road accidents: the kiss of death

In four years, road accidents have claimed 4 000 lives in the country with their occurrence on the increase every year since 2013. Weekend Nation Investigates will carry out four series on the gravity, causes, cost and solutions to road accidents. In this first part, our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA is focusing on the trend of…

A smile for school dropouts

  A girls’ club in Chipalamawamba, a tiny village situated few yards from the western bank of Shire River in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda in Mangochi District, is making school dropouts smile. After 47 girls from the village dropped out of school last year due to lack of fees, they decided to form a club…

Bitter pill

When we met James Walala at Mkwate bus stop in Blantyre’s Machinjiri Township on Wednesday, crowds were walking to work. He had waited at the place for over an hour to find a cheaper ride to Limbe, but none stopped for him. Since January this year, the economy has been harsh for the accounts assistant…

A night of verse in room B

  Apart from hosting tutorials, Room B at the University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College (Chanco) is renowned for being a workshop for writers critiquing literary works every Thursday evening. The Writers’ Workshop itself is as old as the Chanco campus in Zomba which opened in 1973. Then, the literary discussions used to take place…

Ugly face of teen pregnancies

On November 1 2018, 15-year-old Sovenia Yusuf lay writhing in agony in a maternity wing at Lulanga Health Centre in Mangochi North. For 19 hours, she was in labour pains. This was her second day at the facility. She was taken to the facility on a bicycle stretcher by well-wishers from her community in Kumbani…

Class of 2014 under scrutiny

  The last but one meeting of members of Parliament elected in 2014 begins next week on Monday. Our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA engages Chancellor College based political analyst Joseph Chunga on burning issues. Q :  How would you describe the previous meetings of 2018? A : Nothing new to write home about. Generally, 2018 meetings…

Fears of the next deluge

  A bleak forecast has sparked anxiety and uncertainties in the Shire Valley, where 2015 floods ripped homes, displaced millions and washed away crops and livestock. Weather forecasts show the Southern Region will experience floods, with scanty rain in the North. Eight kilometres from Nsanje Boma is Mwasalapa Village, the new home to 162 households…

In October 1967, Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s former Cabinet minister, Yatuta Chisiza led 16 other rebels into Malawi through Mwanza to topple him from power. Yatuta and Lutengano Mwahimba died in combat before nine others were captured, tried and hanged. The other five successfully escaped into exile. This year, a foundation called Lost History came up…

Oxfam sets customary land committees in phalombe

  Oxfam is supporting communities in Phalombe to establish customary land committees (CLCs) in Phalombe District to help smallholder farmers and women to register their  land. Speaking during the launch of the committees in group village head (GVH) Maoni in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nazombe in the district last week, land governance programmes officer Andrew Mkandawire…

Campaign fever

With barely seven months to the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, primary elections are underway, alliances are under negotiations and voter registration is almost complete. Our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA caught up with Catholic University political scientist Nandin Patel to discuss the fast-changing political climate so far. How can you describe the political terrain with only…

Mulli’s Lhomwe, DPP link draws outrage

  Months after disputing the link between Mulhako wa Alhomwe and governing DPP, the cultural grouping’s chairperson Leston Mulli has come under fire for tribalising the party and politicising the ethnic group. Opposition political parties and some analysts yesterday said by suggesting during the Muhlako wa Alhomwe 11th anniversary celebrations at Chonde in Mulanje on…

No fire, no flour, no food

  The mid-day sunshine is blazing in group village head (GVH) Alumando in Chikwawa. It is lunchtime, but many residents are not eating. They are not fasting either. “We have nothing to eat. Nothing really,” says Mirriam Mponya, 23. Seated under trees and on verandas, the locals, including children, anxiously stare into the space, waiting…

Gone with the wind

For 24 hours, violent winds battered homes and blew away roofs in a vast plain on the northern part of Phalombe District. When asked about the September 29 tempest, the locals remember the westerly winds from Mikongoni Hill was dry, hot and devastating as it swept thick clouds of dust and ripped rooftops on its…

Water for everyone

Tucked in a remote pocket of Chikwawa District, Marita Nelson grew up walking long distances in search of safe drinking water. The 28-year-old woman, who lives in Kabotolo Village, used to wake up around 4am to source drinking water at an overcrowded borehole in her flood-prone remote setting in the Shire Valley district. “Under the…

UTM holds Phalombe rally amid political threats

Despite threats to stone people going to Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s United Transformation Movement (UTM) rally in Phalombe, on Satarday multitudes attended. As early as 10 am, the situation on the ground was a recipe for violence as UTM and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters engaged in a motor race simulation on the Migowi-Chiringa Road, waving…

The joys of mbeya fertilisers

  On the foot of Chambe Peak on Mulanje Mountain stretches a slope upon which a half-hectare garden lies thriving with maize crops under the scorching September sun. Less than 100 metres away from the garden flows Nankhono River descending from the massif. From a nearby pool emerges a woman, a watering can weighing her…

Unpacking Aford leadership dilemma

Alliance for democracy (Aford) wrangles are refusing to die following the emergence of two factions that are led by Enoch Chihana and Frank Mwenifumbo. Our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA engaged Frank Mwenifumbo to hear what they are doing to resolve the conflict. Q : Who is leading Aford now following two conventions that elected you and…

UTM endorse Sept 21 demos

Vice-President Saulos Chilima has pledged United Transformation Movement’s (UTM) support to the civil society organisations (CSOs) demonstrations planned for September 21. The demonstrations were postponed from September 7 to pave the way for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s Blue Day march. The DPP, ironically, also called off their march at the eleventh hour, saying they…

DPP’s cancelled ‘Blue Day’ angers CSOs

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have expressed anger over the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s postponement of their ‘Blue Day’ yesterday in Blantyre after the former called off their demonstrations initially scheduled on September 7 [yesterday] to pave the way for the Blue Day. DPP regional governor for the South Charles Mchacha said, in an interview,…

Road that leads to Sunrise

To many, news that Charles Shemu Joya’s movie The Road To Sunrise has won this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) for southern Africa is not much of a surprise. In fact, it would have been surprising if the movie failed to clinch any award, considering how Joyah improved in script, sound, lighting, characterisation…