of the programme slated for Saturday, November 19, 2022 in Dedza district.

“The President should also come out clearly on the actual amount of fertilizer available in the country outside the AIP, since it appears we, as a nation, have forgotten that we also have commercial farmers,” he said.

Speaking on maize availability situation, Namiwa calls for an explanation to the nation about the status of the maize situation in the country in the wake of the sky-rocketing prices of the staple grain and when the people should expect the opening of the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) selling points that have been tried and tested as well as proven to be the right channels for accessing both fertilizer and food across the country.

“Let the President and his government be reminded that a hungry person is an angry person, therefore, any carelessness in handling the maize crisis in the country is a recipe for disaster,”

EMMILLIE HALIMANA MYSTERIOUS’ DEATH: Preps for Nov 23 demos on course…DC confirms receipt of notification letter

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By Iommie Chiwalo

Preparations for peaceful demonstrations slated for November 23 to show displeasure with the conduct of the police on the mysterious death of Malawian of Rwandan origin Emmillie Halimana Noel are at an advanced stage, with the Lilongwe District Commissioner confirming receipt of the notification letter.

“We the concerned citizens, would like to notify your office of our intention to hold peaceful demonstrations aimed at forcing the Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to effect the arrest of suspects connected to the mysterious death of Lilongwe-based businessman, a Malawian citizen of Rwandan origin, Emmilie Halimana Noel, aged 36, who allegedly died in a road accident in Lilongwe along the M1 road around the Kanengo Northgate area on October 17, 2022,” reads the notification letter.

The notification signed by concerned citizens representatives Wales Khama, Cynthia Chikalema and Esther Kubwalo indicates that they have arrived at this decision after it became apparent that the MPS is not only reluctant to act, but has also crossed the line by shielding the suspects, if their deafening silence on the matter is anything to go by.

“Now, as a country, the national security remains the only thing that we should all safeguard very jealously. Today is Emmilie, we are not sure who will be next! As a country we should not tolerate bad apples in the police service to dent our image because of their love for money in exchange for justice,” reads a strong worded notification letter addressed to Lilongwe DC Lawford Palani.

The grouping has made it clear that the letter is just a notification and not necessarily seeking permission.

“It is important to remind you that holding peaceful demonstrations is a constitutional right, hence this letter seeks to notify your office for proper planning, and not seeking permission,” it reads.

Intentionally the grouping wants the peaceful demonstrations to be held on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, from 09:30hrs, starting from the Lilongwe Community Ground passing through Mchesi, all the way to the Kamuzu Central Hospital Roundabout and Parliament Building Roundabout up to the Parliament main entrance where a petition will be delivered to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security but it will depend on what will come out of the stakeholders preparatory meeting which involves organisers, Police and the District council officials.

The current administration is facing serious criticism from all angles due to myriad dysfunctional sections that have even been spotted by a state funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC).

In a recent communique MHRC has recommended that government should address serious challenges facing the country including security lapses, dysfunctional health sector et al.

PIL brings 1 million litres diesel through cargo train

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Train cargo carrying diesel-photo by Benjamin Maona

As the country grapples against fuel shortage, Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of four oil marketing companies, has imported one million litres of diesel through Cargo train from the port of Nacala in Mozambique.

The consignment arrived at Blantyre Train Station on Monday morning with the hope to ease shortage of fuel in the country for the next weeks.

PIL general manager, Martin Msimuko briefed the media after receiving the new consignment where he assured the public of their efforts to import more fuel using various means.

Msimuko-We will bring more-photo by Benjamin Maona

“We are liaising with banks to help us with more forex so that we are able to bring more in the next few weeks. Last week we brought in 1.9 litres of diesel, plus today’s one million it means we have imported 2.9 million litres,” he said

Msimuko further said PIL will continue importing into the country 4.8 million litres of petrol which have already been secured with suppliers using the letters of credit (LCs) starting this week.

“We have in the past four days been able to source 2 million litres of petrol with support from the same banks and we continue to receive 4.8 million litres of petrol this week.”

The cargo carrying fuel- photo by Benjamin Maona

“We also believe that by bringing fuel by train we are able to bring huge volumes at once as you can see we have been able to bring in one million litres. If we had used trucks the carbon emissions would have been much higher than using the train as we have done. And we believe that bringing fuel through rail is efficient, nowadays it only takes a maximum of 48 hours to move wagons from Nacala to Blantyre. It used to take longer in the past. This has helped to reduce the losses that were being experienced at the depots,” he explained.

Nacala Logistics used 25 diesel wagons to bring in the 1 million litres of diesel in the country.

Malawi has been experiencing fuel shortages due to lack of forex to import the commodity into the country.

Castel Malawi busts fake Malawi Gin producers…cautions on health risks

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Chibayo and wife with their counterfeit products

Castel Malawi has busted a production house in Ntcheu which was producing counterfeit Malawi Gin spirit and has led to an arrest of a young couple.

A young family comprising husband Shavison Chibayo, 34 and wife Karishima Machewere, 29, are currently on bail and will appear before Ntcheu Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Nkhono to answer appropriate charges

Castel Malawi officials assisted by Police officers from Ntcheu Police Station busted the production of the counterfeit Malawi Gin two weeks ago after receiving reports that some people were producing ‘fake gin’ packaged in Malawi Gin branded bottles.

Castel Malawi announced on 7 October 2022 that it had stopped production of spirits namely Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Premier Brandy due to the scarcity of packaging materials which require forex to access.

Castel Malawi Head of Marketing, Frank Binauli, confirmed the development in an interview yesterday but assured consumers that they are working with the Malawi Police in chasing every tip that they get from the market about counterfeit spirits.

“People are taking advantage of the announcement we made about the problems we are facing in producing spirits; but being a responsible company, we continue keeping our ear on the ground through our team to curb any attempt by unscrupulous individuals who may want to supply the market with counterfeit products. We appreciate the great citizens that report such unscrupulous individuals to us, as well, we also appreciate the professionalism we get from Malawi Police in assisting us curb this problem for the safety of consumers”.

“With the help of the police, Castel Malawi Ltd busted the young couple while they were packaging four 750 litre drums of ethanol mixed with water into empty Malawi Gin bottles,” said Binauli.

He said Castel Malawi is investigating similar cases and warned people perpetrating the vice to stop before the long arm of the law catches up with them.

Information from Ntcheu Magistrate Court indicates that Chibayo, 34, who hails from Mwansambo village, Traditional Authority Kuntaja in Blantyre and Machewere, 29, who hails from Makhwata village, T/A Njolomole Ntcheu will appear in court on 29 November 2022 for hearing of the case.

Primary school teacher hails Standard Bank’s Tisanje promo

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By Yamikani Sekeni

Ngwalangwa (Right) symbolically presenting a dummy to Munthali (Left)

People were all smiles on a sunny afternoon at Livilizi in Salima when Standard Bank officially handed over K6 million prize money to Margret Munthali who emerged the overall winner of the Tisanje promotion.

The promotion which aimed at encouraging utilization of digital banking and promoting saving culture among customers has facilitated the growth of a Salima-based primary school teacher and other customers.

Doubtless Munthali gathered courage to share her vision of the prize money, saying the reward will be used to build a better house for her family.

“As you can see I stay in a rented house therefore, my plan is to build a good house. This is a lifetime opportunity, I cannot imagine this lucky and growth has landed in my house today,” said Munthali.

She hailed Standard Bank for coming up with the promotion that required transacting conveniently on the bank’s digital platforms.

“I would like to thank God for helping me to win in this promotion. I thank Standard Bank for Tisanje promotion because the money will change my life. I have been the bank’s customer for many years and I like doing transactions using my mobile phone so it is amazing that through that I emerged a winner,” she said.
Speaking during the presentation Clarence Ngwalangwa, Salima Standard Bank branch manager expressed satisfaction with customers’ overwhelmed response.

Munthali (Left) receiving a dummy presentation of the prize money from Ngwalangwa (Right)

“As a bank we are promoting digital transactions so that people should be accessing our banking services in their comfort of their homes and anywhere. It’s a great achievement to see customers like Margret winning, it shows that customers are making full use of our digital platforms,” said Ngwalangwa.

Standard Bank which is operating towards driving the growth of Malawi says Tisanje promotion has uplifted lives of customers.

“We continue to spearhead development through our core purpose which says Malawi is Our Home, We Drive Her Growth. We believe that the promotion has been a catalyst for economic transformation to many other customers who emerged winners of different cash prizes,” he said.

Ngwalangwa added that the promotion has successfully brought more bank customers onto the digital transformation journey through increased access to the bank’s 247 Mobile (*247#), 247 Online (Internet Banking) and 247 Smart App.

According to the bank, Tisanje promotion has contributed to a 9 percent growth in digital usage and increased transactional volumes by 12%.

PLOT GONE WRONG: Muluzi appeared before ACB as a mere witness not suspect

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Anti-corruption Bureau Director Martha Chizuma has told Former UDF President Atupele Muluzi that she was summoning him to appear before the bureau not as a suspect, but to give a witness statement on investigations into the sale of the two plots that are suspected to have been sold illegally at Bwaila in Lilongwe when he was serving as Minister of Lands.

She was speaking yesterday at the Anti-Corruption Bureau offices in Lilongwe when Muluzi appeared before the bureau.

Chizuma told Muluzi that investigations into the sale of the two plots cannot be complete without his statement as he was minister then and that investigations are on-going until the bureau concludes the matter.

Malawi Voice broke news of an impending arrest for the former President’s son after being tipped by reliable sources On Saturday 5th November, that ACB’s Director Martha Chizuma had been receiving pressure from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to get Muluzi on the list of corrupt politicians but she has been taking her sweet time which was not going down well with the MCP hierarchy.

According to Muluzi’s lawyer Jai Banda who accompanied Muluzi to the questioning, the former UDF president narrated to the ACB the procedure which one follows when acquiring land and that as Minister his job was to approve land applications which have complied with the law and disapprove those that have not complied with the law.

Muluzi told the bureau that as minister, one is not signatory to any offer letters made to land applicants as that authority lies in the hands of the Commissioner of Lands.

Muluzi’s questioning which was expected to start at 2pm was delayed by almost an hour and half after his supporters and sympathizers blocked the entrance to the bureau demanding that Muluzi would only enter the premises when real corruption suspects who have benefited from corrupt proceeds and the of taxpayer’s money are summoned first.

The supporters accused the bureau of applying selective justice and victimizing their leader.

A visibly frustrated Muluzi accompanied by his wife Angella had to return to his vehicle twice as the supporters wrestled against his security detail to deny him entry into the ACB premises. It was only after he addressed them that they cleared the entrance for him to go in.

Later on, speaking to hundreds of people that gathered at Lizulu Market on his way to his Area 3 residence, Muluzi warned the ACB to desist from being used by politicians to victimize innocent people.

“Let them investigate, and investigate and investigate….they will not find anywhere that Atupele has been involved in any corrupt dealing or stealing a penny that belongs to Malawians,” Said Muluzi adding that he is a leader who believes in the rule of law and service to the people.

Muluzi further warned the Tonse government that they should brace for change as Malawians are tired of leaders who instead of providing solutions to people’s problems spend their time playing golf, saying such leaders are not serious with the welfare of Malawians.

Several renowned human rights activists in Malawi namely Bon Kalindo, Redson Munlo, Levi Luwemba and Billy Banda attended the Muluzi summoning in solidarity.

This is not first time for the Muluzi family to be persecuted. Atupele’s father Bakili Muluzi was also charged over seven times on cooked up charges.

