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K9 million up for grabs as NBM Plc wraps up ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ Promotion

Hiwa-We formed personal bonds with our customers

Four lucky winners are expected to walk home with K1.5 million each while 10 others will walk away with K300,000 each following the closure of National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ Promotion on Thursday.

 During the promotion period, hundreds of customers and non-customers have won  various monthly and instant prizes.

The ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ promotion was launched in December last year aimed at promoting the use of NBM Plc’s digital platforms such as Mo626 Pay (MoPay), and POS machines to pay for goods and services.

The Bank is set to hold the grand draw of the promotion in early May. This draw will see four lucky winners share K6 million in cash prizes with each being K1.5 million richer while 10 others will get K300,000 each.

NBM Plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa said the promotion not only helped the Bank create traction on MoPay and POS usage, it has also provided a platform for continued direct engagement with audiences in Malawi’s four regions.

“The NBM plc team engaged with both customers and merchants during ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ activations in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Mangochi and Zomba, resulting in the provision of valuable feedback, increased uptake in both merchants and customers and, most importantly, an opportunity to form personal bonds with our targeted stakeholders,” said Hiwa.

She added that all of the ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ promotion draws have been held in ‘the market’ and not ‘in the boardroom’ and that the Bank is set to conduct the final draw.

One of the lucky customers, who won K150,000 in the February monthly draw, Rennery Dzama commended NBM Plc for the promotion.

“Since Covid-19 time, I use my card or transact using NBM’s digital platforms. To me, it is normal using the platforms, until one Friday I got an alert of the ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ cashback of K150,000. It felt so good as it was a real surprise. I instantly went to town to shop for goods ‘popanda chifukwa’,” she narrated.

Apart from the grand draw winners, so far, the promotion has seen nine people winning K150,000 cash each, while 120 others got 50% cashback up to the maximum of K75,000.

Ninety other lucky customers and top five merchants during each monthly draw took home gift packs with NBM Plc branded novelties. The total amount of the promotion hit K60.8 million.

Salty water contributes to broken boreholes in Nsanje

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The Pacific Limited a firm currently repairing for free broken boreholes in Nsanje district has cited high water salinity levels in the district as a major factor contributing to broken boreholes in the district. 

The company’s borehole rehabilitation project Team leader, James Nsusa has told Malawi voice that for instance out of over 40 boreholes the firm has lined up to repair in Nsanje Central Constituency for free, almost half of them broke down due to the challenge of saline water . 

“The situation is really contributed to the wearing out of most borehole spare parts mainly the pedestals, pump heads, rods etc, there by rendering most boreholes unusable”, said Msusa. 

He added that as a solution to the challenge, the firm has resorted to using galvanised and stainless steel borehole spare parts in all the boreholes they are repairing instead of steel parts. 

On his part Nsanje, district water development officer, Chikumbutso Herema also acknowledged the challenge saying authorities in the district have been encouraging communities facing the challenge to be contributing little amount of money for them to be repairing the worn out spare parts every three months which he said most communities are unable to. 

Parliamentarian for Nsanje Central Constituency, Kafandikhale Mandevana in whose area the firm is currently carrying out the free borehole maintenance works said the challenge has been forcing him to be facilitating for the changing of the borehole spare parts every two years a development which he said has was costly . 

Currently the Pacific Limited has rehabilitated over 200 boreholes in Nsanje out of the 300 boreholes it has earmarked to repair while in Zomba the firm has repaired about 300 boreholes out of the of 500 boreholes it has lined up.

The Pacific Limited has renovated over 7,000 boreholes since 2015.

Wellness Centre in second Back Pain awareness week

After the first ever Back Pain awareness week in November last year, Beatitude Naturopathy and Wellness Centre has organized another week-long Backpain awareness and alignment sessions where people with persistent back pain will be treated using naturopathic methods.

The Centre’s Director Francis Malunga said in an interview yesterday that the awareness week will run from 22 April to 26 April 2024 from 7.30am to noon at their centre at Manase in Blantyre.

“When we first conducted the first Back Pain awareness week in November last year, we had overwhelming response and we promised that we were going to do another one hence the second Back Pain awareness week we are having from Monday next week,” said Malunga

He said the Wellness Centre will offer free lectures to people who have back pain issues apart from treating them.

“We will have a back alignment procedure for those with back pain using naturopathic methods. They will only need to pay a registration fee of K20,000 otherwise we will not be charging for the actual treatment of the back pain,” said Malunga.

Malunga distinguished naturopathy and wellness from hospital care citing the former provides respect for the healing processes of nature while empowering the individual to take responsibility for their own health process.

“We are aware that some people have gone outside the country to have back pain surgeries which have not been fully healed, we recommend that these people should patronize the back pain awareness week, we can be saving a lot of forex if we do these procedures here in Malawi using naturopathic methods,” said Malunga.

One of the people who attended last year’s awareness week Peter Kachepa said it was worthwhile as he had his back problem sorted within a day.

“The tips and lectures that they gave us were also helpful because one knows what to do when he or she notices the signs and symptoms. I would encourage those with back pain issues to attend the awareness week,” said Kachepa.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 620 million people suffered low back pain in 2020 and it is estimated that the number will increase to 843 million by 2050 adding that low back pain is the single leading cause for disability worldwide and it is a condition which many will require rehabilitation.

Beatitude Naturopathy and Wellness Centre recently relocated from Balaka to Manase, Blantyre to serve more people who were looking for naturopathic treatment.

Update the nation; CDEDI challenges IT professional body! Malawians have a right to know what went wrong!

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

CDEDI Director Namiwa on duty

The mouth piece for the voiceless, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Information, Communication and Technology Association of Malawi (ICTAM) to update Malawians on the outcome of interface meeting held with authorities regarding passport crisis. 

CDEDI is requesting for an update on the basis that the passport crisis is a human rights issue, since it hinges on the right to free movement, economic activity, education, health

and by extension life.

“Therefore, Malawians expected a lot from ICTAM. In view of the above, it is our belief that you will agree with us that in the interest of transparency and accountability, ICTAM ought to update the nation on this matter of national importance,” reads the letter from CDEDI addressed to ICTAM President Clarence Gama. 

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa in the letter highlights that the follow up on the matter, especially at this hour, is important considering that ICTAM made a public undertaking as a

professional body to help in the current passport crisis, stemming from the crushing of the Passport Issuance System (PIS) designed by Techno Brain, through the Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. 

According to Namiwa, now that there are reports that government had contracted a new passport supplier, there is need for an explanation from ICTAM if the state acting on upon its (ICTAM) recommendation to engage a completely new supplier.

Namiwa is also requesting for a timeline as to when should Malawians expect the assessment report of the system and how does the association justify its silence, given that it was engaged on March 8, 2024. 

“Let ICTAM explain to the inquisitive Malawians as to whether we have a parallel structure or ICTAM helped the DICS to recover the old system.

Thus far, you may wish to know Sir, that ICTAM’s decision to zero in on the passport crisis excited millions of Malawians since they trusted the association would give unbiased detailed account and a timely intervention,” says Namiwa. 

Initially ICTAM wrote the Director General for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services (DICS) offering to help.  But due to conflicting interests, the patriotic gesture was shot down.

However, in his televised national address, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera invoked his executive powers to grant ICTAM its wish through directing that after conducting a thorough analysis of the ‘hacked’ PIS, the association should furnish the President’s office with a report.

Namiwa says Malawians are still looking forward to reading the much awaited report, which will help the citizenry that double as voters and taxpayers, to exercise their right to know, let alone have first hand information on what really went wrong, from a trusted professional body whose expertise and independence cannot be questioned. 

Meanwhile ICTAM Tsar is not picking up our phone calls as we tried to get his side of the story. 

Tecno Brain Limited contract was terminated by the Malawi Government but Malawians were still proud users of an e-passport, two years after the contractor left unceremoniously in 2021.

Standard Bank Plc appoints new Head of Marketing       

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LILONGWE, 16th April 2024—Standard Bank Plc is proud to announce the appointment of Ms Tamanda N’gombe as our new Head of Marketing with effect from April 1, 2024.

Tamanda brings to Standard Bank Plc a wealth of experience spanning 16 years in Integrated Marketing and Communications Strategy, Customer Experience and Engagement, Sales and Brand Management. She takes over from Ms Nyambura Chege who worked in Malawi for two years before relocating to Stanbic Kenya Plc.

Prior to joining Standard Bank Plc, Tamanda was the Head of Marketing at NBS Bank Plc and before that worked in related capacities at FedEx, Gestetner and Blantyre Water Board (BWB).

Following her appointment, Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said; “We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Tamanda to the Standard Bank brand. We are confident that her leadership and experience will inspire innovation and elevate our Marketing game to greater heights.”

Tamanda holds a Master of Philosophy in Corporate Strategy from Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of the University of Pretoria, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic (now MUBAS) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK.

Nyale Institute clarifies on access to safe abortion law  

The news of pregnancy is mostly accompanied by joy, but this is not always the case. There exist circumstances where such news brings not celebration but concern – particularly when the health or life of the pregnant girl or woman is at stake.

In Malawi, before colonialism, termination of pregnancy was traditionally acceptable among women who would manage unwanted pregnancies using local herbs for termination.

However colonial influence introduced penal laws which intertwined with religious doctrines to prohibit abortion, and eventually overshadowed the traditional practices. Yet, the traditional practices have not been extinguished. They just went underground.

Speaking in an interview, Nyale Institute’s Executive Director, who is also a lawyer and scholar on sexual and reproductive justice, Dr. Godfrey Kangaude, stated that while termination of pregnancy is restricted by law, it is essential to understand that it is not an absolute prohibition.

Specifically, termination is permissible when the life or health of the pregnant woman or girl is endangered.

“Recognizing this aspect of the law is crucial as it may prevent women from resorting to unsafe methods of abortion, risking their lives in the process.” said Dr. Kangaude

According to Dr. Kangaude, 141,000 women induce abortion every year and out of those about 500 die from unsafe abortions.

“It is sad that among these are women and girls who had they known that they are eligible for legal abortion would have accessed safe termination of pregnancy at a public facility provided by trained and skilled professionals using the appropriate standards of care.”

This legal interpretation of the abortion law was affirmed in a recent court case where the High Court of Malawi explained that termination of pregnancy is legally permissible when performed to preserve the pregnant girl’s or woman’s life. Further, the preservation of life includes both physical and mental health.

Meanwhile, the recent communication from the government of Malawi to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reaffirms the position that termination of pregnancy, is in some cases is legally permissible, under the laws of Malawi.

According to the communication, women who seek an abortion because the pregnancy is a threat to their health or life should consult a doctor to address the situation in terms of the Malawi Ministry of Health’s Post Abortion Care Guidelines.

Nyale Institute has applauded the government’s clarification of the abortion law, because it empowers women facing risky pregnancies, to access care at public health facilities, where they can receive appropriate care rather than use unsafe methods for terminating pregnancy. This is consistent with Malawi’s obligations under national and international law.

However, Nyale Institute as a member of the Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) continues to champion the full review of the abortion law, to comprehensively address the needs of girls and women who seek termination of termination of pregnancy for various reasons.

 “The Termination of Pregnancy Bill is important because it would address challenges where the current law is falling short”, said Dr. Kangaude.

Nyale Institute is a nongovernmental organization established in 2013 to advance sexual and reproductive justice.

TNM brings innovation to curb mobile money fraud

…Introduces Sim Swap Exemption Feature on Mpamba

TNM Plc, Malawi’s pioneering mobile network and ICT services provider has unveiled a Sim swap security initiative which is designed to protect customers from mobile money fraud.

The new measure gives TNM customers the ability to permanently opt their numbers from being swapped at agent points.

Head of Brand and Marketing Madalitso Jonazi said that the initiative is significant as it enhances customer security in the drive for financial inclusion and growth of the digital money economy.

“At TNM we are glad to see a remarkable increase in the usage of our Mpamba mobile money platform. Millions of customers are using Mpamba, therefore, we have enhanced features to ensure that customers are well secured on the platform. This is a positive development in the drive for financial inclusion in the country,” he said.

Jonazi said digital money fraudsters have been a stumbling block in the growth of mobile money usage.

He further said that fraudsters tactically swap numbers and get access to people’s digital money platforms and steal funds.

“Despite our investment in various digital finance technologies, we are still facing a digital money fraud challenge. Therefore, we believe the new feature will alleviate the challenge that our customers face,” said Jonazi.

TNM customer can access the transformative feature through USSD code and TNM Smart App.

“To access the feature, our customers need to dial *7777# and follow the instructions to exempt their sim cards from being swapped and safeguard their numbers permanently from any exploitation. The innovative service is also available on the TNM Smart App,” said Jonazi.

TNM has made an assurance of more innovations around Mpamba platform to maximize security of customers and motivate the usage of digital transactions.

FDH Bank, MUBAS signs MoU on Graduate Start-ups program

FDH Bank and the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences( Mubas) have signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the Bank supporting final year students with business start-ups.

FDH Bank, in 2021, initiated a business entrepreneurship concept dubbed ‘Graduate Start-ups’ targeting Mubas final year students to finance their entrepreneurial ideas and concepts.

The Bank and Mubas officials signed the MoU on Tuesday in Blantyre, where the Graduate Start-ups program will set up a Trust Fund for the sustainability of the program.

In her presentation to the final year students, FDH Bank Senior Manager for Strategy Potamira Kumpumula took them on the processes that could qualify them for financing which include forming groups of like-minded individuals of four to seven to develop innovative and viable business plans that solves real economic problems by also identifying viable marketing opportunities.

After developing the innovative ideas and business plans, the graduates are to present the plans to a special taskforce consisting of  FDH Bank and MUBAS financial experts which will scrutinize them and offer guidance where loopholes are identified, according to Kumpumula.

“Once the business concept is approved, the bank will guide the beneficiary groups through a financial mentorship programme before being granted the loan at subsidized 5% interest, with a one-year repayment holiday.”

“The loan shall not be deposited into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts but FDH Bank shall be paying for costs of the assets and other needs directly to suppliers up until their businesses become self-sustaining,” said Kumpumula.

FDH Bank Deputy Managing Director George Chitera who championed the program back in 2021, impressed on the final year students to think outside the box and not to just expect to be employed because the employment opportunities are shrinking.

“Malawi is poor because we do not produce, we need to change our mindset and start producing because as long as we are not exporting, we shall remain poor. We should not rely on the government to produce goods for exports, it is up to us as citizens to be innovative by creating companies that produce and at the same time create jobs.”

“All these corporate companies we have were born out of the entrepreneurship concept. It is not easy to create a business plan but every challenge has got a solution,” said Chitera.

In her remarks, MUBAS Vice-Chancellor, Nancy Chitera described the program as unique and in line with the MW2063 national vision of Inclusively Wealthy and Self-Reliant Nation as it calls for a shift in focus on entrepreneurship.

“Our partnership with FDH Bank is growing into something very economically huge that involves young minds to be part of the process enshrined in the MW2063 vision. We must utilize all opportunities by solving any challenges that can be met. Mindset change is not just dreaming of getting a job but to become an employer,” said Chitera.

Five business ideas were identified as viable and were taken up for further mentorship and assessment which led to one business, Rise and Shine Primary School in Mulanje to be successfully launched in 2022 with the help of the Bank.

High Court Agrees MDF Docs Sensitive; Proceed to Public Trial or End Case

The High Court in Lilongwe has today cautioned in advance that in the event that disclosures being sought by the defense in the Vice President Saulos Chilima corruption case will be admissible for public trial, the state will have to make a choice to proceed with prosecution or end the case.

In his ruling today, Justice Kapindu, however, said it is premature for the defence to seek some of the disclosures from the State at this stage when trial hasn’t commenced. The court also ruled that, indeed, some of the documents are highly sensitive in nature to be made public.

The Judge however, made it crystal clear that if during the trial such sensitive documents will prove to be relevant to fair trial for the accused, then the State, through the Anti -Corruption Bureau (ACB), will have to decide whether to have such sensitive information disclosed in open court or discontinue the case.

“The State will have to decide either to proceed or disclose the documents or terminate the case in the interest of national security,” said the Judge.

The Judge said the right to fair trial is paramount and that therefore if during trial, the documents will prove to be relevant it will be upon the state to make them public or discontinue the case.

AG, Lead Lawyers from ACB and Defence to view Documents

To appreciate the court’s observation that the documents being sought are indeed sensitive, the Judge has directed that defense team lead lawyer, the Attorney General (AG ) and ACB lead lawyer will be allowed access on *”only see basis”* of the sensitive documents.

The said viewing will take place in the chamber where the custodians of the documents, the MDF, will show the documents to the team next week.

What are these Sensitive Documents? Among others, they include:

  1. Minutes of the Defence Council



These minutes, held on 16 October 2020, allegedly authorising the procurement of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), therefore disaproving any element of influence by Vice-President Chilima as accused.

2. Memo to President Chakwera



A Memorandum to President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, seeking authorisation to procure APCs from Malachite FZE, a company linked to Sattar, using single sourcing.



3. Memo from President Chakwera to MDF



A memorandum from the President, responding to the request from the MDF Commander.

MDF Questions How Chilima Knew about the Documents


Making his last pronouncements today, Justice Kapindu ruled the MDF out of order for questioning how Vice President Chilima was made aware of the documents yet he is not a member of Defence Council.


The Judge said the accused person being the second most powerful person is privy to such information because of the position he holds.


Defense Requests One More Disclosures



The defence has today further requested one more disclosure from the state, an MOU between UK’s National Crimes Agency NCA and the Anti-Corruption Bureau ACB, which defense lawyers said the document in question was made available to other ongoing Sattar related cases except the Dr. Chilima one.


The court will reconvene on 3rd May 2024 for way forward.

NBS Bank opens executive and private banking suite in Zomba

Simwaka (right) explains to customers about the new executive wing as Chief Operating officer Shadrick Chikusilo (left) looks on

NBS Bank Plc has taken the executive and private banking services to Zomba Service Centre following the opening of the third executive and private banking suite on Thursday evening.

Speaking during the opening of the facility, NBS Bank Plc Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) Temwani Simwaka said the Bank is geared to bringing tailor-made banking solutions to all customers.

“Executive and private banking is specific banking for top executives, people running their own businesses, senior officers both in companies and government. The idea is that they are busy people, and therefore for them to come to bank it becomes difficult, so they are offered relationship banking in their personal capacity, not as the institution where they are working.”

“When they come through, they come straight to the suite and they also have their own teller, they will be able to meet the private banking manager, and they can also do banking on our digital platforms,” said Simwaka.

“Private banking also offers wealth creation, so we will also have conversations especially when one works and is energetic, they also have to plan for the future. As a ‘Caring Bank’, we are geared to bringing tailor-made banking solutions to all our customers,” added Simwaka.

Mayor for Zomba City, Dave Maunde commended NBS Bank Plc with a promise to embrace the facility.

“Zomba is a growing city, it is therefore an honour to discover that we are a third place to have such a facility. Being a city which has lots of private and government departments, we needed this kind of facility for our executives,” said Maunde.

The other NBS Bank executive and private banking suites are in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

EASTER MESSAGE: Dr. Kabambe encourages Malawians to hold onto their faith, insists better days are ahead

Former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dr. Dalitso Kabambe and his spouse Brigitte have encouraged Malawians to keep their faith in God amidst economic crisis, saying better days are coming.

The patriotic Dr. Kabambe and his spouse issued the message of hope in their Easter message to the Christian community and the entire Malawians.

“This year’s Easter celebration is taking place at a critical time when our country is going through some social and economic challenges, whether it be poverty, inequality, or political instability.

“However, I encourage all of you to hold onto your faith and trust that better days are ahead,” said Dr. Kabambe, in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

The statement further reads: “Fellow Malawians, let us keep remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity and to draw strength from his example of perseverance and resilience.

Just as Jesus emerged victorious from the grave, Malawians too can overcome their challenges and achieve greatness through faith and unity.”

Dr. Kabambe then called upon Malawians to practice love, compassion, and forgiveness in their daily lives; “Mirroring the teachings of Jesus who taught us to reach out to those in need, to support on”

Dr. Kabambe is fondly remembered by all Malawians for bringing stability to the Malawian economy, which resulted in low prices of basic needs and services.

During his time at Reserve Bank of Malawi he managed to reduce inflation rate to a single digit within the first year from 24% to 7.1% in 2017 and effectively managed to keep the exchange rate stable at the rate of K 732 to the US$, and turned around a projected loss of K 4 billion to a profit in the excess of K60 billion.

Dr Kabambe’s vast knowledge and experience has pitied him as one of the presidential hopefuls who is ready to stir the country towards social and economic prosperity from 2025 and beyond with a promise of nothing but the best economy.

NBM Plc ladies donate to Dwangwa flood victims

Chirwa (left) handing over a food pack to Chithabwa (centre)and a beneficiary, while NBM official Elwyn Sambo looks on

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc ladies at the weekend donated various items worth approximately MK6.5 million to families that were affected by floods at Dwangwa in Nkhotakota last month.

Speaking when they handed over the items at Dwangwa camp, one of the NBM plc Ladies and Coordinator of the Initiative Enala Chirwa said the ladies within NBM Plc were touched by reports and documentaries on the catastrophes that befell the people of Dwangwa and decided to collaborate and do something to help. 

“Through this initiative, ladies working with NBM Plc contributed and purchased items worth approximately K6.5 million. Among other items, we have procured family packs. In each pack, there is 10kg flour, 2kgs rice, 2kgs beans, 2kgs Sugar, 1Kg Salt, tea leaves and  some soap tablets,” said Chirwa.

One of the beneficiaries, 66-year-old Sydney Jekabu from Mbuna 2 Village commended NBM Plc ladies for the assistance saying they lost everything and the donated items will sustain them for some days as they also seek to recover from the disaster.

“I was heavily affected; I lost a house and all my belongings including foodstuffs yet I have seven children who still depend on me. It is by God’s grace that the floods came in the morning, otherwise if it was night, we could have lost a lot of people. We can now afford to eat courtesy of NBM Plc ladies,” said Jekabu.  

The camp chairperson Emmanuel Chisale said the items  NBM Plc ladies have donated will benefit 200 families that lost everything and were moved to Dwangwa Primary School camp.

Director of Human Resource and Administration at Nkhotakota District Council, Victor Chithabwa also thanked NBM Plc ladies for the donation.

“This is a welcome development. As you know, these floods greatly hit us, leading to the displacement of our sisters and brothers who also lost their property. So, this support is timely,” said Chithabwa.

Apart from the family packs, NBM Plc ladies also donated bags of maize, bags of flour, buckets, and clothes.

NBS Bank Plc celebrates Retail Banking Institute graduates

Changaya (centre) displays the certificate flanked by Chanza (right) and NBS Head of Human resources Austin Thunde (left)

NBS Bank Plc has lauded the accomplishments of 34 of its employees who have recently completed a three-month training program with the Retail Banking Institute (Lafferty), a prestigious UK-based certification body.

The bank announced that 29 of these dedicated individuals achieved Level 1 certification, while five distinguished themselves by completing the more advanced Level 3 certification.

NBS Bank Chief Retail Officer Victoria Chanza said the retail certification program is designed to deepen understanding of credit risk, leadership, brand management, asset and liability committee (ALCO), operations, and digital retail banking.

During the event set to celebrate the achievements on Friday, Chanza praised the graduates for their dedication and hard work adding that the initiative underscores NBS Bank’s commitment to enhancing the expertise and capabilities of its workforce, aligning with international standards in retail banking excellence.

“This program is not just about acquiring knowledge; it is about shaping the future of retail banking. Our graduates, with their exceptional commitment and potential, exemplify the best of what it means to lead in this rapidly evolving sector,” said Chanza.

Chanza then underscored to the graduates the importance of empathy, customer service, and community engagement in the banking industry.

One of the graduates, Gracious Changaya who is NBS Bank Southern Cluster Manager said they are expected to bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to their roles, reinforcing NBS Bank Plc’s vision for retail excellence in the banking sector.

“We will ensure we make use of the knowledge required, and probably share the knowledge with some of our colleagues,” he said.

NBS Bank Plc partnered with the Retail Banking Institute (Lafferty) to underscore its investment in employee development and its commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professional excellence.

FDH Bank Plc earmarks 150 SMEs for the US$10 million ATEX financing

Mkulichi-We can achieve this goal

FDH Bank Plc has earmarked about 150 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from the US$10 million Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) export trade facility.

The deal, which is the fruit of the agreement sealed by FDH Bank Plc and African Export and Import Bank (Afrixembank) signed in November last year during the Third Intra-African Trade Fairs in Cairo, will see local traders exporting their goods to African and Caribbean markets.

FDH Bank Plc Managing Director, Noel Mkulichi addressing traders and others during a breakfast engagement in Blantyre on Tuesday, said the Bank values the relationship it has with the local traders hence the need to offer the opportunity to connect them with local and international importers and exporters, fostering valuable relationships and paving the way for fruitful partnerships.

“Our sponsorship to ATEX will ensure a lot of benefits like access to the platform’s verified suppliers and buyers and discovering different products from all over Africa including supplier and buyer verification and matching.”

“You will have access to a trusted platform that offers access to competitive rates due to economies of scale reached through consolidated negotiations with sellers and services providers. There is also access to real time information on pricing, product data and seasonality, access to simplified quota information and management with clear guidelines for importers and exporters, and also preferential access to foreign currency products through the ATEX foreign currency facility,” said Mkulichi.

Mkulichi further said as a Bank that champions growth, they look at this as a great avenue for growth for the traders’ businesses and the country at large.

“The Malawi 2063 aims to transform Malawi into a wealthy and self-reliant industrialized upper-middle-income country by year 2063. We believe with these strides and continuous innovation, we can achieve this goal,” he said.

Afrixembank Senior Manager responsible for Digital Marketing Solutions, Annerose Ngemu said the platform aims at activating a lot of economic activities.

MBL Holdings Limited Managing Director, Leston Mulli commended FDH Bank Plc saying the platform offers a great opportunity for local traders to be exposed to international markets.

ATEX is a platform connected within the digital ecosystem, supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

It is also supported through the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF) with the next one taking place in Algeria in 2025.

Israel workers to send remittances through TNM Mpamba

TNM Mpamba General Manager Christopher Sukasuka

BLANTYRE, March 27, 2024–TNM Mpamba Limited, a wholly subsidiary owned by TNM Plc has introduced a landmark service to help Malawians working in Israel send money back home through Mpamba mobile money.

The development emanates from a sound partnership that Mpamba has with Thunes Hub which onboards various Money Transfer Organizations and Mobile Network Operators for purposes of enabling the transfer of funds within different countries.

The ground-breaking service which is earmarked to enhance financial inclusion and facilitate seamless cross-border transactions, enables locals to receive money from Israel into their Mpamba wallets that will be withdrawn at any TNM agent across the country.

TNM Mpamba General Manager, Christopher Sukasuka said the company has leveraged cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships to launch a service that provides convenience in the receiving of money sent from Israel.

“TNM has in the recent past observed the developments around the Malawi labour market where locals have gone to work in Israel. As an innovative company, we have introduced the service to provide convenience, security, and accessibility when our people in Israel are sending money back home,” said Sukasuka.

The introduction of the service reaffirms Mpambas’s position as a pioneer in the fintech industry, driving innovation and delivering tangible value to Malawians across borders.

“We are thrilled to introduce this service to Malawians in Israel, marking a significant milestone in our commitment to transform financial services. This initiative underscores our dedication to empowering individuals and businesses worldwide, enabling them to transact with confidence and convenience,” he said.

Mpamba has assured customers of more innovative financial solutions aimed at improving access to user-friendly services with a focus on leveraging technology to drive positive change, redefining the future of finance in the process promoting financial inclusion on a global scale.

Castel Malawi awards 50 long serving employees

Castel MD Thomas Reynaud (standing 7th from right) with Zimba (middle) and other Castel senior managers pose with the awardees

Castel Malawi Limited has awarded 50 long serving employees across the country who have served the company between 10 and 30 years.

Speaking after awarding them with certificates and various gifts which included iron sheets, mattresses, mountain bikes, and refrigerators at an event held at the company’s head office in Blantyre, Castel Malawi Limited Human Resource and Corporate Affairs Director, Gloria Zimba said the aim was to appreciate the employees’ commitment and dedication.

“It is very significant that every year we conduct this event because we would like to show them that we don’t only look at them as human resource where we are demanding their time and their energy into their different energy where they are working.”

“We want to show the staff that we appreciate them as our employees and we know that the different gifts that they have received will go to their families because we know that behind this hardworking and committed employee, there is a family,” said Zimba in an interview on the sidelines of the event.

Castel Malawi Managing Director Thomas Reynaud (right) and Zimba (left) poses with one of the recipients of the awards

“Our expectation is double fold. First, we would like to see these employees whom we have awarded to continue working hard for the company, but also, we want the employees who have just joined us or who are yet to clock 10 years and above, to emulate their example. They should work hard, be committed, respect the company policies, the disciplinary code, and the ethics policy so that they can also one day be given their awards,” added Zimba.

One of the longest serving employees at 30 years, Richard Mseteka who joined the company at 22 years of age, commended Castel Malawi for the honour while describing his journey as a roller coaster.

“I have worked with different bosses from all the three companies as Southern Bottlers Limited, then Carlsberg Malawi and now Castel Malawi. All that is required is hard work and commitment for one to survive,” he said.

Prior to the Blantyre Long Service Award function where 40 Blantyre and 2 Liwonde employees were recognized, the company also awarded 4 employees in Mzuzu and 4 employees in Lilongwe, respectively.

Castel Malawi is the largest producer of alcoholic beverages in the country, and second highest taxpayer, with a workforce of more than 700 employees.

NBM plc posts whooping K72 billion profit after tax

…..pays K48 billion in taxes

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has posted an impressive K71.96 billion profit after tax for the financial year ending 31 December 2023, representing a 56.62% profit jump.

In a statement dated 28 February and signed by the Bank’s Board Chairperson Jimmy Lipunga, Director Dorothy Ngwira, Chief Executive Officer Macfussy Kawawa and Chief Finance Officer Masauko Katsala, the Bank attributed the remarkable results to growth in customer deposits.

“The Group registered a profit after tax of K71.96b representing a 56.62% increase from K45.9b reported in 2022. These results were largely driven by growth in customer deposits which resulted in increases in the loan book and fixed income securities.”

“Consequently, Net interest and investment income grew by 33%. In addition, there was a 86% increase in Other Income mainly arising from growth in foreign exchange commissions by (99%) from K12.8b to K25.5b. Overall net revenue grew by 50%. Operating expenses increased by 25%, within the average inflation for the year. On the other hand, net impairment losses continue to increase, reflecting the realities of the tough operating environment,” reads the statement in part.

Customer deposits increased by 20% (2022: 45%) year on year while the Bank’s loan book grew by 31% (2022: 29%). Investment in Fixed Income securities grew by 10% (2022:16%), according to the statement.

The statement also shows that the group made a profit before tax of K120.13 billion and paid a total of K48.17 billion in taxes.

“All the subsidiaries of the Bank posted profits that contributed positively to the Group performance except for Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB) in Tanzania and an associate company, United General Insurance which posted losses.”

“Positive trends continue to be registered in the two entities where the results improved significantly from the previous period. Consequently, the losses registered for Akiba Commercial Bank and UGI were much lower than those of the prior period,” reads the statement in part.

Commenting on the operating environment, the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed Bank said the Malawi economy grew by 1.5% in 2023 up from 1.1% the previous year and was adversely  affected by the prevailing high inflation as well as continued foreign exchange supply challenges.

“The average headline inflation accelerated from 26.1% in the first quarter to 31.5% in the last quarter. Similarly, interest rates were on the rise, with the Policy rate being raised from 18% in the first quarter to 24% in the second quarter of the year.”

“The Malawi kwacha devalued by 63% between January 2023 and December 2023. Despite the devaluation, foreign exchange supply challenges persisted. Generally, the operating environment was very challenging. Weather shocks and geo-political landscape also affected the operating environment,” reads the statement in part.

NBM plc forecasts that the economy is expected to grow by 3.2% in 2024 from 1.5% in 2023 supported by an increase in public investment and recovery in mining and quarrying, manufacturing, information and communication, financial and insurance activities, and education sectors.

“The resumption of the IMF-supported ECF program is expected to unlock foreign exchange inflows going into 2024, which will in turn support importation of raw materials and promote economic activity. The positive outlook is, however, clouded by El Niño-induced weather conditions, and a highly uncertain global economic and geopolitical environment. Inflation is likely to remain elevated in 2024,” reads the statement in part.

“The Board envisages a continuing challenging operating environment due to the factors enumerated above. This notwithstanding, the Bank is expected to sustain its enviable performance through its ability to leverage on its core strengths, address challenges and exploit opportunities in the market,” adds the statement.

The Bank Directors recommend a final dividend of K23b (2023: K15b) making a total dividend of K48.0b in respect of 2023 profits representing K104.94 per ordinary share (2022: K70.67 per share). The final dividend will be payable after approval by the Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 2024.

The Bank also said a second interim dividend of K14 billion will be paid in April 2024 having paid the first interim dividend of K11 billion in September 2023.

TNM Brings Mpamba eTicketing to Super League…Pilots e-ticketing solution at Sapitwa Tournament

Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing

Blantyre, March 22, 2024–In a move to redefine the local football landscape, TNM Plc sponsors of Malawi’s topflight Super League is proud to announce the deployment of electronic ticketing (e-ticketing) for the TNM Super League.

The new solution will be available for the Sapitwa 4 tournament which involves Super League outfits Bangwe All-stars, Dedza Dynamos, FOMO and Mighty Tigers at Mulanje Park scheduled from 23 March to 24th March 2024.

This innovative step aims to enhance convenience, streamline access, elevate the overall matchday experience for supporters, and curb fraud around football arena.

According to TNM, E-ticketing marks a significant transition from traditional paper tickets to digital access, aligning with modern technological advancements and catering to the evolving preferences of football enthusiasts.

“With this initiative, fans will now have the flexibility to purchase, manage, and present their match tickets entirely through digital platforms, and eliminating the need for physical tickets,” said Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing.

