Debate or exclusion?

The electorate is bracing for debates in which the Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter will put five of nine presidential candidates in the spotlight.Why five? Our Staff Reporter AYAMI MKWANDA spoke to Misa Malawi chairperson Theresa Ndanga. Why did you opt for five not all nine presidential candidates approved by Malawi Electoral…

Hunted like animals

At the break of dawn, 14-year-old Mirriam Chilimbika gets out of her bed. It was a sleepless night for her. The fear of being attacked constantly kept her awake. Reluctantly, she prepares for school. At this point, her township is already buzzing with different activities—businesspeople, commuters, workers, loafers and school children—all mixed in the day’s…

Apam engages Chilima for solutions

A day after Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera condemned attacks on persons with albinism, UTM leader Saulos Chilima on Friday engaged the group’s leadership on the way forward. Writing on his Facebook page after the meeting, Chilima, said they discussed solutions to the resurgent attacks. “Today [Friday] Mary and I had an interface…

Let there be light

Before January this year, the villages in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kasisi in Chikwawa North, 15 kilometres (km) from the boma and two km from Shire River, were without electricity. But that is history now, thanks to a solar mini grid planted in Mwalija Village, which is producing 15 kilowatts (kW) of electricity and a standalone…

When misfortunes strike

When floods ripped her home to rubble, Fanny Kamoto and her four children were grappling with hunger. The 18-year-old vividly recalls the tragedy that struck the rural territory of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkanda, Mulanje North, six months after her husband had migrated to Mozambique “without saying goodbye”. She recounts: “For days, we were surviving on…

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has recently been rocked in scandals that have raised questions on whether the electoral body is credible to deliver free, fair and credible elections in May this year. Some of the scandals include theft of MEC’s biometric voter registration kit which was found on a coal train in Mozambique in…

Cholera outbreak scare

When a body of a driver was stretchered into Ndirande Health Centre in Blantyre last month, health workers knew cholera was back. Their worst fears were confirmed by laboratory tests three days later. The results showed the 47-year-old patient, who had travelled from Lilongwe and died in a lodge in the populous town, succumbed to…

Sticky issues in UDF-DPP alliance

Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has been in an alliance with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for four years. Of late, the UDF president Atupele Muluzi, who is also Minister of Health, has been conducting rallies in the country and saying he will contest in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections. Our reporter AYAMI…

Parties press panic button

Face race against time to wrap up primaries With the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) set to roll out the nomination process from January 4 2019, political parties have less than 14 days to come up with a conclusive list of candidates for parliamentary and local government elections. MEC announced earlier this month that aspirants for…

Counting the cost of road carnage

In this final part, Our Reporter AYAMI MKWANDA looks at how much the country loses due to road accidents and the way forward to reversing the situation. As a breadwinner, John Sanuwedi left home in Ndirande at 4.30am for Lunzu Township in Blantyre but bad luck caught up with him at Magalasi when a speeding…

Why road accidents galore?

Last week Weekend Investigates established that the number of people killed in road accidents has risen in the past five years. This week Our Reporter AYAMIMKWANDA looks at the causes of road accidents in the country. Ernest Masambo escaped death at a hair’s breadth when his car plunged past the overpass bridge in Limbe, near…

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…