MCP Witch-hunts Atupele with cooked up charges, to appear before ACB

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Former United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi is today appearing before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Lilongwe in what is widely believed to be ‘cooked up’ corruption related investigations.

On Saturday November 5, Malawi Voice broke the news of an impending arrest for the former President’s son after being tipped by reliable sources, that ACB Director Martha Chizuma had been receiving pressure from MCP to get Muluzi on the list of corrupt politicians but she has been taking her sweet time which was not going down well with the MCP hierarchy.

It is understood the plot has been work in progress since Muluzi, a son to former president Dr. Bakili, announced his return to active politics some weeks ago during a programme hosted on Times TV.

During the interview, Muluzi accused President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration of failing to run the affairs of the country. He also accused the current administration of taming corruption and failing to fulfill campaign promises.

The young Muluzi took over the reins of the former governing party (UDF) from his father, Bakili, who ruled Malawi between 1994 and 2004.

He also contested in the 2019 presidential elections and when the polls were nullified by the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court, he partnered that time’s president Peter Mutharika as running mate in the fresh poll which they lost.

Muluzi also served as minister in various portfolios in the Mutharika and Dr. Joyce Banda administrations.

SuperSport launches Sounds of the World Cup starring renowned comedian Arap Uria

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SuperSport has partnered with acclaimed Kenyan comedian, Arap Uria, and other continental social media stars to bring you an exciting online campaign called Sounds of the World Cup ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that kicks off on the 20th of November 2022.

Sounds of the World Cup is a platform that allows fans to be part of and create euphoria around the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Through an influencer driven digital content creation campaign, moments of iconic World Cup commentary will be made available to fans to create their own lip-syncing content on TikTok.

Speaking about the campaign, Rendani Ramovha, SuperSport’s Head on Commercial and Marketing said the inspiration behind the campaign was not only to get fans to watch the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in HD, on SuperSport, but also to give fans an opportunity to co-create and relive some of the best moments in World Cup history!

“As SuperSport, we are thrilled to join forces with Arap, YoungNobleCommentary, and Say Logan to name a few, who are undoubtedly some of the biggest content curators across the continent right now. SuperSport prides itself as innovators and the lip-synching challenge presents a perfect opportunity for our viewers to showcase their authentic talent while enjoying the biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022”.

We look forward to seeing how the content lead campaign unearths and showcases the joy, madness, excitement and content-creation talent.

Uria, who grabbed global attention by perfectly mimicking the words of renowned commentary wordsmith Peter Drury, says he’s looking forward to hearing and embracing all the unique content from the SuperSport viewers.

“The FIFA World Cup gives us die-hard football fans a great occasion to celebrate the beautiful game. The partnership with SuperSport continues to be a highlight in my career and an exciting opportunity to represent fans across the continent in a meaningful way.

“As a content creator, Sounds of the World Cup has created a platform for us to reminisce and give Africans a reason to feel the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fever!

“SuperSport has always been at the forefront of bringing us Africans world-class World Cup action and I’m thrilled to embark on this creative concept with them,” said the 27 year old content creator.

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicks off on the 20th of November and runs until the 18th of December 2022..

Don’t miss the FIFA World Cup 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.

Malawians give police 7-day to act on the mysterious death of a LL based Businessman

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By Iommie CHIWALO

Concerned citizens have given the Malawi Police Service seven days to put to light the circumstances that led to the death of Malawian of Rwandan origin Noel Halimana who initially reportedly died in road accident but later on discovered that his death was due to strangulation.

In a statement signed by representatives of the concerned citizens, Wales Khama, Cynthia Chikalema and Esther Kubwalo, have given the police seven (7) days to ensure that all those that carried the body from one place to another to be arrested and interrogated since they owe Malawians an explanation over their strange conduct.

The grouping says has arrived at this stage after learning that the death of Halimana has been established that it was an organised crime.

For instance, the concerned citizens have brought to the attention of the police about their individual investigation at Maula prison where the driver of the deceased is being remanded.

The grouping says is disheartening to note that some bad apples in the Malawi Police Service have a very strange way of handling cases involving foreign nationals especially refugees and asylum seekers, a development that raises eye brows and in most cases they go flat-out shielding criminals for economic benefit at the expense of national security.

“It is for this reason that, we the Concerned Citizens are here today, vowing to fight for justice to prevail on the death of Noel who met his fate on his way from Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa,” reads the statement from the concerned citizens.

Following the precepts to the sequence of events, the concerned citizens are convinced that Noel’s death was arranged, a development that is smelling foul play all over.

“Failure to act within the specified time will leave us with no option but take to the streets to protest this shameful act by the police. We just want the Malawi Police Service to desist from any conduct that has the potential to erode the trust the citizens have in their police, and strive to safeguard the gains made in as far as our global record in relation to hosting refugees and asylum seekers is concerned,” reads the statement.

Adding that some quarters within the police would like to make us believe that Noel died on the spot after an accident involving his personal vehicle, a Toyota Hiace minibus registration number KK 3519 he was travelling in. The police arrested the driver, a Rwandan national Raffick Munyamagaju who survived the purported accident unscratched.

The grouping alleges that the driver, is reportedly fearing for his own life while on remand at Maula prison.

“It is sad to report that these people are that powerful to an extent that Rafik is feeling insecure while in prison. Rafik’s safety at Maula prison should therefore be guaranteed by both the MPS and their counterpart the Malawi Prison Services. Those police officers that are intimidating the deceased’s immediate relatives should also be disciplined. We cannot afford to let few bad apples to dent the image of our country, let alone compromise the safety and security of this great republic,” say the concerned citizens.

Giving the whole incident grey areas is the fact that the driver did not report the accident to the nearest police station at Kanengo. But the police instituted initial investigations that led to the driver’s arrest only to be released on bail without being charged.

It is further reported that there was drama as a group connected to the driver’s family, who happens to be the deceased’s brother in-laws , took control of everything without waiting for the police to do their work as is always the case during road accidents.

“It is reported that the family members took Noel’s body to Daeyung Hospital allegedly for postmortem and embalming during the same night. As this was happening, some members of the group were busy making burial arrangements including buying a coffin the same night in readiness for burial without the involvement of the deceased’s blood relations but when Noel’s relations learnt of the alleged accident and the death, they moved in to stop everything, and at this point the body was transferred to Kamuzu Central Hospital and upon the arrival of the blood relations, everything was put to a halt and a proper autopsy was conducted on 20th October 2022, which concluded that Noel did not die as a result of the road traffic accident, but rather strangulation. This has been collaborated by the driver’s own confession when we visited him at Maula prison following his re-arrest after reservations by direct brothers to the deceased,”

The Police is yet to speak to this publication but postmortem report in our possession really shows the death was not due to road accident.

Malawi’s Leader of Opposition Nankhumwa in a surprise visit to fuel service stations in Lilongwe

Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President responsible for the Southern Region, Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, is going around some filling stations in the Capital City, Lilongwe to see for himself how motorists are coping with the scarcity of fuel in the country.

 Nankhumwa has already been to Biwi and Bunda turnoff. He was also expected to visit Kanengo as we went to press.

The youthful politician has said the situation was “extremely bad” and the stories that he had heard were sad.

“People are being hugely inconvenienced because now they have to drop everything and alter their programmes just to focus on finding fuel,” Nankhumwa told tens of motorists.

The Mulanje Central legislator Nankhumwa said fuel is a strategic commodity, which is integral to the functioning of the economy.

“This is scary because our economy is already in ICU owing to poor management. There is no forex, and the Kwacha is consistently tumbling down.

Businesses cannot run because they are failing to import essential raw materials for production. And to add lack of fuel to the mix makes this a double whammy of economic crisis,” he said.

NFRA Chair Kalekeni threatens staff

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Beleaguered Board Chairman for scandal-lidden National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Dennis Kalekeni has started threatening staff members of dismissals for ‘leaking’ information to the media about the Organisation.

Kalekeni who has just been re-appointed to the NFRA board is said to have been acting like an executive chairman where he is meeting staff and threatening them with dismissals.

Governance rules states that the Chairman of the board should not be involved in the day to day running of an Organisation and will only get information from executive management.

Insiders said Kalekeni is not happy with several reports about scandals at NFRA which included an embarrassing loss of maize worth K123 million recently and his abuse of allowances as board chairman.

We have information that every time Kalekeni visits NFRA offices, he is paid allowances amounting to K200, 000 and he has also been taking allowances amounting to K1.3 million for trips that he has not taken.

“Now the Chairman has a bone to chew with staff members and he has threatened to personally make sure that they are fired,” said our source.

Kalekeni is also said to be acting like an executive manager because of his alleged affair with NFRA CEO Brenda Kayongo.

But trouble is brewing for Kalekeni in the K123 million maize scandal next week when he appears before the parliamentary committee investigating corruption and abuse of office issues that have recently rocked government departments and agencies.

Insiders said parliamentary committee members investigating the maize scandal have stumbled on information that the kingpin in the scandal Smollet Kachere who is answering charges of the missing maize is a direct cousin of Kalekeni and he was acting on instructions from him and Kayongo.

“It will be interesting to see how he will handle this issue because everyone knows that Kachere and the Chairman are relatives, they are direct cousins actually and he knows how this maize was stolen,” said a committee member who did not want to be mentioned ‘because of the sensitivity of the matter’

CDEDI expose more rot in AIP, warns Malawians to open their eyes

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By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), is demanding an official communication on the decision to cancel the intention to award contracts in the ongoing fertilizer procurement in the 2022/23 Affordable Input Program(AIP) which Small holder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) issued on October 24, 2022 on the basis of glaring price discrepancies.

In a letter signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa and addressed to Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale, the organization says what is contained in the currently cancelled intention to award contracts notification is a clear case of organized crime to loot, plunder and rip off unsuspecting taxpayers in broad-day light.

Apart from demanding an assurance that due diligence processes will be conducted in the awarding of the contracts and the implementation of the whole AIP exercise, CDEDI has given seven days to Minister Kawale to respond or face unspecified action.

Namiwa has put it to light that even when there is such a notification, still there is no official communication to validate its contents.

“CDEDI has tried to get an official communication through you Hon. but to no avail. When contacted, the SFFRFM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Chikunkhuzeni was equally waiting for an official communication on the same from your office,” says Namiwa.

He has since sampled out some contracts that were intended to be given to some firms which in simple mathematics the figures are not adding up.

For example, the CDEDI Boss cited Crack Hardware and General Dealers which was initially awarded 2,345.31 tones with a total amount pegged at MK5,017,963,000.00 an equivalent of MK2, 139,573.44 per ton, which is equal to MK106,978.67 per 50-kilogram bag.

He also brought to the attention of the Minister about Chipala Investments which in the said cancellation was awarded a total tonnage of 4,934.80 with a total contract value of MK4,720,171,852.50.

“This gives us a MK956,507.22 per ton. This means Chipala Investments is charging Malawians MK47,825.36 for every 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer. And Kidoti Holdings Limited has been awarded 4,527.15 tones amounting to MK3, 590,025,985.00. This translates to MK792, 999.12 per ton, which is equal to MK39,649.95 per 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer,” says Namiwa.

Based on variations in pricing mechanism, Namiwa has wondered as to why government is paying different prices for the same 50kg bag of fertilizer, and as high as MWK100 thousand.

“It is very clear that entities that have nothing to do with fertilizer business have been awarded contracts according to the said communication. A closer look at the list has revealed that some of the companies and individuals that have been awarded these contracts are Malawi Congress Party (MCP) sponsors and sympathizers,” says Namiwa.