The initiative underscores TNM’s commitment towards embracing innovation and leveraging technology to deliver supreme experiences to football enthusiasts in the country.

Jonazi indicated that football fanatics will have to purchase tickets to this year’s super league matches through Mpamba instead of buying with cash at stadium gates.

“As a proud Super League sponsor, TNM is thrilled to bring e-ticketing to our esteemed football fans, which is a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to enhance fan engagement and satisfaction.

All they need is a Mpamba account and a Khadi Mbambande debit card which they can buy on their phone and collect from any TNM shops across the country,” he said.

Jonazi emphasizes TNM’s commitment to curbing fraud, an issue hindering the growth of football industry, particularly during matches.

“The traditional practice of handling cash when purchasing physical tickets at entry points poses a lot of challenges for revenue collection such as theft of cash which leads to revenue loss and other associated problems. The e-ticketing is the most secure and convenient solution of handling football matches revenue as tickets will be bought through TNM’s digital platforms,” added Jonazi.

The initiative of e-ticketing also aligns with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Super League of Malawi (SULOM) ongoing efforts to address issues like cash theft and ticket duplication within the TNM Super League.

Apart from safeguarding of revenue, other advantages include real-time attendance tracking and prevention of fraudulent activities.

E-ticketing represents a paradigm shift in the evolution of football in Malawi, resonating with global standards of convenience and efficiency.

REACH OUT & TOUCH: Mama Prophet Linda Mbewe bails out Machinga granny, to renovate her house

Following a news media alert that circulated on social media about an elderly citizen going through tough times in Machinga District, Mama Prophet Linda Mbewe organized a quick preliminary visit on Thursday to cheer her up and also assess the kind of needs that must be met to brighten up her life.

The philanthropist, who is also wife to the celebrated Prophet David Mbewe, supported Mrs. Brown with an assortment of relief items such as maize flour, mattresses, plastic pails, bags of relish, beddings, some cash and bags of cement in readiness for the construction works that Prophet Mbewe will embark on to renovate the old woman’s house.

Speaking to the media, Mama Prophet Linda Mbewe expressed how she was moved with compassion after learning of Mrs. Brown’s situation.

“I am glad to have finally met Mrs. Brown and the Prophet and I will do all that we can to make sure that the story of her life changes. We’ve offered ourselves to let God work wonders through us,” she remarked.

Close sources indicated that Prophet David Mbewe is set to visit Mrs. Brown soon to launch the construction of her house.

World Forestry Day: Standard Bank promotes a Green Lilongwe through tree-planting drive

Nuka symbolically presents the seedlings

LILONGWE, March 21, 2024–Standard Bank Plc has pledged to step up efforts in mitigating the negative effects of climate change by promoting the planting of trees by its customers and staff in line with a commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.

To encourage customers and staff to plant trees, the bank on Thursday designated its branches as collection points for seedlings to give different individuals better access to tree seedlings. The initiative is part of the Bank’s activities to mark World Forestry Day or World Planting Day which falls on March 21.

Speaking from the Head Office, Chief Information Officer – William Nuka said Standard Bank is determined to transform Lilongwe and Malawi into a green and environmentally vibrant landscape.

“We are determined to make our city and surrounding areas greener and environmentally sustainable. We can make Lilongwe and Malawi green if we work together. At Standard Bank, we are geared to get our hands dirty today and in coming months for a better tomorrow,” he said.

The Bank has partnered with the Lilongwe City Council for the initiative, as a key player in ensuring that Lilongwe gets a green facelift. The City Council provided 1,000 tree seedlings of 7 varieties both indigenous and fruit trees to distribute on this day.

The Chief Information Officer said, “today we successfully distributed 1,000 seedlings to customers and staff in Lilongwe through our 6 branches and service centres. This is the beginning of a larger commitment we have towards supporting the Tree planting agenda for the nation.”

“Lilongwe suffers a tree loss rate of around 17.5% which is one of the highest deforestation rates in Malawi. We must take individual accountability towards planting trees and ensure every person and household has a tree. We are a partner for every Malawian that wants to see our current climate crisis eradicated,” said Nuka.

Mr. Nuka said the initiative is part of efforts by the Bank to contribute to the country attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals on the environment. This also aligns with the Bank’s commitment as a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking (UN PRB).

“As such we are committed to ensuring that our operating strategy is consistent with and contributes to society’s needs and priorities, as expressed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Paris Agreement, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and sustainable banking frameworks,” he said.

Malawi is in line to earn billions of dollars from buyers of carbon credits if its citizens planted more specific trees.

NBS Bank plc to ‘Inspire Inclusion’ through Social Media Campaign

Temwani Simwaka NBS Bank Deputy CEO

In an innovative move to champion diversity and women’s empowerment, NBS Bank plc has unveiled its social media campaign ‘Inspire Inclusion’ which will be spearheaded by Deputy Chief Executive Officer Temwani Simwaka.

The  initiative aims to spotlight the Bank’s dedication to financial literacy and the empowerment of women.

“Through the ‘I Nominate You’ campaign, we are excited to share valuable financial advice, celebrate inclusivity, and highlight the diverse culture within our Bank,” said NBS Bank Acting Head of Marketing and Customer Experience James Chikaonda, underscoring the campaign’s objectives.

Chikaonda further elaborated on the campaign’s approach to recognizing women’s contributions both within and outside NBS Bank.

“We will nominate three outstanding women who, in turn, will share their insights, nominate others, and spread the message of inclusion using the hashtags #INominateYou and #InspireInclusion.”

“The campaign will focus on women in senior and middle management roles at NBS Bank, alongside a distinguished woman who has excelled in her field outside the Bank. By highlighting these women, we affirm our role as leaders in fostering an inclusive culture that transcends the confines of our organization,” said Chikaonda.

Scheduled to run across LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook until the end of the month, the ‘Inspire Inclusion’ campaign aligns with the global celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8.

This year’s IWD theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, resonates with the campaign’s mission to underscore the importance of diversity and empowerment in every sphere of society.

Standard Bank sponsors K5m towards Malawi Law Society AGM

Banda presents the sponsorship to MLS Lilongwe Chapter Executive Committee Secretary Chanju Kondowe

Standard Bank Plc has given this year’s Malawi Law Society Annual Conference underway in Mangochi a boost by contributing K5 million.

Head of Private Banking Joshua Banda said the contribution is in recognition of the important role legal minds play in strengthening governance across multiple sectors, thereby contributing to economic growth.

MLS Lilongwe Chapter Executive Committee Secretary Chanju Kondowe, who recieved the sponsorship thanked Standard Bank for the partnership.

This year’s AGM is under the Theme “Interrogating Malawi Electoral System Towards 2025 General Elections.”

Honourable Justice Dr Chifundo J. Kachale, Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, is the Guest of Honour.

NBS Bank plc supports lawyers’ Indaba with K2 million 

Dossi (left) handing over the cheque to Ngunde while other officials look on

NBS Bank Plc has given K2 million to the Malawi Law Society (MLS) for their Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for this week in Mangochi.

Making a symbolic cheque presentation at NBS Bank’s Head office in Blantyre on Friday, the Bank’s Head of Legal Felister Dossi, said they felt the need to support the conference since they believe that the rule of law is fundamental to political stability and helps a country to achieve economic and social progress and development which is important for a business environment that the Bank is operating in.

“Malawi Law Society has been a partner for several years.  We are aware that this year’s AGM theme touches on electoral system and laws and as a Bank, we feel duty bound to contribute to MLS to help them achieve one of their strategic goals of safeguarding the rule of law,” said Dossi.

MLS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chrispin Ngunde said the support signifies the Bank’s commitment to promoting the rule of law, professionalism, integrity, and excellence.

“The Bank has been a partner for MLS for many years and the donation of K2 million further cements our collaboration. The theme for this year’s Conference and AGM is very relevant to the business of the Bank.”

“For the Bank’s business and any business to strive, it requires a stable business and political environment. Elections greatly contribute to creating this conducive environment. It is, therefore, pleasing to note that the Bank has taken a keen interest in elections and public interest through its support of MLS,” said Ngunde.

Ngunde added that MLS will continue to promote matters of public interest, rule of law, good governance, integrity, and professionalism by taking an active role, in among others, sharing thoughts on matters of national importance such as election matters

MLS will hold its AGM from March 21 to 24 under the theme ‘Interrogating the Malawi Electoral System Towards 2025 General Elections.’

Standard Bank boosts diaspora remittances

Mughogho: Malawi needs such remittances to boost our foreign currency reserves position

Lilongwe, March 19, 2024–In a bid to boost diaspora remittances and foreign currency inflows into Malawi, Standard Bank Plc is proud to announce prizes worth more than K30 million for diaspora customers who remit U$2,000 back home through the Bank’s Bureau de Change (BDC).

Under the three-month Transfer and Win Diaspora promotion, Standard Bank has dangled a grand prize of a plot worth K20 Million back home and various cash prizes. The promotion is for all individuals who send money to Malawi from the diaspora and Malawians earning in foreign currency abroad with a need to send funds back home.

Announcing the incentives, The Executive Head of Personal and Private Banking (PPB) Charity Mughogho said the promotion recognizes the role of diaspora communities in the economic development of the country through foreign currency remittances.

“Malawi needs such remittances to boost our foreign currency reserves position, supply and circulation. At Standard Bank, we recognize the significance of our diaspora communities in contributing to economic development back home. The promotion is open to individuals living in the diaspora who have a Standard Bank Diaspora Account or any international bank account from their country of residence.

To enter the promotion a client needs to transfer a minimum of US$2,000 into a Malawi Kwacha account through Standard Bank BDC. This will give one entry into the monthly draw and subsequent grand draw.

Through our Diaspora Account, we aim to provide a tailored banking solution that caters specifically to the unique requirements of individuals living abroad,” said Mughogho. She said the promotion aims to empower individuals living outside the country with convenient banking solutions that enable them to seamlessly manage their finances and support their loved ones back home.

This promotion is open to the Bank’s Diaspora Account holders and any other international bank account from the sender’s country of residence. Funds once sent will be deposited directly into the Malawian bank account of the beneficiary.

Malawians residing abroad and who wish to open a Diaspora Account with Standard Bank can do so by simply clicking here to download and complete the application documents or through the e-mail diasporasupportcentre@standardbank.co.mw and the bank’s website.

The promotion will run from 11th March 2024 to 31st May 2024 and draws will be conducted at the end of each month. Monthly draws will see seven customers carting home K500, 000 each. Apart from the grand prize of a plot valued at K20 million, other consolation prizes include a solar system valued at Mk4,600,000 to the first runner up and the third winner will walk away with K1 million.

Blantyre City South MP Lipipa talks tough on cutting public expenditure

Lipipa: It is painful but it must be done

The DPP Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South Constituency Noel Lipipa, has called on the government to take decisive action to rein in public expenditure, which he believes could include phasing out the costly SUVs used by most government officials.

Speaking at the budget sitting in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Lipipa said that the cost of domestic travel, drivers who are more than the vehicles – an anomaly in itself, misuse of vehicles, was extremely high. He added that the goal should be to reduce expenditure while also avoiding wastage and reducing borrowing, which he said was a necessary sacrifice.
“It is painful but it must be done. There is no wrong time to do the right thing. The 2024/25 budget estimates that the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) will collect K3.3 trillion is an illusion, lest we forget that they failed to collect K2,2 trillion in the 2023/24 budget.” he said.
“The private sector is struggling because of high interest rates and foreign exchange shortage. The private sector can only borrow money if there are good incentives such as lower interest rates and/or if import substitutes are introduced. Which business will borrow money in our current economic situation?” he asked.

Bridge Afric to create more opportunities for Malawian artists…to launch Southern Region chapter Saturday at BICC

Jacob Events which has partnered with Bridge Afric says all is set for Bidge Afric Malawi launch and workshop which is slated for Saturday, March 23 at the majestic Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in the capital Lilongwe.

Wendy Favour Harawa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jacob Events has told Malawi Voice that the much awaited event aims at bridging the gap between Malawian artists and other artists around Africa to create more opportunities.

She noted that for decades now Malawi arts has been and is being consumed by mostly Malawians only with no chance of going international hence the coming of Bridge Afric to change the narrative.

“The aim is to Bridge the Gap between Malawian artists and other artists around Africa and the world and create opportunities for them. Jacobs Events has partnered with bridgeAFRIC to host this event at BICC On March 23, ” said Harawa.

According to the veteran musician and event manager Harawa, the workshop will provide a platform for local artists to interact and share their experience with big names in the entertainment industry.

“There will be a workshop with all kinds of artists, questions and answers, one of the major themes is “Collaborations as a tool for developing talents in Africa,” she said

Harawa said Bridge Afric President Victoria Nkong will be among the distinguished guests.

Others dignitaries include The President of Afrima All Africa Awards Mike Dada, Trace Representatives, representative of Live Nation in France, Ace Video Directors, 50 cents Producer and a lot more music business executives and international artists from around Africa.

Local musicians to grace the workshop include Phyzix, Che Kalonda, the Nyau King Tay Grin, Lulu among others.

Veteran music producer and entrepreneur Taps Bandawe will also be part of the speakers at the event while award winning television personality Priscilla Kayira Nsane will be the moderator.

Renowned poet Q Malewezi will be among the Panelists while DJ Neptune will be on the decks.

Bridge Afric’s primary objective is to promote and showcase African artists, providing them with platforms to reach a global audience beyond their home countries.

Triephornia Mpinganjira’s African Child Foundation to launch K10million football league in Neno

Triephornia Mpinganjira: We aim at promoting health through sports in schools

Business tycoon Triephornia Bender Mpinganjira’s African Child Foundation will on Sunday, March 24 launch a K10 million kwacha football and netball leagues for schools in Neno district.

The historic launch will take place at Neno Stadium in the district.

According to the foundation, all schools and clubs from Traditional Authority (TA) Chekecheku will take part in the leagues.

The foundation, according to statement in our custody, aims at promoting health through sports in schools.

“African Child Foundation would like to use sports as a vehicle to advance and promote health in schools and communities in TA Chekucheku,” reads the statement in part.

In view of this development the following schools have been identified to play football and netball games on the launching day: Chiwale Secondary School, Chikonde CDSS, Chikonde Model Primary School and Kaponda Primary School.

Triephornia is one of the gifts that Malawi and the whole Globe have in terms of humanitarian support and services.

The Good Samaritan Triephornia also bailed out Neno District Council lastyear when she paid K5million to water board when the board disconnected water at the council.

Recently, Triephornia was in the news after donating a brand new Nissan Patrol to Malawi’s renowned hip hop artist, Limbani Kalilani better known by his stage name Tay Grin.

She also stormed the social media after donating 2.5 million kwacha to Mai Mbambande, a non-governmental organization dedicated towards assisting the elderly in the country.

As that was not enough, Mai Mpinganjira also supported with air tickets to six children who represented Malawi at Africa Spelling B competition in Uganda.

Apostle Nyirongo says World needs righteous leaders

Apostle Dr. Mc Hellings Nyirongo, who is the founder for Christ Fellowship Church for All Nations (CFCAN), says for the World to prosper needs a “righteous and very honest” leaders.

He made the remarks ahead of a 2 days of God’s answer special prayers themed: “God’s time to receive and follow God’s leaders” slated for Friday 5 to 6 April at Ekwendeni CDSS in Mzimba district.

According to Apostle Nyirongo, time has come for God to lead His people instead of cruel and clueless leaders so that all people should prosper and enjoy good life.

The Apostle said cruel leaders have a habit if oppressing, killing any one whom they perceived to be wiser than them; “They kills people with visions and steal their visions which later they will fail to implement”.

Apostle Nyirongo said: “According to the Holy Ghost bad leaders are: Clue less leaders who just announce decisions and promises what can’t implemented (Jeremiah 8 v11).

They speak peace which is not there. These are vision less leaders who can take a picture of hotel in USA and present to the village as their plan to transform the village,”

While quoting Proverbs 28 Verse 15 and Proverb 29 Verse 2, Apostle Nyirongo said If God blesses the people, He gives them a righteous leader and if God punishes the people He gives them bad and wicked leaders.

“See God chose David and Israel prospered under his regime,” cited Apostle Nyirongo in an exclusive interview, adding that: “During these prayers, we shall pray and the LORD shall provide His spirit, His Angels, His anointed men and women, supernatural wisdom to surpass human practices.”

The prayers, which will start with a night of prayers on Friday, April 5 and a day long service on Saturday April 6, is themed: “God’s time to receive and follow God’s leaders”.

The prayers will be will be characterized with teachings, prophecies, healing and deliverance among others as guided by the Holy spirt.

CFCAN’S Christ melodies and Women of grace will spice up the ‘free for all’ prayers with live music performances.

For more call/WhatsApp on +265997341371.

Apostle Dr. Mc Nyirongo is well known in Malawi and across the globe for his accurate prophecies, miracles healing and deliverance.

 He was called and sent by Jesus Christ Himself and he does what others cannot do except they have Holy Ghost too.

Christ fellowship church for all Nations; giving the word of life: wisdom, revelation, prophecy, healing and deliverance.

NBS Bank Plc Introduces ‘Afana Oyaza’ Promo for University Students

In a significant move aimed at promoting the use of digital banking among university students, NBS Bank Plc has unveiled the ‘Afana Oyaza’ campaign which targets university students across Malawi, encouraging them to utilize the bank’s digital services for their financial transactions, particularly for paying their tuition fees.

The campaign is open to students enrolled at the University of Malawi (UNIMA), Mzuzu University (MZUNI), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), and Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS).

Participants who pay their fees using the bank’s Eazy Bank digital platforms are entered into a competition to win various awards, with the grand prize being a full year’s tuition covered by NBS Bank.

NBS Bank Chief Retail Officer Victoria Chanza, highlighted the bank’s commitment to enhancing educational access through digital banking solutions emphasizing on the convenience of paying fees via smartphones, the Eazy Wallet mobile wallet, and the Bank Pafupi agency banking platforms.

“As the ‘Caring Bank,’ we are devoted to the advancement of education. This campaign is part of our efforts to ensure students have seamless access to education through our digital channels,” said Chanza.

She said the promotion is not only about easing the fee payment process but also includes exciting prizes like laptops, smartphones, and NBS Bank-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, pens, and wristbands.

“The ‘Afana Oyaza’ campaign represents a forward-thinking approach to integrating digital banking services within the educational sector, offering tangible benefits to students while fostering a digital-first mindset,” said Chanza.

Endorsing the initiative, Steve Omar, Entertainment Director at Mzuzu University, described ‘Afana Oyaza’ as a beneficial and welcome development for the student community.

“This campaign offers significant support to university students, and we hope for NBS Bank Plc’s continued involvement each semester to make a meaningful difference in students’ lives,” said Omar.

LUANAR lauds NBM Plc’s support towards agriculture innovations

The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) has commended National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc for its dedication towards nurturing creativity and resourcefulness within the agricultural sector, thereby shaping the future of Malawi.

The sentiments were expressed during the 2024 celebrations of LUANAR’s Innovations and Talents Day, themed ‘Unleashing Creativity for Purpose2024’ at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Wednesday. 

Associate Professor Grivin Chipula, Chairperson of the organizing committee, further hailed NBM’s swift recognition of LUANAR’s initiatives and its support of K2 million towards the event.

“This support has significantly incentivized our innovations. The K2 million has motivated not only the winners of the awards, but also those who were shortlisted,” said Chipula.

LUANAR’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Emmanuel Kaunda graced the event and reiterated the institution’s commitment to translating ideas into tangible realities to bolster the country’s economy.

“We possess immense potential. We sought an opportunity to unleash this talent. LUANAR students and graduates have the potential to drive advancements in the agricultural sector and contribute to the nation’s economic growth through their innovative activities,” he said. 

In his remarks, Burton Ngwangwa, a fourth-year student at LUANAR and a pencil artist, expressed his excitement for winning and the inspiration gained from the Innovations and Talents Day.

“It is a monumental day for us as artists and innovators to exhibit our ingenuity. We have demonstrated our capabilities to the world. The drawings are important in addressing global challenges like deforestation and climate change,” said Ngwangwa. 

In an interview, NBM Plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa commended the students for their innovations which is one of the key focus areas for the Bank.

“As the Bank of the Nation, we are committed to fostering creativity and resourcefulness within the agriculture sector, ultimately shaping the future of the country.

 Innovation is our number one focus, and that is why apart from sponsoring the Innovation Jam in partnership ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM), we have also injected over K100 million into the establishment of Innovation hubs,” said Hiwa.  

Standard Bank dates investors…As 2023 results impress market watchers

Chief Executive Phillip Madinga

Standard Bank Plc, listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange will today outline its 2023 performance to shareholders and other stakeholders after posting a K52.5 billion net profit, which one of the country’s financial analysts has described as “impressive”.

Reacting to the bank’s results, Lilongwe-based independent economist and transformational finance leader Thomson Nelson Kumwenda said they reflect impressive cost efficiencies, and Standard Bank’s deep understanding of risk management in respect to dealing with government securities.

“I see a very solid understanding and application of IFRS 9 by their Finance team. With expected credit losses heightened by 112%, year on year, they must have been prudent enough to have widened ECL coverage on lending to government and the probability of default and loss…” he said.

Kumwenda noted that Standard Bank has been prudent enough in its reporting and assumptions, considering that both World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have in recent years classified Malawi’s debt as unsustainable and carrying sovereign risk.

“Any internationally present bank will factor in the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) into their PD [Probability of Default] and LGD [Loss Given Default] assumptions and apply appropriate hair-cuts on the government portfolio EAD [Exposure at Default],” he said.

This means the analyst is applauding Standard Bank for exercising prudence, and caution in its exposure to government borrowing, in view of the country’s DSA by World Bank and IMF.

Chief Executive Phillip Madinga and Chief Financial Officer John Mhone are expected to lead the bank’s country leadership committee in explaining the latest results during an investor conference scheduled from 9:30 am from the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

The event will be hosted in hybrid format, with some key stakeholders joining virtually.

In its financial reports for the year ended December 31, 2023, Standard Bank said earnings from interest and other revenues drove net profit to MK52.5 billion, an increase by 34 percent over 2022.

“Net interest revenue grew 57% year on year driven by growth in both net interest income and non-interest revenue,” reads in part the report, co-signed by Madinga, Chairman of Board Chris Kapanga, and other directors of the bank’s board.

Veteran lawyer Naphambo knighted

Mackintosh ‘knights’ Namphambo during the investiture ceremony

Veteran lawyer James Namphambo has been knighted for his commitment and dedication towards work of St John’s Ambulance, an international humanitarian organization that provides first aid and medical services.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom knighted Namphambo but delegated the Chancellor of St John’s Ambulance Scotland Simon Mackintosh to do the investiture ceremony at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Church in Blantyre on Thursday.

Through the Investiture ceremony, Mackintosh also honoured nine other people as members and an officer of St John’s Ambulance Malawi.

Speaking after the event, Mackintosh said: “I am delighted to see St John Malawi in such a strong position in the service of humanity. St John Scotland and St John Malawi work together and there is one thing that binds us, that is why we all wear the same uniform and badge. Community health here in Blantyre and Lilongwe has been the driving force of what St John is doing and certainly St John Scotland has been supporting that.”

The knighting of Naphambo, who is St John of Malawi president means he has now been elevated to the title ‘Sir’ which is a special recognition approved by the King of England.

In his remarks after the investiture, Naphambo expressed gratitude saying the honour will drive further his passion for executing charity works.

“I am excited because there are very few knights in Africa. If I can remember we have Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and President Arap Moi who were knighted. This means that we have to continue working hard because we are being recognized for helping the needy, the less privileged with the money we get from our partners. We have used that money properly to help the people who cannot fend for themselves so that they can also enjoy life,” he said.

Naphambo indicated that one of St John Malawi’s areas of focus is primary healthcare, which focuses on teaching locals to have clean houses without the use of money.

“By making sure their houses are clean, it helps them to avoid contracting communicable diseases like diarrhea and cholera. I am happy with the positive response in the area that we work,” he added.

Among others who were recognized at the event include Chrissie Bema, Fred Demester, Precious Lucia Divala, Felister Kalasa, William Karanya, Dr Grace Wit Katha, Reverend Canon Charles Masina, Judith Ntonga and Vincent Blessings Tholo who is also the National Coordinator for St John’s Ambulance Malawi.

Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi Alinafe Kalemba also attended the ceremony and offered a homily themed ‘Caring for the neighbour’.

NBS Bank Plc doubles Charity Shield sponsorship

Ngwenya (left) exchange contract documents with Gunda

NBS Bank Plc has doubled this year’s Charity Shield football sponsorship package from K20 million to K40 million.

Announcing the good news at a press briefing on Tuesday, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwanele Ngwenya said NBS Bank Plc decided to hike the package after being impressed with how the tournament has been run and its impact since they started sponsoring it in 2022. 

“This year, we are elevating our commitment to the zenith of possibility with a sponsorship of K40 million. We are championing the cause of education, the bedrock of sustainable development and the cornerstone of Malawi’s vision. Education empowers, enlightens, and emancipates.”

“The NBS Bank Charity Shield is more than a competition; it is a manifestation of our shared values, our hopes for a brighter future, and our commitment to the holistic development of Malawi. As we embark on this year’s journey, let us be reminded of the power of partnership, the impact of investment in our communities, and the transformative potential of sports and education combined,” said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya also announced that the Bank will bankroll the Charity Shield for the next three years, with this year’s proceeds going toward construction of sanitary facilities in selected schools in the Central Region. 

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) represented by General Secretary Alfred Gunda thanked NBS Bank Plc for the kind gesture.

 “We are very excited that NBS Bank has taken us to another level with the charity shield sponsorship pushing us to K40 million.” 

“Apart from the charity events and entertainment, football offers employment to a lot of people ranging from the players, coaches, referees and others,” he said.

Gunda also commended NBS Bank Plc for committing towards the cause in the next three years. 

“We have always had yearly sponsorships for the competition, and now this news gives us hope as we now know we have a sponsor for the next few years,” he added. 

TNM Super League champions FCB Nyasa Bullets and runners-up Silver Strikers are set to battle for the Charity honours at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe on March 30. 

Last year, the NBS Charity Shield match between Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers raised over K20 million which was channeled towards the victims of the Cyclone Freddy which hit most parts of the Southern Region districts. 

In 2022, NBS Bank Plc sponsored the Charity Shield with K15 million and the proceeds went to Cyclone Ana victims in Nsanje district. 

Finance Minister hails FDH Bank Plc for opening first ever Service Centre on Likoma Island

Chithyola Banda (right) gestures after officially opening the FDH Likoma Service Centre

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola Banda has hailed FDH Bank for establishing a banking centre on Likoma Island.

FDH Bank Plc has become the first bank to open a fully-fledged service centre on Likoma Island, a district that has always faced financial accessibility challenges.

“There will be local economic development as the Bank will support the growth of small businesses by enabling entrepreneurs to establish and expand their enterprises,” said the Finance Minister during the colourful opening ceremony on Monday.

In his remarks, FDH Board Chairperson Charity Mseka said financial inclusion is recognized as a main pillar of the global development agenda, as such opening the service centre is an important milestone for the Bank and the people of Likoma.

“Worldwide, 2.5 billion adults still lack access to basic financial services. Closing this gap is vital to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”

“The World Bank Group has set a target for Universal Financial Access (UFA) that ensures that adults everywhere have access to a transaction account to store money, and send and receive payments,” said Mseka.

The Bank’s Managing Director Noel Mkulichi added that the decision to open a Service Centre on the Island is informed by FDH Bank’s new strategy and plans that aim to provide easy access to financial solutions that enable communities to grow.

“This FDH Bank Plc Service Centre aims to break financial barriers for the people of Likoma. It was initially shocking to hear of the financial accessibility challenges that the people at Likoma face.”

CSR work- Mseka (left) presents a K2 million dummy Cheque for Likoma Secondary School

“Civil servants had to contribute transport and accommodation for one person to travel to Nkhata Bay with ATM cards of the entire group to withdraw money. This was a huge risk and an inconvenience,” said Mkulichi. 

He further noted that the absence of the banking facilities on the Island resulted in the closure of offices and businesses for some days as people had to travel to the mainland, which led to the loss of productive time. 

“Tourists sometimes cut short their stay on this beautiful Island once they run out of money, and this is a lost opportunity for the country. These stories and many more are depressing! This is what the people of Likoma have been going through since time immemorial,” added Mkulichi.

The opening of Likoma Service Centre means FDH Bank is available in all the districts in the country. 

During the function, the Bank  donated  K3 millionto Likoma District Hospital towards procurement of linen for the women’s ward, and K2 millionto Likoma Secondary School towards procurement of mattresses for students as part of their corporate social responsibility. 

First Lady hails NBS Bank Plc on girl-child support’

Chakwera (right) presents the award to Simwaka

Malawi’s First Lady Monica Chakwera through her Shaping Our Future Foundation (SOFF) has commended NBS Bank plc for its continued support to the foundation since its inception.

Madam Chakwera said this at a fundraising dinner held at Sanjika Palace recently where she presented an award to the ‘Caring Bank’ in recognition of the partnership with SOFF.

“I sincerely thank our supporters for this dinner – NBS Bank, who have shown unwavering support to our bursaries and mentorship program. We have made significant progress in the last three years, providing bursaries nationwide, girls mentorship, and supporting economic empowerment programs, awarded over 2500 scholarships across 150 Public Secondary Schools.”

“We organized in-school mentorship sessions and national girls’ mentorship retreats, impacting over 1300 girls. This indicates the effectiveness of offering financial assistance to education together with tailored mentorship,” said Chakwera.

Receiving the award on behalf of NBS Bank Plc, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Temwani Simwaka said NBS Bank places great value in ensuring girls and women are given a conducive environment to thrive. 

“At NBS Bank Plc we have mentorship programs for girls, that is why we saw the need to partner and provide support to the First Lady’s foundation. Our aim is to see a girl child empowered to shine,” she said. 

NBS Bank partnered with Shaping Our Future Foundation in 2020 to promote the holistic development of the village girl and street child.

 The Foundation’s main goal is to increase enrolment, retention, and completion of secondary school education of 5000 village girls and boys by 2026.

Standard Bank ranked as Africa’s most valuable banking brand for a third consecutive year

Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive

Standard Bank has been ranked as the most valuable banking brand in Africa in 2024. This is the third consecutive year that Standard Bank has been ranked first in Africa Brand Finance’s annual ranking of the world’s Top 500 Banking Brands.

The bank also increased its brand value by 12.4% in the last year to reach over $1.9 billion US dollars. This places Standard Bank as first in Africa and 138th in the world, up 7 places from 145th in 2023.

Every year, Brand Finance assesses 5 000 of the biggest brands across the world, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across many sectors. The world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest banking brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Banking 500 ranking.

Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive says: “We are honoured to receive this accolade, which affirms our commitments to providing consistently excellent service for our clients and to driving Africa’s growth”.

The Standard Bank Group, also trading as Stanbic Bank in other markets, is the continent’s largest financial services provider by assets and has a brand presence in 20 African countries and 6 international centres.

“The Standard Bank brand is a trusted symbol of growth across Africa, and for it to be deemed the most valuable bank brand for a third consecutive year is a proud moment for all our people and our clients. This tangible and independent valuation confirms who we are and what we do as a brand is meaningful and relevant to the people, businesses, and communities that we serve,” said Margaret Nienaber, Standard Bank Group, Chief Operating Officer.

Sim Tshabalala ranked in the 10 Top Bank CEOs

In addition to the bank’s accolade, Sim Tshabalala has been listed as one of the 10 Top Bank CEO in the Brand Guardianship Index. He has been particularly recognised as a champion for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

According to the Brand Guardianship Index, CEOs are evaluated on their capacity to generate long-term corporate value while taking into account the needs of all parties involved, including employees, investors, and the general public.

The Brand Guardianship Index said that “under his leadership, Standard Bank has become an invaluable partner in supporting initiatives such as the Top Women Conference, which celebrates the achievements of women leaders and organisations that empower them”.

The bank’s work to drive increased digitisation to innovate in response to evolving customer needs through organic and targeted partnerships was also acknowledged as helping drive the organisation’s leading role.

“We strongly believe in the potential of this continent and these awards re-emphasise our commitment to continue to provide services that are tailored to meet our clients’ needs,” concludes Ms Nienaber.

NBS Bank to unveil Charity Shield package on Tuesday

NBS Acting Head of Marketing and Customer Experience James Chikaonda

Malawi Stock Exchange listed NBS Bank Plc returns for the 2024 Charity Shield as they are set to unveil the new package on Tuesday at their Headquarters in Blantyre.

The NBS Bank Charity Shield marks the kickoff of the new football season, and NBS Bank Plc has been bankrolling the competition for the third-consecutive season in partnership with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).

Last year, the Bank raised the sponsorship from K15 million in 2022 to K20 million and the proceeds were channelled towards survivors of the Cyclone Freddy which hit most districts of the Southern Region.

NBS Acting Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, James Chikaonda said the Bank realises the need to impact other people’s lives through charity.

“Together with FAM we try to identify a need that we can help. Just like last year, we will also donate the proceedings of the match for another cause. As a Caring Bank, we believe that we have a role to play in helping the needy because some of them might be our customers, or connected to one of our customers,” Chikaonda said.

Chikaonda however refused to divulge more of the 2024 season package.

“But for now, it is about the signing ceremony with FAM and we promise to return big,” he said.

FAM Director of Communication and Competition, Gomezgani Zakazaka commended NBS Bank Plc for being a reliable partner in running the Charity Shield.

Zakazaka said through the initiative, Charity Shield has managed to impact the lives of many Malawians, apart from offering entertainment through the football match.

“FAM would like to thank NBS Bank Plc most sincerely for supporting the charity shield,” Zakazaka said.

Capital Radio sports journalist Christy Gomani concurred with Zakazaka saying the NBS Bank Charity Shield is very important as it also sets the tone for the new season.

“As the name suggests, it’s about charity, and we have seen great impact as the proceedings benefit the needy. On the other hand, there is no charity match in Malawi since the trophy counts for the winners. Remember, the match is played after a break from last season and every supporter hopes for a positive start for their team,” he said.

Last year, the Charity Shield match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuti Wanderers played at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, fetched K20 million.

Proceeds from the Bank’s maiden year in 2022 were also channelled to flood victims in Nsanje.

Activist Undule Mwakasungula challenges APM on his comeback bid

One of the country’s renowned human rights activist, Undule Mwakasungula has challenged former president who is also leader for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to carefully consider if his decision to contest in the upcoming 2025 general elections will be for the national good.

In a press statement issued today Sunday, March 10, 2024, Mwakasungula has described the Mutharika’s comeback bid as for more of his personal interest and a clear sign of leadership in-bitterness.

“While APM might have indicated his desire to come back as the president of this country, it is imperative for him to critically examine his motive behind.

 As states man, APM was supposed to demonstrate willingness to acknowledge both the achievements and shortcomings of the current regime and rise above all political differences for the for the nation’s common good “, said Mwakasungula.

He added that Mutharika was equally supposed to shoulder responsibility in promoting a culture of tolerance and respect amidst the re-emergence of political violence and hate speech in the country adding his insistence to join active politics is in disrespect to his former presidency roles.

On Friday during a press briefing at his Page House in Mangochi, Mutharika declared his 2025 general elections comeback bid to serve Malawians in what he called as the current social economic challenges.

Mutharika’s comeback bid has created major divisions in the country east while former governing party with the party recently firing all those deemed ant APM including leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa

The party also lost its senior members who have defected to the Tonse Alliance key partner Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

We Lose Kaning’ina Forest, we are Doomed-NRWB

Authorities in Mzuzu have sounded a timely warning to residents that if Kaning’ina forest is destroyed through deforestation, then Mzuzu is doomed in as far water supply is concerned.

Speaking at Kaning’ina Forest in Chimaliro where Northern Region Water Board NRWB partnered with the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) to plant trees in the catchment area, NRWB Director of Operations Engineer Dr. Ausmane Ungwe said Kaning’ina forest is crucial to continued water supply in the city.

NRWB Director of Operations Engineer Dr. Ausmane Ungwe plants one of the trees

“Let’s take this message seriously and to everyone. If we dare to destroy Kaning’ina Forest, then we are doomed here in Mzuzu,” said Ungwe.

Through the partnership, PRSM and NRWB on Friday planted hundreds of trees in Kaning’ina forest in a bid to afforest the catchment area.

The exercise was attended by all relevant stakeholder groups in the city including MDF, Forestry Department, Mzuni, the media and Mzuzu City Council.

Engineer Dr. Ausmane Ungwe speaks during the exercise

PRSM has taken aggressive efforts in the afforestation frive by partnering with stakeholders to plant trees across the country. Last week, the PR professionals partnered with National Water Resources Authority to plant trees at Bua in Kasungu.

PRSM President Benson Linje said the PR body was ready and geared to partner various stakeholders and companies in various engagements, including training management teams in modern communication needs.

Powering women to live their dream

March 8 is International Women’s Day, which amplifies calls to invest in women and accelerate progress towards ending poverty and inequalities. We track how a local bank’s financing vehicle is greasing the wheels of women investors often rejected by financial institutions:

Tadala (left) poses with one of the nurses at Tapempha Medical Care Centre clinic

When Dr Thandie Mabedi decided to quit her job, she dreamed of owning a clinic where Malawians could access no-fee specialist services they obtain beyond the borders.

The medical doctor and her husband opened Uromed Clinic in Lilongwe in 2020 to fulfil her dream.

“My husband is also a doctor,” she says. “Together, we grew the dream of opening a clinic to offer general services and specialized services, but most banks we approached weren’t keen to support a start-up business and had tough conditions, including collateral.”

Mabedi was undeterred in search of capital for her dream project.

She is now the executive director of Uromed Clinic which offers more than just urology, a part of healthcare that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract such as kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. It also specializes in gynecology, which deals with the female reproductive system, including pregnancy-related procedures and complications.

“We also specialize in kidneys and our procedures don’t involve open surgery on prostates to avoid complications. We have laser treatment to treat kidney stones, which no other clinic treats in Malawi,” she narrates.

Dr Mabedi captured at the clinic

The clinic employs 44 workers, up from eight at the start.

Four years on, it is on course for expansion to a 30-bed facility following the acquisition of land just opposite the current five-bed clinic.

NBM Development Bank Limited, the development financing institution of the National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc, supported the Mabedi’s dream project.

She recounts: “We made a presentation about our dream and we were stunned to hear NBM Development Bank Limited committing to support the building and buying of equipment.”

They paid back the loan within three years and qualified for another one from the Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Scaling [FInEs] project through the NBM Development Bank. The World Bank funds FInEs, a five-year initiative by the Government of Malawi through the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

“We are using the money to build a bigger hospital which will have radiology, X-ray and advanced laboratory,” says Mabedi.

Tapempha Clinic

A similar dream come true is Tapempha Medical Care Centre at Namitete Trading Centre along the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road.

Shareholder Tadala Kathumba, a human resources manager, says the FInEs project provided K375 million through NBM Development Bank Limited to construct the 100-bed clinic and procure medical equipment.

“The clinic employs 65 people and serves about 3 000 patients per month. We aim to see Malawians getting medical care here, not outside the country,” she says.

The two stories testify to the need to invest in women to achieve their dreams of changing the world around them.

In both cases, the women were first rejected by other financial institutions.

This year, the International Women’s Day theme, inspire inclusion, calls for a shift towards investing in women “Invest in women to accelerate progress. This highlights the importance of gender equality, women’s empowerment and their rights to healthier lives.

Ministry of Gender spokesperson Pauline Kaude commends NBM for its commitment to empowering women financially in line with the theme of inspiring inclusion.

She states: “One of the ministry’s mandates is ensuring that women are economically empowered. This development is a plus for us. If women are economically empowered, women will make meaningful contributions to the country’s economy.

“The ministry appreciates the good collaboration with FInEs. By complementing each other, we will capacitate women who lack the financial and technical muscle to do businesses like their male counterparts.”

NBM Development Bank Limited general manager Bernard Masi says the bank took a different approach to close the gaps that impede most Malawian entrepreneurs from accessing finance.

The main winners are small and medium enterprises, including women entrepreneurs.

When asked about the success stories of  Mabedi and Kathumba, Masi said: “We believed in their dreams and gave them a chance to realize those dreams.

“Today, we witness how the two women and many others have excelled in their businesses. As a development bank, we are here to change people’s lives and contribute to the development of this nation.”

NBM plc marketing and corporate affairs manager Akossa Hiwa is happy that with NBM support, the two enterprising women have achieved what they never expected to achieve within five years when access to capital was tricky.

“The bank places great efforts in ensuring women are empowered,” she says.

NBS Bank Plc’s Simwaka recognized at Wealth Woman Summit

Simwaka- I am honoured to receive the award

NBS Bank Plc Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) Temwani Simwaka’s commitment towards girl’s mentorship earned her an award as one of the inspiring leaders during this year’s Wealth Woman Summit held in Lilongwe.

The Bank runs a mentorship program where some of its female managers mentor girls under the mentorship program.

Wealth Magazine Managing Executive and CEO of Malawi Roundtable, Harry Chima, whose organization organized the event, said Simwaka was recognized for her consistency in championing the girl-child initiatives.

“Besides the other criterion, she has been a consistent and inclusive leader in as far as mentoring the girl child including resourcing for those economically challenged with re-usable pads is concerned,” he said.

In her remarks, Simwaka said the award will help push her effort in mentoring the girl child in the country.

“I am honored to receive this award and for my efforts about girl child inclusion to be recognized. As we continue commemorating International Women’s month, I implore all Malawians to continue celebrating women for their contributions and achievements in society,” said Simwaka.

The event brought together Malawi’s phenomenal corporate and community leaders, super achievers, the legendary and students with varying experiences in different fields.

NBM plc celebrates women strides

Malunga-Inspiring Inclusion

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc says it has made strides in empowering women to grow professionally and financially in the country.

One of the Bank’s Directors, Bernadette Malunga, said in an interview ahead of the International Women’s Day (IWD) commemoration, which falls on 8 March (today), that promoting women in leadership positions and building their capacity is one of the Bank’s priorities.

“If they want to improve their education, we provide training opportunities so that they can further their studies, which in the long run may push them to acquire leadership positions within the company.”

“The Bank has several initiatives to promote women’s leadership. We try to ensure  that each department has equal representation of both men and women. Further to this, females who are seen to be lagging behind are allowed to further their education ,” said Malunga.

This year’s IWD is being celebrated under the theme ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and is meant to emphasize the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society.

Malunga further said through a social media campaign termed ‘Inspiring Inclusion’, NBM plc seeks to celebrate strides made by female employees at different levels, female members of its Board of Directors and female customers.

“The Bank hopes that this will serve to encourage other women to keep striving for greatness in all their endeavors,” said Malunga.

One of NBM Plc’s employees Hlupikire Phalira, an accounts officer, also shared the progress made on her career path since she joined the Bank.  

“At National Bank Plc, we have policies that promote equal opportunities for both men and women. When I joined the Bank, I only had a Diploma in Accounting but because of the Bank’s policies I got a degree from the University of Malawi, furthermore, I am studying to become a chartered accountant with the ACCA,” said Phalira.

Apart from empowering female employees, NBM Plc also has female customers at heart as they offer tailor-made services to support women entrepreneurs.

Owner of Mikos and Milkshake Dessert Parlor, Chisomo Munthali said she managed to access a loan that helped boost her business.

“I can confidently say that National Bank of Malawi Plc has been a very positive support in my journey and my dreams. Back in 2021, I needed financing and I approached my Bank with all hopes that they would find something to help me, and truly I was included in the ‘Amai Angathe’ program. I managed to access financing to help boost my business,” she said.

“Ma Blacks” band leader, others win millions in TNM promotion

Anjiru Fumulani, leader of popular Chileka reggae band the Black Missionaries and Lilongwe-based farmer is amongst the lucky customers to win millions in a TNM festive season promotion.

During the grand draw conducted on Thursday in Blantyre, Lyson Jickson, the farmer from Lilongwe emerged winner of the grand prize of K10 million while Anjiru was one of the winners in the K1 million category.

It was all joy and excitement for Jickson when he was named the winner. He plans to invest the K10 million in his farming enterprise and looks forward to turning his personal life around, he said.

Celebrated Musician Anjiru Fumulani of the Black Missionaries who emerged on of the winners in the K1 million category was over the moon thanking TNM for the life-changing promotion.

Speaking during the grand draw, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing, Madalitso Jonazi said that TNM is delighted to play a great role in transforming lives of customers through the promotion.

“Through this promotion, TNM was giving back to all customers who have stood by us through thick and thin.

“We are thrilled to have played a part in making their dreams a reality, and we look forward to continuing to delight and reward our customers in the future,” said Jonazi.

TNM expressed its satisfaction with the overwhelming response by its customers throughout the promotion.

“The success of this promotion underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled value and experiences to our customers.

“Throughout this festive season, we’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible response from our loyal customers,” he said.

The promotion which was launched to celebrate the value of customers last year has rewarded 2,471 customers and TNM has distributed K62.3 Mil in prizes.

“Thanks to the overwhelming participation from customers across the country we are delighted to announce that more than two thousand customers emerged winners, collectively winning over K62 Mil in prizes,” added Jonazi.

TNM has assured Malawians of continued investments in innovation to bring incredible services and products.

The festive season promoting served to underline TNM’s commitment to sharing the network’s benefits.

Jickson and Anjiru are among the 16 customers who have become instant millionaires courtesy of TNM’s Festive Promotion.

Five customers went away with K2 million each while 10 others won K1 million each. Another set of 10 pocketed K500, 000 each.

Business Mogul Mpinganjira builds Cancer Hospital in Honour of late Wife

Chakwera cuts the ribbon to mark the official launch of the cancer centre as Mpinganjira, Chilima look on

The International Blantyre Cancer Centre Board Chairperson Thomson Mpinganjira has said the decision to construct the centre was triggered by the death of his wife, Barbara on 4 January 2019.

Mpinganjira said this on Tuesday when President Lazarus Chakwera officially opened the International Blantyre Cancer Centre in Nyambadwe, Blantyre.

He narrated that the plan to construct the centre dates back to 24 January 2017 when his late wife, Barbara was diagnosed with cancer and she spent 3 months at a South African hospital while he stayed in a hotel until their return to Malawi on 16 April 2017,

” It was that experience in South Africa, that prompted me, after the death of my wife on 4 January 2019, to make the decision to build a Cancer hospital in Malawi so that as many Malawians as possible should never have to go through the same experience we went through. I give glory to God that we now have a Cancer Centre in Malawi” he said.

According to Mpinganjira, the facility will offer both Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatment and has the most advanced Radiotherapy facilities in Africa which will help in treatment of cancer patients within the country.

He emphasized that the Centre is a game changer for the country as it will relieve the country on the massive foreign exchange challenge the country is experiencing.

“The second reason is the huge cost burden borne by the patient or family. The financing burden paying for air tickets, accommodation, food, local transport, and sundries amongst other costs for the patient and the guardian that just add up to the patient’s stress exacerbating the condition of the patient,” he bemoaned.

Mpinganjira applauded President Lazarus Chakwera for his willingness to personally come to open the Cancer Centre, describing the gesture as a clear demonstration that the President values the contributions of the private sector community in Malawi.

“This momentous occasion marks a significant milestone in our collective fight against one of the most formidable adversaries known to humanity – Cancer. The Cancer Centre stands as a beacon of light in the darkness of cancer, a place where innovative technology meets the healing power of empathy and compassion,” he said.

In his remarks, Chakwera said government is currently implementing the National Cancer Control plan that among others, will enable that every cancer patient should be treated within the country by 2030.

He said the National Cancer Center in Lilongwe will be operational by September this year.

The President added that there are many patients that need treatment which calls for collaborative efforts as at the moment, saying treating one cancer patient requires about K25 million.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda who spoke on behalf of Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, said about 12 0000 people die of cancer every year in Malawi and that 17 000 cancer cases are diagnosed every year.

He said cancer remains a burden for the country as the deaths accounts for almost 50 percent of deaths that occur due to non-communicable diseases.

The cancer centre is a 50/50 joint venture between the ‘Thomson & Barbara Mpinganjira Foundation’ and the Luxembourg, Belgium based company called OMCC.

OMCC has 5 Cancer Centers in France and four in Africa and has treated over 60,000 patients since this Radiotherapy group started.

Once fully completed with state -of-the-art accommodation, the cost of the project is expected to amount to 7 million euros (about K12 billion).

So far about K9.6 billion has been spent on the first phase of the project while second phase is expected to start soon and will comprise of a state-of-the-art Diagnostic facility and accommodation facility pushing the final cost of the project to 8 million Euros.

Exposed! What the ‘hidden’ Public Reforms report proposes…Why Chakwera did not want to make the report public

…He has only implemented two issues since report was issued

Embarrassing! President Lazarus Chakwera received a report on the review of Public Service systems of allowances, employment contracts, procurement and on the conditions of service and restructuring  by the Public Service Systems Review Taskforce in May 2021 and decided, on the 11th Hour, not to release its contents to the public as he earlier promised.

The most embarrassing thing is that in the three years that the report has been gathering dust in a file cabinet at State House, the President has just fulfilled only TWO items of the many proposals that the review taskforce, headed by Vice President Saulos Chilima, proposed for the good of the country, namely transport allowances and meal allowances for civil servants.

We have managed to quickly breakdown some of the proposals in the report that the President was asked to implement and you are the best judges on who wishes this country good and who is taking this country to ‘Bagamoyo’……

Allowances for Members of Parliament

The Taskforce on the review of Malawi’s Public Service Systems recommended that;

1. The Parliamentary Service Commission should remove the double payment of sitting allowances for Members of Parliament and parliament staff since this is

double payment as they are already paid a salary and other allowances.

2. That paying sitting allowances in order for them to fulfill these responsibilities amounts to double payment, because they receive a salary.

3.  Furthermore, these allowances are paid in advance and not recovered when MPs are absent.

4. Parliamentary staff also receive sitting allowances when serving parliamentary committees, although this is not provided in their conditions of service.

5. The Taskforce estimated that, on average, a Member of Parliament (MP) gets more than MK2,750,000 per month in remunerative allowances, and over MK4,400,000 for the Speaker, not including salaries.

6. For example, the minimum local subsistence rate for an MP is MK60,000, which equals to the maximum rate for a civil servant.

The Taskforce also noted that the maximum rate for external travel allowance for MPs is more than double the maximum for the civil service ($650 v $300).

Reforms Report on Subsistence Allowances

The Taskforce on the review of Malawi’s Public Service Systems observed that

subsistence allowances for travel are the most prone to abuse.

For instance, in the 2019/20 financial year, MK27.4 billion was approved for subsistence allowances, but what was actually spent was MK 33.7 billion. Over 88% of these allowances are spent by central government officers.

Therefore, the Taskforce recommended that;

1. Government implement full-board facility for local travel, with effect from 1st July 2021 for grades E and above, and transition all other ranks to fullboard according to grade with effect from 1st April 2022. This will eliminate or at least reduce chasing of allowances for personal gain, while making sure that public officers on duty are properly accommodated.

2. The Department of Human Resource Management and Development should negotiate with hotels, motels, and lodges special government rates for full board for public officers including ministers, with maximum rates for lunch and dinner as part of the full-board regime, excluding laundry and alcohol.

3.  Introduce IFMIS-generated Local Purchase Orders (LPO) for hotel/motel/ lodge accommodation bookings, and engage service providers so that payment is made after being invoiced.

4 Controlling Officers must ensure that all full board invoices from hotels/ motels/lodges are paid within 30 days and they will be held accountable for failure to settle bills, with sanctions following.

5.  Review the Incidental Allowance Rates attached to full board regime and adjust them accordingly

Reforms Report on Employment and Contracts

The Taskforce on the review of Malawi’s Public Service Systems observed that despite having clear procedures and authority in the administration and management of employment contracts in the public sector, there is poor enforcement of existing laws and regulations.

It therefore recommended the following;

1. Presidential appointees on employment contracts for a specified period,

such as personal assistants and diplomats who are not career civil servants,

and non-statutory political appointees such as Special Presidential Advisers,

should not transition into the mainstream civil service.

2. Furthermore, the length of employment contract should be aligned to the terms of office of their principles, be it the President, Vice President, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers, as the case may be.

2. With immediate effect, appointments in parastatal organisations should be

done by the appropriate authority, as provided for in the specific parastatal’s unless the Act specifically provides that the appointment or recruitment ofany of its staff will be made by the President.

3.  All appointments and recruitment must adhere to the existing laws.

Reforms Report on Salaries: No Civil Servant Salary to be Below Cost of Living

The Taskforce on the review of Malawi’s Public Service Systems observed that salaries are lowest in the civil service and highest in parastatals, including state-owned enterprises.

The Taskforce therefore recommended that;

1. Government must improve the salaries of public servants so that the lowest paid employee should receive a salary which responds to the Basic Needs Requirement.

2. At any point in time the salary of the lowest paid public servants should not be lower than the cost of living.

3. Introduce a contribution towards housing and transportation through appropriate non-taxable allowances as recommended below.

4. The Public Service Commission recommended that the cost of living be monitored and reviewed at least on a quarterly basis to be used in reviewing salaries.

5. Paying public officers salaries that are below the minimum needs basket violates their right to fair remuneration as is provided under section 31 (1) of the Constitution.

 6. There are huge disparities in salaries in the public service paid for work of equal value especially between the civil service and the parastatals. There are also huge disparities among the parastatals.

7. The disparities violate the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value as is provided under section 6 (1) of the Employment Act (2000) and section 8 of the Public Service Act (1994).

8. Most civil servants, especially in the low cadres, lack decent housing accommodation and face transportation challenges to and from work.

Reforms on Political Influence on Recruitment Process

The Taskforce learnt that the reported forms of maladministration usually come about because of political influence and interference, cronyism, favouritism or/and corruption.

” It appears there are people determined to put candidates in certain positions, regardless of stipulations of the law,” reads the report in part.

It therefore recommended that;

1. The respective boards and DHRMD should terminate all irregular contracts including those people recruited without following government-approved procedures, without appropriate qualifications, political appointees who were mainstreamed, and those who are past the mandatory retirement age, by end June 2021.

2. Recruitment procedures must be followed to the letter, and where they are flouted, the responsible officers, including boards, must be held to account.

3.  Government and parastatal boards must carry out Human Resource Audits, or take action on existing Audit reports, to confirm unprocedural recruitment. Contracts for all those irregularly and illegally employed must be terminated.

4. OPC, DHRMD and MDA’s should immediately discontinue the practice commonly known as “Quarantine,” “Guantanamo Bay” or “Warehousing”, where officers are deployed without being assigned to appropriate functions, but get free remuneration.

5.  Controlling Officer should follow appropriate procedures for addressing indiscipline and under-performance, including termination of services, as provided for in the Employment Act.

6. DHRMD should provide guidelines for redeployment and redundancy scheme. All affected officers must have their cases resolved within three months.

Reforms Report on Performance Appraisal

The Tasforce observed that  the Malawi Public Service’s performance and productivity is low, and cannot support the achievement of Malawi’s ambitious development goals and Malawi 2063 vision.

It recommended that;

1. To demonstrate strong leadership from the top and the value that the government places on performance appraisals, the State President should introduce performance appraisals of the SPC, supported by independent external evaluators to ensure that all key responsibilities outlined in the PSA, PFMA, and other laws are addressed in the appraisal, with the first round to be completed by 1st June 2022.

2.  SPC should implement annual performance appraisals for Controlling Officers in line with Performance Contracts of MDAs and in particular, adherence to set regulations and procedures governing allowances, other financial management issues, action on audit findings and ability to take disciplinary action on officers where acts of conduct have been committed.

3. The SPC should submit a report of all performance appraisal reports of all Controlling Officers to the State President by 1st June 2022.

4. Furthermore, the SPC should implement mechanisms for rewarding high achievers and sanctions for poor performers as stipulated in the MPSR, with effect from 1 July 2021.

5. The State President should introduce and lead a system for annual public participation in the appraisal of Ministers. Public participation in the hearings should be done through radio, television and other digital platform

Reforms Report on Moral Values

The Taskforce observed that moral decay has created a society that approves and celebrates illegal accumulation of wealth.

It recommended the following;

1.  The President should embark on the process of identifying national champions and develop a programme to restore the moral and ethical values of the public service and society at large, which should commence on 1 October, 2022.

2. Secretary for Civic Education and National Unity should introduce a national week of advocacy for patriotism, integrity and high standard of moral values with immediate effect.

3.  The Secretary for Education should facilitate the introduction of moral values, ethics, integrity, and discipline as an examinable subject in all public schools by 1st April 2022, working in consultation with religious institutions, such as the Public Affairs Committee, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Episcopal Conference, Moslem Association of Malawi, Malawi Council of Churches.

4. The SPC and Controlling Officers should ensure that all public officers attend the mandatory Code of Conduct and Ethics training and ensure that every officer appends their signature to show that they understand the contents. Subsequently, any officer who violates the code should be held liable with immediate effect.

School Fees for Children of Members of Executive Management in Parastatals

The Taskforce observed that currently, all parastatals pay 100% of the school fees for up to two (2) children (who are below the age of eighteen (18)) of members of executive management at international private schools of the Executive’s choice within Malawi.

 Similarly, Parliament pays schools fees for the Clerk of Parliament, for up to three (3) children below the age of twenty-two (22) within Malawi. In all these cases, the choice of school is left to the discretion of the individual employee.

The  Taskforce also established that diplomatic staff in the Malawi Foreign Service receive school fees allowance for up to four (4) children. However, the amount is capped to a maximum applicable at the employee’s duty station and to his or her grade.

It therefore recommended that;

a. Abolish the school fees benefit in public institutions to achieve parity in the public service and revise employment contracts accordingly

b. Current contracts to run their course before adopting this change in policy, and any new contract from the date of approval shall be on the new fixed contract template.

c. Only public servants in the diplomatic service should be provided with school fees support for children below the age of 18 years while in service at a diplomatic mission abroad, and upon return to their home service, for a period of three to five years to allow for proper adjustment and reintegration into the school curriculum.

Philanthropist Dr Triephornia Mpinganjira hails hubby for constructing Cancer Centre in Blantyre

Philanthropist Dr. Triephornia Mpingangira has commended her husband Dr. Thomson Mpinganjira, a philanthropist himself, for constructing a state-of-the-art cancer centre at Nyambadwe in Blantyre.

The first ever radiotherapy hospital will be opened this afternoon by state president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.

According to Madame Mpinganjira, the hospital will help to save millions of lives in the country seeking cancer treatment.

“This hospital will undoubtedly save countless lives and bring hope to many families,” Triephornia said in a statement addressed to her billionaire husband posted on her official Facebook page.

In the statement, she further said: “Your passion and commitment to this cause are truly inspiring. I am so proud to be your wife and witness the positive impact you are making on the lives of so many Malawians.”

Currently, Malawi sends cancer patients to hospitals in countries such as India and Tanzania.

The Ministry of Health said in August this year that the country uses over K2 billion every year to send patients abroad for cancer treatment.

In 2017, Malawi Government started constructing the National Cancer Center which is yet to be completed

The business tycoons and richest couple in Malawi, Dr. Thomson and wife Triephornia Mpinganjira are well known for sponsoring various social programs as well as sporting activities.

It is no longer a secret; the two are one of the gifts that Malawi and the whole Globe have in terms of humanitarian support and services.

Recently, Dr. Triephonia was in the news after donating a brand new Nissan Patrol to Malawi’s renowned hip hop artist, Limbani Kalilani better known by his stage name as Tay Grin.

She also stormed the social media after donating 2.5 million kwacha to Mai Mbambande, a non-governmental organization dedicated towards assisting the elderly in the country.

As that was not enough, Mai Mpinganjira also supported with air tickets to six children who represented Malawi at Africa Spelling B competition in Uganda.

NBM Plc ranked best in Malawi, Central Africa

Hiwa-We are honoured

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has been rated the best Bank in Malawi and Central Africa by the France-Based Media Group, Africa Report.

The Media Group, which also publishes a monthly Magazine called ‘Jeune Afrique’, has ranked NBM Plc 20th among the 200 African Institutions which has South Africa’s Capitec Bank leading the list.

According to the methodology used in the ranking, which has been posted on their Africa Report Website, the ranking composed five criteria: profitability, liquidity, solvency, and size.

“A weight is assigned to each to give a score out of 100. Each criteria itself consists of various indicators to which we have assigned a specific weight. In total, around 20 indicators were used”.

“For example, the profitability dimension includes, among other things, the net result ratio over total assets, liquidity includes the loan-to-deposit ratio, solvency includes the equity to total assets and size includes the total balance sheet. If a dimension is missing for a group due to insufficient data, a penalty is applied. When two or more indicators are missing, the bank is not ranked,” reads the methodology.

NBM Plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa said the recognition is a true indication of the impact made by the Bank in multiple areas.

“We are honoured to be recognized alongside other players within our eco-system. As a Bank, we commit to continue providing financial solutions that create value for the end-user ,” Hiwa said.

In its five-year strategic plan from 2023 to 2027, NBM Plc indicated that it plans to grow to two countries apart from Malawi and Tanzania where the Bank runs Akiba Commercial Bank.

Standard Bank and First Capital Bank (FCB) have been ranked 62 and 67 respectively.

FDH Bank and NBS Bank are positioned 87th and 124th respectively.

https://www.theafricareport.com/322902/capitec-leads-our-ranking-of-africa-top-200-banks/

NBM contributes K2.5m towards Wealth Women Summit

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Hiwa (Right) handing over the cheque to Damson

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has contributed K2.5 million towards this year’s Wealth Woman Summit slated for Friday and Saturday in Lilongwe.

Speaking after presenting the Cheque to the Summit organisers on Wednesday, NBM Plc’s Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa said the Bank considered partnering with Wealth Magazine as it commits to fostering female representation in leadership positions and providing equal opportunities for career growth.

“Critically, this summit, organized by Wealth Magazine, serves as a platform to champion the cause of diversity, challenge stereotypes, and create opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds to thrive.”

“Currently, 41 percent of our total staff members are female, and 28 percent of our managers are female. National Bank of Malawi plc will sponsor this Summit with a contribution of  K2.5 million, demonstrating our commitment to supporting initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion,” said Hiwa.

CEO Africa Roundtable Malawi Chapter and Board Member, George Damson thanked the Bank for supporting the fourth edition of the summit celebrated under the theme ‘Inspiring Inclusion’.

“We are very thankful that the National Bank recognizes that inclusion is a very important aspect in today’s world. Organizing this summit is our way of making sure that we bring to the fore the issue of inclusion,” said Damson.

Organized by CEO Africa Round Table Malawi Chapter, the summit fosters an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents to society.

PIL plants 6000 trees in Soche Mountain

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Msimuko (middle) flanked by representatives from Total Energies, Puma, Vivo Energy, and Petroda

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), a consortium of four oil marketing companies namely TotalErnegies Malawi, Vivo Energy, Petroda, and Puma Energy, on Wednesday took time off from their offices to plant 6000 trees in Soche Mountain in Blantyre. 

PIL General Manager, Martin Msimuko said the company decided to plant the trees as a way of giving back to the community and restoring the environment.

“We thought it wise to have our first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the year by planting trees as it coincides with the national forestry season. PIL is concerned about how Blantyre and its mountains are being degraded . Our expectation is that these trees will grow and add beauty to the scenery of Blantyre and they are also going to purify our environment in our city,” said Msimuko.

Soche Mountain Conservation Trust Project Coordinator, Yangairo commended PIL for the initiative but asked more companies to emulate the gesture, saying the efforts to plant the trees can only bear fruits if they are well nurtured. 

PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko plants his tree

“We need more support from companies just like PIL and its shareholding companies have done. However, we need, as a country, to make sure we take up initiatives to take care of the trees. Let us empower the members of the community who volunteer to take up the tasks of caring for the trees,” said Yangairo. 

One of the forest guards at the mountain, Edson Mukhweya also thanked PIL for the support. 

Mukhweya however asked for collaboration between the security agencies and the forestry department in enforcing the forest regulations on those found destroying trees. 

“It is so disturbing to see that as we collaborate to end the wanton cutting down of trees in our mountain, some government agencies act like they are supporting the behaviour. For instance, as guards, we cannot persecute those that are found destroying the trees. We therefore take them to the Police, but surprisingly, you will meet the same people in the forest again the next day after being released without trial,” said Mukhweya. 

The national forestry season starts in December up to April every year. 

MCP nominates Chakwera as Tonse Alliance running mate in 2025

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One of the main partners in the Tonse Alliance government, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has nominated President Lazarus Chakwera as running mate to the Alliance’s torchbearer for the 2025 General elections Vice President Saulos Chilima.

MCP held their Central Executive Committee meeting in Lilongwe on Monday where they settled for Chakwera as their candidate for 2025 elections.

However, the Tonse Alliance agreement which is valid for 10 years from 2020 provides that Chilima will be its torch bearer for the 2025 elections after giving Chakwera a chance to represent it for the first five years of the pact.

Contents of the agreement indicate that Chakwera was to go for the first five years while Chilima will stand for the second term of the Alliance rule.

During a 2020 campaign public rally Chilima told a huge crowd at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre that they have agreed that Chakwera should go first and that he would be the torchbearer after five years.

Chakwera has always blamed other unnamed politicians for ‘trying to come between me and the Vice President’ and vowed not to allow these politicians to succeed.

Recently during a development rally in Lilongwe Chakwera said he will practise ‘honest’ politics because he always honour his word.

“Ndikudziwa kuti ndale za ku Malawi zimakhala zosungilana ka mpeni kuphasa koma ine simpanga nawo chifukwa sindinapangepo zimenezi ndipo sindipanga” (I know Malawians practise politics of trickery but I don’t do this and will never do this),” said Chakwera.

According to the Tonse Alliance document the relationship will be reviewed after 10 years.

Chakwera and Chilima were brought together by various people including the clergy to ask them to run the 2020 elections together in order to acquire the 50 plus one percent of the national vote to oust former President Peter Mutharika.

Chithyola’s Headache: Cautioned to contain debt, spending appetite as bank sees hope for Malawi

Standard Bank Plc, Chief Executive Phillip Madinga

Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola has his work cut out for him; he must reduce government’s borrowing appetite and reign in expenditure controls if the ambitious economic growth targets of 3.2 percent to 4.8 percent are to be achieved by 2025.

This is the advice from the country’s second largest bank Standard Bank Plc, listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE).

In a statement officially responding to the Finance Minister’s draft 2024/25 budget statement, the bank’s Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said adherence to austerity measures and reducing public debt levels hold the keys to achieving the ambitious growth targets as set out in the government’s latest fiscal plan.

“Success of implementation of this budget, and Malawi’s economic recovery, will hinge on the boldness, courage and commitment by all stakeholders—thus private sector supporting initiatives that drive production and export generation, and on the government side, adherence to its austerity measures, reducing public debt levels and effective fiscal management and discipline,” he said.

He also pointed out that the public debt interest line—which has increased by three percent of the total expenditure—must be closely monitored to ensure it remains within budget.

Madinga noted that on the positive side, the 2024/25 budget demonstrates government’s commitment to contain public debt growth as overall stock of MWK1.4 trillion represents a reduction by 14 percent and seven percent as a proportion of revenue and expenditure lines, respectively.

“The overall public debt growth at K1.4tn, as a share of total revenues and total expenditure, has reduced by 14% and 7%, respectively, year on year. With the positive outlook on the macros, public debt growth is expected to be contained…This will be a significant step towards achieving debt sustainability,” he said.

The Standard Bank chief said the 2024/25 budget also addresses the need to boost foreign currency supply by proposing export strategies through Mega farms, labour export, mining, tourism, and enhancement of diaspora remittances.

Madinga added that based on the enhancement of revenue collection processes, anticipated donor inflow opportunities, rationalization of expenditures and additional focus on production sector, the 2024/25 budget gives hope to a better Malawi on the road to achieving the 2063 vision.

All set for land demonstrations on February 28

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

Concerned Citizens have penned Lilongwe District Commissioner notifying him of their intention to hold peaceful demonstrations on February 28 in demanding justice for their land believed to have been dubiously taken away from their ancestors.