He has since cautioned the Agriculture Minister to tread carefully considering that the AIP borders on the life-line of the poor of the poorest.

“Therefore every move you take in this area will not go unnoticed let alone unchecked, since it is an open secret that at play is the taxpayer’s money,” he says.

As a sign of organised crimes within Malawi government, Namiwa says it is very clear that some people sat down and organized themselves to loot public funds even after issuing a notice of contracts awarding cancellation.

“The fact that this notice was paid for in the daily papers it means it is legitimate, unless you Hon. Minister come out in the open to declare the cancellation of these contracts,” he said.

CDEDI has since demanded that the Minister of Agriculture make a public statement to declare the cancellation of the contracts as well as informing Malawians about individuals who sat down and planned to share their taxes in the above setup.

“And that in the event of any lawsuits emanating from the cancellation of these botched up contracts, then those who connived to steal the taxpayers’ money should be held personally liable for their actions or inactions,”

Parliament through joint committee is also questioning Agriculture officials on the same with most of the revelations shocking the tax payers to the extent that the office bearers are failing the basics.

TNM SHINES AT 2022 MARKETERS’ AWARDS: VOTED PEOPLE’S BRAND OF THE YEAR

TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing Madalitso Jonazi receives the awards

Malawi Stock Exchange-listed TNM plc won big during the Institute of Marketers Malawi (IMM) awards scooping three awards, including being independently voted as the “People’s Brand” of the year 2022.

The three accolades bagged by TNM plc are People’s Brand of Year, Commercial of Year (radio) and Local Marketing Campaign of the year.

Reacting to the recognition, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing Madalitso Jonazi said the awards confirm that TNM plc is a strong Malawian brand continually responding to the service needs of the Malawian society and the wider customer base.

“The award for People’s Brand of Year for example is a clear testimony that Malawians feel and embrace the TNM brand warmly and wholeheartedly. Intrinsically, that speaks great volumes about the wide range of TNM’s product and service offerings being introduced to meet the aspirations of the market,” he said.

Jonazi said in 2022, TNM plc demonstrated through the Mudziwathu initiative and the Pamtsetse Unlimited Data offering that it paid special attention to respond to the need for affordable products and in a tough economic year and while championing financial inclusion in rural areas.

“Through Pamtsetse Unlimited Data, which won the radio commercial of year, we made data affordable and widely accessible to everyone. And through the Mudziwathu which was chosen as Local Marketing Campaign of Year, we continued to make financial inclusion and network service access and penetration tangible at the grassroots,” said the Head of Brand and Marketing.

Jonazi said ahead of 2023, Malawians should look forward to more world class and reliable products and services on the network.

DR NANKHUMWA RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT CHAKWERA: Speaks tough on Malawi’s social and economic crises

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OFFICIAL RESPONSE BY HONOURABLE KONDWANI NANKHUMWA, MP, LEADER OF OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT TO PRESIDENT LAZARUS CHAKWERA’S NATIONAL ADDRESS INTRODUCTION

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

You will recall that on the evening of Tuesday, October 25, 2022, President Lazarus Chakwera made a televised address to the nation. The President outlined some of the measures that his Tonse Alliance administration is implementing, to clear the mess surrounding the Agriculture Input Programme (AIP).

You will also recall that as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, I gave a brief response, on the same evening, to the President’s National Address. I said the President did not address the many other social and economic challenges that the country currently faces, except for the chaotic AIP only. I, therefore, said I would soon be giving a comprehensive response, which is as follows:           

1. The Removal of Lobin Lowe

In his national address, President Chakwera touched on some of the pertinent issues that have bedeviled this year’s AIP. The chaos in the management of AIP this year obviously made the position of the now former Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, unattainable.

However, removing the Minister of Agriculture from his position is only just a small part of the whole story. Previously, we have seen the President firing and suspending public officers on corruption allegations with little or no follow up action to bring the issues to their logical conclusion. I am afraid this one does not look different, and I urge Malawians to put their excitement on hold.

Members of the Press,

During his national address, President Chakwera disclosed that their findings established that the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) signed a contract and paid money to a UK company without following proper procurement procedures, including that both the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) were completely left out.

However, the President went to town and attacked a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture for allegedly misleading the nation that the amount that government has been swindled was K30 billion when it was actually K750 million. 

It was very wrong for President Chakwera to attack a whistle-blower in this saga. We all know that were it not for that ‘member’ of the Agriculture Committee of Parliament, Malawians would not have known that this government has been sloppy, and that it has been duped out of a huge amount of tax payer’s money. President Chakwera and his officers would have swept this matter under the carpet. In fact if there is a person Malawians have to thank, it is that MP for exposing this fraud.

As Leader of Opposition in Parliament, I will not sit idle and let President Chakwera belittle parliamentarians for simply doing their oversight duties in exposing the dirt of his Ministers. Parliament shall not be intimidated by utterances from the Head of State on matters such as the mismanagement of AIP or any other affecting the welfare of the nation. Our duty is to bring oversight to the Office of the President, and other agents of the Executive.

Members of Press,

Now that the President has seen it as necessary to clarify that the amount involved is K750 Million and not K30 billion, can he also clear the mist over the involvement of his cousin and daughter in the scam? After all, he has already set the ball rolling to clarify on the amount.  This saga is a no small matter, and Malawians would want to know more, especially about who did what in this whole theatre with tax payer’s money.

The President should have addressed the whole story; like who was responsible for identifying this agent? 

Members of the Press,

Why did officials at the Ministry of Finance not raise an alarm when they realized that procedures were being flouted? Who was the one at the forefront pushing for payment to this fake UK firm? This matter must be investigated for possible criminal collusion, money laundering and fraud.

When the President says the team was dispatched to UK to see the capacity of the company that will handle the AIP, was he not briefed on the name and the reputation of the company by the Minister? Why is President Chakwera failing to accept that he too is part of the mess? What happened first between paying this company and inspecting its capacity to deliver? There are so many gray areas that the President should have cleared.

Also, the new Minister of Agriculture was already a member of the Cabinet Committee on AIP before he became Chairman of the committee and eventually appointed as Minister of Agriculture replacing Lowe on the two positions. Malawians would be interested to know how much he knew of this fertilizer buying scheme as a member of the Cabinet Committee on AIP, and if he knew, what did he do about it.

I am saying this because we may be dealing with a case of a whole rotten fish from the head to the tail.

Members of the Press,

I am well aware that ordinarily, the cabinet committee is supposed to be briefed and knows the fertilizer procurement process from the top. I am talking about the amount involved; the names of suppliers, and as well, the people and institutions involved in the whole process. What is the mandate of this committee? Should we assume that it was sleeping?  

This is where this matter is not just about firing Lobin Lowe, it is a matter of incompetence of the whole cabinet. In fact, President Chakwera’s cabinet is a poisoned chalice that has failed him. He needs to seriously consider firing his whole cabinet (without regard to relationship or friendship) and hire another one that should work for Malawians in line with his new-found theme of ‘not working for political parties but working for Malawians’.

2. Reduction of AIP Beneficiaries

A few months ago, the former Minister of Agriculture announced a reduction of the number of AIP beneficiaries this year.

However, a leaked document of the number of AIP beneficiary this season makes for breathtaking reading. It appears the reduction of beneficiaries has only affected the southern and eastern regions. In some cases, the beneficiaries in one constituency in the central region are more than some districts in the southern and eastern regions.

In his national address, President Chakwera should have explained to Malawians the rationale behind these glaring disparities.

There are also allegations flying about that the Ministry of Agriculture is re-packing expired and left over fertilizer that was rejected last year to be distributed to farmers in this year’s AIP. This is a serious allegation and I urge the new Minister of Agriculture to quickly address the same and if it is true the public should know who is behind it and measures that are being taken to address the situation.

3. The ADMARC Situation

Since the former Minister of Agriculture announced the illegal closure of ADMARC, there is very little that Malawians now know as to what is happening at this public institution; an institution that has been key to their survival at household level for many decades. The communication that is coming from the Ministry of Agriculture regarding ADMARC has so far not been clear at all. In fact, it is not making sense at all!

A few days ago, ADMARC employees took to the streets demanding their pay from government in view of the pending retrenchments at the organization. But it seems there is currently no one who has the solution to their plea. It also means the closure of ADMARC was done haphazardly without a plan.

I do not need to emphasize the importance of ADMARC to the economy of this country, especially the critical role that it plays in the food security situation to the majority of poor Malawians. The President should have addressed this topical issue in his address to the nation.

Now, we hear ADMARC has been closed. We hear top management at ADMARC have been caught in fraud; we hear the new board, which the President himself appointed was engaged in financial mismanagement, hemorrhaging money in millions of Kwacha in fake board meetings. Now, we hear a friend of the President has allegedly stolen 18 trucks of public maize to sell it to Tanzania.

In his address to the nation, President Chakwera should have roundly explained how much he was told and how much he was not told about what is happening at ADMARC, including the strategy that is in place to take the organization forward. He should have assuaged the fears of ADMARC employees over their payment in view of the pending retrenchments.

For example, President Chakwera should have informed the nation that he has identified where his government will get the K8 billion to pay off the over 4,000 workers who will be let go from ADMARC following the decision to close the parastatal. Above all, the President should have explained to Malawians the powers that the former Minister of Agriculture used in closing ADMARC.

4. The Fuel and Forex Situation

President Chakwera should also have addressed the fuel and forex situation in his national address. Malawians are entitled to know the status of the fuel and forex situation in the country as of now, and the progress that has been made thus far after he promised to fix the situation over two months ago.

Members of the Press,

Queues at filling stations are still a case of gone today, here tomorrow, and it is clear we are not out of the woods yet. The national address presented a fine opportunity for the President to inform Malawians what is happening.

The impact of lack of forex is still being felt in almost every sector of the economy. It is a problem that cannot just be wished away. For example, the health sector is currently on its knees because there is no forex to procure essential medicines and equipment to deliver its services.

An official from Kamuzu Central Hospital disclosed recently that 10 percent of all their admissions die, often from curable diseases due to the lack of medicine at the hospital. This is a very sad reality, and the President missed an opportunity to illuminate to Malawians what his government is doing to address this situation.

5. Attitude to People’s Freedoms

Let me also not miss this opportunity to talk about this government’s attitude to human rights and people’s freedoms. It is a fact that the Tonse Alliance government does not respect human rights and freedom of the press.

Since this government came to power slightly over two years ago, Malawians have enjoyed less and less freedoms. We have seen arbitrary arrests of people just for commenting on social media.

Some freedom fighters were arrested last Friday just for exercising their right to demonstrate, and to demand competence from this government.

I wish to remind President Chakwera that he is a product of demonstrations in that his government came to power at the back of demonstrations.

The previous DPP government allowed Malawians to demonstrate because we respect and uphold the values of human rights and democracy. 

As I am talking, MACRA has closed down several radio and TV stations for reasons that could have been resolved at a round table. I have no doubt this is another of Tonse Alliance government’s strategy to remove independent and private media from the political space as we move towards 2025.

6. Plight of Primary School Teachers

The importance of primary education in any country cannot be overemphasized. This is where pupils are shaped to become the human beings that the country would rely upon to develop this country. 

But the way Tonse Alliance government is treating Primary School teachers is a clear indication that there is very little investment in this critical sector of education.

Apart from the fact that Primary School teacher graduates are taking long before being taken on board and assimilated into the education system, the Ministry of Education is forcing them to apply and work as auxiliary teachers where they are being paid K80, 000 per month. As auxiliary teachers, these fully trained teachers end up missing out on some privileges that are enjoyed by full time teachers such as CPD trainings and other disciplines.

I wish to urge President Chakwera and his government to think about primary school teachers. Training them alone is only just part of the whole story. Let President Chakwera start walking his campaign talk. And right now. 

7. Plight of Chanco Students

Members of the Press,

You are also aware that the University of Malawi Chancellor Collage has been closed today due to an impasse that students have with University management over their school calendar, a situation, which led to students staging vigils at the campus. 

I would like to urge President Lazarus Chakwera not to stand aside and watch this situation degenerate into something more serious than it is now. Chanco students are worried that it is taking seven years just to get a degree due to, among other things, unplanned closures like these.

Let me remind President Chakwera about what he said when he was campaigning for the presidency and I quote: “Universities and colleges will never be closed during our time”.

Mr. President, this is your time. As Chancellor of the University of Malawi, you must make sure that you are on top of the Chanco situation before you take to the skies, once again, this time to Egypt. As they say a stitch in time saves nine.

8. Mass Grave(s) in the Northern Region 

Members of the Press,

Over a week ago, Malawi made international headlines when a mass grave where over 25 bodies believed to be illegal immigrants from Ethiopia were found. I am not sure about what President Chakwera thinks, but I looked at this as a very serious matter regarding presidential attention and treatment.

This is an extremely serious security matter that warranted high-level attention. How did these people die? Were they killed? Who killed them? Are our borders porous? How did they found themselves in our territory without following legal procedures? What do our immigration laws say? Where were the law-enforcing agencies; sleeping on the job?

Members of the Press,

In his address to the nation, the President should have mentioned, or at least show some attention to the issue, including explaining what his government is doing to get to the bottom of the issue. But once more the President passed up the issue thereby sending the message that it does not concern him and does not warrant presidential attention.

9. Address Empty Talk-shop

Members of the Press,

President Chakwera’s address to the nation was, once again, an empty talk-shop where the President comes guns blazing, projecting the image that he is the lion when he is, in fact, a cat.  As usual, the President missed an opportunity to bring Malawians up to speed on issues that are currently critical to the nation and affecting their daily lives.

Once again, President Chakwera chose to speak with a forked tongue on issues where he needed to be explicit for Malawians to know what the government they voted for is doing on critical issues involving public resources.

Members of the Press,

I had expected the President Chakwera to tackle issues roundly and in depth. It is very unfortunate that the President, once again, missed that opportunity.

I wish to reiterate that firing Lobin Lowe alone is not going to make food and water adequately available in prisons. Malawians are struggling to buy a bag of maize at K22, 000, more so a bag of fertilizer at K70, 000. Malawians are struggling to pay school fees for their children and dependents; they are buying a packet of brown sugar at K1, 500; power blackouts are the order of the day; and generally, the cost of living has become unbearable. The President may have considered addressing matters directly affecting people’s livelihood.

10. Call to Action

Members of the Press,

As I have said it before, more than once, a true and servant leader is known during a crisis. Malawi is in a crisis and it is the duty and responsibility of President Chakwera to take urgent measures to avoid plunging the country into a complete ‘Failed State’.

I, therefore, wish to urge President Chakwera to rise up to the occasion and immediately do the following:

a.      Dissolve the whole cabinet and appoint a lean one of about 18 members to cut on spending;

b.      Reduce the number of presidential advisors. This advisory task can be performed by cabinet ministers;

c.      Draw from the country’s food reserves and start distributing relief food to the affected people across the country;

d.      Suspend presidential local and international trips as they are a huge drain on public resources both in forex and local currency;

e.      Reduce the presidential motorcade as most of the vehicles there are fuel guzzlers;

f.       Introduce food for work and public works programs to cushion poor Malawians;

g.      Extend social cash transfers to all districts in the country and increase the number of beneficiaries in the process;

h.      Reduce some fuel levies forthwith;

i.       Introduce deliberate policies like tax holidays to allow more investors in the country that shall translate into more job creation and stabilize the country’s economy;

j.       Increase tax free band (PAYE) from K100 to K200, 000;

k.      Review policy that stopped government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from conducting lakeside conferences as this policy has resulted in massive job cuts in the tourism sector;

l.       Reduce the number of Principal Secretaries (PSs). Some ministries have up to four (4) Principal Secretaries and this is a disaster;

m.     Employ IPTE teachers and absorb them into the system;

n.      Send food to all prisons and hospitals across the country;

o.      Go back to the drawing board and restructure AIP;

p.      Ban imports of some perishables like tomatoes, vegetables and Irish potatoes as this shall serve forex and empower local suppliers from Tsangano, Bvumbwe, Lizulu, and Jenda, among others; and

q.      Effect a ban on maize exports.

CONCLUSION

Members of the Press,

You will recall that at my recent Press Conference in Blantyre, I warned President Chakwera that I would personally lead mass anti-government protests should the sorry status quo remain. But as we all know, we just witnessed demonstrations in our major cities last Thursday and Friday. So, it would not be prudent on my part to be talking about demonstrations again right now.

But for now, I wish to strongly urge President Chakwera to immediately and as a matter of urgency, call for AN ALL-INCLUSIVE NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE where all stakeholders such as religious leaders, the academia, the business community, university student representative, traditional leaders, civil service representative, human rights defenders, and political party leaders, among others, should be invited.

The main objective of such a conference would be to create a common platform for common solutions to our common national challenges.

Let me emphasize, however, that the option to demonstrate is NOT completely out of the cards. I will fully support any upcoming demonstrations in order to pump some sense into this government.

Let me conclude by quoting the new British Prime Minister, Rushi Sunak: “Leadership is not selling fairytales. It is confronting challenges”. President Chakwera may choose to learn from this wisdom.

I THANK YOU FOR COMING and MAY GOD BLESS MALAWI

Honourable Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP

LEADER OF OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT

DStv LAUNCHES TWO NEW CHANNELS  

MultiChoice is adding two brand new channels to its roster, Magic Showcase and CineMagic, giving customers on all DStv packages some of the best high-quality local and international content

Magic Showcase (DStv Channel 143) which launches on 31 October and is an 18-hour channel with content showing the best of MultiChoice’s locally produced series, specials and documentaries. Now it will be easier than ever for viewers to enjoy the group’s award-winning content, tiered down from DStv premium channels.

Content will primarily be in English, while content that isn’t in English will have hardcoded subtitles. Magic Showcase features shows across various genres: subscribers can expect an artful mix of drama, lifestyle and reality, kids’ programmes, music specials and stand-up comedy.

It’s all about giving our audience the best value for their money- NOMSA

Some of the shows on the channel include the viewer favourite Our Perfect Wedding, reality TV modern classic Being Bonang, and the award-winning telenovela Legacy.

Movie channel, CineMagic (DStv Channel 139) launches on Monday 14 November. Also available on all DStv packages it showcases the best in African films as well as international independent titles. CineMagic is a celebration of storytelling and the common narrative threads that bind us from all parts of the world. 

With content in various languages (and hardcoded subtitles for films not in English) and across several genres, the channel’s viewing is family-friendly, offering uninterrupted top-notch entertainment for households. All featured films are new to this package.

“As MultiChoice Group, we are committed to giving our subscribers on varying packages the best content there is to offer. We are proud to be making these channels available to all our packages, which allows our subscribers to enjoy award-winning and top tier local shows and movies.

“It’s all about giving our audience the best value for their money, and we are committed to continuously increasing what each DStv package has on show,” says Nomsa Philiso, CEO: M-Net.

Zena Makunje Corporate Affairs Manager MultiChoice Malawi

Local Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje adds: “The addition of two new M-Net channels to all DStv packages further enhances the subscriber viewing experience.

“The look and feel are inspired by the ‘mother brand’, Novela Magic. We’re are constantly look for ways to provide our customers with choice and value, we hope the addition of these channels displays our commitment to giving our customers more.”

FD Communications rescues special needs students at Nguludi

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Leading advertising company FD Communications Ltd has donated K1 million to Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind in Chiradzulu in response to the institution’s dire lack of food and learning materials.

Presenting the donation, FD’s Administration Manager Zalamu Sichinga said the company was moved by the plight of students at the institution following an appeal from the Montfort IV Alumni association.

“At FD we appreciate the role of Montfort in offering inclusive education to students with special needs. We feel proud to note that through this gesture we are supporting government’s efforts to fully implement the NSNEPG that is regulating provision of education to learners with special needs,” she said.

The National Special Needs Education Policy Guidelines (NSNEPG) promotes equity and inclusive education for all, including people with disabilities.

Dalitso Gumbayera Vice Chairperson for Alumni VI Montfort expressed gratitude to FD Communications for partnering with the grouping in helping students with special needs.

“We knocked on so many doors for help but FD Communications were quick to respond. While today is just a symbolic presentation, FD’s support dates back to the previous school calendar,” said Gumbayera.

Receiving the donation, Clement Kaleso head teacher for Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind thanked FD Communications for coming to alleviate the challenges.

“Our institution receives a grant from the government which is inadequate. We were on the verge of postponing opening of this term due to unavailability of resources but the support from FD inspired us to carry on,” said Kaleso.

While bemoaning lack of equipment as a major challenge deterring promotion of inclusive education, Kaleso said the country has a potential to improve the situation and change the narrative for the plight of students with special need.

For his part head boy of the school, Timothy Kachuma sees the donation as a catalyst of improved education among the students with special needs.

“We appreciate this assistance which will go a long way to motivate us to do more. We will not worry about food hence concentration will go towards learning and studying,” said Kachuma.

Montfort Resource Centre for the Blind caters for over 900 students who have different mental, physical and visual challenges, and include 52 boarders.

FDH Bank shines at PRSM, IMM awards

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FDH Bank’s Tiyese Kaimila (centre) receives an award from IMM member Gladson Kuyeri (left)

Listed FDH Bank had a good weekend when it won awards en masse at two professional bodies annual lake conferences in Mangochi and Salima.

It started on Friday night when the bank was awarded the Best CSR Programme of the Year Award at the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) annual gala night in Mangochi during the society’s annual lake conference.

On Saturday night, the Bank scooped four awards at the Institute of Marketing Malawi (IMM) gala evening held in Salima during their annual lake conference. The awards included Internal Engagement Initiative of the year, Innovative Idea of the year, Outreach Social Marketing Initiative of the year and Marketing Team of the year.

FDH PR and Marketing Manager Lorraine Chikhula (left) receives the award from Dave Ndege of Reserve Bank of Malawi at the Public Relations Society of Malawi conference in Mangochi Friday night

Speaking in an interview after the awards, FDH Group Financial Holdings Head of Marketing and Communications Levie Nkunika said they were truly honoured to receive the awards which will motivate staff to do more.

“As FDH, we are truly honoured with the awards. It’s always motivating to receive the recognition, a challenge to continue to work hard, to innovate and to unleash creativity for the benefit of our esteemed customers and stakeholders.”

“We would like to extend gratitude to our management and board for the support and leadership relentlessly rendered to the Marketing team. We are also very grateful to the progressive leadership of IMM and PRSM for raising the standards of the marketing and public relations professions,” said Nkunika.

The PRSM conference was held at Club Makolokola Retreat  in Mangochi on the same weekend as the IMM conference which was held at Sunbird Livingstonia Waterfront Holiday Resort in Salima.