In a letter that we have seen and signed by Concerned Citizens representatives Wells Khama and Reviyasi Revisoni, the grouping will gather at the Capitol Hill in Lilongwe and will only leave on condition that their land is given back.

The Concerned Citizens stressed that the land issue is worth dying for therefore any ploy by authorities to threaten them shall never be tolerated until they get their portion of land.

They have given a background of events concerning thousands of land struggles that are now becoming order of the day that saw the shooting of Maxwell Kenani on November 27, 2023.

And persuaded by daily reports of land wrangles culminating from the injustices towards the poor, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) challenges authorities to swiftly move in to diffuse a ticking bomb.

Citizens are seeking justice after findings show that there is a court ruling in relation to Alimaunde plot no 44/9 and 44/11, where Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda, in his September 24, 2020 ruling, said it belonged to Natures Gift Limited.

However, there are conflicting details that have emerged showing that the Alimaunde plot no 44/8, was not part of the said court ruling, as claimed by the citizens from Senior Chief Tsabango’s area.

Meanwhile the citizens are further claiming that the land was dubiously obtained by the current ‘owners’ from their ancestors, without any compensation.

Until recently, land crisis was believed to be an issue endemic to the tea growing districts of Mulanje, Thyolo and Nkhata-bay, but today, Malawians are their own witnesses that land is a national crisis in Malawi.

This is clearly evident by the recent vigil that was held at the High Court in Lilongwe, where some citizens of this country including the Kaphwiti Banda family battling it out with Mama Tamanda Cecilia Kadzamila were praying for justice to be served.

It is lamentable that millions of landless citizens are living like half human beings in Thyolo, Mulanje and Nkhata-Bay, while plenty of land lays idle, and worse still, others are serving jail terms, some are struggling to pay fines and many others have had their cases stalled for ages.

“As this is happening, the lucky few, mostly foreign nationals and Malawians of other descent, are letting out land to the natives and others are keeping it for their unborn grandchildren,”

Air Cargo donates equipment to Chileka Health Centre

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Chimwenje (second right) hands over the items to Dzimbiri (second left) as others look on

Air Cargo Malawi (ACM) has handed over medical equipment worth K3 million to Chileka Health Centre maternity wing as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative commitment.  

Air Cargo Malawi’s Director of Operations, Arnold Chimwenje said the company thought it necessary to donate to the community they work in, as a way of making a positive economic and health impact.   

“We felt it necessary that we contribute to the nearby surroundings so that we can make a significant impact in the community that we are serving. That is why we chose Chileka Health Centre.  We have donated a maternity bed, a post-natal bed, and four leather-covered mattresses. This is not just a transaction; it symbolizes a collaboration between ACM and the healthcare community.”

“ACM as a key player in the air freight industry, is committed to impacting communities positively. This initiative resonates with one of the objectives of the Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan II (2017-2022) of improving the availability and quality of health infrastructure and medical equipment,” said Chimwenje.

Chileka Health Centre Deputy Nurse-in-Charge, Maria Dzimbiri thanked ACM for the donation which she said will go a long way in giving comfort to expectant mothers.

“We didn’t have these kinds of beds; we were just improvising the normal beds. The coming in of these beds will tremendously improve our services,” said Dzimbiri.

She then asked other corporate entities to help in renovating a ceiling that is in bad shape and donate weighing scales and blood pressure monitors among other needed items.

Village Head Singano also commended ACM for the donation which she said will also help other villages in Traditional Authority Kuntaja’s area.

“Not only people in my area are excited, but other village heads surrounding this area are also happy with this donation,” she said.

ACM plans to donate to Lumbadzi Health Centre which is near Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe later this month.

More customers win in NBM ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ promo

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Ibrahim Chapeyama from NBM (right) handing over a prize to of the instant winners

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc over the weekend, continued to splash various prizes to 78 customers in the ‘Popanda Chifukwa POS/MoPay’ promotion currently running.

The Bank conducted its second monthly draw at Mzuzu Shoprite Mall on Saturday, where hundreds of customers also had a chance to win instant prizes after purchasing goods using the NBM’s debit cards, Mo626 Pay, and Point-of-Sale machines.

NBM Cards Acquiring and Merchant Services Manager, David Tamula expressed satisfaction with the support and loyalty they are getting for customers who are prioritizing their digital platforms.

“The Government is having an initiative where we have to make this a cashless society. There are so many benefits out of it, we don’t have to walk around with cash, it is far more efficient. So, we are trying to assist the Government in that endeavor as a very good corporate citizen. We are seeing that customers are embracing it. It is much easier for customers to conduct their transactions as they don’t have to queue twice, but just go where we have our POS and make their payment,” said Tamula.

A customer draws winners at Mzuzu Shoprite

One of the customers who won an instant prize, Serah Moyo commended NBM plc for the initiative saying it is now safe to pay for goods without carrying hard cash.

“This is great, and I urge more customers to embrace the technology. Otherwise, I am happy to be among the lucky ones today,” she said.

Out of the 78 lucky ones on the day, three people cart home K150, 000 cash reward, while 30 others won a 50% refund on their transactions capped at a maximum expenditure of K75, 000.Thirty more customers won gift packs.

The promotion which started in December 2023 and will run up to April 2024.

THE SIGNS TOWARD THE REBIRTH OF ONE PARTY STATE

The Leadership Institute for Transparency and Accountability (LITA) strongly condemns the uncivilized act by thugs believed to have been sponsored by the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to disrupt the peaceful assembly and parade organized by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Lilongwe. It is very paralyzing to see that MCP officials are downplaying the truth by shielding their diabolic political thugs while many casualties are battling with deep wounds in the hospitals.

Freedom of assembly and association (FoAA) is our birthright as guaranteed in the Constitution, and has no geographical frontiers. Malawi is for every Malawian and does not belong to a single political party. We, therefore, call upon all political parties to co-exist and carry their political obligations dutifully.

Sadly, the compromised Police, on the other hand, seem to have no proactive measures to apprehend the culprits yet they were reportedly on the crime scene. The video clips that are viral on social media can provide a swift lead to bring the thugs and their political masters to book.

LITA and its stakeholders have been following events in Malawi (including what is happening in Parliament now), and we are made to believe that MCP has strategically set for anarchy and one party state. The President and his cohorts must be reminded that Malawi shall remain a democratic state willy-nilly!

The Catholic Bishops, as the midwives of multiparty democracy in the country, have spoken. We as Malawians of good will must listen to the voice of reason enshrined in their prophetic call, and fearlessly act wisely by rooting out any strategies and political machinations that are butchering our hard-won democracy. The signs are so clear that Malawi’s leadership tragedy must be solved by the same voters who ushered the “seemingly indispensable” MCP into power.

MCP’s regime has been earmarked by the detention, arbitrary arrest, judicial harassments, death threats and intimidation of human rights activists, journalists, women, and innocent political opponents. All these vices are orchestrated by bankrupt politicians who believe are above the law.

Instead of sponsoring thugs with sharp panga knives, axes and lethal weapons, MCP leadership must tackle hunger, high costs of living, high inflation, corruption, tribalism, forex scarcity, drug shortages, among other socio-economic problems which are already the venomous sting on the citizens. It is, therefore, uncalled for to indulge on attacking tax-payers who lucratively salary the President, his family, cronies and tribesmen instead of satisfying them.

SIGNED: GOODWELL LOGEYA

LITA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

“Don’t believe in hacking narrative, its MCP IT gurus putting Malawians at ransom on Passport crisis”-CDEDI

Namiwa on duty

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has told Malawians not to believe in President Lazarus Chakwera’s narrative that hackers are demanding a ransom to recover the passport printing system at the Immigration Department.

CDEDI has rather disclosed that the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) IT team is the reason the system has failed after trying to bypass the system’s developer, Techno Brain.

In its findings, CDEDI observed that the MCP IT team is failing to recover the system while running away from paying rights to the owners.

According to CDEDI findings results made available to Malawi Voice on Friday, February 23, 2024, signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, President Chakwera lied to the nation about the system hacking arguing that he wanted to cover up the failed MCP IT team.

“The Techno Brain team said all it needed was a mandate to start working to recover the system, but the MCP ICT team acted wiser and convinced the government that they did not need Techno Brain’s assistance, hence the government has not granted Techno Brain a mandate to recover the system.

“The growing public rage and the ever-inquisitive citizens forced the MCP ICT gurus who were still trying to apply the try-and-error tactics to recover the system, to use the agenda-setting theory to churn the hacking narrative, which is senseless and dangerous,” reads in part CDEDI findings.

The report adds, “Unfortunately, President Chakwera has been caught lying under oath! Forget about the report, here is why Malawians should be living in fear. By publicly informing the nation that the Immigration system has been hacked, the President has played in the hands of professional hackers”.

HERE IS THE FULL CDEDI FINDINGS:

STATUS OF PASSPORT PRINTING

As a mouth-piece of the voiceless citizenry, and in the exercise of its governance watchdog role, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) zeroed in on the current passport crisis in the country and hereby shares its key findings as follows:

To start with, it is important to say that President Lazarus Chakwera has not only lied to the world but, also, proved himself to be a security threat to the nation by hoodwinking Malawians into believing that the country’s passport printing system has been hacked and that the hackers are demanding a ransom.

In other words, we have reasons to believe that the President disguised Techno Brain as a hacker, and further disguised the GIT’s maintenance contract fee as ransom to earn himself and his administration
public sympathy.

Background

Malawians may wish to know that on March 22, 2019, the Malawi Government engaged Techno Brain on a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis where the company used its money to build the system for printing passports on the understanding that it would recover its money through passport fees and later hand over the operations of the system to the Malawi Government after three years.

Important to note here is that passports are not printed using Other Recurrent Transaction (ORT) but the money that people pay when they apply for passports.

At the expiry of the BOT contract, Techno Brain handed over everything to the Malawi Government. However, for purposes of the smooth running of the system, Techno Brain recommended a Dubai-based company, known as GIT, as a maintenance consultant. This was done given the need to replace the system’s parts, including servicing.

The above is now the genesis of the current crisis.

Some well-known Malawi Congress Party-connected ICT gurus, including officials from e-Government,
Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) and National Registration Bureau (NRB), against technical advice from the internal ICT team at the Immigration Department, bypassed Techno Brain and GIT and tampered with the system to run away from paying licence fees.

Investigations show that the system was tampered with through the Lilongwe saver office at Malawi Postal Corporation Training Centre, along the Paul Kagame Road where the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services headquarters is earmarked to be located.

When their attempts proved futile, they invited a Techno Brain team which came for assessment, hence the public notice by the Department of Immigration titled ‘MAINTENACE OF PASSPORT ISSUANCE SYSTEM’ dated January 28, 2024.

According to the assessment report, the Techno Brain team recommended to the government that they needed eight days to bring back the system and printing could resume in Lilongwe and Blantyre. To be followed by Mzuzu and Mangochi.

The Techno Brain team said all it needed was a mandate to start working to recover the system, but the MCP ICT team acted wiser and convinced the government that they did not need Techno Brain’s assistance, hence the government has not granted Techno Brain a mandate to recover the system.

THE HACKING NARRATIVE

The growing public rage and the ever-inquisitive citizens forced the MCP ICT gurus who were still trying to apply the try-and-error tactics to recover the system, to use the agenda-setting theory to churn the hacking narrative, which is senseless and dangerous.

Unfortunately, President Chakwera has been caught lying under oath! Forget about the report, here is why Malawians should be living in fear:

By publicly informing the nation that the Immigration system has been hacked, the President has played in the hands of professional hackers.

The President has just told the world: “Here we are, a helpless and vulnerable nation whose systems are susceptible to hacking!” But the hacking narrative also begs some serious questions:

The mode of communication with the hackers to demand the so-called ransom, assuming it is in person, why not unleash State apparatus to apprehend the messenger if they are within the country? If they are elsewhere in the world, why can’t the government seek assistance from the governments of those countries to apprehend them? Assuming they are communicating via WhatsApp calls or e-mails, is it that difficult to use modern technology to trace them?

Further questions to the above would be; as a nation, have we failed to trace the hackers due to a lack of expertise? If that is the case, are we safe as a country? If it is out of lack of interest, why is the government not interested in flushing out the hackers in the first place?

The other question would be: Is President Chakwera telling Malawians that as huge and important as the Passport Issuance System is, it doesn’t have backup servers elsewhere?

For starters, any computer-based system, no matter how small it might be, has a virtual backup system, and this was one of Techno Brain’s expected deliverables. To hear that the system was crushed and loss of data occurred is a huge mockery, especially for the kind of operations we are talking about.

Malawians may recall that between 2018 and 2019 one of the commercial banks in the country had its system hacked, but it was up and running within an hour because they had servers in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and the country they had procured the system. Servers are important because no matter how watertight a system can be, it is prone to hacking for, among others, the following reasons:

Malice, Theft and or ransom, Frustration from the super users, Natural disasters, and calamities

Now the critical question President Chakwera should answer is: Out of the 20 million plus Malawians, did we not have skilled ICT personnel who could advise on the need for the Immigration Department to have redundant servers in place?

This is why we at CDEDI, on behalf of Malawians, conclude that the President lied before the House of Records the day he appeared in Parliament and, among other questions, was asked to explain the passport crisis.

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Malawi is at a crossroads, the MCP ICT team is holding the country at ransom. But empty threats from the President won’t work. The system has been ours since it was handed over to the government, but the government is trying to dodge user licence fees to GIT.

The government is now accusing GIT of demanding user fees, which President Chakwera has described as ransom after some so-called local ICT experts tampered with the system to bypass both GIT and Techno Brain.

The noble thing to do is for the Tonse Alliance administration to swallow its pride and let Techno Brain do the needful that will allow Malawians to acquire passports as and when they need them.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Malawians may wish to know that all this is stemming from an election campaign promise to make a passport affordable, at K14,000, down from the current K93,000.

As this campaign promise was being made, passport printing, according to the initial contract of 800,000 books, was pegged at $76 each translating into US$60.8 million about MK108 billion.

Malawians may remember that the cost of $76 per passport was used to cost the project with deliverables. Techno Brain was requested through the office of the Attorney General to inform the country of the cost of a single booklet, but they declined.

It simply meant that if the passport fee was to be reduced as promised, the government should have subsidized the fee.

The three-year e-Passport project had deliverables attached to it as follows:

Digitalization of the registry.

 2. Digitalization and networking of all embassies to cut costs for sending documents through DHL, and fraud where passports were manipulated,

3.Printing facilities at Chileka and Kamuzu International Airports.

4. Disaster recovery site,

5. Airport forensic laboratories,

6.Training of personnel,

 7. Study tours,

8.Provision of five Toyota Hilux Twin cabs,

9. Upgrade the current passport system,

10. Provision of additional printers,

11.Stock management system,

12. Provision of CCTV cameras,

13. Enhance access control of building and printing rooms,

 14. Protective gear for printing rooms

As it stands, the Immigration Department Director General (DG) General Charles Kalumo owes Malawians an explanation or two, as to whether all the deliverables were met. If not, he needs to explain why that is the case after the full payment of contract money was paid.

OUR STAND

President Chakwera is shielding the trio that is holding this country at ransom, by allowing them to feed the nation lies that they will be able to run the system, by bypassing GIT and Techno Brain, at the expense of people requiring to travel for medical attention, business, and school.

The system requires a disaster recovery site, which was among Techno Brain’s deliverables as per the provision of the expired contract.

The three weeks the President has promised to have the system up and running is a clear indication that he trusts the so-called ICT gurus that have failed for the past four weeks, and we fear that this will be a fruitless effort, likely to end in tears for us.

The said 21 days is too long a wait when Techno Brain had suggested eight working days, especially given that some people have waited for their passports for ages.

WAY FORWARD

Malawians have a right to know who did what; therefore, CDEDI implores the relevant committee in the August House to immediately call for a live public inquiry over the matter, where Techno Brain would also be heard.

By public convenience, the government should immediately recall able hands that have full knowledge and skills of the said ‘hacked system’ but were unceremoniously interdicted, posted, and/or transferred, to go back and solve this national crisis, and save the country from the embarrassment government has pushed it into.

Meanwhile, the seven (7) working days’ ultimatum stands! CDEDI will mobilise Malawians to conduct peaceful demonstrations, protesting the 21 days and forcing a public inquiry on the same.

By Sylvester Namiwa,

CDEDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NBS Bank feeds the needy in Chiradzulu

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NBS Bank Plc has handed over maize flour worth K3.5 million to hunger-affected individuals in Chiradzulu district.

The donation targeted orphans, the elderly, and the physically disadvantaged in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpunga in the Southern Region district on Sunday.

The Bank’s Acting Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, James Chikaonda said this is not the first time NBS Bank has donated to the area and will continue to help when the need arises.

“Bearing in mind that we are a ‘Caring Bank’, we thought it wise to come in to assist our fellow Malawians. We are targeting to reach 150 beneficiaries from this area in their time of need,” said Chikaonda.

In her remarks, T/A Mpunga thanked NBS Bank for the timely donation to the vulnerable groups in her area.

“Last year we were affected by Cyclone Freddy, and this year, there is no rain. The people in my area are sleeping on an empty stomach,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries Philes Binet of Kuchombe Village also joined T/A Mpunga in commending the Bank for coming to their rescue.

“We thank NBS Bank for this donation and we hope they will always come to our rescue,” said Binet.

Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Mwanamvekha also echoed the sentiments by appreciating the Bank’s kind gesture.

“I am pleased to see that today they have come to distribute flour, mainly to the elderly, physically challenged, and orphans. You can see that most of the beneficiaries are quite happy that at least for today and a few days they will be able to eat.”

“It is a very worrying situation now, I am sure you have seen that most of the maize is drying up, and yet it has not matured. In my area, T/As Mpunga, Nkalo, and Maoni may not harvest enough to feed the people,” said Mwanamvekha.

 NBS Bank also assisted the Mpunga Community during Cyclone Freddy disaster last year. 

YOUTH POWER: MultiChoice develops young professionals for future success

As global populations age, Africa remains a bastion of youthful promise, with around 70% of the continent’s population below the age of 30. This youthful demographic can be an asset – but only if it is developed, by empowering young people through training, and by giving them a stake in the growth of their countries’ economies.

Helping to develop young people’s abilities and expanding the pool of skills is also in the interests of industry and big business. Skills drive economies.

In line with this need to invest in people, is an understanding of the value of young professionals. Every industry needs a pipeline of well-trained, energetic and creative new talent, who can fuel the next phase of that sector’s growth, with ideas, innovations and fresh, socially relevant concepts.

In Kenya, for example, the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP) is geared to improving youth employability, creating jobs, and enhancing labour-market knowledge through training, internships and apprenticeships. In Ghana, the National Youth Authority exists to create an environment to support frontline youth empowerment.

However, unlocking private-sector investment in youth development remains critical, and there is a more specific need for industry-specific interventions. At the same time – with 72 million young Africans unemployed – the task of upskilling and empowering the youth is enormous.

This is especially true in the creative sector. Here, pan-African broadcasting group MultiChoice has taken on the responsibility of developing its own sector, through its MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) academies across the continent.

MTF academies offer year-long training programmes to students from 13 countries, combining practical and theory instruction in disciplines such as cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling. They also offer African students the chance to hone their skills alongside industry greats.

MTF has had a profound impact across Africa, having already produced more than 300 alumni. The programme is revolutionising the industry by training young filmmakers; creating paths to professional careers in the film and TV sector; and empowering African professionals to create relevant content for African audiences.

An MTF survey has found that around 92% of MTF Academy graduates go on to work in the creative sector. As part of their training, many MTF students get to work on existing productions on MultiChoice channels such as Africa Magic, Maisha Africa or Mzansi Magic.

Besides the MTF Academies, which provide intensive, year-long training, the MTF Portal focuses on enhancing the capabilities of working industry professionals, through specialised training, workshops, collaborations and networking opportunities.

This industry integration has twin benefits of providing the creative sector with a healthy pipeline of talented young people, while also giving MTF graduates relevant experience.

Hundreds of MTF alumni have found employment within MultiChoice, and 30 independent production houses have been registered by former MTF students, many becoming suppliers to the Group.

MultiChoice Africa contributes significantly to the broader African economy through procurement and supplier development with emerging and youth-owned businesses. MultiChoice has invested R12 billion in preferential procurement spend; R2.6 billion in direct spend on medium and micro-enterprises; R2 billion spent on suppliers with at least 30% women ownership; and R7.7 billion on black-empowerment accredited suppliers.

Such economic benefits form part of the MultiChoice continuum of youth empowerment – creating opportunities which lead to quality content for MultiChoice audiences and ultimately benefit local economies across the continent.

MultiChoice reaches 23,5 million households, and more than 100 million people, in 50 African countries. Quality African storytelling has been the key to its success. Developing well trained, empowered young people through the MTF will be the key to that success in future.

Malawi to face ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis, says Senior Prophet Mtupa

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Malawian Prophet, who on December 31 last year prophesied about the current dry spell in the country, has asked Malawians to pray against “starvation”.Senior Prophet Rodrick Mtupa of Holy Palace Cathedral International Ministries said Malawians must pray and fast against “looming” hunger.“God has told me that the country will experience drought this year and there will be poor harvest which will lead to hunger,” Mtupa said.  Prophet Mtupa, whose several of his national prophecies have already been fulfilled, reminded Malawians that prophecies are made not to scare people but to make them prepare, pray and fast against any evils ahead.The man of God then hinted on the need for the public to always take a spiritual action whenever there is a national prophesy from any God servant.In a related government, Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu has announced that 3.75 million Malawians have received relief maize and cash assistance since the commencement of the 2023/24 lean season.According to Kunkuyu, 42,000 metric tonnes of maize have been distributed to 3 million Malawians and 173,000 households have received cash amounting to K26 billion.Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management and Affairs (DODMA) will from Thursday start to distribute 23,000 metric tonnes of maize flour to people that have been affected by hunger in Malawi. 

NBS Bank, NCHE partner on fees payment  

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NBS Bank Plc has partnered with the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) to utilize its digital platforms for fees payment to students applying for public universities selection.

The Banks Head of Corporate Banking, Frank Nakoma, said that with this partnership, the ‘Caring Bank’ anticipates more usage of digital banking platforms.

“As we all know, the world is moving towards a digital direction especially where payments are concerned. Customers usually use their cards to make online payments or pay for their goods through a point-of-sale machine in a shop.

“As one way of responding to an ever-evolving climate, NBS Bank has decided to partner with NCHE to ensure that students across the country can easily pay their application fees using the digital platforms we have dubbed ‘EazyBank’,” he said.

Nakoma further said the Bank believes that the process speaks to the Bank’s slogan of the ‘Caring Bank’ by providing convenient ways of transacting.

NCHE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Ambumulire Phiri said the partnership will help simplify the application process. 

“In our continuous efforts to enhance accessibility and convenience for prospective students, we are delighted to partner with NBS Bank again this year. This collaboration will boost the application process by enabling applicants to conveniently pay their application fees through the Bank,” said Phiri.

Phiri added that the partnership with NBS is one of NCHE’s ways of fostering innovation and efficiency in their processes.

“Our major aim is to facilitate easy and inclusive access to higher education for all eligible candidates and this is one way of ensuring that,” said Phiri.

This is one of the other partnerships the Bank has made that require digital transactions.

NCHE, which harmonizes the selection of students into all public universities in the country, will this year start receiving these applications from February 19 to  March 19.

Malawi participates in R & A Africa Amateur Golf Championship in SA

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Malawi has sent two talented golfers to South Africa to participate in the R & A Africa Amateur Golf Championship, a prestigious event that aims to showcase some of the best amateur golf talent from across the continent. 

Folindo Rodrick and Kamoza Longwe are talented golfers who have earned the opportunity to represent Malawi on the international stage. 

Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM) Director of Public Relations and Marketing Mercy Jumula Kamanga said in an interview that the tournament is expected to run from Wednesday through to Saturday this week.

“Their (Folindo and Kamoza) participation in this championship will not only provide them with valuable experience and exposure but also help raise the profile of golf in Malawi,” said Kamanga. 

She said the two golfers will be doing practice rounds at the Leopard Creek golf course in Mpumalanga, RSA from today, the 19th February to Tuesday, 21st February, 2024 in readiness for the competition which will take place on the same course. 

“We wish Folindo and Kamoza the best of luck and hope they perform to the best of their ability,” said Kamanga.

The championship will feature 72 men from the Africa region competing in a 72-hole stroke play format with the winner receiving an exemption in the 152nd Open at Royal Troon.

Putting age limit on presidency is discriminatory – ECC

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The Association of Empowerment Initiative for Elderly and Children (ECC) says is against the proposed constitutional amendment rendering persons above 80 years of age ineligible to contest for the presidency.

This follows widespread reports that the embattled leader of opposition in parliament, who is also Mulanje Central legislator, Kondwani Nankhumwa plans to present a Private Member Bill on the presidential age limit.

The Bill seeks to amend Section 80 (6)(b) of the Constitution which provides for age eligibility of presidential candidates.

Reacting to the reports, ECC in a statement said limiting presidential age limit to 80 is a serious and worse discrimination to the elderly in the country who deserves equal rights and safe environments where they’re accepted for who they are.

“This Month, Our Members of Parliament will meet for the 48th session and will discuss so many matters that affecting our citizens including the accomplishments of the Elderly rights movement isn’t enough.

“Lawmakers and other groups nationwide are targeting the community, and from bans to attacks on Elderly people Elderly people are experiencing some of the worst of the discrimination,” reads the statement in part

Recently, in a statement the Malawi Network of Older Persons (MANEPO) also described the proposed amendment as retrogressive, undemocratic, and completely based on erroneous assumptions.

“It infringes upon the democratic rights of all Malawians to participate in the democratic process by excluding those aged 80 and above.

Besides, MANEPO wonders whether such a Bill would also bar individuals above 80 from becoming members of parliament or assuming the role of the Speaker of the National Assembly,” said MANEPO’s Country Director Andrew Kavala in a statement.

On the other hand, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Patrick Mpaka told a local media that proposals to change laws such as presidential age limit should come through a proper public Bill not a private member’s Bill.

This will be a second attempt after a similar move failed in 2018 when former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator for Nsanje South West Joseph Chidanti-Malunga had proposed that the maximum age for those aspiring for the presidency should be capped at 65.

Lilongwe Motor Show Set For June

Malawi’s premier automotive event, the Lilongwe Motor Show returns for its fourth edition in June this year, organisers have confirmed.

The much awaited Motor Show will once again bring together a diverse range of exhibitions from across the country.

A press statement signed by Lilongwe Motor Show Ltd Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alinane Andrew Njolomole says the event will take place on June 1 at t the BICC Malawi Square.

Building on the success of its previous editions, this year’s show is set to be a grand celebration of automobiles, featuring exhibitions, demonstrations, spins, raffles, and family entertainment.

“As we celebrate the fourth edition of the Lilongwe Motor Show, we invite car enthusiasts, industry professionals, and families to join us for a day of excitement, discovery, and automotive passion,” reads the statement in part.

For Sponsorship, Bookings and media inquiries, or additional information, please contact: Alinane Andrew Njolomole (C.E.O) on +265 999 794 078.

The show is a corporate event aimed at meeting marketing needs for participating brands whilst positioning their brand statements to a unique demographic of corporate, entrepreneurs and contractors.

K10M up for grabs in Phuka pitch night

One young agriculture entrepreneur stands a chance of winning K10 million as a booster capital if they impress a panel of three judges during a Standard Bank-facilitated Phuka Pitch Night underway at BICC in Lilongwe.

The ultimate winner will be drawn from a group of five shortlisted agriculturally-linke­d SMEs who have completed a six-week business incubation program now in its second year.

The Phuka Incubation program is a partnership between Standard Bank Plc and Lilongwe-based Synergy Labs.

The current cohort is in partnership with the Agriculture Transformation Centre (ATC).

Phuka or growth starter is the first business incubation program of its kind in Malawi.

Standard Bank increases scholarship fund to K220 million

Standard Bank Plc has increased its joint merit scholarship fund with Press Trust to K220 Million in line with the bank’s commitment to support education as catalyst for sustainable economic development.

Launching the four-year fund at Loyola Jesuits Secondary School in Kasungu, Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said the decision underlines the bank’s belief that empowering the youth, who make up majority of the country’s total population, holds key to achieving Malawi’s long-term development and prosperity goals.

“At Standard Bank, we strongly believe that empowering the youth by investing in their education and vocational skills, will unleash the next economic growth frontier for Malawi, while supporting the nation’s development goals,” he said.

Madinga said the bank resolved to renew its funding towards the scholarship after being encouraged by positive outcomes of the first phase which produced a 100 percent pass rate for MSCE with 75% of the students scoring points less than 20 points.

 He noted that the most impressive result is that of Gloria Ndipo from Providence Girls Secondary School, who scored Eight points and aspires to study Medicine.

“Bearing in mind the positive outcomes of this scholarship fund, we at Standard Bank have seen it fit to renew our agreement with Press Trust.

 Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, we pledge to forge ahead with our joint financing interventions in education,” said Madinga.

Press Trustee Professor Moses Maliro urged the scholarship beneficiaries to make full use of the the opportunity by excelling in their studies.

“We have decided to invest in you, based on capabilities that you showed during the PLCE. We hope that you will maintain your excellent academic performance throughout secondary education.

It is our hope that you will be part of the critical human capital mass that Malawi requires to fulfill its 2063 aspiration in developing the economy inclusively,” he said.

Ministry of Education Principal Secretary (Basic Education) Dr Rachel Chimbwete-Phiri commended Standard Bank and Press Trust for renewing the fund describing it as a powerful medium for promoting access to equitable education for deserving students.

“We express our sincere gratitude to Press Trust and Standard Bank for rescuing our students, many of whom need financial support. The gap and need for financial assistance is really huge,” she said.

The initial fund of K120 Million runs up to 2023, while the new package of K220 million or an increase by 88% will run up to 2027 catering for 46 students from across the country’s secondary school, including those with special needs.

The scholarship fund is inclusive of tuition, stationary, school shoes and uniform, school bags and examination fees.

Apart from the scholarship fund for secondary schools, Standard Bank and Press Trust have also partnered to provide tuition and learning materials for four years for students at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Maula Prison School and other schools that were hit by tropical Cyclone Freddy in 2023.

Mulhako denies plot to remove Mutharika as patron

Mulhako Patron APM

Lhomwes have questioned the motive of some publications spreading false information about Mulhako Wa Alhomwe since elevation of Senior Chief Kaduya to the level of Paramount Chief.

All board members of Mulhako wa Alhomwe today were surprised by an ‘unprofessional and mercenary’ reporting of Sapitwa Online that there was meeting at Sanjika Palace aimed at removing His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika from the position of patron.

This, according to some of the Lhomwes that spoke with this publication, clearly shows that some people would like to be close to the patron of Mulhako Wa Alhomwe through lies.

 “We cannot glorify this lie by issuing an official statement, no. But we can assure you that Mulhako Wa Alhomwe is not a political or religious organisation.

We are a traditional organisation, just like the chairperson (of Mulhako Wa Alhomwe) has been saying,” Said one of the board members who thought quoting his name will give flowers to unfounded allegations.”

Mulhako wa Alhomwe was formed in 2007 to promote Lhomwe culture by among other objectives, instilling a sense of pride in its people.

The formation of the organization revived some of the cultural practices that had been on the death bed.

Farmer wins K6 million in NBS’ ‘Saving Always Win’ promo

A Nkhotakota-based farmer Janet Longwe has emerged as the overall winner in the NBS Bank’s ‘Saving Always Win’ promotion final draw conducted on Friday. 

Longwe of Dwangwa Service Centre went away with K6 million as the winner in the third band category for customers that deposited K500,000 above.

In the second band depositing K100,000 to K500,000, Rabson Esau Zimba Sikabwera of Kasungu Service Centre won K3.5 million while Stuart-Cronone Mvula of Dwangwa Service Centre won K1 million in the first band depositing K50,000 minimum.

NBS Bank plc launched the promotion in June last year in a quest to encourage customers to embrace a saving culture.

Speaking during the promotion’s final draw, NBS Bank Head of Retail Banking Victoria Chanza said the Bank received overwhelming support as 15, 000 customers participated in the promotion.  

“When we initially started the competition, we had a growth in our deposit book. During the 24th week of the promotion we had an increase in deposits of about 18 percent, and we experienced an increase in the deposits of savings accounts of about 33 percent at the end of the promotion,” said Chanza.

Other subsidiary prizes include 15 return air tickets, 30 customers having their utility bills worth K25,000 paid for, and 20 winners getting shopping vouchers worth K50,000.

Other lucky customers also won NBS branded materials in the biweekly draws during the promotion that ran from June to December 31 2023. 

Business Partners offer tips to entrepreneurs on achieving success

Akuzike Kafwamba BPI Country Manager

Business Partners International (BPI) Malawi, a fund manager that provides debt equity financing, has outlined five steps to enable entrepreneurs improve their businesses and achieve desired goals in the new year and beyond.

BPI Malawi country manager Akuzike Kafwamba said in an interview the strategies can help entrepreneurs to navigate the tough economic environment characterized by cost-of-living crisis and set themselves up for success.

He said the five steps include reviewing performance and progress of the past year, planning action and resources, seeking feedback and support from others, investing in personal and professional development and embracing change and innovation.

“An entrepreneur should identify what worked well, what did not and what they learned from success and failure. They should celebrate their achievements and have knowledge of the challenges,” said Kafwamba.

In terms of planning actions, he advised entrepreneurs to break down their goals into smaller tasks and milestones and assign deadlines and responsibilities for each one.

Kafwamba also advised entrepreneurs not to do everything on their own, but reach out to customers, partners, mentors and peers for feedback.

He also added that entrepreneurs should build a network of people who can provide valuable insights, advice, resources and opportunities.

An entrepreneur, said Kafwamba, has to invest in themselves and keep learning new skills, knowledge and perspectives that can help them to grow as a leader and a problem-solver.

“For an entrepreneur to succeed in a dynamic and competitive environment, there is a need to be adaptable and innovative,” he said.

Kafwamba’s advice comes against the backdrop of a report from the African Development Bank showing that Malawi’s business environment remains largely unfavourable to the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises executive secretary James Chiutsi embraced the tips, saying if followed, they can help businesses, particularly SMEs to survive the turbulent business environment.

“Any entrepreneur worth his salt can acknowledge the fact that there is always something new to learn about their business or market,” said Chiutsi, adding the new year brings with it challenges and opportunities for businesses.

Business Partners International Malawi supports viable local SMEs with financing, ranging from K100 million to K1 billion to boost their businesses.

NBM appoints Harold Jiya CEO designate

Jiya-NBM CEO designate

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has appointed Harold Nester Jiya as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate effective from the beginning of this year.

His elevation from the deputy CEO position follows the impending retirement of the current CEO MacFussy Kawawa in June this year.

NBM Board Chairperson Jimmy Lipunga has confirmed Jiya’s appointment through a statement where he has described it as a significant step in the Bank’s succession planning process.

“The Board is excited with the prospects of Mr Jiya assuming the role of the CEO substantively upon satisfying and fulfilling the necessary milestones set by the Board. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a proven track record of leadership to this role, and his appointment is a testament to the rigorous succession planning process the Bank has undertaken to ensure a smooth and seamless transition in leadership,” said Lipunga.

Lipunga further indicated that he has full confidence that Jiya will build upon the strong foundation laid by those before him and continue to uphold the values and principles that have made NBM plc a leader in the banking industry.

Jiya, a veteran banker with over 20 years of management and leadership experience, holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Exeter University in UK, a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) Degree from the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) (formerly University of Malawi, The Polytechnic), and an ACIB/BSc (Honors) qualification from UK.

He is also an alumnus of the prestigious Advanced Management & Leadership program of Oxford University’s Said Business School and recently completed an Advanced Management Program at Insead Business School in France.

Jiya has held several positions at NBM, including Head, Corporate Banking/ Wholesale Banking Division, and General Manager, before being appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer in September 2020.

Prior to this appointment, he was serving as Deputy Chief Executive, and before that, as General Manager, understudying the incumbent CEO.

“He has extensive financial service experience and is also an Executive Director on the National Bank of Malawi plc Board, a position he has held for the past 7 years. He has served on several boards in the private and public sector and has been in the management team at NBM plc in various roles since 2004,” reads further the statement.

Meanwhile, Lipunga has commended Kawawa for this contribution to the growth of the Bank during his time as the CEO.

“He has nurtured and provided direction to a highly motivated and dynamic
leadership team that has grown the Bank and sustained its position as a market leader. During Mr. Kawawa’s leadership, NBM plc has delivered stellar results including achieving phenomenal growth in revenues, profitability, assets and shareholder value,” concludes Lipunga.

ROAD TO 2025: Nzika Coalition promises to root out corruption

A yet to be registered political party Nzika Coalition has promised Malawians to root out corruption in the country.

Nzika Coalition President Christopher Mike Chiomba made the promise on Wednesday in an interview with the publication.

According to Mike Chiomba, Nzika Coalition which is geared to form the next government is comprised of true patriots, and very serious individuals who will end corruption.

“Let me reiterate that Nzika Coalition led government will be made up of true patriots, and very serious individuals.

Governments that will adopt a real zero corruption policy because it is this evil vice that has deteriorate the once thrived Malawi. Nzika Coalition is coming up with the restoration of our lost glory,” said Chiomba

Meanwhile, according to Mike Chiomba, the process to have the party registered are on advanced stage and soon the party will hit the ground ready for 2025 presidential elections. 

“I have noted with gratitude the hunger Many Malawians have to see Nzika Coalition come on the ground.

“Let me assure you all that our Executive members have that in pipeline to get this done,” assured Mike Chiomba

He further said: We are building and registering a Political Party that will not be equal to any other Political party that came before us.

“This will be a party of no recycled Politicians that have tainted the image of Malawi locally and internationally. This is the Party of new faces, new Names and new ideas.”

Trending under the slogan ‘New Dawn For Better Malawi, Nzika Coalition is founded on three pillars; Integrity, Competence, and Service.

State pleads for adjournment on Paramount Holdings summon case

PHL’s lawyer Gift Katundu

The state through the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has asked the court to adjourned the summon proceeding of Paramount Holdings Limited (PHL) Directors in undisclosed criminal charges which was slated for Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate court.

In a court notice seen of a case number 868 of 2023, addressing the Chief Resident Magistrate court by DPP Masauko said the state needs to review and understand the contents of the summon before proceeding with criminal charges against PHL’s directors.

The court summon case against the state and Prakashi Virji Ghedia, Arvindkumar Atit Patel, Suresh Khimji Jagatiya and Paramount Holdings Limited is yet to commerce.

This is the third time the state has failed to disclose summoning charges against PHL’s directors while keeping on resorting court adjournments.

The summon was firstly adjourned from August 11 to September 6, 2023, secondly from September 6 to January 17, 2024, and thirdly from January 17 to an undisclosed date.

In an interview with PHL’s lawyer Gift Katundu outside the court on Wednesday, he said that the summon proceedings failed due to two factors, including Chief Resident Magistrate absence and DPP’s plea for adjournment.

Katundu told journalists outside the court that “The defence team will keep on dancing to the state’ tunes within the time flame given.

“Thereafter, my client will take another step if the state fails to bring the case to light.”

Background

Paramount Holdings (PHL) Limited has been facing persecution from greedy and jealous competitors who have now resorted to creating and circulating fake news about the company.

Competitors’ greed and jealousy are the main driving force behind civil case 868 of 2023 in which PHL directors are being accused of making a false document showing that the company is an authorised dealer of Yamaha Motorcycles in Malawi, our investigations have revealed.

PHL is one of the leading and most reliable suppliers of agriculture implements and construction machinery and appointed dealer for Yamaha motorcycles and other Yamaha products in Malawi.

But since Yamaha Japan appointed the company as an authorized dealer of its products in Malawi, their competitors have been creating and circulating fake news aimed at nothing, but to tarnish the image of PHL and its directors.

This is despite the fact that PHL has been contributing significantly to the welfare of Malawians through donations to public health facilities and timely delivery of farm inputs in the Affordable Input Programme (AIP).

PHL was probably the first entity to heed a call from President Lazarus Chakwera to the corporate world to help in the renovation of Area 25 Health Centre in Lilongwe after it got vandalized by the angry Mgona residents early 2023.

It is the only company that donated state-of-the-art equipment to the facility.

A few months later, PHL sourced a modern ambulance, medical equipment and furniture from a Japanese company, Itochu Cooperation, and Takemoto Oil and Fat Co. Limited.

The ambulance and all the other supplies were donated to Therere Health Centre in the area of Senior Chief Ngabu in Chikwawa.

At the height of scarcity of NPK and UREA fertilizers in 2022, the company successfully assisted the government in securing a huge tonnage of the inputs, which were distributed to thousands of farmers where it was contracted to supply.

But despite all this goodwill, its competitors have not relented in persecuting it using propaganda and fake news designed to tarnish its image.

One of the PHL competitors Luthando Holding Limited alleged that the company is making false claims about its dealership for Yamaha Motor Company Ltd of Japan to the extent that they sought court injunction stopping Yamaha Motors Limited from dealing with Paramount Holdings.

This comes despite Yamaha Motors issuing certificate to PHL as a sole distributor, seller and importer of Yamaha products to Malawi.

Without shame, Luthando Holdings Limited this week used Stansfield Motors’ limited name with a bogus address last week to obtain an injunction stopping Yamaha Motor corporation from awarding sole dealership of Yamaha’s to Paramount Holdings.

This has been revealed when different lawyers with default judgements against disbanded Stansfield Motors frocked the High Court to learn on the physical address of Stansfield Motors as presented to the High Court.

It has been learnt that Luthando Holdings filed for the injunction using bogus address for Stansfield Motors limited that ceased to exist in 2019.

Stansfield Motors was declared bankruptcy for failing to pay bank loans of MK5 billion, consequently being closed and disbanded.

Currently, former Stansfield Motors workers are in court claiming their dues.

Luthando Holdings and its partners are bitter with the recent pronouncement of Japanese leading automobile manufacturer Yamaha Motors company by certifying PHL as a sole importer and seller of Yamaha products for Malawi.

Khoti litumiza a Billy Malata ku ndende ya Maula poipitsa mbiri ya a ena pogwiritsa ntchito masamba a mchezo

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Bwalo la milandu laling’ono ku Nathenje, latumiza mkulu woyang’anira nkhani za ndale m’chipani cha DPP, a Fredrick Billy Malata ku ndende ya Maula kwa masiku asanu ndi awiri (7).

A Malata, adamangidwa loweruka pa mlandu woipitsa mbiri ya wochita malonda a Alfred Gangata pogwiritsa ntchito masamba a mchezo.

Iwo adatengeredwa ku bwalo la milandu ku Nathenje dzulo ndipo bwalo lawatumiza ku Maula kwa amasiku 7 ponena kuti chigamulo pa pempho lawo la belo chidzapelekedwa Lachiwiri sabata ya mawa.

Owayimilira a Malata a Gladwell Majekete atsimikiza za izi ndipo ati a Malata akasiyidwa ku Maula m’mawa wa lero atagona usiku wadzulo ku polisi ya Nathenje.

Akulowa ku ndende ya Maula, a Malata adalankhura mwachidule ndi Times 360 Malawi ndipo anati: “Amalawi akufuna kwabwino andithandize. Ombudsman, a Chief Justice komanso Inspector General of police andithandize ndikuvutika. Ndagona ku Area 3 police masiku atatu, dzulo ndagona ku Nathenje lero akukandisiya ku Maula pa nkhani zosamveka. Panopa mu zovala zanga muli msikidzi zokhazokha, ndikuvutika.”

FAKE NEWS: Business tycoon Dr Mpinganjira refutes giving Mike Chilewe K20 million bail out

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Business magnate Dr Thom Mpinganjira has refuted reports making round in social media platforms that he has blessed Mike Chilewe, owner of the now-defunct Mike’s Trading Group, with K20 million.

Mpinganjira’s daughter Chikondi Annabel refuted the claims in an interview with Nation Online.

According to Annabel, the reports are fake.

Chilewe confessed in a recent interview with Mibawa Television that he is now a poor man, who doesn’t even have a car, after his company went bankrupt a few years ago.

“I once used to fly business class during my business trips but now I walk on foot as I don’t even have a car. I always appreciate and thank God when someone gives me even K10 000,” he explained.

“But, just like the Biblical Job, I do not lose heart because I know one day I will be rich again.”

DR KABAMBE PAYS TRIBUTE TO CHILEMBWE: ” It is the cause not the death that makes a difference”

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential aspirant Dr. Dalitso Kabambe has joined Malawians in celebrating the life of selfless freedom fighter Rev John Chilembwe.

In a qoute posted on his official facebook page Kabambe said Chilembwe’s uprising and death changed the status of the country.

“It is the cause, not the death that makes a difference, ” said Kabambe, a former Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor.

On 15th January every year, Malawians celebrate the life of the Rev Chilembwe.

Chilembwe was an ordained Baptist minister and one of the first serious advocates of African independence and self-determination.

Educated in Lynchburg, Virginia, he set up a number of schools to educate Malawian children and adults, amassing more than 1000 students, and teaching a message of education, hard-work, self-reliance and abstinence from alcohol.

And Dr Kabambe, popularly known as economic engineer is also a former Reserve Bank.

As Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Kabambe was responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership, in line with the principles dictated with the role of a central bank.

During his tenure of office as RBM Governor, the Central Bank managed to provide government with accurate economic advice.

Fuel prices were properly cushioned in avoidance of human suffering (Inflation).

Previously, Dr Kabambe worked in the Malawi Government Economic Service for a period of 19 years from 1998.

He held different positions such as Principal Economist, Chief Economist, Deputy Director of Economic Planning and, Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.

Dr Kabambe also served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for close to 2 years.

Dr. Kabambe holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Imperial College – University of London, United Kingdom which were obtained in 2008 and 2001, respectively.

Workaholic economist Kabambe also holds a BSc Degree from the University of Malawi, obtained in 1998.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!DR KABAMBE TO SUE MALATA FOR DEFAMATION

Former Reserve Bank Governor Dr Dalitso Kabambe has threatened to take legal action against one of the DPP officials, Frederick Malata, over a WhatsApp message that alleged that Dr Kabambe was sending them to fight DPP President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika in court.

In a demand letter from Kabambe’s lawyers Silungwe Law Consultants, Kabambe is asking Malata to retract the story, make an apology, or provide evidence within 24 hours, failing which he will take legal action.

“Our client therefore firmly demands that you should immediately issue a candid retraction of the defamatory publication and apology through the same medium or, if you are minded, you should produce evidence of the wild allegations you have made in the said post” reads part of the letter.

In the post, Malata was demanding to be paid K20 million, or he would make available evidence of recordings as evidence on Friday by 1pm, of which he didn’t publish any.

Malata and others took Prof. Mutharika to court seeking the courts to interpret if he, Mutharika, is illegible to stand as DPP presidential candidate in 2025.

Dr Kabambe, popularly known as economic engineer is also DPP presidential aspirant.

As Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Kabambe was responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership, in line with the principles dictated with the role of a central bank.

During his tenure of office as RBM Governor, the Central Bank managed to provide government with accurate economic advice.

Fuel prices were properly cushioned in avoidance of human suffering (Inflation).

Previously, Dr Kabambe worked in the Malawi Government Economic Service for a period of 19 years from 1998.

He held different positions such as Principal Economist, Chief Economist, Deputy Director of Economic Planning and, Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.

Dr Kabambe also served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for close to 2 years.

Dr. Kabambe holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Imperial College – University of London, United Kingdom which were obtained in 2008 and 2001, respectively.

Workaholic economist Kabambe also holds a BSc Degree from the University of Malawi, obtained in 1998.

Court’s Final Call to MDF as Chilima Gets Two Counts Dropped

The High Court of Malawi Financial Division has today ordered the Malawi Defense Force MDF to bring to the Court the alleged ‘sensitive documents’ it has been refusing to disclose in the on going corruption case involving Vice President Saulos Chilima.

Judge Redson Kapindu has ordered that the documents be brought personally to him by 10 o’clock in the morning on January 22 2024 for the Court to decide “whether the information indeed borders on national security or not.”

  1. The Ruling

In his two hour ruling on preliminary issues this morning, Justice Kapindu said the deciding entity on disclosures is the court not the information holder.

“Much as the court acknowledges the submission that the documents can not be disclosed due to their sensitivity, it is the court that has the exclusive power to determine. The court will not abdcate its role when such need arise,” said Kapindu.

He then ordered MDF to bring the documents to him to ascertain the sensitivity in question and the degree to which they can be used.

  1. Counts 3 and 5 Dropped

Meanwhile, the Court has discharged Chilima from counts number 3 and 5 bordering on breach of trust by public officers.

According to the ruling by Judge Redson Kapindu, the State introduced the charges after expiry of prescribed period.

The Judge said ACB should have initiated commencement of trial and conclusion of the two counts by July 2022 having recieved the complaint in July 2021.

This means that three counts now remain on the charge sheet where Chilima is accused of demanding unspecified sums of money from Satter.

The defence had argued that “unspecified” was vague and prayed for a clear particular of the offence to which the court ruled that the wording of unspecified was valid to stand the way it is.

The progress of the case, now, highly depends on MDF on whether it will disclose the documents or continue to put its foot down.

  1. Wayforward

Once MDF brings the documents by January 22, 2024 – the court will communicate the next action. In the event that MDF doesn’t bring the documents, the court will also provide direction to the case.

CDEDI up on GBA, Malawian Airlines questioning daylight ‘robbery’

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has bemoaned that most of taxpayers money invested in joint ventures meant to benefit Malawians are only benefiting very few civil servants and politicians, a situation which the organisation feels is what is putting millions of the majority poor facing dehumanizing poverty.

Addressing the Press in Lilongwe, CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, said it was important for responsible authorities to update Malawians on suspicious deals surrounding the operations of Greenbelt Authority (GBA) as well as Malawian Airlines.

Namiwa has, thus far, challenged the Malawi Government, through the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola-Banda to set up a special purpose vehicle with clear terms of reference (ToRs) and targets to recover public money which has been fraudulently stashed in some individuals pockets and business ventures.

He says the call is as a result of ongoing findings that have shown that most of the joint ventures entered into through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) neither declare dividends nor make public their annual reports, let alone contribute equity funds as expected.

Namiwa has revealed that demonstrating the worst-case scenario is the fact that some people entrusted to run these ventures are turning public funds, sourced through loans guaranteed by government, into personal shares.

“This is daylight robbery which must be checked forthwith,” he said.

The CDEDI Executive Director has also requested for an action from government on its 49 percent stakes in Malawi Airlines, while Ethiopian Airlines has 51 percent shares.

He says it is worrisome that like what is happening at Greenbelt Greenhouse Limited, the joint venture between Ethiopian Airlines and Malawian Airlines does not make declare or made public.

“Failure to declare dividends begs the question as to how Malawians are benefiting from this arrangement,” queries Namiwa who has also revealed that Ethiopian Airlines did not register the airline code for Malawi, instead they opted to use ET as the flight code for Malawian Airlines.

According to Namiwa, this systematic ‘anomaly’ allows Ethiopian Airlines to receive all air ticket money from travel agents across the globe, who sell tickets on behalf of Malawian Airlines.

“Consequently, Malawi Airlines does not know profits, or losses, that Ethiopian Airlines makes. Further, it should be noted that once that money is obtained by Ethiopian Airlines, it is subjected to a 10% collection fee, something that would not happen if Malawi Airlines had its own flight Code, say MWW. All the money would come to Malawi Airlines account,” he highlighted.

He said another interesting aspect of the contract is that all aircraft belong to Ethiopian Airlines and operate as Malawi Airlines on lease.

“The lease fees are determined by ET itself. Thus, ET deployed an engineering team to Malawi, which services the aircraft at very exorbitant monthly fees paid to ET. Ethiopian Airlines also receives management fees for operating the airline. The rate was determined by Ethiopian Airlines itself at the start of the company in 2014, and this rate keeps changing every year. Management fees, just like engineering fees, are paid in US dollars, and this is not small money,” he said.

He has expressed fears that in the event that there is termination of contract, Malawi will be left without any air craft yet the money realised over the period would have allowed Malawi Airlines to acquire more than two of its own aircraft.

“However, Ethiopian Airlines would not in any way willfully do this as it will cut significantly the colossal money it realizes through aircraft leasing,” said Namiwa while expecting regular updates and transparency in the setting up of the special vehicle to monitor the operations of the said joint ventures.

CDEDI has since penned the office of Attorney General to facilitate the process of making public the amount of money Ethiopian Airlines brought on the table as their equity contribution.

The organisation is also requesting the amount of profits that have been declared so far.

As if that is not enough, CDEDI on behalf of Malawians, has also requested for an explanation with evidence as to what Malawi has benefited from this venture, apart from the prestige of being seen to own an airline when it has none.

CDEDI still reiterates its position that the current GBA Chairperson Wester Kosamu should be relieved of his duties to ensure seamless clean-up at GBA, since all this mess is coming to light under his watch.

Chilima Back in Court, Crucial Ruling Ahead

On the political landscape, Malawi’s New Year starts today when the High Court in Lilongwe delivers a ruling on preliminary issues that have been raised in the case in which Vice President Saulos Chilima is accused of demanding unspecified sum of money from business man Zuneth Sattar to influence government contracts.

By any means, the ruling today will have significant impact on Chilima’s political next move. It is also a ruling that will also affect the current political landscape. Every political player is anxious to see what happens today. The country’s political new year starts today.

  1. The Issues

At the heart of the expected ruling is a fight between the State and the Defense on the submission of more disclosures. These disclosures include MDF council minutes that allegedly approved the same contract that Chilima is accused of influencing and the correspondence between President Lazarus Chakwera and MDF in relation to Satter.

MDF insists that come hell or high water, they won’t release the documents to protect national security. On ther hand, the defence argues that the State can’t eat its cake and still have it. The state, they argued, they must choose to protect national security and discharge Chilima or do the opposite – release all the documents and trial commences.

  1. The Expected Ruling

Largely, the ruling will settle this argument either in State’s favour to have them keep the documents but trial continues or they keep the documents and trial falls off and Chilima is discharged.

Largely, it is this issue that is under the spotlight this morning from 10 am.

SuperSport to broadcast all AFCON games live after MultiChoice secures broadcast rights

January 10, 2024 – SuperSport will broadcast all 52 matches of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 (AFCON) live after MultiChoice secured the rights to broadcast the continent’s showpiece tournament, which kicks off on 13 January 2024 until 11 February 2024.

MultiChoice reached a commercially viable agreement with rights holders, New World TV (NWTV), to broadcast the 34th edition of Africa’s premier men’s football competition taking place in Ivory Coast.

Rendani Ramovha, SuperSport CEO, said: “We are delighted to be able to showcase the best of African football live to our viewers.”

As part of this agreement, Mr. Nimonka KOLANI, Managing Director of NWTV, declared: “By securing the rights to CAN 2023 under the leadership of Dr. Patrice Motsepe, SuperSport and NWTV prove that nothing is more important than the happiness of Africans who wish to follow the exploits of their favourite team during the biggest football competition in Africa.”

SuperSport, the leader in sports broadcasting on the continent, will bring its unrivalled coverage to all the games, with matches available on DStv as well as GOtv across Africa.

Luanar students hail NBM plc for renovating Basketball Court

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NBM officials and Luanar students inspect the Basketball Court

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) students have hailed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc for renovating a Basketball Court at the Bunda Campus saying it will motivate a lot of students to take up the sport.

Director of Students Affairs at Luanar, Ronnie Mvula spoke when NBM plc officials toured the facility to appreciate progress on the renovations of the Basketball court.

“The refurbished facility will encourage more students to join the sport and also ensure Luanar has a strong basketball team. Last year we had Tessam games in Lilongwe but we could not host any games here including basketball, because our facilities were not good. So, the coming in of National Bank to renovate the Basketball Court is timely and welcome,” said Mvula.

“The renovation is in phases, the first one is about the court, then they will include the floodlights so games can be played even at night, but also they will provide stands for both sides of the court,” added Mvula.

Students’ representative, Wesham Mwala Moyo said the coming in of the new court has excited the students especially basketball players.

“You can be great players but not having the right facilities can affect the outcome of how you play during game time,” said Mwala Moyo.

During the Mo626 College Basketball tournament launch in September last year, NBM committed to refurbishing Luanar and University of Malawi (Unima) basketball courts as a way of leaving a lasting legacy in the sports infrastructure development.  

Mo626 College Basketball Brand Ambassador Hayze Engola (middle) pose with Luanar students at the Basketball Court undergoing renovations

The Bank’s Accounts Relationship Manager Monica Zinyemba said the basketball court was in a sorry state prompting the Bank to intervene.

Zinyemba expressed satisfaction with the progress of the works taking place at the facility. 

“We thought it was safe for the students to be playing on a very modern court. It is supposed to be completed by January 25, and handovers will be done immediately after that so that students can start using it once they open the new semester,” said Zinyemba.

Mo626 College Basketball Ambassador Hayze Engola spiced up the inspection tour by interacting and giving out NBM-branded items to the players.

NBM is expected to pump K40 million into the Luanar basketball court renovation project.

NBM’s Eneles Mlongoti (second right) and others have a feel of the under renovations Basketball Court

NBS Bank gets $7 million AfDB guarantee for SMEs

NBS Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwanele Ngwenya

NBS Bank Plc will get a USD 7 million Trade Finance Transaction Guarantee facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group to support small businesses in Malawi.

This follows the AfDB Board of Directors’ approval on December 4, 2023.

Trade Guarantee is one of the trade finance instruments offered by AfDB  to support local banks in Africa, and covers an array of trade finance instruments, including confirmed letters of credit, trade loans, irrevocable reimbursement undertakings, avalized bills and promissory notes, among others

According to a statement by AfDB announcing the development through their website, the facility will provide 100% guarantee to international confirming banks (CBs) for the non-payment risk taken on NBS’ trade finance transactions conducted on behalf SMEs, local corporates, and women-led businesses in Malawi.

“It will enable NBS Bank to support the importation of fertilizer, medical supplies, and other strategic commodities. The facility is expected to support about USD 40 million of trade over the next three years and promote intra-Africa trade in line with the aspirations of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” reads the statement.

AfDB’s Malawi country manager Macmillan Anyanwu is quoted stressing the importance of unlocking trade financing to support and scale up trade flows for a land-linked low-income economy like Malawi.

“The facility is expected to promote the integration of Malawi’s economy into regional and global trade networks which are critical for the country’s growth,” he said.

NBS Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwanele Ngwenya said: “NBS Bank has always been passionate about Malawi’s economic development, and I am pleased with this milestone because the transaction underscores the commitment of NBS Bank and AfDB to the advancement of trade in Africa. Additionally, on our part, we are committed to an ongoing cordial relationship with AfDB for the benefit of our clients and Malawi at large.”

2023: A WASTED YEAR

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera

We, at The Leadership Institute for Transparency and Accountability (LITA) have objectively assessed the year 2023, and sincerely describe it as the most wasted year in the history of Malawi’s political governance and socio-economic development agenda under the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

We, as Malawians of good will, thank the administration for continuing some of the projects that were left by the previous administration. The Chakwera administration has also improved the fuel and electricity crisis in the country.

However, 2023 was the year Malawians had high hopes that the Lazarus Chakwera administration would solve the socio-economic problems that had marauded the citizens. At the time when Malawians expected the State President to swiftly take serious action, the man of God was either travelling locally or outside the country. In short, Malawians have had an absent President. The presidential sit had always been empty, a thing that even raised many questions as to who was in charge over national affairs. It was a wasted year.

It was the year when the President had watched over high industrialized corruption in the echelon of power. The administration tirelessly advanced public looting, money laundering and racketeering agenda. Billions of Malawi Kwachas that could have boosted the health, road, education and agricultural sectors, had been syphoned through dubious deals, yet to date, no culprit has been brought to book. This, therefore, entails that the Chakwera administration is a bunch of thieves with no agenda for transformative leadership.

It is not lost on Malawians, that during the Chakwera administration, we lamented over the dubious deaths of Lusungu Mwakhwawa, of Federalism Institute in Malawi, Allan Witika, the former Sales Manager of the Coca-Cola beverage, Agnes Katengeza, the former employee of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, among others. These deaths happened in between August and September 2023. Road accidents were on the rise due to road carnages. Suicidal deaths skyrocketed. Cases of robbery were at their toll, signifying security breakdown, among others.

The previous year was earmarked by gross human rights violations as evidenced by the detention, arbitrary arrest, threats and intimidation of human rights activists in the country. All these human rights violations were orchestrated by failed politicians from the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

What was even more worrisome was the gross negligence of the Chakwera administration to control the economy. The Kwacha went on losing its grip with no political will to bring it into total check. The prices of basic food commodities, including maize, went up, without the administration’s effort to regulate the prices for the reach of the poorest Malawians. The series of the Kwacha devaluation have crippled the economy with no hope of recovery. Sadly, salaries in the civil service remain disproportionate to the devaluation rate.

The politicization of the Affordable farm Input Program (AIP), and loans at National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) continues to worry us. Nepotism, tribalism, cronyism, and executive arrogance, are even terribly the worst in this administration.

The division among the civil society, the opposition political parties, the numbness of Public Affairs Committee (PAC), had been the weakest link among the chain that could have provided the checks and balances. Nevertheless, we recommend the Malawi Law Society, the media, and other stake holders for their interventions to cover the gaps.

The New Year is before us. Let’s together, in solidarity, jealously safeguard our hard won multiparty democracy.

Sindinakumanepo ndi a Chakwera; omwe akufalitsa izi akufuna kugawa DPP-Kabambe

Wamkulu wakale wa banki yayikulu ya Reserve Bank, a Dalitso Kabambe atsutsa mphekesera zoti wakhala akukumana kangapo konse ndi mtsogoleri wa dziko lino m’busa Lazarus Chakwera, omwenso ndi mtsogoleri wa chipani cha Malawi Congress (MCP).

A Kabambe, omwenso ndi m’modzi mwa anthu omwe akufuna mpando wa mtsogoleri ku chipani chachikulu chotsutsa boma m’dziko muno cha DPP, ati iwo sanakumanepo ndi a Chakwera m’moyo wawo onse.

Iwo anena izi kutsatira zomwe masamba ena amchezo akukamba zoti a Chakwera akufuna kusankha a Kabambe ngati Nduna ya Zachuma kutsatira mkumano omwe awiriwa anali nawo muchipinda chomata.

Koma poyankhapo pa mphekesera zi kudzera pa tsamba lawo lamchezo, a Dr. Kabambe ati anthu omwe akufalitsa izi angofuna kuyambanitsa anthu komanso kugawa chipani cha DPP.

“Ndafuna kukudziwitsani anthu nonse okonda ndikutsatila chipani cha DPP ndi a Malawi nonse kuti nkhani zikukambidwa mumasamba amchezo kuti ndakumana kapena kuti ndakhala ndikukumana ndi a President a dziko lino Dr Lazarus Chakwera ndibodza la mkunkhuniza lomwe akufalitsa ndi anthu ofuna kuyambanitsa anthu komanso kugawa chipani cha DPP.

“Ine sindinayambe ndakumanapo ndi a President a dziko lino ndipo ndilibe ma plan ena ali onse pa nkhani ina ili yonse yokhudza mgwirizano ndi chipani cha MCP,” anatero a Kabambe

Katswiri pa nkhani za chuma yu, Dr. Kabambe atsindika kuti iwo ndi membala wa DPP ndipo ali nga nga nga pa mbuyo pa mtsogoleri wa chipichi a Peter Mutharika.

“Ine ndi membala wa DPP ndipo ndikugwira ntchito ndi DPP, ndipo ndidzakhala wa DPP motsogozedwa ndi yemwe ndi mtsogoleri wachipanichi, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika.

“Chipani cha DPP ndichipani chomwe chimayendetsedwa ndi nsanamila za chitukuko, chilungamo komanso chitetezo, chotelo izi ndi mfundo zothandiza kumanga democracy zomwe ndi mfundo zomwe ndimagwirizana nazo.”

Pothilirapo ndemanga pa momwe chaka cha 2023 chinalili, a Kabambe ati chaka chatha chinali chaka chowawa kwambiri kwa a Malawi ochuluka maka kwa omwe amakhala m’midzi komanso omwe ndi osowa.

“Chaka cha 2023 chinali chamazunzo ndi zobetchela zambiri kwa a Malawi, monga kukwera mitengo kwa zinthu, kugwa kwa ndalama yathu ya Kwacha, kukwera mtengo wa chimanga komanso kusowa kumene ndi kusowa kwa mafuta. Koma tithokoze Mulungu kuti watisungabe ndikutilowetsa mu chaka chatsopanochi” Iwo anatero.

Malingana ndi a Kabambe, chaka chino cha 2024, chipereka mwayi kwa iwo komanso a Malawi kukhala ndi nthawi yoyang’ana komwe achokela, komwe adutsa, ndikomwe akupita, maaka podziwa kuti posachedwapa mu chaka cha 2025 a Malawi akhale akuponya vote yosankha President komanso adindo ena.

Maczale Academy set to open for second term, registration in progress

Maczale academy, with well experienced and dedicated teachers, is set to open for second term on Monday the 8th of January 2024.

The academy, which is one of the leading boarding schools in the country, is located after Dunduzu Road Block along M1 road between Mzuzu and Ekwendeni.

It has modern hostels with beds and comfortable mattress, new classes with good desks suitable for both male and female learners.

Maczale academy, with a MANEB centre number and dully recognized by the Ministry of Education (MoE) , has fully stocked Library and laboratories for both science and computer lessons meeting all modern curriculum needs.

School fee at the school, which has a history of 100 percent pass rate for both MSCE and JCE, is very affordable; MK185,000 (One Hundred and Eighty Thousand Kwacha Only).

According to public documents which we have seen, 90 percent of MSCE students at the school are selected to public universities.

Research shows that eating healthy meals have been linked to higher grades, better memory and alertness, and faster information processing as such the school offers balanced diet to learners.

“Truth is we are the best boarding school; imagine the diet of fish, beef. Eggs, beans just to mention a few,”

During weekends and public holidays the students at the facility are treated with full entertainment which includes DStv among others.

For more contact the school on the following numbers +265884274169 or +265992526925 or via the following postal address Maczale Academy, P.O.BOX 1283, Mzuzu. You also send an email via maczaleacademies@gma­il.com.

God is our source of sustenance, survival – Mulli

MBL Holdings, formerly Mulli Brothers Group of Companies, says it is only through the divine intervention that the group is still operating in the country.

MBL Holdings Limited Manager Joseph Khupe made the remarks on Wednesday in Blantyre during annual national prayer for the holdings.

Khupe said it is only through prayers and guidance by Almighty God that all 24 companies are still operational.

In his sermon, Father Elizeo Mtharika of the Catholic Church urged MBL Holdings, which is owned by business tycoon Leston Mulli, to be resilient in the face of various challenges.

On his part, Catholic Priest Mosgnor Boniface Tamani called for a conducive economic environment for local companies to flourish.

He noted that Malawian companies have the potential to nurture the economy as their proceeds remain within the boundaries of the country.

Tamani further said government must learn to be civilised and work with every deserving business instead of marginalizing others who have the capacity due to political affiliation.

“Every deserving Malawian needs a piece of the cake. If the government receives taxes from everyone then everybody deserves equal opportunities,” he said

According to Tamani, for the country to achieve development, the leadership needs to start thinking progressively by using politics as a tool to build bridges and provide resources to the people.

“We are appealing to the government to make resources available to the local businesses so that they can function effectively. Without that, the nation is doomed,” he said.

Mulli recently asked Tonse Alliance administration which he accused of squeezing the company because of its association with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to soften the heart.

 “They think if they give us contracts we shall use the money to support DPP to get back to power. But if people want DPP they will vote for it without money. We are a business and with God we shall survive, ” Mulli told the media recently.