Nkunika- We are honoured

FDH Bank impressed with FDH Bank Cup tournament

Mkulichi (right) presents the Man of the Match accolade to Nyasa Big Bullets Frank Willard

FDH Bank says it is happy with the progress of the FDH Bank Cup which has just finished its second season at the weekend with an all Nyasa Big Bullets affair between the senior team and its reserve side.

FDH Bank Managing Director Noel Mkulichi said the Bank is happy with the progress of the cup and is committed to sponsorship and promoting the growth of football in the country.

“We are impressed with the progress of the FDH Bank Cup. You will agree with me that through this cup, a lot of football talent has been exposed because even teams in the lower leagues were given a chance to compete and the evidence is what we saw in the finals,” said Mkulichi.

Part of the action in the FDH Bank Cup final

In the finals of the FDH Bank Cup, Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve side defied odds to reach the final after knocking off some Super league teams.

Nyasa Big Bullets senior side overcame the Reserve side by beating them 3-1 to clinch the cup and walk home with K25 million prize money while the Reserve side went home with K8 million as losing finalists. Overall, the cup is worth K90 million.

“As a local and home-grown Bank, we are happy that talent is being unearthed and will be grown into big name stars for our national football team through the FDH Bank Cup. We also want to congratulate the winners, it was not easy to win this cup, the competition is tough and gets tough each year,” said Mkulichi.

“We also want to applaud the Football Associations of Malawi (FAM) and government for their role in promoting sports in the country. Let me assure them that FDH Bank will support their efforts in promoting sports in the country,” added Mkulichi.

FDH Bank Cup kings Nyasa Big Bullets seniorteam display their trophy

Bayer Malawi launches new maize variety DKC80-23

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Wirima (middle in a wrapper) and Ng’ombe (fourth left) pose in front of a demonstration field with Bayer Malawi officials

Bayer Malawi has launched an early maturity and high-performance maize seed variety touting it to be the most profitable seed investment for both smallholder and emerging farmers.

Launching the DKC80-23 variety at Nkwenya Village, Ndolera EPA in Dowa district, Bayer Malawi Country Head Chikondi Ng’ombe said the company was launching the new maize seed variety named ‘Mzati the Pillar’ following successful identification of farmer needs and country wide field trials of a new maize variety.

“The new maize variety stands out for its early maturity and high yielding characteristics which makes it the most profitable seed investment for both smallholder and emerging farmers. The new variety will transform the maize production in the country and that this new innovation walks the Bayer Brand talk of creating a world where health is for all and hunger is for none,” said Ng’ombe.

Wirima speaks during the launch as Bayer Malawi officials listen on

She said some of the unique features of the new variety include higher yield in the early segment, tolerance to most foliar diseases in Malawi adding that DKC80-23 performs excellently across all locations in Malawi and delivers highest net profit against competitor varieties in the same segment.

“It is scientific breakthroughs like these that inspire us as a brand to do more in pursuit of Health for All Hunger for None. Tibzale zimenezi and we look forward to a fruitful season,” said Ng’ombe.

She said the variety will be available across the country for the 2022 – 23 agronomic season.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Madalitso Wirima thanked Bayer Malawi for the new variety and encouraged farmers to plant the variety to maximize yields.

Chakwera is “Chief architect” of major corruption scandals – API …a call for peaceful demonstrations

By IOMMIE CHIWALO

A network of human rights activists tagged Action Against Impunity (API) has said that President Lazarus Chakwera is a “Chief architect” of major corruption scandals.

The statement in our possession signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, Social media Influencer Joshua Chisa Mbele and Activist Leonard Chimbanga has insinuated that the situation is clearly mirrored through endemic corruption, institutionalized incompetence and his insensitivity to the dehumanizing poverty that is threatening the survival of millions of vulnerable and marginalized Malawians.

The trio says instead of walking the talk on the zero-tolerance against corruption and the promise to fix the country, the President has mastered the art of saying one thing in the public and doing exactly the opposite behind the scenes.

“Gauging by the nauseating corruption levels, it is very clear that Chakwera is the chief architect and beneficiary of the major corruption scandals that have marred his two years in office,” reads the statement in part.

API has since called on all Malawians of all walks of life from all corners of the country to join the peaceful demonstrations slated for Thursday, October 27, 2022, from 09:30hrs.

In the statement, the activists have also reminded all District Commissioners (DCs) and some overzealous MCP supporters intending to block the arrangement that Malawi became a multiparty democracy in June 1993, therefore holding peaceful demonstrations is a constitutional right that is non-negotiable.

“Meanwhile, all well-meaning Malawians are kindly being requested to join the demonstrations in solidarity in the following areas; Mzuzu, Blantyre and Zomba. Finer details will be announced in due course,” it reads.

On the basis warranting peaceful demonstrations, the activists have cited, among others, involvement of Chakwera’s aides and Vice president in corruption which by all means the state President is also involved.

And to show that Malawi is really in leadership crisis, according to API, the forex, fuel, electricity and the acute shortage of essential drugs and medical supplies crises point to a larger problem of failure by Chakwera to use his executive powers to call for order and sanity.

“Worth noting that apart from the usual Public Relations (PR) stunts characterized by unwarranted outbursts to the helpless Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Martha Chizuma, the President has shown all the signs of a captured leader,” reads the statement.

Adding that if President Chakwera was really serious about fighting corruption in the country, then the investigations involving British business person Zuneth Sattar would have reached their logical conclusion by now.

“Evidence is there that the ACB Director lacks political will and commitment from her boss, the state President. Sadly, almost all the high-profile scandals in the Tonse Alliance government point to either the State House or President Chakwera himself,”

More recently, Malawians were disturbed with revelations that government had been swindled a whopping MK30 billion meant for the Affordable Input Program (AIP). Now here we are risking lives of millions poorest of the poor.

“As if this was not enough, the MCP connected business people are smuggling truckloads of Maize from the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) to Zimbabwe and the East African countries,” reads the statement.

The Action Against Impunity, is a network comprising Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), Concerned Citizens, Human Rights and Political Activists, Non- Governmental Organizations, Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Labour Unions and the University Students, that do not tolerate state institutionalized corruption, incompetence and impunity.

“Since the issues raised require executive powers to be resolved, the demonstrations in Lilongwe will start from the Lilongwe Community Ground passing through Mchesi, all the way to the Kamuzu Central Hospital Roundabout and parliament building via the Presidential drive up to the Kamuzu Palace, just 100 meters away from the palace’s main gate where a petition will be presented to President Chakwera,”.

TNM Unveils Upgraded Smart App Innovation to enhance customer experiences

JONAZI: The upgraded App has been designed to offer multiple benefits to subscribers

Blantyre, October 21, 2022–TNM Plc, Malawi’s mobile network and ICT services provider, has unveiled updated TNM Smart Application, merging it with Mpamba mobile money to enhance convenience for its subscribers.

The new App provides a one-touch access solution to all TNM services for customers, thereby improving their user experience.

“The increase in smartphone usage is having a massive impact on telecommunication and financial inclusion drive through mobile money. The updated TNM Smart App has been designed to enhance the convenience we at TNM provide to our valued customers using smartphones,” said Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brands and Marketing.

The App compliments TNM’s strategy where the telco is leading the transformation journey towards digital economy, new media and financial inclusion.

“As a Malawian company we understand that we are living in new technological era that our offerings strive to align customers to the world’s digital trends. The App augurs well with our strategy where we are becoming very aggressive in terms of digital appliances,” said Jonazi.

The updated TNM Smart App leverages a host of all services and functionalities that customers access via USSD.

“The upgraded App has been designed to offer multiple benefits to subscribers and addresses some of user-experience limitations of USSD, including session time-outs and user error. The App also offer access management of multiple accounts including balance check and top up for Mi-Fis and routers.

“The other benefits of the App include access to self-service functionalities on Mpamba such as view statement, view customer transaction fees on Help tab and access Frequently Asked questions,” he said.

To access the App, customers with the old version of the App need to update while for new downloads, customers need to search TNM Smart App on Google play store, Download the App and Log in using details of the ID that was used for number registration (KYC).

App is also available on IOS.

UGI supports Insurance Lake Conference with K2.5 million

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Chikuse (Left) presenting cheque to Kapesa (Right)

United General Insurance (UGI) has given the Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) K2.5 million to support their lake conference set for October 20-22 in Mangochi.

Presenting the cheque to IIM on Tuesday, UGI Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Gloria Chikuse said the company values the conference because it offers an opportunity for the insurance staff to deliberate on how they can operate in a dynamic environment.

“We are delighted to be part of this occasion. We are partners and we cannot talk of insurance without the institute where our professional staff are developed. They are the drive that carries the professionalism of the industry and supporting such a cause is an honour to us.”

“This is giving back to what makes UGI. We are living in a dynamic world, we are facing a lot of changes at the moment, we had the Covid-19, the Ukraine-Russia war, the IFRS 17, we have a lot of issues that are happening around us and it is good that the institute can come together and map the way forward in this dynamic environment,” she said.

Chikuse (Left) with Kapesa (Centre) and another IIM official

IMM president, Hastings Kapesa commended UGI for always being among the first companies to partner with them in various initiatives including the gala dinner and insurance sports day they had recently.

“We are a professional body that promotes professionalism, we know UGI you also value professionalism. One way of enhancing and indeed building capacity within the human capital in our ecosystem of the insurance industry is organizing  conferences where speakers speak on various topics. These conferences cannot materialize without the support as UGI has done. We are therefore grateful for the gesture,” said Kapesa.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe will grace the conference which is under the theme “A Glance at Insurance in Malawi in the Next Decade”.

Other speakers at the conference include Handsome M’bwana, Patrick Achitabwino, Matthews Mtumbuka, Lester Chinyang’anya, Alton Rugetho, and Paul Nyirenda.

MACRA grants mobile operator Malcel License

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By Mayamiko Phiri, Contributor

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has issued a licence to Malawi Telecommunications Company Plc (Malcel).

Minister of information and digitization Gospel Kazako said that the presentation of licence to Malcel by Macra will intensify competition and level the playing field in the ICT industry.

The Minister was optimistic that the coming in of Malcel on the market will promote affordable services and enhance vibrant digital economy.

In his remarks, Macra Director General Daud Suleman stated that the coming in of a new operator will create jobs.

Suleman further pointed out that the initiative will give Malawians options and choices to choose which operator to engage with for services.

The director general also observed that growth of digital economy will take a new dimension to the advantage of local subscribers.

According to Malcel Chief Executive Officer Boniface Ndalawa the firm will invest US$ 280 million in the next 5 years.

2022 FIFA WORLD CUP OFFERINGS ON DSTV & GOTV: SuperSport channels to be rebranded

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MAKUNJE: We are proud to provide a platform for customers to experience it with us

The countdown to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has begun, with the tournament set to run from 20 November to 18 December and provide the most thrilling distillation of ‘The Beautiful Game’.

Zena Makunje, Corporate Affairs Manager at MultiChoice Malawi, says of the upcoming tournament “We are excited to deliver, literally the world’s best football to our customers.  Our teams have been active to ensure a great experience for viewers, not only in terms of the viewing quality and access to matches, but the value-added offerings”.

“There’s a lot to look forward to and we are proud to provide a platform for customers to experience it with us” Makunje added.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just over a month away and several channels will be rebranded to bring you the best coverage of the greatest sports tournament in history.

In terms of DStv, SuperSport Football Plus (available on the DStv Compact package and up) will become FIFA World Cup Central, a 24-hour channel focused on the tournament, providing live coverage of 56 games with full studio presentation, previews and reviews, as well as live magazine shows.