MBL Holdings, which employees over 5000 Malawians, has business in Food Retailers, Tea Retailers, Farming, Agriculture, Books, Hardware Stores, Tourist Information, and Travel Agents among others.

PCL cheers the elderly with Christmas gifts in Mpemba

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Mbeye (left) presents a pack to an elderly woman and Uko (right)

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc (PCL) on Friday gave an early Christmas gift to the elderly in Mpemba, Blantyre by donating food packs and treating them to a Christmas luncheon.

Speaking during the event at Nthanda Ya Kum’mawa Elderly Trust at Jiya Village, PCL Chief Finance and Administrative Executive Moureen Mbeye said they decided to reach out to the elderly after being approached for help.

“It was at the peak of the Cyclone Freddy disaster when Mrs. Uko approached us to give a hand to the elderly here, but since we were also involved in helping other Cyclone Freddy survivors at the time, we could not help. But she kept checking with us and since this is Christmas time, we thought we should squeeze whatever we had in our budget to come and cheer the elderly here.”

“The festive season is a time to give. To be here and share with the elderly gives us so much joy that they will, at least, celebrate Christmas with love and care,” said Mbeye.

Executive Director of the Nthanda Ya Kummawa Elderly Trust Anna Kuloya-Uko thanked PCL for reaching out to the elderly especially during the festive time.

“We started helping the elderly in this area in 2009 with 111 elder people and vulnerable people, especially those with albinism. We have a women’s group that takes care of the elderly and also coordinates some self-sustaining activities for the group and its beneficiaries.”

“Today, we want to thank PCL for these donations and the Christmas lunch, the elderly and the vulnerable people will celebrate this Christmas in a special way because of your donations,” said Kuloya-Uko.

The items that were presented include maize flour, rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil and other necessities.

Castel Malawi brings Spirits of Malawi festive editions

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The Spirits of Malawi Christmas edition

Giant alcoholic beverages producer Castel Malawi has unveiled the Special Christmas Limited Edition of the ‘Spirits of Malawi’ with special Christmas labels and packaging for new customer experience.

Castel Malawi Product Manager Shania Kuseka said in an interview yesterday that the special Christmas editions of Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Premier Brandy already hit the market.

“The Spirits of Christmas are set to make this holiday season even more special. Available from December 15 2023, these premium spirits are a delightful treat for everyone. With their unique blend and festive packaging, they are the perfect gift to share and savour during the festive season.”

“Whether enjoyed neatly, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, they are sure to bring joy to all who indulge in their rich and complex flavours. We want our customers to embrace the spirit of the season and make these limited editions a part of their holiday celebrations,” said Kuseka.

She further said the  Christmas editions will have special Christmas labels and all black closure for all Gin, Vodka and Brandy for great consumer experience.

Kuseka said the iconic Malawi Gin, which has been celebrated locally and internationally since 1965 will be selling at K9,500 per 750ml bottle just like the Malawi vodka 750 ml bottle while the Premier Brandy 750 ml bottle will go at K14,000.

“The traditional labelled packaging for the spirits range will only be available after the exhaustion of the Christmas Limited Edition,” said Kuseka.

One customer Leslie Mbisa hailed Castel Malawi for the Christmas edition of the Spirits of Malawi range.

“This is a very good development and as a consumer for the Spirits of Malawi, especially Premier Brandy, I will enjoy it during the festive period and because the packaging is excellent and nice, I have already bought some for my friends and colleagues for their Christmas presents,” said Mbisa.

Apostle Nyirongo’s CFCAN Set for Night of God’s Winds Crossover

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Leader of Christ Fellowship Church for All Nations (CFCAN) Apostle Dr. Mc Hellings Nyirongo says all is set for the church’s most prestigious annual Crossover Night event.

The Crossover Night is CFCAN’s biggest annual event where all church members and Malawians converge to end a year and begin another together.

According to Apostle Dr. Nyirongo, the crossover night will be held on December 31 at CFCAN headquarters in Mzuzu City under the theme; “Night of God’s Winds”.

Apostle Nyirongo further said the crossover night will be characterized with prophecies, healing and deliverance.

“The cross over night aims at embracing New Year and the future by pledging our lives to worship and glorify the only one true God.”

“ We pray for God’s presence and guidance to guarantee the holy life and fruitful future as God Himself will go ahead of us and watch over us every time,”

Apostle Dr. Mc Hellings Nyirongo is well known in Malawi and across the globe for his accurate prophecies, miracles healing and deliverance.

He was called and sent by Jesus Christ Himself and he does what others cannot do except they have Holy Ghost too.

For further esquires call or whatsapp Christ Fellowship Church for All Nations (CFCAN) on +265997314371/­-0992526825 0r email via cfcanchurch122014@gm­ail.com.

NBM gives MBTS K80 million for blood bank fridges

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Kawawa (left) gives the cheque to Nsamala (middle) helped by NBM Head of Corporate Banking William Chatsala

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has committed K80 million for the purchase of two blood bank fridges for the Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) to help ease shortage of blood at Mulanje and Mangochi District Hospitals.

Speaking after handing over a cheque to MBTS on Friday, NBM Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Macfussy Kawawa said the Bank believes that a healthy nation is a progressive nation, therefore their contribution to the health sector helps to develop the country’s economy.

“We know that MBTS have been making efforts to reach out to hospitals that require blood for transfusions. We also know that they have been having challenges with storage and so on, and therefore when we were approached, we thought by making this donation, we are making MBTS reach out to those that would, otherwise, not be reached out to. In so doing, we are helping situations that would, otherwise, have been hopeless. I believe we will be saving lives through the equipment that will be purchased through this donation,” said Kawawa.

Kawawa (left) and NBM Head of Corporate Banking, William Chatsala handing over the cheque to Nsamala (middle)

Kawawa further urged hospitals that are beneficiaries of such donations to desist from asking for monetary contributions from clients that require blood transfusion, as that would defeat the essence of the donations.

In her remarks, MBTS CEO, Natasha Nsamala commended NBM plc for the donation, saying it will also help to solve the transportation challenges that most hospitals experience to access blood from their main centres.

“Normally, hospitals come to us to access blood when needed. We do not take the blood to them. As for this donation, it means all the health centres under Mulanje and Mangochi will now be able to access the blood within their districts, thereby reducing the transportation cost. We, therefore, thank NBM for this huge donation this year as we will be able to keep more blood safe. Unsafe blood can be dangerous to a human being,” she said.

Nsamala also commended Malawians for developing a positive attitude towards the blood donation exercise, which has seen a very big improvement in the volumes of blood collected in 2023.

Bright Msaka wishes Malawians Brighter Year ahead

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Politician cum senior lawyer Bright Msaka SC, who is one of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential aspirants, has wished Malawians a ‘successful and brighter’ 2024.

In his Christmas and New Year message to Malawians, Msaka, who is DPP Vice President for Eastern Region and a Member of Parliament for Machinga Likwenu Constituency said: “May the holiday season end the present year on cheerful note and make a way for a fresh and bright new year.”

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

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

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

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

PCL donates medical equipment to BT DHO

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Mangani (right) presents the items to Dr Kawalazira

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc on Thursday donated various medical equipment to the Blantyre District Health Office to help save lives during the festive period.

The items included oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oxygen regulators and nasal tubes.

Press Corporation plc Chief Executive Officer Ronald Mangani said, as a corporate citizen, PCL decided to donate the items to help hospitals to save lives.

“As we approach the year-end festive season we tend to have a lot of accidents, and lifesaving equipment comes handy and useful in this period. We thought we should help the hospitals with this equipment at a time when it is likely to be providing critical services to the country,” said Mangani.

Receiving the donation, Blantyre District Health and Social Welfare Officer Dr Gift Kawalazira thanked PCL for the donation, saying it has come at the right time.

“We are very grateful for this timely donation. It is an early Christmas gift for us. This is critical lifesaving equipment which is used on people that have breathing problems. You know that if you cannot breathe it’s actually a matter of minutes before you can die.

“So, this equipment becomes handy especially now that we are going towards the Christmas period, hospitals become busy because of accidents from different sources. We want to promise PCL that this equipment will be used for its intended purpose,” said Kawalazira.

He called on other well wishers to emulate the example set by PCL saying ‘health business is everybody’s business’.

DPP’ presidential aspirant Dr. Kabambe sends Christmas message to Malawians

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential aspirant, Dr Dalitso Kabambe has extended his best wishes to all Malawians as they celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.

In his powerful Christmas message Dr. Kabambe called upon Malawians to reflect deeply on love and compassion.

“May this Christmas reaffirm our dedication to the ideals of love and compassion. May we all be blessed with joy and happiness by Jesus Christ,” said Kabambe a former Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor.

As Governor of the Reserve Bank, he was responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership, in line with the principles dictated with the role of a central bank.

During his tenure of office as RBM Governor, the Central Bank managed to provide government with accurate economic advice.

Fuel prices were properly cushioned in avoidance of human suffering (Inflation).

Previously, Dr Kabambe worked in the Malawi Government Economic Service for a period of 19 years from 1998.

He held different positions such as Principal Economist, Chief Economist, Deputy Director of Economic Planning and, Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.

Dr Kabambe also served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for close to 2 years.

Dr. Kabambe holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Imperial College – University of London, United Kingdom which were obtained in 2008 and 2001, respectively.

Workaholic economist Kabambe also holds a BSc Degree from the University of Malawi, obtained in 1998.

NBS Bank, WFP in social cash transfers to Phalombe Cyclone Freddy victims 

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NBS Staff members assisting Nkhulambe 1 beneficiaries

Listed NBS Bank and World Food Programme (WFP) have started disbursing funds through social cash transfer to over 2000 people affected by Cyclone Freddy at Nkhulambe Centre 1 and 2 in Phalombe.

The Bank’s Head of Marketing & Customer Experience Tamanda Ng’ombe  said their main role is to make sure that the funds fall into the right hands.

“We work hand in hand with partners on the ground who work every day with the beneficiaries. In this case, the partner entrusted to do that is Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD). They are responsible for identification and then later pass the information to us to verify beforehand. The ID information is sent to us and we crosscheck what is on paper and what the beneficiary is presenting.”

“So far we have not met any challenges, WFP and CICOD have done a good job on the ground together with the District Commissioner  and Department of Disaster Management (DODMA). They made sure that everything is in order, so our job has been straightforward,” said Ng’ombe.

WFP country Representative, Paul Turnbull said the lean season response is targeted at people who are food insecure.

“They are hungry because they didn’t get enough food from the last harvest. We understand that this particular district took the brunt of cyclone Freddy, so we realize that a lot of people won’t have enough food for this year. But it’s a program of limited duration,” said Turnbull.

In his remarks, Senior Group Nkhulambe said his area is one of the most affected by Cyclone Freddy as four villages namely Makambe, Nkhulambe, Nagoli and Mudeni lost 167 people while six are still missing.

“We are being given K150,000 which I have advised my subjects to use to buy food, which is our number one need. It will take time for us to start farming again as the area is full of sand. However, we are grateful for the help from international organizations through the government,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, 70-year-old Thelma Selemani of Madukano Village said she lost her maize and cassava gardens during Cyclone Freddy.

“We were surviving on mangoes, now we are going to buy maize with this money,” said Selemani

Commissioner for DODMA, Charles Kalemba echoed that Nkhulambe area needs more support.

“Most of the land here has been encroached by rocks or sand and cannot produce anymore, so from the time Cyclone Freddy happened in March to now we are still supporting the people in terms of food security.”

“What we are seeing here is a process where people are receiving cash transfers, we had also given them maize for October, but for November, December, and January they are getting K150,000 which they are going to use for purchasing food, and then we will also come back for more money in February and March,” said Kalemba.

CFCAN’S Christ Holy Ghost College back with Holy Ghost Course

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Christ Holy Ghost College, a brainchild of Christ Fellowship Church for All Nations (CFCAN), is back with Holy Ghost Training Program.

CFCAN’S Apostle Dr. Mc Hellings Nyirongo said the program will take place in Mzuzu from December 26 to 30.

The course, according to the highly respected man of God Apostle Dr. Nyirongo, is open to anyone who needs to serve the real God

Pastors, prophets, apostles and church ministers from difference churches and ministries are invited to register for the training.

“This full time training will be starting from 8am to 10pm every day,” said Apostle Dr. Nyirongo, adding upon completion successful participants will be fully transformed and filled with Holy Ghost.

Apostle Dr. Nyirongo said, among others, the course contents will include knowing Holy Ghost, Receiving Him and working with Him.

“There will be impartation of Holy Ghost and people will work the works of Jesus and doing greater than what Jesus did (John 14 v 12, Acts 8 v17),” said Nyirongo

To enroll into the program call +265997341371 or visit Christ Fellowship Church for All Nations (CFCAN) head office in Mzuzu near Macro behind Water Board.

Mulanje DC nods to all inclusive stakeholders meet on mining activities

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The District Commissioner (DC) for Mulanje has given a nod to the demand of having an all inclusive meeting by concerned stakeholders on mining activities in Mulanje mountain.

Initially, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) in collaboration with Tourism Association of Mulanje Mountain, Friends of Mulanje, Tour Guides and Porters Association and communities wanted DC David Gondwe to call for the said meeting by December 21, but he has pushed it to December 28.

In his response letter, Gondwe says the council was thinking of addressing the matter through the Council and that all the concerned stakeholders will be given formal invitation.

But responding to the letter, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa says his organisation et al were ready to face the DC even yesterday but as a law abiding citizens will wait for the day set by the council secretariat.

Namiwa warned against any delay tactics saying his organisation and all concerned stakeholders will not backtrack in ensuring that mining activities are not taking pace in Mulanje mountain.

Recently at a press conference in Mulanje, stakeholders expressed disapproval of mining activities in Mulanje mountain, the Malawi’s cultural treasure which has been a centre for tourism since immemorial.

And they called for an immediate withdrawal of Akaswiri Mining Company from Mulanje
Mountain, and an urgent all-inclusive stakeholders meeting to discuss matters pertaining to mining in this mountain before the situation gets out of hand.

It is expected that, at the meeting, concerned stakeholders will press DC to make public all relevant documents that culminated into granting of mining license (s) by the Ministry of Forestry and Climate Change, and not the responsible Ministry of Mining, as expected.

“Subsequently, as a people proud of their treasure, all purported licences should be revoked forthwith since mining is not an option on Mt. Mulanje,” says the grouping.

Apart from water supplied to Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Blantyre districts, the mountain provides direct jobs to 600-plus porters and guides, 65 tourism facility operators that have provided over 30, 000 jobs in the hospitality industry, with multi-billion kwacha investments that
will turn into white elephants should the mountain cease to be tourist attraction due to health related hazards stemming from mining activities.

CDEDI Chief has since highlighted that accepting mining in the mountain will mean incurring losses in billions of Kwacha through taxes both at local and central governments levels.

The recent attack on Mt. Mulanje has sent shock waves to communities in Mulanje and Phalombe districts as they are reminded of the fatal effects of water gushing out of rocks that were unprovoked, hence they cannot condone any apparent provocation of danger through drilling that will weaken further the structure of the mountain, change courses of water, thereby leading to more flash floods that have the potential to wipe out humans, animals and crops as was the case with Cyclone Freddy.

By law, the calls of the concerned stakeholders are necessitated by Section 12 of the Republican Constitution, which hinges on trust, transparency and accountability, and more importantly, demands those exercising legal and political authority to make decisions, to solely serve and protect people’s interests.

Matthews Mtumbuka launches Weagle Holdings Limited

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Mtumbuka (left) and Phiri cut a ribbon to mark the launch of the company

After working for 17 years for various companies, renowned engineer Matthews Mtumbuka has taken a growth path by establishing his company called Weagle Holdings Limited.

Mtumbuka launched the company on Wednesday in Lilongwe while stressing that they will focus on energy, management consulting, technology, food and beverage, and running a chain of stores, with an aim of creating wealth and job opportunities.

Speaking during the launch, Mtumbuka said the five companies under Weagle Holdings Limited have already employed 60 people at his Katoto Supermarket 1 and Katoto 2, Woodland Entertainment in Mzuzu and those working at the company’s offices in Lilongwe.

Unpacking the company’s business lines, Mtumbuka explained about the energy sector where he said the main focus will be renewable energy including solar systems.

“We will start by trading through bidding to supply energy equipment, materials and consumables to major players in the energy sector in Malawi. Energy is a big global challenge. Most countries don’t produce enough energy to meet their domestic and industrial needs.”

“The situation is far worse in Africa and most especially in Southern Africa where every country has acute shortage of electrical power resulting in non-ending load-shedding and power blackouts. In the medium to long term, we will go into energy operations through contracts for energy construction, maintenance and services. Our focus will be renewable energy,” he said.

On Management Consulting, the former Airtel Malawi executive said the company will provide solutions for management problems, especially the private sector.

“We also provide bespoke training for the middle managers, top leaders as well as Board Members for companies in the private and public sectors as well as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) world. We have a full spectrum of training courses in the field of Leadership and Management,” explained Mtumbuka.

On technology, Mtumbuka said the company intends to explore technology solutions in the financial sector like Fintech.

“We are partnering with proven brands in this space in Zambia and Uganda. We will also contribute to the development of the IT Enabled services (ITES) in Malawi. Noticing the big digital skills gaps in Malawi especially for the youth who are hungry to gain the skills to practice in this emerging sector, we are planning to offer up to 100 training courses in IT from mid-2024.”

“We are at an advanced stage of entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for eventual establishment of a franchise in Malawi with a leading IT Training Institute in India,” he said.

Guest of Honour at the event, Wisely Phiri, who is the CEO of Sparc Systems commended Mtumbuka for taking the wealth creation route.

“These are the ventures that we need to support for the country to achieve the Malawi2063 vision,” he said.

Several executives including the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) vice chancellor, Professor Address Malata, attended the launch.

NBM launches ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ promo

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Kaunda briefing the press

National Bank of Malawi Plc has launched the Point of Sale (POS)/Mo626 Pay (MoPay) promotion dubbed ‘Popanda Chifukwa’ worth a total outlay of K60.8 million.

The promotion will run from December 18, 2023 to April 18, 2024, with almost 186 NBM customers expected to win various prizes.  

Speaking during the launch of the promotion at NBM Towers on Tuesday, NBM plc Head of Digital Financial Services William Kaunda said the promotion is meant to recognize and reward customers who have been loyal to the Bank.

“We expect our customers to keep on using our electronic services including debit cards, credit cards, and our Mo626 digital plus platform that enables customers to perform transactions from their mobile phones. In that device, there is a feature called Mo626 pay (MoPay) that will make you win. We want to promote the usage of electronic payments.”

“To qualify, customers will have to make purchases or payments for a minimum amount of K20,000 using NBM POS, MoPay on Mo626 Digital plus on mobile banking platform or Mo626Pay USSD version on Mo626ice,” said Kaunda.

During the monthly draws according to Kaunda, 40 lucky customers transacting on the mentioned platforms will be rewarded with a Purchase Cashback of a maximum of K75,000 each.

Three customers, two from NBM POS transactions and one from Mo626Pay transactions will be rewarded with a cash prize of K150,000 each, while 30 customers, 20 from NBM POS transactions and 10 from Mo626Pay transactions will each win a Gift Pack for a medley of NBM branded novelties like T-shirts, Mugs, Umbrellas, and Flash Drives.

Kaunda added that top five MoPay merchants with the highest number of transactions will also win a Gift Pack for a medley of NBM-branded materials.

He also said shopping mall activations will take place once or twice a month on a weekend during the promotion, allowing NBM digital platform users and cardholders from other local banks to participate in the Instant Draws upon making their purchases through the NBM payment channels of NBM POS or Mo626Pay.

The Bank, will during this period, also date any select entertainment joints like popular bars, restaurants, hotels, resorts, and lodges in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and Zomba, to promote usage of NBM POS and MoPay.

During the grand draw, 10 lucky winners, seven from NBM POS transactions and three from Mo626Pay transactions will each win K300,000 as the second grand prize, while four customers, three from NBM POS transactions and one from Mo626Pay transactions will each win K1.5 million as the grand prize.

Standard Bank forum outlines sticky economic issues

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Economic stakeholders have asked the government to urgently correct misalignment of the country’s exchange rate by allowing the Malawi Kwacha to float freely and guaranteeing public accountability of finances to safeguard the new Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of the International Monetary Fund.

The demands are part of a raft of key proposals made during a Standard Bank-hosted round-table discussion in Lilongwe and attended by key cabinet ministers of Finance and Trade, donors, government economic agencies, and the private sector.

In a White Paper released after the closed-door session, the stakeholders proposed a 100-day window for government to act on the key proposals, namely safeguarding the ECF and providing public finance accountability, foreign exchange rate management, abolishing Visa travel restrictions, agricultural commercialization through mega farms, independence of Reserve Bank of Malawi, industrialization, and boosting local capacity for export.

“The forum concluded with high-level commitments to restore the country’s macroeconomic stability and put fundamentals back on the track of recovery. It also resolved to follow through these commitments and use them as building blocks for dialogue in the next 100 days when Malawi will be preparing her crucial 2024/25 National Budget,” reads the paper.

Convenor Standard Bank Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said creating a forum of dialogue and open discussion is the bank’s new initiative aimed at generating consensus at the national level on how to spark economic recovery and growth.

“The negative impact of combined shocks to the economy, macroeconomic instability characterized by devaluation of Kwacha and high interest rates, debt distress, the dollar crunch leading to shortages of essential imports, the widening of trade deficit and lack of accountability and governance as some of the key challenges we face, and require urgent collective action, hence this forum which is in its second year” he said.

Madinga said on the positive side, Malawi should build on the recently approved budget support under the IMF’s ECF and World Bank’s ‘Reforms and Recovery’ programs, new austerity measures by government, Malawi’s young population to find a way out of the current quagmire in the short to medium and long term.

He also cited key pillars and priorities contained in the country’s vision MW2063, and prevailing opportunities contained in Malawi Implementation Plan 1 of the MW2063, as some of the important building blocks.

Speaking on behalf of the Public/Private Dialogue Forum (PPD), Old Mutual Group Chief Executive Edith Jiya, who is also the Public Private Dialogue convener outlined forex liquidity management framework, minimum farm gate pricing, revision of minimum wage following devaluation, consistent regulatory environment, flexibility in construction industry contracts and narrowing trade imbalance with a focus in improving forex supplies as key issues required urgent action.

“We are in a critical moment, but it’s not the first time to find ourselves he as we have been there before. Going forward, we need to be bold in taking future strategic and collective action as well as learning from past failures with regards to economic

planning and management,” she said.

 The EU Head of Delegation Ambassador Rune Skinnebach said Malawi faces a litmus test to adhere to the conditions of the new IMF ECF program in the shortest possible time as the country’s next tripartite general elections looms in 2025.

“As development partners, we believe that Malawi needs assistance and, is probably the only country on the continent that has developed the least since independence [in 1964] despite the peacefulness and good land. At the same time the country needs to identify and pick the low hanging fruits across the public and private sector for recovery and growth to be realized,” he said.

Addressing the delegates, both the Minister of Finance Simplex Chithyola Banda and the Minister Trade and Industry Sosten Gwengwe reiterated the government’s recent stand and commitment to encourage and stick to reforms aiming to usher fiscal discipline and reinstating the private sector as the engine of economic growth.

The Finance Minister highlighted stabilization of government debt, containment of money supply and rebuilding of the foreign exchange reserves as some of the measures to support Treasury’s Recover, Develop and Protect (RDP) Plan. The latter plan has been designed to address shortages of Forex, Fuel, Food and Fertilizer (the 4Fs).

He commended Standard Bank for creating the dialogue forums and committing to increase their frequency in 2024.

“I am glad that Standard Bank has organized this important meeting to allow key players in the development arena to exchange ideas on how together we can unhook Malawi from a perpetual low equilibrium.  I look forward to, us together, coming up with concrete solutions to unlocking our economic stagnation,” he said.

For his part, Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe outlined several initiatives underway by government aimed at restoring the capacity of private sector to contribute meaningfully tow growth. These include boosting the legislative and policy framework for small and medium businesses, secondary cooperatives and exports and economic zones, and the anti-smuggling campaign.

 The Standard Bank round-table discussion, now in its second year was held under the theme; “Roadmap to Malawi’s Growth”, and attracted over 30 high-level delegates including Malawi Revenue Authority, National Planning Commission, African Development Bank and CEOs of private sector.

EPM for more CSR Projects in Mulanje and Thyolo

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Reynolds (left) holds a ribbon with Aramson

Eastern Produce Malawi (EPM) Limited, one of the leading tea growing companies in the country says it will continue implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in the two districts of Mulanje and Thyolo.

The company has recently constructed a classroom and drilled a borehole at Katole Primary School and Ranken village respectively in Mulanje district.

Speaking after handing over the classroom and the borehole to the community, EPM Managing Director David Reynolds said the relationship between the company and the surrounding community is good.

He said this is the reason the company does not hesitate to respond to the needs of the community whenever funds are available.

Reynolds handing over the building to Aramson

 “We are part of the community and we find it necessary to implement developmental projects within and beyond our surrounding communities,” said Reynolds.

 Head teacher of Katole Primary School, Sammy Aramson thanked the company for constructing the classroom at the school.

“With this structure, we are close to reaching the country’s recommended 1 to 60 classroom- learners ratio,” said Aramson.

Assistant Coordinating Primary Education Advisor for Mathambi Education Zone Chipiliro Ngochera asked the company to construct a secondary school within the area saying the nearest Bango Community Day Secondary School is at a distance of over 10 Kilometers.

Members of staff for Katole Primary School in front of the newly constructed classroom block

And speaking after receiving the borehole, village head Ranken said shortage of water is now a thing of the past and he thanked EPM for the gesture.

One of the women present at the handover ceremony, Grace Lloyd said there was only one borehole in the village which was not enough to serve over 200 households in the village.

“To show our appreciation, we will ensure that we take care of this borehole with guidance from the borehole committee,” said Lloyd.

According to EPM’s Corporate Affairs Manager Rabson Kachilele, K 10 million was used on the classroom project while the borehole cost K9 million.

MEET AND VOTE FOR PETER MUKHITO: Great Man set to bring high standards DPP is renowned for

The former Inspector General of Police and former Director General of State Residence Peter Mukhito has declared his interest to wrestle it out at the DPP Convention for the position of Secretary General. The convention is slated for December 26 and 27.

Mukhito who is also a commercial farmer and businessman is a prominent Malawian whose story of humble beginnings to greatness, resonates well with most Malawians.

Mukhito rose from an ordinary police officer, through hard work and dedication to Presidential Guard Commander for one of the most tough and disciplined Presidents, the third Republican President Bingu Wa Mutharika, who saw in him great potential of sound leadership and management style and promoted him to become the head of the Malawi Police Services, at the time when crime was high.

Peter Mukhito, the youngman from Chiradzulu and Blantyre rose to serve, not only one but two Presidents who are high achievers at the closest range.

He is a well known, soft spoken disciplinarian, a father and family man at heart but very ambitious with high standards in delivering his work. He is the right fit for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rebuilding process, as its Secretary General.

For more about Peter Mukhito and his visions for the party, please follow us below;

PCL eyes Puma Energy growth

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Mangani (second right) cuts a ribbon to open the service station assisted by Puma Energy Malawi Managing Director Sipho Uaeca (right) and Outtara (left)

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ronald Mangani says PCL will continue to grow the Puma Energy Limited brand to create an impact on the domestic market and the country’s economy.

Mangani said this after opening a new Puma Sam Singh Filling Station on 2 Hannover Avenue in Blantyre CBD, where he also promised to see four more stations opened by the end of the year 2023.

“We are very excited to be associated with the PUMA brand. This means a lot to us because it means the brand is growing. It is increasing its footprints in the market and that’s the trend we see and we are very happy with. As PCL, we want to be associated with investments that are actually making a huge impact on the domestic economy, and PUMA is one of them.”

Outtara and Mangani fill up a vehicle at the new service centre

“We are actually expanding all over. This year alone, we have expanded into several places and the expansion will continue into December. We are looking at opening another four before the end of the year and another two by January. It is an expansion that is cutting across the geography of the country,” said Mangani.

Puma Energy Africa Chief Operating Officer, Ben Hassan Outtara, said in an interview, that the expansion signifies the company’s commitment to ensuring creation of investment opportunities in Malawi.

“We are on a growth trend. We want to be aggressive commercially to be able to create opportunities and jobs for Malawi. For us, it is important to show our strategy that we want to develop here in Malawi in terms of investment, job creation and sustainability. We need to be finding solutions by working with the Government and talking to the regulator,” said Outtara.

PCL has a 50 percent stake in the Puma franchise in Malawi.

Mangani (second right) gestures after opening the service station as other officials look on

Domestic worker wins big in Zampira promotion finale

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Zampira promotion draw in progress, as Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing Communication (left) looks on

The 2023 season of Malawi’s top-flight football avenue, TNM Super League might closed the curtain two weeks ago, however the excitement still lingers as TNM has conducted the final monthly draw for the Zampira promotion.

After being crowned champions of 2023 TNM Super League, it seems joy cannot be detached from FCB Nyasa Big Bullets as its Mtsiriza-based supporter, Kingsley Masoambeta emerged a final winner of a monthly prize of K2 million.

He won after correctly predicted a game between Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers which ended in one all draw.

Reacting to the news of his winning, the 35-year-old domestic worker praised God for the miracle.

“It is God and only Him made it possible that I should win, it is His inspiration. I am going through many challenges financially, therefore, this is redemption,” said marveled Masoambeta.

He said that he will use the money to start business as a way of ensuring financial sustainability. Masoambeta added that he will donate football equipment that will be purchased with part of the prize money to Kanjonji Primary School in Mchinji.

Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing Communication

The promotion which runs simultaneously with the Malawi’s elite Super League aims at creating buzz and engagement with the soccer lovers.

Throughout the promotion’s eight months period, TNM has splashed out cash and airtime prizes to soccer fans countrywide.

Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing Communication said that the 2023 Zampira promotion has been a great success.

“We launched 2023 Zampira promotion in April where we brought in several exciting incentives to help soccer fans win big. We are pleased to note that through those interventions participation in the promotion has been great leading,” said Jonazi.

According to TNM, this year’s Zampira promotion has given out more than K30 million in prizes.

“We believe in creating possibilities for Malawians. Over 3,000 football fans won airtime and over 130 soccer lovers won cash prizes, through these statistics we believe that we have changed lives of many,” he said.

Comparatively, 2023 season of Zampira promotion has registered growth in revenue of more than 300 percent over 2022.

“The main objective of the promotion is to immerse supporters in the game. This year we have seen great progress which resulted in 316 percent growth in gross revenue as compared to 2022 season,” highlighted Jonazi.

In the 2023 Zampira promotion TNM has been giving out K2 million every month. Weekly the telco dished out K50, 000 each to four winners and K2000 worth of airtime to 100 people.

Apart from having predictions, the promotion also had a daily SMS Trivia Questions component aiming to enhance supporter’s understanding of the game by subscribing and answering daily soccer related questions. Four customers each were winning K50,000 every week.

Castel Malawi donates visibility vests to Kabaza operators

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Hara (centre) receives the vests from Kolomba (left) flanked by Director of Road Traffic Directorate Andrew Sandula (right)

Giant alcoholic beverages producer Castel Malawi has donated visibility vests worth K3.5 million  to motorcycle taxi operators known as ‘Kabazas’ as one way of helping reduce accidents in the country.

Presenting the donation during this year’s African Road Safety Day commemoration in Chikwawa on Friday, Castel Malawi Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager Linda Kolomba said the donation is a continuation of the company’s road safety campaign which it launched in September this year.

“We thought of donating these visibility vests to the Kabaza operators as one way of reducing accidents on our roads because they will be visible to other road users. We have a pillar in our CSR strategy on road safety and we are pushing this to make sure that we help reduce road accidents in the country hence our commitment to this cause.”

“We launched our road safety campaign in September this year where we have engaged road users including pedestrians on road safety issues in more than 20 busy trading centres across the country so that we help reduce these road accidents,” said Kolomba.

Receiving the items, Minister of Transport Jacob Hara who was a Guest of Honour at the function hailed Castel Malawi and other companies who donated visibility vests for their efforts in helping road users reduce accidents.

“I would like to thank Castel Malawi and other companies who have donated the visibility vests because this will address the issue of road users which is contained in the National Road Safety Strategy which we are launching today to make sure that road users are visible and therefore help in reducing accidents,” said Hara.

Local NGO Bethel ReachOut donate to the elderly in Kasungu

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From left Mr Bitoni Diyere, Mr Chimbalame Newa, Mr Lameck and Mr Mulalo after receiving their gifts

A local non-governmental religious organization Bethel ReachOut and Healing Ministries has donated various items to more than 80 elderly people at Mdoni in Sub Traditional Authority Mdunga in Kasungu as part of its Christmas cheer programme.

The donations were made possible by United States based philanthropist Emmanuel Mwandama and included wrappers, sugar, soap, salt, maize flour and the elderly were also provided with food and drinks to celebrate Christmas.

Speaking at the event, Founder of Bethel ReachOut and Healing Ministries Rex Tipoti Mbewe, who is also the father of Mwandama, acknowledged the need to keep supporting the elderly as roots for wisdom, culture, and development.

“We would also like to announce that our organization will be supporting over 10 elder persons per month with maize flour and soap until the harvest season. We want to respect these people by giving back to them since most of them are sleeping on mangoes only or staying days without eating, as they have no food and no one to help them,” said Mbewe.

Mwandama said he decided to support the elderly through the organization, looking at how older people are struggling with hunger, rising cost of living, and lack of support.

“Through Bethel ReachOut and Healing Ministries we are going to support more older people including those living with disabilities in order to ease the burden they face,” said Mwandama.

TNM dangles K50 Million for Christmas

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TNM Chief Executive Officer Michel Hebert

Pioneer mobile network company of TNM Plc has kicked off the festive season for its customers with a festive season and Christmas promotion, dangling K50 million.

Through the promotion that will end in February, TNM will reward customers with fabulous cash and non-cash prizes.

Launching the promotion this afternoon the telco’s head office, Chief Executive Officer, Michel Hebert, said the Christmas Promotion is TNM’s way of showing appreciation to its customers loyalty on the network and enhancing their 2023 festivity celebrations.

“This Christmas Promotion is a means through which we are giving back to our customers, appreciating them for standing by us through thick and thin.

“We hope that this promotion will also provide our customers an opportunity to enjoy this festive season with their loved ones through cash prizes that they will win in this promotion,” said Hebert.

Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing

Hebert also says that the company is committed to uplifting the lives of its customers and maximizing customers’ satisfaction and that the Christmas Promotion is also the company’s way of rewarding Malawians for showing resilience through hardships faced in 2023.

“As a network that has its customers’ welfare at heart, we empathize with the struggles Malawians went through in the year 2023 such as Cyclone Freddy, Cholera.

“We therefore hope that the cash prizes to be won will give new beginnings to our customers as they enter the new year ahead”, stated Herbet.

The Christmas promotion will see customers gaining an entry with each K500 recharge and winning cash prizes on weekly and monthly basis.

One lucky winner shall walk away with the grand prize of K10 million.

TNM which covers up to 88% of Malawi landscape also provides the 4G and 5G network services.

BT derby looms in Castel Semifinals

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Game in progress

The semifinals draw of the Ibongetse Castel Challenge Cup that was conducted on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium during the Wanderers and Moyale Barracks game, has provided a possibility of Blantyre derby involving FCB Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers.

The Nomads who defeated Moyale 3-0 in the quarter-finals will face the winner of the Round of 8 fixture between Bullets FC and Ekwendeni Hammers which will be played on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Lilongwe giants Silver Strikers will face Blantyre outfit Bangwe All Stars to complete the semifinal matches.

Castel Malawi Limited, sponsors of the Ibongetse Challenge Cup expressed optimism of entertaining football in the semifinals.

“As sponsors we are very happy to conduct the semifinals draw of the cup. The teams that are facing each other has shown great spirit of resilience and determination, therefore, we expect to see sustenance of good football,” said Lavern Chitakata, Head of Brand and Marketing at Castel Malawi.

Acknowledging the progress of Castel Challenge Cup, Chitakata commended the collaboration of various stakeholders that has contributed towards football development in the country.

“We are glad to reach the semifinals of the Cup which means that we have accomplished our objective of developing football. I would like to commend FAM, supporters and Regional Associations for being organised and ensure that over one thousand games have been played, together we are taking the game to great heights,” she said.

She added that so far, Castel cup has managed to develop football using the bottom-up approach.

Lavern Chitakata, Head of Brand and Marketing at Castel Malawi during the draw

“We are delighted with the level of talent and football that have been unearthed in the districts. The competition was stiff among teams and we believe that some players will upgrade to big football platforms,” added Chitakata.

Commenting on the possibility of the Blantyre derby after the game with Moyale, Wanderers coach Mark Harrison said that the team is ready to meet any opponent that comes on the way.

“We are quite comfortable with the outcomes of the draw that’s what football is all about. Whether we meet Bullets or Ekwendeni our expectation is that it will be good game with amazing football,” said Harrison.

The coach hailed his players for controlling the game and winning comfortably to reach the samifinal stage.

“Our focus is to reach the final and win the cup that’s the reason  we showed great spirit on the pitch. I’m happy that what we told players have been done during the game to help us win,” he added.

The 2023 season of Castel Challenge Cup was launched in June at Bingu National Stadium with an inaugural match between Silver Strikers and FCB Nyasa Bullets which the bankers won 3-2.

The final game is expected to take place on 31st December 2023 at  the same venue.

NBM starts renovating Unima, Luanar Basketball courts

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NBM, UNIMA officials and contractor inspecting the court

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has started renovating Basketball courts for the University of Malawi (Unima) and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) as promised during the launch of this year’s edition of the Mo626 College Basketball tournament.

On Wednesday, NBM officials led by the Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Akossa Hiwa and Mo626 College Basketball tournament brand ambassador, musician and entrepreneur Hayze Engola visited Unima to inspect the progress of the works at the court.

Hiwa expressed satisfaction, and outlined that the inspection helped the technical team evaluate improvement areas on the project.

“Over and above the actual inspection, we’ve engaged with the UNIMA basketball team and gotten their insight on the project. This further presented an opportunity for NBM plc officials to engage with UNIMA and BASMAL officials.”

“I would say that 70 percent of the construction work has been done and the remaining 30 percent is expected to be closed off in the next two weeks. Thereafter, we expect to make it into phase two of the project. It is my hope that students will get to appreciate the end product after they return to school from their Christmas break,” she said.

Hiwa further said this year, the tournament has seen more teams registering which shows that students have seen the value that Mo626 College Basketball is bringing to the institutions.

“We factored the renovation of basketball courts as one way of giving back to the institutions that we work with on Mo626 Basketball. As a Bank, we believe in creating sustainable impact. This is why we are constructing basketball courts that will be utilized by students and visitors at these two institutions for 5,10 years or more,” explained Hiwa.

Unima Ladies Hawks captain, Forget Mkandawire commended NBM plc for renovating the facility.

“The old court was in bad shape which put us at risk of injuries. The new court will help us to have more time for training and host games, which also gives us an upper hand to win the Mo626 College Basketball and other tournaments,” she said.

ACB hails Castel Malawi on anti-corruption drive

Chizuma and Zimba (middle) carrying a banner with Anti-corruption message

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director, Martha Chizuma has commended the giant alcoholic producer in Malawi, Castel for its strong stance against corruption at the company.

Chizuma was speaking in Blantyre on Friday during the Anti-corruption activities organized by Castel Malawi ahead of the Anti-Corruption Day on Saturday.

The ACB Director said she was proud of Castel Malawi for being leaders from the private sector to join the fight against corruption.

“I am impressed and encouraged that a private sector institution could think of coming up with a day like this. You don’t usually see the private sector getting involved. There are few that are doing this, and also, maybe to a level that Castel Malawi has done.”

Chizuma and Zimba (middle) flanked by Castel employees during the integrity walk

“This is very important because as we celebrate the Anti-corruption day, those are the aspirations that we have as a country to achieve the Malawi2063 like industrialization, commercialization for agriculture services and others. All those things, it is the private sector that will help us achieve that. And it is not just any other private sector that can achieve that, but the ones that are corruption free,” said Chizuma.

Castel Malawi Human Resource and Corporate Affairs Director, Gloria Zimba said the goal is to raise awareness and foster a collective effort for the continued fight against corruption, a cause that aligns with the values they share under their Corporate Social Responsibility.

“We declared last year and we are continuing with that declaration that Castel Malawi is a corrupt free organization, and we will try our level best to put in as much funding as we can to fight corruption internally. This day is important to us, that is why we have involved all our employees in the integrity march.”

Castel employees during the integrity walk

“We want every employee to internalize the fight. It is not a fight which management, ACB, or government can do on its own. Every individual employee is called upon to take the responsibility, to blow the whistle when they see corrupt activities, or bribery taking place,” she said.

Zimba further indicated that since the declaration last year, the company has received a lot of whistleblowing both internal and external.

The commemoration of the day started with an integrity walk around Blantyre CBD with other partners like Deloitte, Malawi Law Society and Malawi Police accompanied by the Malawi Defense Force Band.

NBM plc in 12 Days of Christmas K70 million donations

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Akossa Hiwa- 12 days of Christmas

National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc will for the third consecutive year celebrate this year’s Christmas with its stakeholders by donating K70 million worth of various items to educational and health-care institutions through a corporate social investment programme dubbed ’12 days of Christmas’.

NBM plc introduced the initiative in 2021 and through it, has impacted sectors such as education and health care through donations made by the Bank  across the country.

Last year, the programme benefited institutions in Chitipa, Nkhotakota, Blantyre, Mzimba, Mangochi, Dowa, Mchinji, Salima, Ntcheu, Mwanza and Liwonde.

This year, the 12 Days of Christmas will benefit Area 25 Health Centre, Balaka Full Primary School, Mpemba Reformatory Centre, Kasungu Boma CDSS, Zomba Mental Hospital, Thyolo District Hospital, Mlangeni Police Training School, Rafik Foundations, among others.

Guided by the Bank’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) policy, the initiative will run from Thursday, December 7 to Friday, December 22, 2023.

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa, said the items to be given include learning aids, medical equipment and others.

“At the centre of the Festive season are love, community and giving. As a Bank of the Nation, NBM plc has the country at heart and strives to reach out to those that require assistance. 12 Days of Christmas gives us the opportunity to do that as the Bank, through its Service Centres, actively contributes to the welfare of 12 different institutions each December. The items we are going to distribute are worth over K70 million,” said Hiwa.

She added that the Bank prioritizes Education and Health because they are an integral part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Initiative (CSI) Policy. 

“Our decision of initiatives to support was highly influenced by sustainability. We would like the items presented to keep on giving long after the 2023 festive season is over when learners return to schools or medical centres continue to operate in 2024,” explained Hiwa.

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

NBS Bank acquires $5 million IFAD loan for agribusinesses 

Simwaka(right) shakes hands with Mukonyora

NBS Bank Plc has acquired a 10-year Five million US dollar loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to enable the Bank to provide specialized financial services and support to businesses involved in the agriculture sector.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations, dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in developing countries.

Speaking at the agribusiness conference organized in partnership with Netherlands-based Rabo Bank and IFAD, NBS Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer Temwani Simwaka, said the Bank’s role is to make sure that farmers and other businesses access financing to grow crops, produce, and add value.

“Looking at tea and macadamia, these are long-term crops and for macadamia it takes farmers seven years to start producing a crop that they can sell. As a Bank, we partnered with Rabo Bank to give us technical advice because it is a big agricultural bank. After that, we spoke to our customers and understood their needs and with that understanding we partnered with IFAD to support us by giving the funding so that we can lend to our farmers.”

NBS Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer Temwani Simwaka

“As NBS Bank, it would have been difficult to use our money for those long periods of time hence the support from our partners, RaboBank and IFAD. Again, most of these farmers export their crop and most of their costs are in foreign currency so it just makes sense for us to get money in US Dollars,” said Simwaka.

IFAD Country Representative Bernadette Mukonyora said their portfolio in the country is currently valued at 480 million US dollars supporting various sectors and sub sectors under agriculture, and irrigation among others.

“What we are doing now is looking at the agricultural sector as a critical driver of the Malawian economy. MW2063 talks about agricultural commercialization, we want to create value in this country, we want to create prosperity, and the agricultural sector is the one that will assist the government achieve that objective.”

IFAD Country Representative Bernadette Mukonyora

“Today we are launching our first non-sovereign operation with NBS Bank and under this program, we are providing a loan of 5 million US dollars. Part of this funding has come from the government of Germany, and then we as IFAD lend this money to NBS Bank which is supporting value chain development and financing to tea and macadamia farmers in this country,” said Mukonyora.

In his remarks, Tea Association of Malawi Vice Chairperson Atu Kalinga said the market has been very depressed in the past two or three years.

“Appropriate financing is a major problem, so this facility that NBS Bank is bringing in will solve the problems,” said Katunga.

NBS Bank re-established its Agribusiness unit two years ago.

TNM moves to improve doctors’ delivery

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Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing presents the donation to Dr. Parth Patel

Malawi’s pioneer mobile network and ICT services provider, TNM Plc, has contributed K6 million to Society of Medical Doctors (SMD) towards this year’s annual lakeshore conference.

The recent conference was held under the theme: “The Doctor’s Role on Disaster Preparedness in Malawi, ” at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.

Madalitso Jonazi, TNM’s Head of Brand and Marketing said that the contribution underscores the telco’s appreciation of doctors’ value in shaping the wellbeing of communities.

“TNM puts keen interest in issues that bind our communities together and uphold wellness of Malawians. Doctors are integral in the provision of excellent healthcare services that cut across every individual in the country, therefore, we saw it befitting to support the conference,” said Jonazi.

He said that through the donation, TNM highlights its commitment towards sustaining the positive contribution of doctors in the development of the country.

“Doctors play a critical role in the overall growth of Malawi. They are constantly involved in scientific and biological research to find solutions to crucial medical health issues that if left unattended deter developmental progress,” he said.

He said the conference agenda adds great value towards preparedness of disasters that have been rampant for the past recent years.

“We are all aware of the havoc that disasters have caused in the country. Disasters challenge the delivery of medical care services and practitioners are always the last hope for casualties. Therefore, we believe that the conference will provide great insights on steady preparations in times of disasters,” added Jonazi.

Secretary General for SMD, Dr. Parth Patel said that expressed optimism that the conference will provide a good platform for medical doctors to share new measures that could reduce impact of disasters in the country.

“Over the last couple of years Malawi have had occurrences of disasters that affected people resulting in loss of lives and properties. We believe that this conference will stimulates ideas from doctors to get ourselves prepared for disasters,” said Patel.

Expressing his gratitude to TNM, Patel said that the collaboration will help the country to have effective medical measures support provision of healthcare services during disaster.

“We are very grateful to TNM for this partnership which will help the conference achieve its intended purposes. To have such amount of money in this kind of economy is not a simple thing, the money will add value to the conference,” he said.

The conference will bring together 100 delegates comprising of Medical Doctors, Key Policy Makers, Researchers, and Academia from Government and Private Sector.

The Society of Medical Doctors (SMD) exists with the aim of providing a vehicle through which medical doctors can support the government and other players in their efforts to improve the delivery of health care in Malawi.

The society provides the space in which doctors can lobby and advocate for better health care systems on behalf of Malawians, through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and annual conferences.

Mzuzu Caucus baying for the head of Salima Sugar Executive Chairperson Kosamu

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By Iommie Chiwalo

Mzuzu Caucus leader addressing the media

Pressure is continuing to mount on the calls to have Salima Sugar Company Limited (SSCL) Acting Executive Chairperson Wester Kosamu to be removed from his position.

Joining the calls is Mzuzu City Youth Caucus which is urging the Attoney General’s office to expedite the prosecuting the culprits who swindled public money.

“We as well ask the appointing authority for the immediate removal of Mr Wester Kosamu as a Chairperson of Salima Sugar company for he is compromised to continue exercising his duties,” reads the statement signed by Gomezgani Nkhoma.

He noted with concern that recently MYC wrote Salima Sugar Company demanding an information in line with the access to information act but the efforts yielded no results.

“We believe the act was deliberate to frustrate our efforts of holding officers at company accountable. The Mzuzu Youth Caucus therefore demand the immediate removal of Mr Kosamu to save the face of a company and the reputation of our beloved country,” he said.

He says the action is necessary now because it is still fresh in the minds of Malawians that the Malawi Law Society Disciplinary Committee had recently suspended Kosamu from practising Law for six months for allegedly misappropriating client’s money.

“This major development is enough for Kosamu to be removed from office and it has left tongues wagging as to why he’s still manning the institution at a time when his judgement is questionable,” he said.

The grouping has since commended the office of Attorney General for making public findings of the audit his office ordered to be carried out at Salima Sugar.

Salima Sugar is currently entangled in a web of misfortune due to poor management at the helm of it largely due to personal aggrandisement.

Brian gets his big film break in the Big Apple

There are not many young boys from Zomba who grow up with a dream and by the age of 25, find themselves living that dream, complete with a two-month stay in New York City.

However that is the way Brain Magombo finds his life unfolding right now following his successful graduation from the Southern Africa MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy last month.

Brian was one of a group of enthusiastic, young TV and film hopefuls who entered the Academy in January this year, and has just graduated with flying colours. Facilitators were so impressed with his work during the year, he was awarded an 8-week internship at the prestigious New York Film Academy in America.

Given his natural flair for film, it’s not surprising that Brian has excelled in this way. Growing up, he was always curious about how films were made. His father worked in media, and there was often a camcorder in the house. Brian would experiment with these video recorders and make home videos with friends, which nurtured his love for film.

“After school I studied journalism at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Studies. It was then that I learnt about documentary making, and my passion for video and filmmaking grew. I am driven by learning, as I believe we never stop learning in life. So although I had some knowledge from my journalism course, I wanted to learn much more about film,” Brian explains.

After a lecturer gave him the MTF application details, Brian applied to attend the Academy. He believes his exuberance during the interview process secured his spot.

“I think they liked my enthusiasm. I had a lot of it!” he laughs. “I was very open-minded and showed them that I wanted to learn. I was also confident, because I knew that even though I wasn’t professionally trained, I had been passionate about film my whole life. I had also decided that I wanted to contribute to growing film in Malawi – I wanted to be part of that start-up story.”

When at the Academy, Brian wasted no time developing his skills to secure his future career. He immersed himself in the theoretical and practical teachings, gaining as much as he could from the industry expert teachers, and thrived on the opportunity to develop personally and professionally with like-minded people.

“The course was jam-packed. The entire scope of filmmaking was condensed into just 11 months. There was a lot to digest and to apply at the same time, so I really had to stay on my toes. When you’re learning from online tutorials, so many important aspects are overlooked.

But when you’re learning from industry veterans, you get to learn every detail from a different perspective, including marketing, distribution and making a film on a budget. I grew up idolising certain film projects, and the people who worked on those were now teaching me. That is an out of this world experience,” he says.

Beyond the skills development, Brian learnt a lot about himself. He has never worked in a team environment before and never been in a leadership position. His time at the Academy exposed him to both.

“I was privileged to direct one of the final productions we had to do. I got to inspire people to work together to achieve a common goal. I learnt to appreciate every aspect of the filmmaking process, not just about ‘I’ but about ‘we’ as a team.  You’re dealing with different characters in all these different people, and you have to learn to manage them. Making films is always going to be about good team work. At the end of the day, it’s not about me as an individual and what I do, but about the film we produce together,” he explains.

As part of the programme, Brian and his peers were trained by facilitators from the New York Film Academy. He hopes to build on this knowledge when he visits the Academy in 2024 – an opportunity for which he is nervous and excited at the same time!

On his return, Brian wants to use his international experience to begin building his film career, starting with using film to grow awareness of Malawi as a country and to help address unemployment among the youth.

“Film in Malawi is an untapped gold mine ripe for exploring. I want to use my creativity to help better the Malawian people, especially the youth. I also want to tell Malawi’s story to the world. Not many people know about this small, African country. God willing I can use my creativity to help young people and tell our story at the same time,” Brian states.

He understands that most Southern African countries face the same issues, so would like to learn from other MTF alumni and see how they are working with film in their countries, and contributing to the growth of their creative industries.

“MTF was life changing for me,” he affirms. “I don’t take any part of this experience for granted and appreciate all the opportunities afforded to me. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge imparted to me as an individual and as a creative. Thousands of people would have loved to have been in the position I was in at MTF, I understand that, and want to make good on that opportunity I was given.”

The MTF Southern Africa academy class graduated on 17 November 2023, after a 12-month intensive programme inclusive of practical and in-class theoretical curriculum accredited by the University of Zambia. The graduation celebrated the talent and hard work of 19 students across six countries in the Southern region, who have put in many hours of honing their skills and expanding their knowledge and networks in the industry. There were two students from Malawi, including Brian Magombo bringing the total since MTF’s inception to 8.

WE ARE BACK! – MultiChoice Announces the Return of DStv Services in Malawi

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MultiChoice Africa Holdings (“MAH”) is excited to announce to its valued Malawian customers of the resumption of the DStv service in Malawi.

The resumption of the service follows the ruling delivered by the High Court in Lilongwe on 1st December 2023 in the matter between Raise 1996 (Pty) Ltd t/a MultiChoice Malawi (“MCM”) and the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (“the Authority”).


“We are happy to be resuming services in Malawi and want to assure our customers
that they can resume accessing our services as before.  Apart from the service resumption, as a gesture of goodwill, MAH will provide free access to our Malawian customers, who have been active at least once within this current year i.e. from 1st April 2023, and who have an operational DStv decoder, to our premium package for 9 days from 6th December to 14th December 2023.  

Thereafter, access will be based on subscription fees paid.” – Keabetswe Modimoeng, Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Stakeholder Management


We would further like to inform our valuable customers that we are reactivating all the
payment platforms to enable resumption of the payment of subscriptions fees as per
the price schedule effective on 1st August 2023.


For further information, customers can also check their price schedule by visiting the
DStv website www.dstv.com/en-mw, using the MyDStv App, on the payment platforms
or calling the MultiChoice Malawi call center on 011 189 5777 or 089 100 2677.


MAH has maintained an array of packages on the DStv platform ranging from DStv
Premium to DStv Kufewa, ensuring that every customer has a chance to access their
services and experience quality entertainment.

25 win in NBS ‘Savings always Win’ promo

Twenty-five people have received an early Christmas gift from NBS Bank Plc after winning various prizes in the ‘Savings always Win’ promotion which encourages a saving culture among the Banks’ customers.

The lucky winners from different NBS Service Centres with entries in the past five months have walked away with return air ticket trips, K50,000 worth of grocery vouchers, and K25,000 bill payments in a promotion that ends December 31.

Speaking during the draw on Monday, NBS Southern and Eastern Region Cluster Manager Gracious Changaya said the response has been overwhelming.

“We are giving back to our customers who have been supportive to us through and through, and as a ‘Caring Bank’, it is also a way of also encouraging them to save, that is why we have these three categories to make sure all customers are taken into consideration.”

“This is a time that most people spend and it is also our responsibility to make sure that we help them to plan for the future as you are aware come January most people would want to send their children to school and would want to invest in their farms, that is why we are urging them to save now,” said Changaya.

Grand prizes are tiered in three different bands with those depositing K50,000 minimum standing a chance of winning K1 million, those depositing in the K100,000 to K500,000 band winning K3.5 million and lastly in band three for those depositing K500,000 above to win K6 million cash prize.

The promotion was launched on June 25 this year and will end on 31 December 2023. 

CDEDI commends AG Chakaka, presses for removal of Kosamu at SSCL

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By IOMMIE CHIWALO

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is questioning the merit of maintaining Salima Sugar Company Limited leadership that is characterized by numerous financial scandals.

The target in the whole process is Executive Chairperson Wester Kosamu who at the moment is not understandable as to how he rose to the ranks and files of the company soon after the Malawi Law Society (MLS) Disciplinary Committee suspended him from practising law for six months on alleged misappropriation of clients money.

While commending Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda for making public contents of the recent forensic audit commissioned by the Malawi Government on SSCL, Namiwa says the starting point should be to immediately remove the SSCL Executive Chairperson Wester Kosamu from his position.

“The best expected of him was to step down then. To be precise, we at CDEDI find Mr. Kosamu too conflicted to continue representing the interest of Malawians at SSCL, let alone at the Greenbelt Authority (GBA),” says CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa in a statement.

“If the AG is really serious about clearing the corporate governance rubble at SSCL, we believe government’s starting point should be to immediately remove the SSCL Executive Chairperson Mr. Wester Kosamu from his position. Actually, he does not seem to represent the kind of change Malawians anticipate to see at SSCL,” he says.

There is also documentary evidence indicating that in just a few months that Kosamu has served as SSCL Executive Chairperson he has suspectedly abused his position by instructing SSCL to pay K7, 514, 250 in respect of customs duty for his personal property, a super link trailer.

According to Namiwa, infact based on available documents, SSCL paid in two instalments of K3,514,250 through Payment Voucher 1767 and Cheque no: 008058 and also Payment Voucher 1766 and Cheque no: 008057.

Further confirming the abuse of power, it is also alleged that Kosamu single-handily signed a consent order for an out-of-court settlement on a lawsuit involving SSCL without the boards approval, and committed SSCL to pay about K252 million in respect of the same.

“In view of what has transpired at SSCL, CDEDI urges government to keep an open eye on all joint venture entities under the GBA as we strongly fear that what is happening at SSCL could also be happening elsewhere. It should start with forensic auditing of all those GBA entities,” he said.

Namiwa has therefore, urged government to desist from selective justice when pursuing the matter at hand.

“In the same vein, CDEDI would like to appeal for periodic updates on the matter, to avoid speculations and misinformation that may thwart the well-intended exercise,” he says.

Through the televised press briefing beamed live on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation television, the AG recently assured Malawians that every tambala suspected to have been lost in this enterprise will be recovered.

“We would like to believe that the AG meant what he said, and he will keep his word to the letter,” said the CDEDI Executive Director.

Meanwhile, CDEDI seeks support from all well-meaning Malawians towards the AGs efforts in bringing sanity at SSCL.

“We know that all these efforts are aimed at saving SSCL, which was established to break the monopoly in the sugar manufacturing industry for the benefit of low-income consumers,”.

RBM told to act on Mount Meru over non-remittance of sugar export proceeds

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The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor to act on Mount Meru Millers’ failure to account for proceeds from sugar export in Rwanda.

According to a letter dated December 5, 2023, CDEDI’s action follows a Forensic Audit Report the Malawi government commissioned on Salima Sugar Company Limited (SSCL).

 “Right at the onset, CDEDI would like to draw your attention to pages 28 and 29 of the Forensic Audit Report the Malawi government commissioned on Salima Sugar Company Limited (SSCL) 5.1.7 under the sub-headline Malawi Kwacha Capital Contribution Repayments.

“The last paragraph on page 28 reads in part “SSCL supplied 1,500 MT of sugar inventory to Mount Meru Millers Limited and also provided an export clearance letter to the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for Mount Meru Millers Limited to export 12,000 MT of Sugar.

“CDHIB did not issue any release order in favour of Mount Meru Millers Limited, implying that this sugar was delivered without approval of CDHIB. Mount Meru Millers Limited sold SSCL sugar in Rwanda and no sale proceeds was declared to the Reserve Bank of Malawi.”

“Needless to remind you Sir, that the economy is on its knees due to the acute scarcity of forex. It is therefore, our expectation that matters of non-remittance of export proceeds ought to be treated with the seriousness they deserve.

“CDEDI, therefore, is requesting your office to act on the aforementioned, and ensure that the said proceeds are recovered and that Malawians are informed of the same in line with both the Republican Constitution and the Access To Information (ATI) Act,” reads part of the letter signed by CDEDI executive director Slyvester Namiwa.

There was no immediate reaction from Mount Meru Millers as we went to press.

NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER: DPP NGC meeting on tomorrow

Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) Secretary General Grezeder Jeffrey has once again assured all DPP faithful across the country that its national government body, the National Governing Council ( NGC) meeting is taking place tomorrow at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe from 8:30am.

She has trashed those who are against her constitutional mandate to call for the meeting as sanctioned by the High Court on 29th September, 2023.

Her remarks are coming in against some claims by other party officials that Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is not aware of the “consultation” between the two as demanded by the party’s constitution.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey has issued a statement where 71 members have been called to attend the meeting including party leader Mutharika.

“As party that abides by court orders and rule of law, we have no time to waste as the count down to 90 days is near. Those who want to drag their feet, let them know that courts determinations ate above their egos,” says Jeffry.

On 29th September this year, the High Court ordered the party to hold its NGC meeting and Convention within 90 days.

NBS Bank engages SMEs for improved service delivery

Malawi Stock Exchange listed NBS Bank on Thursday organized a clinic for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to transfer knowledge to each other and enable small businesses to participate in economic development successfully.

NBS Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer Temwani Simwaka said such clinics enable the Bank to understand the SMEs better and service them to their needs.

“As NBS Bank we believe that the future of the country is dependent on the businesses coming through from the SMEs because for us to strengthen the industry base we need a lot more, and also these are the people who will be able to save us forex by producing products locally but at the same time create jobs that the country so much needs.”

“So, as NBS Bank, we believe in partnering with SMEs for them to grow their businesses but at the same time we also believe in creating a platform for the SMEs to network,” said Simwaka.

One of the speakers, Chief Executive Officer of Maestros Designs Charles Lipenga said a lot of Malawians need access to loans but need some guidance and therefore making such clinics is important.

“This is something that Malawi needs especially with access to finance being a big challenge. NBS Bank is offering us a brilliant thing for the country and individuals. We rely on a lot of Malawians with small and medium enterprises which need access to loans but the challenge is that they need some guidance that’s why these clinics are important,” said Lipenga.

One of the participants, Honest Chirwa of Royal Medical Centre and Kateya Farms Limited in Rumphi, thanked NBS Bank for the initiative which he said gives room for entrepreneurs to learn from each other.

“In life not only in business, we learn from each other or somebody’s experience may teach you lessons whether it is failure or success. I believe that failure is part of success as long as you keep on moving,” said Chirwa.

Last year, NBS Bank Plc relaunched its SME offerings to cater for individuals who run small and medium businesses.

CDEDI FEARS POLITICS COULD KILL SALIMA SUGAR COMPANY

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Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI suspects that developments unfolding at the Salima Sugar Company Limited-SSCL smack more of politics than institutional governance and have far-reaching consequences on the company’s survival if left unchecked.

It fears this might also scare away both existing and potential investors; warning politicians to take their hands off the company.

CDEDI has made the observation following revelations that High Court froze the company’s bank accounts until it owes Audit Consult K623 million for conducting a forensic audit.

Executive Director for the local governance grouping, Sylvester Namiwa further demands that the company’s executive chairperson Wester Kosamu should make public the scope of audit work justifying a claim of that figure.

In a statement, Namiwa demands Kosamu provides all other related reimbursements including any relevant documentary evidence that validate to validate the K623 million claim.

He has since called on Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda to vacate the injunction which he argued has crippled the company’s operations.

“Malawians may wish to know that the initial contract for the audit signed in June 2023 was pegged at K160 million, and was duly paid but by the time the draft audit report was released the cost for producing the audit had ballooned to K250 million.

“In the same vein, Cdedi demands an explanation from SSCL former executive chairperson Shirieesh Betgri on why he accepted liability for an audit that was commissioned by government in exercise of its oversight role,” reads the statement in part.

CDEDI has given concerned parties seven days “to do the needful; or we will be forced to take drastic action in the interest of the common good.”

A month ago, Secretary to President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba ordered deployment of state security at the company’s factory after an interim audit report exposed that payments amounting to K50 billion could not be validated.

Veep tees off in major Standard Bank golf tourney

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Vice President Saulos Chilima has led a field of 110 golfers in today’s Standard Bank individual stableford tournament under the theme;”We Believe in Malawi” at Lilongwe Golf Club.

First to hit the greens was Chief Executive Phillip Madinga and Chairman Chris Kapanga, as corporate golfers including Tourism Minister Vera Kamtukule cheered on. The weather in Lilongwe is cloudy with a chance of rain, but visibility of the green is clear.

LGC Captain Duncan Chidzankufa has welcomed the partnership with Standard Bank saying the bank ranks as one of the most prestigious sponsors of the game of golf in Malawi.

“Lilongwe Golf Club is thrilled to be part of this exciting event. Golfers can anticipate a competitive yet enjoyable tournament with the support of such a prestigious sponsor of Standard Bank’s caliber,” he said.

Corporate journalist Thomas Chafunya, who is also Vice President of the Golf Union of Malawi says he looks forward to an exciting, but very competitive tournament and thanked Standard Bank for returning to Lilongwe Golf Club.

ROAD TO DPP CONVENTION: CEO Grezelder Jeffrey calls for NGC meeting on Dec 6

Main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey has called for a party’s National Governing Council meeting to be held on Wednesday, December 6.

Jeffrey annouced the news during a press briefing held at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.

According to Jeffrey, the delegates at the meeting, will among others agree on the date to hold party’s elective convention.

In her words, Jeffrey who has already informed party’s president Peter Mutharika on the impending NGC meeting, said the decision to have NGC meeting follows a high court order.

In September, the High Court in Lilongwe ordered the DPP to hold a convention within 90 days.

Initially, the former governing DPP was supposed to hold a convention mid this year but the conference was pushed to next year.

Nico supports Misa Malawi fundraising dinner with K2.5 million

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Nico Holdings plc has supported the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi 2023 fundraising dinner with a K2.5 million donation.

Speaking in Blantyre during a cheque presentation event, Nico Holdings plc Corporate Affairs Manager Mbumba Mlia-Ndasauka said the donation is evidence of their commitment towards initiatives that involve the media industry.

“The donation we are making today is a small part of this commitment and we truly value the relationship our media practitioners have always had. At NICO, we believe that the media plays a very important role in disseminating information to the masses and we are proud to be among the corporates that can support this sector,” she said.

Mlia-Ndasauka also said NICO has been able to send over 10 journalists to South Africa for training with the Sanlam Summer School for Financial Journalists and fully supports Misa-Malawi fundraising for the construction of a training centre at its Mtolankhani House in Lilongwe.

“Let me encourage our media practitioners to remain professional in their reporting of matters, especially business and financial space and to make good use of the facility that will be put up for them,” she said.

Receiving the donation, Mc Donald Chapalapata a member of the Miss-Malawi Fundraising Committee, who was accompanied by Misa-Malawi Board Member Nathan Majawa, hailed NICO Holdings plc for the support.

“We thank NICO for this support, it will go a long way towards making our project of constructing a training centre which is pegged at K50 million a success. We value the relationship we have with NICO as they also support journalists with various training sessions in South Africa,” he said.

He said the fundraising dinner is scheduled for Saturday 2 December 2023 at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe under the theme ‘Media as a strategic partner for private sector growth and viability’.

TNM BOOSTS MISA MALAWI FUNDRAISING DINNER AND DANCE WITH 6 MILLION KWACHA

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Mobile network and ICT service provider TNM has contributed K6 million towards the Misa Malawi fundraising dinner and dance scheduled for this Saturday at Sunbird Capital Hotel Lilongwe.

Speaking during the cheque presentation ceremony TNM’s Corporate Affairs Manager Limbani Nsapato said TNM believes in media freedom and professionalism hence supporting Misa Malawi towards construction of the training centre through the fundraising dinner and dance.

“Trends change and they continue to do so. And we believe as a company that for a more vibrant media in Malawi there is need for the media to undergo regular and continuous training. And it is through the construction of a training centre at Misa Malawi that this can be achieved.

“And the benefits of such development can be enjoyed by all including us the private sector. For the past 27 years that we have been operating as a company in Malawi, we all our success to the media hence our support towards this noble cause,” said Nsapato.

Receiving the donation on behalf of Misa Malawi Chairperson for the Fundraising Committee Wisely Phiri said the media in Malawi is encouraged with the support it is is receiving from partners including TNM.