SuperSport Premier League (available on the DStv Compact package and up) becomes World Cup Africa a 24-hour channel providing live coverage of 56 games with default vernacular commentary.

SuperSport La Liga (available on the DStv Access package and up)becomes FIFA World Cup Select 1, a 24-hour channel featuring 30 live games, all African teams, eight simultaneous fixtures, repeats and magazine shows.

SuperSport Variety 1 (available on the DStv Access package and up) becomes FIFA World Cup Select 2, also a 24-hour channel featuring 30 live games, all African teams, eight simultaneous fixtures, repeats and magazine shows.

SuperSport Football (available on the DStv Access package and up) becomes FIFA World Cup Fan Zone, a 24-hour channel devoted to fan coverage and reaction, news, press conferences and all the emotion experienced by those following every second of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In addition, SuperSport Blitz (available on the DStv Access package and up) will provide match reports, previews, breaking news and interviews from Qatar 2022 as part of its usual role of being your one-stop shop to get the latest and greatest sporting information from around the world.

On the side of GOtv, SuperSport GOtv Football (available on the GOtv Plus package and up) becomes FIFA World Cup Select 2 (rest of the continent), a 24-hour channel featuring 30 live games, all African teams, eight simultaneous fixtures, repeats and magazine shows.

SuperSport GOtv La Liga (available on the GOtv Supa package)  becomes FIFA World Cup Central, a 24-hour channel focused on the tournament, providing live coverage of 56 games with full studio presentation, previews and reviews, as well as live magazine shows.

SuperSport GOtv Select 1 (available on the GOtv Supa package) becomes FIFA World Cup Africa a 24-hour channel providing live coverage of 56 games with default vernacular commentary.

There will also be a Pop-Up channel, FIFA World Cup Fan Zone (available on the GOtv Lite package and up) a 24-hour channel devoted to fan coverage and reaction, news, press conferences and all the emotion experienced by those following every second of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In addition, SuperSport Blitz (available on the GOtv Lite package and up) will provide match reports, previews, breaking news and interviews from Qatar 2022 as part of its usual role of being your one-stop shop to get the latest and greatest sporting information from around the world.

SuperSport Maximo 1 and 2 will feature 56 lives matches, with simultaneous kick-off fixtures broadcast on SuperSport Maximo 3. SuperSport Maximo 360 will serve as a dedicated 24-hour fan channel.

Aside from all the on-pitch action, SuperSport will also keep fans entertained and informed with the following magazine shows:

– ‘Marhaba Qatar’ – Every Sunday morning and all six non-match days, starts 30 October

– ‘Masterplan’ – Deep analysis show, every Sunday at 10:00 (first show) and 14:00 (after group stage)

– ‘Super Saturday’ – Includes live crossing and features from Qatar

– ‘World Cup Insights’ – Conversations with top guests in Doha

To take your viewing experience to an even higher level, DStv channels will all be available to stream and the following second screen options can be utilised:

– Dedicated in-game highlights loop and superstar player cams on the DStv App/web/mobile

– FIFA World Cup rail includes all catch-up highlights and packages on the DStv App/web/mobile

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.

Castel Malawi hands over Forklift to distributor

Zoto Banda (left) hands over the keys of the Forklift to Kalongonda (centre) and his wife

Castel Brewery Malawi through its Distributor incentive program which seeks to motivate and empower its distributors, on Friday handed over a Forklift to one of its distributors in Lilongwe who emerged winner in an in-house competition of improving efficiencies and turn round times in the business.

Castel Malawi Deputy Director of Sales and Marketing Nelson Zoto Banda said the company started the competition as one way of supporting their distributors to grow their business and create employment opportunities in line with policies and priorities of the Malawi government.

“As you are aware, we work with local distributors in our business, so this in-house competition aims at improving efficiencies and turn round times so that the distributors grow their business and as a result help in fulfilling the government’s agenda of job creation,” said Zoto Banda.

Narani Enterprises based in Area 25 in Lilongwe was the first winner of the Forklift for the month of August 2022 after pushing required volumes, scoring a better turn round time for trucks that offload Castel products at their warehouse and having a conducive warehouse that can take a forklift.

Zoto Banda said distributors will be winning the Forklifts up to December 2022.

Kalongonda tests drive the truck as his wife applauds

“Our business is growing because of the efficiency of our distributors that is why we want to continue empowering them so that as they grow, our business also grows and in the end more people should find jobs,” added Zoto Banda.

Narani Enterprises Managing Director James Aubrey Kalongonda thanked Castel Malawi for supporting the distributors through the competition noting that the Forklift will greatly improve turn round times for his company’s efficiency in terms of how they load and offload stock.

“We started with one 40-foot container almost 17 years ago with three employees but through the support that we have received from Castel Malawi, we now have built this Warehouse and we have a workforce of about 26 employees and soon we will be adding one more to drive the Forklift. We are very grateful to Castel Malawi for this gesture,” said Kalongonda.

He also said, because of the improvement of the turnaround times as a result of the Forklift, they will be able to better serve their three drop zones around Area 25 in Lilongwe.

“We are given two hours turnround time and with this Forklift we will reduce that to 13 minutes giving us enough time to do other things and serve our drop zones efficiently. We thank Castel for this gesture because our business will continue to grow now,” added Kalongonda.

Kalongonda drives the Forklift

LABOURER DR. DAVID F MBEWE WEEPS: Laments suffering of Malawian Women in Mother’s Day Message

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DR MBEWE: Mothers that are doing business are languishing, because their businesses have collapsed

President for Freedom of Worship and Economic Liberation (FOWEL) Dr. David F Mbewe has called upon all the mothers of Malawi to rise up and hold the Tonse alliance government accountable because the administration has failed Malawians including all Mothers.

In a Mother’s Day statement, Dr. Mbewe said policies under the Tonse administration have brought suffering to mothers of Malawi.

He therefore challenged President Lazarus and his Vice Saulos Chilima to take lead in changing the lives of Malawians saying the country’s economic crisis is almost unprecedented in its severity.

“Sons and Daughters who were supposed to bring joy to their Mothers, have instead brought pain and suffering to the Mothers of Malawi, ” reads the statement.

“Malawi today, has subjected our Mothers to 19 hours of darkness due to the so called “prolonged load-shedding”, says Mbewe.

He laments that our Mothers are failing to fend for their families because food prices keep soaring and time is being spent on long fuel queues.

Mbewe says mothers that are doing business are languishing, because their businesses have collapsed. Those involved in cross boarder business can’t transact anymore because the country has no forex.

The statement calls on President Lazarus Chakwera as a God fearing person, to take lead in changing the lives of suffering Mothers.

He then calls on President Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima must step aside as Presidents for their respective parties and concentrate on managing the affairs of the country without promoting partisan interests.

STATE HOUSE THREATENS MUSICIANS, told to replace Nankhumwa with Kaliati as Guest of Honour

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The Musicians Union of Malawi is being forced by the State House to replace Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa as the guest of honor at the union’s Mothers’ Day gala.

The gala is scheduled for Monday October 17, 2022 at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre. 

Apart from the live music performances, a football match between ex-Big Bullets players and the musicians is also expected to punctuate the event, according to an invitation to Dr Nankhumwa signed by Mum President Gloria Kampingu Manong’a, Ex-Bullets Star Chairperson Isaac Msuku and committee member Peter Mponda.

But highly-placed sources at the State House have revealed that authorities there want UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati to be guest of honour as Nankhumwa’s presence is deemed as a political threat to the Tonse Alliance quest to infiltrate the Southern Region, which is the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) political bedrock.

Nankhumwa also serves as the DPP’s Vice President responsible for the Southern Region and Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Central constituency.

However, both the musicians and the former footballers have put their feet down, saying they opted for Nankhumwa out of the ‘majority’ because of the good relationship that he has maintained with the musicians over a long period of time.

According to Information obtained by Malawi Voice, the State House has further threatened that should the union insist to have Nankhumwa as the guest of honour, it would force President Lazarus Chakwera to further sit on the formation of the National Arts Council, which the chapter has been advocating for as one way of making sure that artists in Malawi benefit from their sweat.

Presidential Press Secretary, Anthony Kasunda was not available for comment as his mobile number was perpetually out of reach.

Nankhumwa said he is geared up for the event and that he would not comment on the State House alleged machinations “because that is mere speculation”.

“I have confirmed that I will attend the events at Kamuzu Stadium. The aim of the events is to raise funds for helping needy former footballers and to facilitate the holding of the musicians Union’s 2022 annual meeting.

“I fully support their quest and it will be a great honour to be part of this important function,” said Nankhumwa.

TNM hosts Mothers’ Breakfast

Celebrating and appreciating Mothers: A group photo after the breakfast at Mount Soche

Blantyre, October 14, 2022–Malawi’s pioneer mobile network and ICT service provider, TNM Plc hosted women employees as a way of celebrating Mother’s Day and appreciating their contribution towards the growth of the company.

The early mothers’ treat was implemented in all the regions across the country to unleash the relentless skills women have in the world.

Speaking on the sidelines of the breakfast at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre TNM’s Head of Brands and Marketing Communications, Madalitso Jonazi, reiterated the significance of empowering mothers to the success of TNM. 

“As a company, TNM values and love mothers. We realise that every woman contributes to the growth of the company in one way or another. As such TNM accords special interest on them to unleash their potentials and help them become more strategic,” said Jonazi.

Jonazi added that TNM acknowledges and recognizes all the sacrifices and characteristics mothers and women have in safeguarding TNM’s values.

“At TNM we appreciate the hard work, determination, resilience, deep love, passion and above all sacrifice that characterises mothers and women in general. On behalf of all the people in your life and mainly at TNM – you are truly valued and loved,” added Jonazi. 

MAWEJA: This kind of treat motivates us to stand out in the society and gather self-esteem to do more

The marketing head hailed motivation and hardworking spirit TNM mothers have shown that has seen TNM excelling since it started its operations in the country. 

Lucia Maweja who works as a supervisor at TNM, feels women deserve such treat due to their roles at homes and workplaces, attributed this to mother’s gift of multitasking.

“Mothers work hard in managing homes, raising families, excelling in the workplace and establishing themselves as entrepreneurs. This is a clear indication that God blessed us with a lot of attributes and this is the gift of multi-tasking,” Maweja attributed. 

Maweja highlighted on the need to motivate and empower women as they are key in the society despite many challenges.

“It is always important to celebrate mothers because with such initiatives we are empowered in the society where we are being undermined. Therefore, this kind of treat motivates us to stand out in the society and gather self-esteem to do more,” she added.  

Mother’s Day in the country falls on October 15 every year. This year TNM has hosted mothers working with the brand in all the regions.

MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy celebrates Malawi’s Class of 2022 graduates

MTF Chisomo Kawanga receiving her certificate

The graduation event was a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the 57 graduating students – as well as the success of MultiChoice’s Talent Factory concept.

Now in its 3rd cohort, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) has proven that the African entertainment industry is ripe with gripping stories that are waiting to be told.

This was made clear at the MTF Academy’s annual graduation event – where 57 students across three academies in West, East and Southern Africa demonstrated the calibre of talent that exists in Africa. Through their hard work and dedication, they have developed skills that will help them achieve their filmmaking goals. Of the 57 graduates were Chisomo Kawaga an Asante Mbaimbai who were Malawi’s successful candidates in the 2021 MultiChoice Talent Factory call to entry.

When asked about her time at the Malawi’s MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy graduate Chisomo Kawaga said, “My experience was amazing, I got the chance to meet different creatives from other countries and also learn from them”.