“As of today all preparations for the dinner and dance are complete. We are excited with the support we have received from partners like TNM which has today given us 6 Million kwacha which is a big chunk for us.

We are targeting to raise 50 million kwacha from this event and two other functions in future. We want to have everything done by mid next year,” said Phiri, who is also founder of ICT Company Sparcs Ltd.

Misa Malawi is set to hold a fundraising dinner and dance this Saturday under the theme media as a strategic partner for private sector growth and viability.

William Mpinganjira of FDH Bank is set to deliver a keynote address whilst musician Faith Mussa will perform at the dinner.

Triephornia Mpinganjira drums up Malawi Spelling Bee team support

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Philanthropist and businesswoman, Triephornia Thomson Mpinganjira has drummed up support for the six young Malawian children who are going to represent the country at the Africa Spelling Bee competition in Uganda next week.

Triephornia, wife to business mogul, Thom Mpinganjira, made a surprise visit to the Team’s camp in Lilongwe Wednesday to motivate them to do well at the competition after donating some air tickets to the travelling team.

“I just wanted to encourage them because this is something big for the nation and I even challenged them to bring the trophy home because they can do it,” she said in an interview after the visit.

The Malawi Spelling Bee Team who are in the age range of 8-17 leaves the country on Tuesday next week through Kamuzu International Airport to take part in the competition in Kampala, Uganda, which runs from 6-9 December 2023 and is expected back home on 11 December 2023. The team will be accompanied by officials and members of the press.

In her motivational speech to the team, Mpinganjira pledged to give the team a ‘special convoy’ from her Diplomats Car Hire to ferry them to Airport and shuttle them back.

“From today onwards, I would like to be part of the Spelling Bee competition. We will support it from the grassroots and to any level that it gets to in the coming two, three or even 10 years,” she said.

One of the six children taking part in the competition, Michelle Makwelero from Kamuzu Academy said the visit by Mpinganjira has boosted their confidence.

“I feel more confident and encouraged. I have a strong motivation that I have to bring back home the trophy. This is not only for me, but for every Malawian out there,” she said.

Puma predicts growth for MW aviation sector

Lilongwe, November 25, 2023 – Puma Energy Malawi Limited says the aviation sector in the country has great potential for growth a catalyst for sustained contribution to the overall development.

Managing Director for Puma Energy Malawi Limited, Sipho Uaeca, was speaking on the sidelines of the sponsorship Puma made towards Malawi’s first-ever Aviation Career Fair and Air Show organized by Phantom Aviation in Lilongwe.

According to Puma, vast investment in the multi-beneficial aviation sector presents numerous opportunities that enable the growth of other sectors. He further said that by applying a holistic approach and good investment, the aviation sector has great potential to grow.

“The aviation sector is important in the country because it contributes significantly to various sectors such as tourism, energy, and transport. Malawi is a landlocked country where aviation plays a great role in the country’s economy.”

He said that the aviation career fair brought visibility of the sector to the kids, a development that motivates them to consider an aviation career path.

“As Puma, we are thrilled to be part of this great occasion, which provided kids an opportunity to come and explore the aviation sector as a career path. We believe that kids in Malawi will be motivated to consider taking up aviation careers,” he said.

Uaeca added that the sponsorship resonates with Puma’s mission statement, which states ‘Energising Communities.’

“For many years, Puma has been an effective supplier of jet fuels in Malawi. It is interesting for us to witness the growth of the sector. The sponsorship augurs well with our mission, which seeks to add value to Malawian communities,” he added.

Outlining the objectives of the air show and career fair, Chief Executive Officer for Phantom Aviation, Lusekelo Mwenefumbo said that the events aimed at bridging the knowledge divide around aviation industry.

“As a key player in the aviation industry, we felt that there is information gap around the sector that needed to be closed. Therefore, we thought of organising this auspicious occasion to build capacity that elevate the capabilities of the industry,” said Mwenefumbo.

Counting the successes of the aviation events, Mwenefumbo expressed satisfaction with the overwhelming attendance.

“This occasion presented a platform for people to appreciate the abilities of aviation industry and what our air force is capable of doing. We are delighted with the attendance which shows that people of all ages have clear information about aviation sector,” she said.

She hailed the working collaboration with various sponsors like Puma who made the air show and career fair to be very successful.

Kamuzu Academy student Michel Khanje who witnessed the events of the day said she is determined to pursue aviation carer.

“This has been an amazing event for me, usually I wanted to be a lawyer but with what I have seen I wish to be a pilot in future. I was motivated with the skilful flying of the planes, it was stunning seeing such talents,” said Khanje.

During the Air Show, patrons were entertained with performance from South African-based Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish. Locally the event had performances by Malawian Airlines, Malawi Airforce, Derek Macpherson, African Parks, Nyasa Express, FCB Bank, Makokola Retreat, Conforzi Plantations.

Bullshit MNSC should investigate the change of money in the North by Haiya

Coming to the 16 December, 2023 elective Conference, the letter by MNSC is misguided and an unwarranted attempt to influence and meddle into the elections in favour of one particular candidate. This is irresponsible. What MNSC should have done if one has to take their cries seriously should have been to call for all the Reports and Minutes for all the Affiliates where they feel delegates were influenced.

Targeting SRFA only and not SULOM and NRFA simply because MNSC is against other candidates is very unfair, illogical and unprofessional. One even wonders as to the legal basis for their interference. Reading their statures closely you find ‘none’. MNSC should investigate the change of money in the North by Haiya.

The bulldozing of his candidature at SULOM. They are happy to allow Haiya contest while still serving as a Director of Nyasa Big bullets. This is bullshit on the part of MNSC. Let this body learn that favouring a candidate won’t do them any good. Let them wait for the 16th.

EXCLUSIVE: Unmasking “deadly” Malawi-Israeli labour export deal

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The airlifting of hundreds of young people by an Israeli Airbus A321-251 planes overnight Saturday will go in the history as one of the ‘deadly’ and selfish’ decisions by President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s administration; No sane parent can send his or her child to work in a country that is at war.

The ‘secret’ deal to send the youth to Israeli was revealed in Parliament by leader of opposition Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, who said: “Government opted to keep the issue secret because it knows this is an “evil transaction.”

An independent investigation by this publication has revealed that some top government officials including State House and Cabinet Ministers are benefiting in the ‘secret’ Malawi-Israeli labour export deal, ‘evil transaction’ as to borrow the words from Nankhumwa.

They even shared the $60, 000 which Israel government donated to Malawian government as a token of appreciation for the labour export deal.

To begin with, the master-minder for the deal is Nir Gess, Honorary Consul of Malawi to the State of Israel. The publication has learnt that Gess is a trusted friend of President Rev Chakwera. He was recently caught in camera welcoming the Malawian delegation upon landing in Israel.

Gess, the founder for Inosselia Group, a firm which is recruiting Malawians youth to work in farms located in areas that have been heavily affected by the war, has his son Or Gouaz working as a middle man for the deal.

Gouaz is working hand in hand with Chifundo Danny Banda, a relation to the Minister of Finance Simples Chithyola Banda. Banda under his briefcase company ‘Lions Human Resource Management Services is at the centre of recruiting Malawians to work in Israel.

The Israeli Agriculture Ministry is on record as having said that between 30,000 and 40,000 workers have left the country’s farms, half of whom are Palestinians who were barred from entering Israel from the occupied West Bank since the Oct. 7 attacks.

The Government of Israeli is further on the record to have declared some areas War Zones, to the surprise some Malawians and other people will be deployed to farms in those war zone areas.

The publication has also learnt that some Malawians will be helping soldiers wounded during the war.

“The Israeli army has thousands of newly wounded soldier’s and by law, Ministry of Defence offers full subsidy for foreign workers to work at their houses and help them recover,” reads one of the communiqué from Israeli government.

NBM awards winners in ICT Innovation Jam

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National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc at the weekend awarded eight youthful ICT innovators in the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) Innovation Jam competition in Mangochi.

The awards which were presented during the ICTAM annual lake conference, saw Richard Mtukula of Angle Dimensions winning in the Fintech and Digital Economy category with his Smart Identity software which allows customers to update their ‘Know Your Customer (KYC) details in the comfort of their home using a phone or computer device.

Mtukula got K1.5 million for the feat.

Innovators were competing in eight categories namely Agri-tech, e-Health, Fintech and Digital Economy, Emerging Technologies, Open Source, She Codes Spotlight, and Overall Open category.

Patrick Hambeyani and Christina Mapwele won the Agri-tech category with their Secure IOT Chicken Monitoring System, while e-health went to Matthews Jere and Tadala Mabulo of Khungu Langa Innovation on top of an overall open category award which saw them got an extra K500,000 from the K1 million prize.

Ronald Chikusa won the Emerging Technologies award with his Dwell Malawi innovation, while in the Open-Source category, Eliot Kalenga emerged winner for his Fees Collection Management System (FECOMAS).

Sarah Makina’s Drip monitor innovation won the She Codes Spotlight category. All the winners got a K1 million prize and will get incubation support from NBM and ICTAM.

Mtukula was elated with the award and said; “There is a need for innovators and ICT personnel to look outside the country where they can be able to showcase what they have developed because the young people in this nation are capable of exporting quality software just like the one that we have the ‘Smart Identity’. We believe that if we can export these skill sets and software products, they will be able to contribute towards the development of the country by bringing in forex.”

NBM plc Head of Information and Technology Operations Management (ITOM), John Mitchell said there is evidence that the world is now revolving around technology innovations hence the support from the Bank.

“Whatever is exciting people in the world is coming from the technology sector, Malawi can’t be any different so we have to drive this sector if we are to compete on the world stage. National Bank believes that the youth and technology best drive the future of Malawi. A sector that doesn’t invest in ICT technologies cannot compete on the world stage.”

“National Bank is interested in the goodwill of the Malawi nation and thinks that it can play its role by supporting ICTAM which is trying to assist the youth in the ICT sector to develop their products to a level which they can compete on the international stage,” said Mitchell.

Last week, the Bank announced a new partnership with ICTAM until 2026 where among other things, is injecting K75 million annually for the innovation incubation support, apart from the K40 million for the Innovation Jam awards.

ICTAM President Clarence Gama said he was excited that the 2023 innovation awards have revealed some of the top-notch technology that will transform the nation.

“We have received three times as much in terms of the innovation that we have been receiving in the past, this just tells you there are a lot of young people that are thinking how best they can transform this nation using technology,” said Gama.

NBM started sponsoring the Innovations Jams in 2019.

Kalulu, Hiroshi win NBM Inspire Greatness Golf

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A team of golfers Mike Kalulu and Hiroshi Baba emerged champions of the National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc Inspire Greatness Invitational Golf played at Lilongwe Golf Club on Saturday.

The Inspire Greatness Golf comes after about two years since NBM plc hosted and attracted interest from 126 golfers including the country Vice President, Saulos Chilima, Minister of Tourism, Vera Kamtukule, retired Malawi Defense Force (MDF) commanders, General Henry Odilo and General Vincent Nundwe among others.

Kalulu and Baba amassed 47 points to win the tournament.

Kalulu said teamwork helped them to win the tournament.

“I had a new playing partner, but we collaborated well. We thank NBM plc for organizing the tournament which has attracted great golfers, so you should understand that it was not easy to win by beating all those golfers,” said Kalulu.

NBM plc Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mcfussy Kawawa commended the golfers for patronizing the tournament saying the aim was just to interact with the customers as they discuss business matters.

“While playing, your shot might have inspired someone to keep playing. On the course, we shared stories that may have inspired someone. At NBM plc, we believe in ‘Inspiring Greatness’,” he said.

On the possibility of returning on the Golf course with a similar tournament, Kawawa said: “Of course, but we do not want to commit because we only organize such tournaments when we feel we have to do that, unlike in the past when we had a calendar that we will host a National Bank of Malawi golf on such a day.”

NBM donated K3 million for the maintenance of the greens at Lilongwe Golf Club.

PIL donates textbooks to Mchinji school

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Petroleum Importers Limited, a consortium of four oil marketing companies in Malawi, has donated 405 textbooks worth K4.5 million to Takondwa Community Day Secondary School in Mchinji.

Speaking after presenting the books, PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko said the company which comprises Puma, Total Energies, Vivo Energy, and Petroda, felt the need to help the school as part of its corporate social responsibility.

“As a company, we commit to supporting the health sector, education, and safety. We all know that education requires collaborative effort because the Government alone cannot manage to supply all the needs. We believe that our contribution to the development of education will go a long way in motivating these students to work hard and pass with flying colours because we have brought textbooks for different subject codes and all classes.”

“Our hope is that the students and teachers will take care of the books so that they also benefit the other crop of students coming behind them,” said Msimuko.

Takondwa Community Day School deputy headteacher Samson Fredrick Katchere commended PIL for the donation saying books were part of the numerous problems the school is facing.

“We teachers are curriculum implementers, but it becomes a problem when you do not have proper and enough materials to achieve that. This support will enhance learning and teaching at our school,” he said.

The school’s head girl, Verina Henry, also thanked PIL for the donation saying it will help girls to work hard in class.

“We face a lot of challenges as girls, and to have proper books for our studies means we will be able to study after classes. We commend PIL for choosing to help our school,” said Henry.

According to the deputy headteacher, Takondwa CDSS has 280 students with 16 teachers. Only four of the teachers are housed at the school, while the rest stay at Kalulu Trading Centre, a distance of about eight kilometres.

Total Energies distributes helmets to Kabaza operators

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Total Energies Marketing Malawi Limited (TMML) has launched a safety campaign dubbed ‘Helmet 4 Life’ where among other activities, the company will distribute helmets to Kabaza motorcycle taxi operators to enhance their safety on the roads.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign at Tsiranana Service Station in Limbe, where the company distributed 300 helmets to Kabaza operators from various areas in Blantyre, TMML Managing Director Nerusha Govender said as a responsible corporate entity, the company realizes that road safety is fundamental to their business and a value to the company.

“We are targeting 1520 Kabaza operators for Malawi, but 100,000 in 40 countries where Total Energies operates. We have an important philosophy ‘safety for me for you for all’ and what we want is for the Kabaza operators to be safe for themselves and also to be safe for their passengers,” said Govender.

In his remarks, Road Safety Alert Foundation (ROSAF) Executive Director Joel Jere said he is thankful that the long-time discussion between his organization and TMML has finally materialized.

“It has been a long discussion that we should be able to help these Kabaza operators as one of our target groups and also looking at the increase in the number of accidents. So, we are very happy that Total Energies have taken a good step to distribute these helmets today,” said Jere.

Kabaza Association of Malawi spokesperson Tonex Yakobe thanked TMML and ROSAF for the initiative.

“As an association, we are going to make sure that the helmets are being used correctly and that no-one has sold his helmet because Total Energies wants us to be safe,” said Yakobe.   

According to TMML, 28 percent of road accidents in the world involve motorbikes and can reach 75 percent in certain countries.

TMML is celebrating its 60-year presence as a major player in the energy distribution sector in Malawi.

Standard Bank customer wins K10m in Switch Your Salary and Win promoBa

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After making four customers millionaires and transformed lives with fabulous cash prizes, Standard Bank Plc has made a Mchezi-based customer, Elemiya Mariko K10 million richer in the Switch Your Salary and Win promotion.

He emerged a grand winner during the final draw of the promotion that was launched in June to convert salary earners into Standard Bank Plc customers with access to flexible loans and seamless financial services.

Reacting to the good news of his winning, excited Mariko thanked Standard Bank for the promotion that has transformed his economic status.

“I can’t believe that I have won such a huge amount of money in the promotion. This is a great opportunity for me as I am optimistic of a financial transformation that will help my family. All I can say is thank you Standard Bank for Switch Your Salary and Win promo,” said Mariko.
Standard Bank Plc has expressed satisfaction with the positive social economic impact the promotion has made on customer lives.

Speaking during the grand draw, Standard Bank’s Chief Executive Phillip Madinga said that the prizes have uplifted lives of customers.

“Before this grand draw, we conducted four draws where we distributed over K18 million in cash prizes. From the sentiments we got from winners we are compelled to say that winners made opportune use of the money,” said Madinga.

Madinga disclosed that through the promotion the customer base has grown by 14%.

“We are glad to note a 14% increase in new customers joining the Bank and 4% more loans processed and approved since we launched this promotion. Switch your salary and Win aimed at engaging customers through the bank’s value proposition, advanced solutions, and improved service. The cash prizes were deliberately chosen so that winners can then direct funds to their most urgent needs,” he said.

Switch Your Salary and Win promotion presented numerous opportunities to customers because they enjoyed excellent banking services while reaping better rewards.

“Our purpose is to drive the growth of Malawi, therefore, we believe that the promotion has helped contributed towards our core value. While we strive to provide amazing banking services, we are enabling customers to win great prizes,” he said.

He said that the promotion has seen more Malawians moving to join Standard Bank, which in turn is taking over their loans while offering them flexible repayment terms of up to five years.

“Standard Bank has several market leading products, and we are one of the few Banks that offer a seamless loan process. These services position the bank as a solutionist in the financial sector a long time aspect we preserve with great honor,” added Madinga.

Through the promotion, Malawians were encouraged to move their salary accounts from other banks to Standard Bank, which in turn takes over their loans and offers a flexible repayment of up to five years.

Malawi Govt hails partnership with Huawei

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Government through the Ministry of education has lauded Huawei Technologies Malawi for playing an integral role in the implementation of Malawi digitalisation plan which is enhancing service efficiency and delivery.

Director of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Ministry of Education, Professor Chomora Mikeka was speaking in Lilongwe during the closing ceremony of Huawei’s flagship initiative dubbed Seed for Future program.

According to Mikeka the intervention by Huawei is contributing significantly towards the National Digitalisation Strategy which seeks to enhance the uptake of technology.

“Malawi government has put digitalisation top on the agenda to enhance service efficiency and delivery, therefore, in our ministry digitalisation is part of transforming education. This training by Huawei is very critical because it is providing cutting edge digital skills that are important to propagate our digitalisation strategy,” said Mikeka.

Mikeka emphasised on the need to invest in digital skills for young people saying such initiatives augurs well with Malawi Vision 2063 plan.

“Young people need to be invested in technology right now because we are planting the seeds not only for future but even now. Once these are digitally empowered as part of human capital development which is useful for all the sectors, will help in the attainment of our MW2063 vision,” he said.

He added that through digital skills, Malawi could be able to export jobs virtually and enable the growth of the country.

“Huawei has strategically pulled a good chunk of young people in both public and private universities which could work virtually for international organizations such as Huawei and Microsoft,” added Mikeka.

Managing Director for Huawei Technologies Malawi, Gu Mu expressed optimism for Malawi’s digital transformation agenda.

“At Huawei we are proud to successfully implement this year’s Seed for the Future program which has equipped Malawian youths with newfound knowledge and cultural experiences. We believe that the application of such knowledge will help Malawi’s digital transformation journey,” said Gu Mu.

Gu Mu argued the trained student to make good use of the acquired knowledge as it presents great opportunities for growth.

“To the bright minds who participated in this program your dedication, curiosity, and resilience have helped you to succeed in the program in order to improve yourself and Malawi as a country. As you return to your various universities, remember the knowledge and skills you have learned so that you can apply it in your lives and share it with others,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Education for making this year’s training a success.

“We would like to thank these ministries for their support towards our program. Together, we are shaping a future where innovation and technology knows no borders, and the seeds we have planted today flourish for years to come,” added Gu Mu.

Castel Malawi offers employees post devaluation bail-out package

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Giant alcoholic beverages producer Castel Malawi has responded to the recent 44% devaluation of the kwacha by offering its employees the 15% on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (Cola) and a once-off shopping voucher worth K150,000 for its 620 strong workforce effective 1 December 2023.

In an internal memorandum circulated to all staff members dated 21 November 2023 signed by Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Director Gloria Zimba indicates that management has decided to offer the 15% increment across the board.

“I am also pleased to announce a 15% adjustment on the following allowances; car allowance, fuel allowance, travel and accommodation allowances, driver allowances, flexibility allowances and depot lunch allowances.”

“Management also appreciates the economic hardships which its employees are facing due to the devaluation. To help cushion the immediate negative impact, management has decided to give a once-off shopping voucher of K150,000. This voucher will be given to all employees by the first week of December 2023,” reads the memo in part.

Zimba said Castel Malawi trusts that with the interventions, employees will continue to remain resilient, committed and hard working ‘in these turbulent times’.

Castel Malawi Workers Union (Camawu) president Rueben Kapito commended Castel Malawi for its decision to cushion workers from the impact of the devaluation of the kwacha.

In an interview yesterday, Kapito however said they notice the that ‘gap is too huge’ and that they will enter into more negotiations with management on the issue.

“While we applaud management for adjusting the ‘Cola’, we notice that the gap is too huge and we will engage management more on this. But we also understand that we are both living in difficult times. We know that this adjustment is for Cola and we still have to bargain for a salary increment in a month’s time, that is where the consolation comes in,” said Kapito.

Government announced a 44% devaluation of the kwacha two weeks ago to align it with the value of the main trading currency, the United States dollar and the development has seen the rise in prices of goods and services including fuel and food stuff.

Concerned Northerners ask MLS to probe bogus ‘lawyer’ Mc Lean Mkandawire

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A group under the banner Concerned Northerners has asked the Malawi Law Society to probe ‘bogus’ lawyer McLean Mkandawire.

According to sources, Mkandawire was an associate Lawyer to Mustapher Amidu.

The concerned group says the bogus lawyer Mkandawire was caught pants down in town issuing suspicious lawsuits under different law firms such as Atkin Chambers.

However, the sole owner of Altkin Chambers is on suspension and Mkandawire was not supposed to run the film since he is just two years in practice.

“He is busy filing law suits sometimes under Altin chambers and you sometimes under MN Patrick’s. This is so shocking,” said leader for the concerned group.

The publication understands that his Licence is renewed under MN Patrick’s but he is not either on the letter head as a partner or an associates, but he keeps on serving people with summons for either these two law firms.

NBM invests K345 million in ICT initiatives

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National Bank of Malawi Plc has committed K345 million in the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives in the country for the next three years.

The Bank’s Head of Information Technology Organisation and Methods Division, John Mitchell disclosed on Tuesday when the Bank renewed its partnership with the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) until 2026 that the Bank has set aside K115 million as annual budget to support the ICT initiatives.

“This renewal is not just a continuation of our past efforts but an evolution into new, exciting territories. A key part of this evolution is the introduction of the Innovation Incubator Hubs, an initiative that promises to transform ideas into successful business ventures and foster a new generation of technological entrepreneurs in Malawi.”

“This budget is allocated between two key areas, the NBM Innovation Jam Competition, which we have earmarked K40 million for this competition, recognizing its pivotal role in identifying and rewarding outstanding technological talent in our country, and the Innovation Incubator Hubs where a larger portion, amounting to K75 million will be invested in establishing and running these hubs, ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary resources and infrastructure to nurture and support upcoming entrepreneurs,” said Mitchell.

Earlier this year, NBM Plc sent to Uganda three innovators who emerged winners in last year’s Innovation Jam awards to attend an ICT conference.

ICTAM president Clarence Gama commended NBM Plc for committing more to the development of information technology in the country.

“It feels great because this is an amount that will transform our efforts to make sure that ICT innovation is very impactful here in Malawi. National Bank has been with us in supporting the Innovation Jam which awards outstanding innovation ideas. Now, with the introduction of Innovation Hubs, it means we are going to see those ideas turned into solutions which make an impact on the Malawian economy,” said Gama.

ICTAM will be holding its annual lake conference in Mangochi this week where ICT innovators are expected to be awarded in the Innovation 

NBS Bank ‘Savings Always Win’ promo extends to December 31

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NBS Bank Plc has extended the ‘Saving Always Wins’ promotion to December 31 this year to enable customers to benefit from saving with the ‘Caring Bank’.

NBS Head of Retail Banking, Victoria Chanza said in an interview that the ‘Saving Always Wins’ promotion is a testament to the Bank’s commitment to creating a culture of savings among the wonderful people of Malawi.

“You may wonder why we’ve decided to extend the promotion. Well, it’s because of the overwhelming interest and enthusiasm we’ve seen from our customers. The promotion was originally set to end on the 31st of October, but after careful deliberations, we’ve decided to extend it until the 31st of December 2023. We want to give more people the opportunity to participate and experience the benefits of saving with NBS Bank,” said Chanza.

Grand prizes are tiered in three different bands with those depositing K50,000 minimum standing a chance of winning K1 million, those depositing K100,000 to K500,000 winning K3.5 million and lastly band three for those depositing K500,000 above to win K6 million cash prize.

“By creating these tiers, we aim to make it accessible for individuals from all walks of life to participate actively and benefit from the ‘Saving Always Wins’ promotion’,” she said.

Chanza said participants also have a chance to win monthly prizes like Grocery vouchers worth K50,000.00 to help ease the cost of living, experiential return trips to fly with Malawi Airlines, offering memorable travel experiences between Lilongwe and Blantyre bill payments totaling K25,000.00 to alleviate their financial burdens.

NBS Bank shines, scoops 3 Global Brand Magazine awards

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The Malawi Stock Exchange-listed NBS Bank has won three awards in different categories at this year’s Global Brand Magazine, an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of the world’s leading brands across various categories.

NBS Bank plc was named the ‘Most Innovative in Digital Banking’, and ‘Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion’, while its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwanele Ngwenya won the ‘Best Banking CEO of the Year award’.

Reacting to the feat, the Bank’s Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Ng’ombe said the awards will help the Bank to push for more improved services.

“NBS Bank is always moving in the direction of excellence. You may recall we just won three awards at the IMM conference recently. These awards therefore are a reflection that is cementing the change and hard work that has gone into reforming the Bank. We are honored to be recognized both locally and internationally,” said Ng’ombe. 

This year, NBS Bank Plc intensified digital transformation by upgrading the mobile banking platform to ensure customers are rewarded accordingly from the EazyBank digital transactions.

During the Institute of Marketers in Malawi (Malawi) Excellence awards last month, NBS Bank also shone by bagging three awards namely the ‘Best Customer Service’, ‘Outstanding SME Initiative’, and ‘Commercial of the Year- Print’.

The Marketer’s Excellence Awards recognize the effort by marketers as a way of encouraging quality and professionalism.

The Global Brand Awards honor brands across various categories including innovation sustainability, and customer experience among others.

BSC Team One retain Ethco Ladies championship

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Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) Team One retained the 2023 Ethanol Company (Ethco) InterClub ladies golf tournament for the fourth time in succession at the Lilongwe Golf Club over the weekend.

BSC Team One comprised Roza Mbilizi, Bose Kamphulusa and Zitta Rodrick.

Kamphulusa in an interview said they faced stiff competition from opponents

Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Kamphulusa said the competition this year was tough especially from Lilongwe Golf Club teams but teamwork helped them to retain the championship.

“We played as a team plus experience from our colleague Mbilizi worked well for us. We are very excited to win the tournament for the fourth time and we look forward to more championships,” she said.

Ladies Golf Union of Malawi president, Ulemu Luhanga commended Ethco for being a consistent sponsor for the past three years.

“This year we included the championship division and the outcome has been good. Apart from BSC retaining the championship, we have seen junior golfers being among the top performers, which is our aim of including them into the tournament to ensure we nurture their talent by giving them an opportunity,” she said.

EthCo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lusubilo Chakaniza, whose company pumped in K6 million for the tournament, also expressed satisfaction saying the goal is to see more women participating in the sport which is mostly-male dominated.

“It starts from our company which is male-dominated, and we are trying to break that dominance. That is why we are at the forefront ensuring that women are empowered. Next year we are also bouncing back and we will be at our home, Kasasa Golf Club. We promise to give the women the best,” said Chakaniza.

For being champions, the BSC team one received a Crocodile trophy, CapeStars products and shopping vouchers of K250,000 each.

Lilongwe Golf Club Teams Two and One finished second and third respectively, while Bertha Sagwirika emerged winner in the junior category.

This year’s tournament attracted about 60 golfers, including six senior ladies and seven junior players.

Batatawala’s Wife in Money Laundering, Registers New UK Company

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Sabina Karim Abdul Batatawala, the wife of troubled business mogul Abul Karim Batatawala, has recently registered a company in the United Kingdom. This move has raised suspicions among money laundering experts, who fear it may be an attempt to launder funds from the couple’s Malawian companies to the United Kingdom.

According to the UK’s company registry, Sabina, 47, is listed as the sole director of Anarco International Ltd, with company listing 11837821. Despite being identified as a Malawian national residing in Malawi, the correspondence is c/o Gibraeel & Co, 1 Mychell House, Pincott Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 2NN.Abul Karim Batatawala, who owns multiple companies and properties in Malawi, is facing ongoing court cases related to fraud and corruption.

As a result, his companies are prohibited from conducting business with the government.

A money laundering expert based in Blantyre, who chose to remain anonymous, suspects that Batatawala is using his wife to front his money laundering scheme. The expert stated, “He knows it has become difficult for him to conduct business in Malawi, so it’s safer to move his money to the UK.”The expert raised concerns about the UK government allowing someone under corruption trial in Malawi to conduct business in the UK and suggested that the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) should follow Batatawala’s money trail.

Efforts to obtain comments from the Batatawalas were unsuccessful.

Allegations of Fraudulent Activities:

Abdul Karim Batatawala, an Indian-origin Malawian, rose from a shopkeeper in Limbe to a business kingpin. Investigations by the Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) reveal that Batatawala allegedly scammed the Malawi army, Police, and Immigration Department through fraudulent tactics violating Malawi’s procurement and anti-corruption laws.

The PIJ’s report details instances where Batatawala failed to deliver goods for over a decade, providing substandard quality items to the Malawi army. Despite rejected procurements, he allegedly manipulated the army and other public departments to secure payments through political connections.

Not limited to the military, Batatawala reportedly used similar tactics to dupe the Malawi Police and Immigration Department, both falling under the Ministry of Homeland Security. The investigation discovered delayed and overpriced procurements, with some not even included in the initial tender documents and contracts.

Dubious Connections and Legal Representation:Batatawala’s choice of legal representation, including former Justice Minister Henry Duncan Phoya and ex-director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Alex Nampota, has raised eyebrows.

There are also allegations that Batatawala financed Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera’s presidential bid with a substantial amount.

Following his arrest for fraud and corruption, Batatawala sued President Chakwera’s Chief Advisor on Rural Transformation and Development, Adamson Mkandawire, for allegedly failing to repay a loan of K378 million taken on behalf of the President.

From Rags to Riches:

Born Abdul Karim Batatawala, the businessman arrived in Malawi from India in 1992 and initially worked as a shop assistant at Okhai Electronics in Limbe. Over the years, he transformed into a business tycoon, establishing various companies and accumulating significant wealth.

His businesses, including Africa Commercial Agency, Kasco Enterprises, SS Express Agency, Lido Electrical Engineering Limited, HG Suppliers, Zam Zam General Dealers, Gratorite General Dealers, Novateck Engineering Suppliers, Elegant Suppliers, and Pamodzi, a real estate company, have come under scrutiny amid the allegations of fraud and corruption.

Govt commends Huawei for bridging digital divide

Minister of Information and Digitalization, Moses Kunkuyu has commended Huawei Technologies Malawi for its continued efforts to propel digital knowledge and digital economy that are key enablers of Malawi Vision 2063.

The Minister was speaking during the opening ceremony of the 7th edition of Seeds for the Future program which is Huawei’s flagship Global Corporate Social Responsibility program that was started in 2008.

Through the initiative, students from public and private universities undergo training in technology courses including 5G, Cloud, AI, and Digital Power, and leadership courses.

Furthermore, the participants also enjoy Chinese cultural experiences, and participate in the “Tech4Good” group project with outstanding peers around the world.

Elaborating the benefits of the trainings, Kunkuyu said that Huawei is fostering the growth of ICT industry in the country.

“Recent digital statistics for Malawi indicate that 74 percent of men and 54 percent of women do not have basic ICT skills. As government we commend Huawei for this program which is contributing significantly in accelerating digital uptake while narrowing the digital knowledge gap,” said Kunkuyu.

Through the MW2063 vision, Malawi earmarks the youth as catalysts for achieving the desirable results.

“Trainings being offered through Huawei’s program are relevant to Malawi because every sector of our lives is going digital. The youths are pinnacle to complement the aspiration of MW2063 with their vast knowledge in ICT ecosystem,” he said.

Counting the gains of the Seed for the Future Program, Gu Mu, Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Malawi said that the initiative demonstrates the company’s commitment towards fostering innovation and building a sustainable digital future in Malawi.

“In a world that is rapidly evolving, the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) cannot be overstated. It is the driving force behind progress, connecting people, ideas, and opportunities like never before,” said Gu Mu.

The Managing Director said Huawei will continue to invest in the youth to contribute to the digitalization of Malawi.

“Malawi’s 2063 vision recognizes that the country’s youth is one of its greatest assets. Therefore, Huawei supports the government’s vision and goals by investing in talent cultivation amongst young Malawians. Huawei always believe in the potential of young minds, and through Seeds for the Future, we aim to provide them with the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to thrive in the digital age,” he said.

Wang Hao, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Malawi said his country is committed to help Malawi explore abundant ICT potentials.

“The Chinese government have dedicated efforts to contribute positively towards Malawi’s ICT for All initiative. Our digital enterprises like Huawei are working tirelessly to empower Malawi in the attainment of great human resources in technology,” said Hao.

He added that China will continue collaborating with Malawi government and Huawei to help develop digitalization sector and train many youths with relevant skills.

Martin Manyozo who is Seed for the Future alumnus hailed Huawei for the multi-benefit training saying the skills present various opportunities in the fast-paced world.

“The skills from the program are profound and eminent. After attending the program last year windows of opportunities opened in the areas of social entrepreneurship and cultivation of digital power that helped me collaborate with different sectors,” said Manyozo.

Since its inception in 2008, Huawei Seeds for the Future program has been held in over 139 countries, training more than 15,000 students.

The program was initiated in Malawi in 2016, and from 2016 to 2019, 10 students travelled to China to learn about the latest ICT trains and enjoy a cultural exchange experience.

However, from 2021 onwards, the training has been done locally in Malawi, allowing Huawei to increase the number of students who benefit from this enriching program.