“It was a WOW experience” said Asante Mbaimbai Malawi’s MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy graduate. “We were given a chance to learn from different production companies in Zambia and from facilitators from different countries which will make us improve our country’s film industry through the knowledge we received” she added.

The students received qualifications accredited by the Academy’s three partner universities – University of Zambia, Kenyatta University in Kenya and Pan Atlantic University in Nigeria. Alongside the graduates’ family members, government officials, high commissioners, MTF partner organisations and stakeholders also attended the illustrious graduation ceremony in support.

MultiChoice Talent Factory Alumni from two previous cohorts include Class of 2019 graduates, Jonathan Kapumba, who owns his own Production Company and Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba a professional filmmaker and actor and Class of 2020 graduates Mphatso Makamo, who is a lecturer of film theory and professional filmmaker and Chisomo Livason who is a producer and graphics artist and owns a media consultancy business.

The MTF initiative has enjoyed continued success thanks to its strong partnerships with renowned organisations such as NYFA, Dolby Studios, Canon, Zee World, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya, and the University of Zambia.

The MTF Academy provides a 12-month accredited programme in filmmaking.  As part of their curriculum, the students participated in various courses under the tutelage of seasoned industry professionals from all over the continent, including Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani and veteran Kenyan producer Appie Matere. The final requirement of their curriculum was to create and develop feature films, which will be launching on DStv local channels.

The graduates will soon enter the working world with deeper and more strategic insight into the film and TV business, and take on the exciting challenge of re-shaping and re-telling African stories.

Standard Bank’s Tisanje promotion increases transactional volumes by 10%

Journalist Mwai Mtumodzi conducting the draw

Lilongwe, October 12, 2022– Standard Bank Plc says its Tisanje Promotion is helping to increase uptake of digital financial services in line with the bank’s purpose to catalyze and drive Malawi’s economic growth.

The three-month promotion which started in August, has dangled K6 million to any lucky customer who transacts more using the bank’s digital platforms.

Speaking in Lilongwe during August and September draws in Lilongwe, the bank’s Manager for Main Markets Frank Chirwa said that the promotion has contributed to eight percent growth in digital usage and an increase by 10% of transactional volumes.

“Internet banking was the main jumper and contributor to this growth. Others were airtime and bank to wallet transactions, and we are satisfied that the promotion will achieve its intended goal,” said Chirwa.

Chirwa said that the promotion is intensifying clients’ digital transformation journey through increased access to the on the bank’s 247 Mobile (*247#), 247 Online (Internet Banking), Enterprise online, and 247 Smart App.

“Our online platforms continue to excite customers and maximize their experience in digital banking ecosystem. Just one month into the promotion, there has been a remarkable increase in airtime purchase, bank to wallet transactions and internet banking usage,” he said.

During the draws 16 lucky customers won different cash prizes ranging from K100, 000 to K500,000.

“As a bank focused on driving the growth of Malawi, we understand the economic situation our customers are sailing through hence splashing the cash prizes. Today we have rewarded one customer with K500,000, two customers have walked away with K300,000 each and five customers have pocketed K100,000 each,” added Chirwa.

Amos Sanga and Dastan Kaudzu won K500,000 each for the August and September big prize respectively.

Ahead of the close of the promotion on October 31 and the grand draw on November 10th, Chirwa urged customers to continue using the bank’s digital platform to increase their chances of winning the grand prize of K6 million.

To enter into the 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 namely *247#, the Standard Bank mobile application or 247 Online.

STANDARD BANK HOSTS 100 GIRLS TO COMMEMORATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD

Learning the ropes of a full-fledged financial services and banking institution from the CEO

On the 10th anniversary of the founding of the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), Standard Bank Plc is reaffirming its commitment to continue investing in girls’ education as one way of contributing to the country’s economic growth.

Speaking in Lilongwe where Standard Bank hosted 100 girls from 8 different private and government schools to mark this year’s IDGC, Regional and Country Head of People and Culture (East Africa and Malawi) Zandile Tembo said the Bank remains firmly committed to the cause of girl empowerment.

“This year we participate in the global celebration for IDGC by conducting our iconic “Bring A Girl Child to Work” mentorship event at the Bank’s offices. We believe that Malawi is our home, and we drive her growth. That is why we in invest in girls with the confidence that each one of them can play a part in developing the country,” she said.

Tembo said to underline its commitment to support girls’ education, over the years Standard Bank has invested in learning infrastructure, scholarships, and mentorship programmes.

On infrastructure, Standard Bank has this year invested K163 million in hostels at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School in partnership with Press Trust. Last year, the Bank built two classroom blocks at Mzuzu Government Secondary School, and earlier another two blocks at Che Januare Primary School in Chiradzulu.

The Bank has a running scholarship with Press Trust Ltd that supports 74 secondary school students across the country, 50% of which are girls.

Tembo said the initiative aimed to expose them to a live working environment to give the girls a real experience of working in various careers.

“We have taken the opportunity that the IDGC offers to empower and inspire young girls to become the future change makers and leaders of Malawi. The girls get a front row seat in understanding various careers ranging from Banking, I.T, Operations, Legal, Finance and many more,” she said.

During the visit, the girls were sent to various departments of the Bank to learn the ropes of a full-fledged financial services and banking institution.

Oops!High Court judge’s wife steals K50 million at Malawi Gaming Board

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Mrs Ofwa Alide Director of Legal Services: In hot soup

They say corruption does not see face! The High Court Judge’s wife, a lawyer of high repute and standing has been implicated in a corruption scandal at Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) where she is Director of Legal Services and is accused of stealing more than K50 million from poor Malawian taxpayers.

We can reveal that Ofwa Alide, wife to High Court Judge at the Commercial Court Division Justice Jabbar Alide is one of the two senior managers who have been suspended following an ongoing forensic audit where our taxes amounting to almost K600 million have been plundered by three top managers there.

According to information that we have seen, Alide and Director of Finance, Administration and Human Resources Henri Bakuwa were instrumental in stealing the cash using an ‘unknown company account’.

Documents in our possession show that former Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Gaming Board Foster Mulumbe is also involved in the financial scam. Mulumbe was at the centre of a corruption scandal involving maize deals when he was Chief Executive Officer at Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) before moving to Malawi Gaming Board in 2019.

Henri Bakuwa too was implicated in some financial and procurement scandals when he served as Director of Finance and later Acting Chief Executive Officer at Blantyre Water Board (BWB) before joining Malawi Gaming Board in 2019. Other places where is said to have embezzled funds include Kiwi Products, General Farming in Kasungu and Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.

Mr Henri Bakuwa-Director of Finance, Administration and Human Resources

Documents that we have seen show that the trio used to transfer money from some accounts of the company from National Bank of Malawi (NBM) to another company account held at FDH Bank which was only known to the three managers.

Money in excess of K593 million was taken and shared by the three individuals in a space of two years.

“A pattern was observed in the account whereby there would be a bank transfer from National Lotteries Board (NLB) followed by cheque withdraws by individuals believed to be employees of Malawi Gaming Board,” reads a document in our possession.

The FDH ‘unknown’ account was apparently opened in September 2019 by Bakuwa soon after joining the institution from BWB.

Bakuwa would transfer money from the NLB account held at NBM to the FDH account and later use cheques to withdraw the money.

An analysis of the withdrawals indicate that Bakuwa withdrew the largest amounts totaling K379, 163,251.38 while Mulumbe withdrew K163, 133,140.64 and Alide withdrew K50, 703, 607.98. This was done in a space of two years.

MLUMBE: Implicated

“In general, the amounts moved from NLB through an account of MGB at FDH then finally to the beneficiaries as summarized in table 3 above. Malawi Gaming Board further noted that the amounts to the individuals were done even when there travel restrictions due to the covid019 pandemic,” reads part of the report that we have seen.

Insiders also revealed that Bakuwa has mismanaged the staff welfare fund amounting to K10.2 million which he is failing to pay back.

MGB Board chairperson Bernard Ndau confirmed to a local newspaper that there is an ongoing forensic audit at MGB but declined to comment further.

Bakuwa and Alide also declined to comment on the matter although they confirmed their suspension from work.

Mlumbe also declined to comment when contacted.

CDEDI pens Chakwera on timing, ailing economy

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has penned President Lazarus Chakwera to act swiftly on pressing issues affecting Malawians.

In a letter forwarded to Presidential office and seen by this publication, the epistle signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa also cites the presidential trip as not only expensive but also poor timing since it was happening at the time when the economy was on its knees, due to numerous challenges.

Among other challenges, Namiwa has pointed out forex, fuel, electricity as well as drugs and medical supplies crisis, a situation that is warranting Malawians to embrace the spirit of holding their leaders accountable for their actions and inactions.

Above observations by Economic think tanks who are rating Malawi economy poorly, Namiwa has also reminded Chakwera about high unemployment levels.

“On Saturday October 1, 2022, Malawians were reminded of avoidable stampede that led to injuries of several job seeking young people a few days before the court sanctioned June 23, 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE) in the four major referral hospitals of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba when the Ministry of Health during the previous regime announced walk-in-interviews,” reads part of the letter.

He recalled that such bitter memories resurfaced yet again as thousands of young energetic but unemployed Malawians stormed the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) to learn value addition skills from a private citizen in an effort to escape the dehumanizing poverty that is worsening each and every passing day.

“Your Excellency, without mincing words, these are the would-be beneficiaries of the one million jobs which your administration promised to make available within the first year of your administration, which has now remained a broken campaign promise. Not even closer to servant leadership,” leads the letter.

Chakwera has since been asked to rise to the occasion and start from fixing the broken system as promised during campaign period.

“As a man of God, CDEDI refuses to accept that you have turned to governing the country through manipulation and outright cheap propaganda that paints a rosy picture of the country in the eyes of the international community, when in actual sense the situation is dire on the ground,” says Namiwa.

He has also challenged President Chakwera to run a transparent and accountable government with less talk and more action whose fruits should be there for everyone to see.

In the letter Namiwa has exposed excess baggage is denting Chakwera’s wish to cut a clean sheet in the eyes of the international community in as far as issues of good governance, rule of law, the fight against corruption and public reforms is concerned.

For instance he has cited the decision by President Chakwera to sit on the Public Reforms Report that was done to review the public sector performance as an example of failed leadership.

He said Malawians are waiting for nothing but action, saying the major crisis Malawians currently facing is that of leadership.

The CDEDI Boss has expressed worry over indecisiveness on the use of the very much needed forex for Chakwera’s trip to the USA, could have stirred the dying private sector to produce and contribute revenue in the form of taxes.

“As if that is not enough, you travelled to the US with the Minister of Natural resources, Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka, MP who according to the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) is under probe and no one knows why you are still keeping him in your cabinet, when you fired the former ministers of lands Kenzie Msukwa, Labour, Ken Kandondo and Energy Newton Kambala the moment the bureau confirmed the trio were being investigated,” says Namiwa in the letter.

The letter has also accused the President for paying a blind eye to revelations that senior government officials and a cabinet member namely the Minister of Mines Albert Mbawala, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Dr. Steve Kayuni, the Accountant General Jean Mnyenyembe, and the IFIMS Director Felix Zagwazatha Sato are reportedly implicated in unjustifiable allowance claims.

Meanwhile there is less happening in investigations and prosecutions of corruption related cases despite reported abuses.

Malawians are still in the dark to know how the MWK30 billion Covid funds were used.

More choices to your October GOtv viewing experiences

GOtv subscribers are set to have a great tele-viewing experience in the month of October as new channels have been added to the platform to ensure customers have good value for their money.

If you are the old school romantic type in love with those larger-than-life stars like Jean Claude Van Damme then you are at home with GOtv Supa because Studio Universal is bringing those super stars back to your screen.

Remember the movies that almost made us fail school in primary. Instead of attending classes, we went to watch double feature movies of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee at Uncle Thom’s in the suburbs of Ndirande.

We are talking of the original Bruce Lee movies who only acted in six movies; The Big Boss (1971), Fist Of Fury (1972), Way of The Dragon (1973) – where he fought Chuck Norris in the last combat scene, Enter the Dragon (1973), The Game of Death (1978) which Bruce Lee look alike finished.

Bruce Lee died young in 1973 aged only 32 like other legends in the shape of Tupac Shakur (25) and Bob Marley (36). He had just finished filming Enter the Dragon but six days before its release he succumbed to complications due to intense training methods.

What is very special about Bruce Lee and this movie (Enter the Dragon) is that it grossed $400 million in revenue worldwide and in modern terms that would be the equivalent of $2 billion. It cemented Bruce Lees name as a Legend.

Tragedy struck twice in the Lee family as his son Bradon Lee died accidently on set aged only 28. He has two movies to his credit Show Down In Little Tokyo and Rapid Fire. He died filming a The Crow after being shot accidentally by a prop gun that had live bullets.

The Game of Death was released posthumously and finished by a Bruce Lee look-a-like using footage that Lee had pre-recorded in an abandoned movie project. GOtv Supa is offering you the opportunity to watch the original master of Kung Fu Bruce Lee at only K19,900.  

On GOtv there is everything for everyone including your kids. October being holiday, it is an opportunity for kids to have free time to watch their favorite cartoons before school begins on 10th October. During school most parents ban kids from watching tv.

Well kids, this is your time to spoil yourselves to your favorite cartoons on Nick Jr channel, the home of Baby Shark and Paw Patrol. For preschoolers there is Young Dylan and the famous Henry Danger.

Even on GOtv Max there is always something new for viewers. If you love creativity that dazzles on Mibawa tv then look no further because Mibawa tv is launching on GOtv. On Mibawa you can watch those live music shows on Friday nights.

Maisha Magic channel has also been introduced to the GOtv platform to give viewers a feel of East African movie test. Not to mention the Movie Room channel which like Studio Universal, it has an array of A-Star movies from Hollywood. GOtv Max gives you this viewing experience for only K15,800.

Not to forget the football especially if you are an Arsenal supporter then this season you will ensure your GOtv decoder is constantly connected. Arsenal is on top this season after eight matches and this has not happened since 2003/2004 season when Arsenal won the league without losing a match. Unfortunately, that was their last.

But the Gunners are back in the big time and their supporters are buzzing again with blizzards of optimism. You cannot afford to miss the next Arsenal match because it is a blockbuster encounter against another of English football’s juggernaut, Liverpool. There is more to love on GOtv.

Add to that cocktail of your GOtv viewing experience the MyGOtv App. With this App you can connect and rectify errors on your GOtv decoder at a more personnel level without needing assistance from customer care office.

Dowa bricklayer wins K500,000 in TNM Zampira promo

NPL journalist Solomon Manda conducting the draw as TNM Head of Marketing Mada Jonazi looks on

Blantyre—Dowa-based bricklayer, Kapito Kabowa became the first winner of monthly prize in the 2022 episode of Zampira promotion being ran by TNM Plc, sponsor of the country’s elite league, TNM Super League.

The promotion aims at adding value to the game of football by creating a platform for engagement with TNM Super league football fanatics.

Kabowa emerged a winner during the first draw of the promotion which was conducted at TNM’s head office where he won K500, 000. He correctly predicted the match between Red Lions and Mafco which ended 1-1.

Reacting to the news, the jovial Kabowa said that he will use the prize to finalise construction of his house.

“My daughter motivated me to enter into the promotion. Therefore, I will use this money to finalise construction works of my house, it is a great possibility for me and I thank TNM for introducing this promotion,” said Kabowa.

According to Madalisto Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing, TNM is overwhelmed with the response of football fans since the launch in September 2022.

“We launched the promotion to continue our engagement with football fans and develop the game of football in the country. Since we launched the 2022 episode of Zampira, we have distributed K3 million to 360 supporters in both cash and airtime prizes. In addition, numbers of predictions have been growing game by game,” said Jonazi.

As a passionate sponsor, TNM has this year introduced exciting set of prizes in the promotion to create great possibilities for football fans.

“In the 2022 season, we have changed prizes and other things to make the promotion even more exciting. At the end of the promotion, two supporters will win a grand prize of K2 million each. Every month one lucky winner is walking away with K500, 000. Furthermore every week, K5, 000 worth of Airtime is being given to 100 winners,” he said.

TNM has maintained Supporters’ Player of the Month category through which supporters have an opportunity to vote for their choice of the best player from a shortlist.

Another exciting component to the promotion is the daily questions trivia to enhance and put to test supporter’s understanding of the game.

“Taking the game beyond the stadium is a step in raising the profile of the League while improving economic status of football stakeholders. Player of the month prize is K100, 000. In the Daily Questions category, four supporters are winning K50, 000 every month,” said the Head of Brand and Marketing

Jonazi added that Zampira will continue providing important updates of the progress of the league. To receive updates subscribers, need to dial *451# and navigate the platform for variety of features such as game predictions, news updates.

To participate in the draw, subscribers are required to send an SMS of their prediction to code 451, the SMS costs K50. Correct prediction enter into a draw for the weekly draw. The promotion rans up to the end of the 2022 season.

Dowa bricklayer wins K500, 000 in TNM Zampira promo

A journalist conducting the draw as TNM Head of Marketing Mada Jonazi looks on

Blantyre—Dowa-based bricklayer, Kapito Kabowa became the first winner of monthly prize in the 2022 episode of Zampira promotion being ran by TNM Plc, sponsor of the country’s elite league, TNM Super League.

The promotion aims at adding value to the game of football by creating a platform for engagement with TNM Super league football fanatics.

Kabowa emerged a winner during the first draw of the promotion which was conducted at TNM’s head office where he won K500, 000. He correctly predicted the match between Red Lions and Mafco which ended 1-1.

Reacting to the news, the jovial Kabowa said that he will use the prize to finalise construction of his house.

“My daughter motivated me to enter into the promotion. Therefore, I will use this money to finalise construction works of my house, it is a great possibility for me and I thank TNM for introducing this promotion,” said Kabowa.

According to Madalisto Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing, TNM is overwhelmed with the response of football fans since the launch in September 2022.

“We launched the promotion to continue our engagement with football fans and develop the game of football in the country. Since we launched the 2022 episode of Zampira, we have distributed K3 million to 360 supporters in both cash and airtime prizes. In addition, numbers of predictions have been growing game by game,” said Jonazi.

As a passionate sponsor, TNM has this year introduced exciting set of prizes in the promotion to create great possibilities for football fans.

“In the 2022 season, we have changed prizes and other things to make the promotion even more exciting. At the end of the promotion, two supporters will win a grand prize of K2 million each. Every month one lucky winner is walking away with K500, 000. Furthermore every week, K5, 000 worth of Airtime is being given to 100 winners,” he said.

TNM has maintained Supporters’ Player of the Month category through which supporters have an opportunity to vote for their choice of the best player from a shortlist.

Another exciting component to the promotion is the daily questions trivia to enhance and put to test supporter’s understanding of the game.

“Taking the game beyond the stadium is a step in raising the profile of the League while improving economic status of football stakeholders. Player of the month prize is K100, 000. In the Daily Questions category, four supporters are winning K50, 000 every month,” said the Head of Brand and Marketing

Jonazi added that Zampira will continue providing important updates of the progress of the league. To receive updates subscribers, need to dial *451# and navigate the platform for variety of features such as game predictions, news updates.

To participate in the draw, subscribers are required to send an SMS of their prediction to code 451, the SMS costs K50. Correct prediction enter into a draw for the weekly draw. The promotion rans up to the end of the 2022 season.

NBS Bank reviews bid bonds to K200 million

LONGWE: Accounts opened on the same day of application are also eligible to access this facility

Sole traders, partnerships and limited companies are now assured of a guarantee in their bidding processes as listed NBS Bank has reviewed the bid bonds limit from K100 million to K200 million.

According to NBS Bank plc’s Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Tamanda Ng’ombe-Longwe, the new facility aims at ensuring Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have a guarantee in their bids for various projects and services.

“Most institutions, especially Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) require that people bidding or providing various goods and services should provide a bid bond or a guarantee from a financial institution. As a bank, we have the needs of our customers at heart and therefore decided to extend the limit of pre-approved unsecured bid bonds to K200 million.”

“Just like our other services, access to this facility is also easy and fast. Customers just need to bring an application letter and bid documents. They should have an account with any Service Centre credited with the applicable fees plus monthly ledger fees. As an additional sweet spot for our customers, accounts opened on the same day of application are also eligible to access this facility,” said Ng’ombe Longwe.

Reacting to the development, Zahid Bobat, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Blue Water Drilling said: “The bid bonds provided by NBS Bank are highly proficient and convenient. The Bank has really come to our aid when we need a bid bond, Additionally, they are timely and respond to the sense of urgency a customer has. So overall, the service and experience of the bid bonds from NBS Bank has been satisfactory.”

A bid bond is typically obtained through a surety agency, such as an insurance company or a bank, and helps guarantee that the contractor is financially stable and has the necessary resources to take on a project.

Breaking News; Chakwera meeting fuel suppliers in Dubai

President Lazarus Chakwera is in Dubai where he is meeting potential fuel suppliers.

Chakwera is on his way from the United Nations General Assembly in New York USA which finished two weeks ago.

Chakwera arrived in Dubai on Saturday night and will fly back to Malawi on Wednesday.

Initially Chakwera was expected to arrive in Malawi on Monday morning.

We can confirm that Chakwera is meeting officials of three oil suppliers who are yet to get a deal to supply fuel in the country.

National Oil Company, a government entity which imports 50% of fuel in the country is not represented at this meeting.

We will give you more as the story progresses

Chakwera Doctored ACB Report to Hang SKC

An exclusive interview with the Anti Corruption Bureau spokesperson Egritta Mdala suggests President Lazarus Chakwera doctored a report that was sent to him in an attempt to politically hang his Vice President Saulos Chilima.

In the interview aired on Zodiak’s Tiuzeni Zoona programme, the graft busting body has squarely put the blame on President Lazarus Chakwera for telling the public that investigations on Vice President Saulos Chilima were completed and what remained were formal charges.

Two months ago the President, quoting an ACB report, told the nation that Chilima and three other had there investigations on corruption complete and had cases to answer.

The President went ahead to withhold his delegation powers from his Vice while suspending State House Chief of Staff Prince Kapondamgaga, dismissing Police IG as well as suspending the PPDA Chairperson.

But in the interview, Mdala – the ACB spokesperson – denied giving the President a report that had found anyone in the wrong or that the ACB had completed investigations.

“We gave the President a report that he demanded from us. We never said we had completed investigations on some people,” said Mdala failing short of saying the President lied or doctored the report to hang his deputy.

It has been over 90 days since the President humiliated his Vice President yet the ACB has never questioned or summoned him, attracting sympathy from the public that the act was indeed political to soil the Veep’s image.

The interview has catergoricary indicated that they only provided a general report to the President without indicating that investigations were completed on the Vice President.

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 partn