Fears over US aid freeze

Malawi’s social sector could collapse under Trump’s foreign budget cut proposal United States (US) President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut global civilian spending by a third has alarmed some analysts who fear a resultant collapse of Malawi’s broader social sector. Among the fears—particularly from local health and education stakeholders—are that the proposal, if the US…

Staff petition Salima Sugar Company

Local staff at the government partly-owned Salima Sugar Company have petitioned management to address a number of concerns which include lack of formal contracts for staff, salary disparities. The petition we have seen lists a number of concerns ranging from failure by the company to provide safety equipment, compensation to five Malawian workers who had…

2017 lost opportunity–PAC

While commending government for a number of initiatives it took in 2017, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has described 2017 as a lost opportunity to deal with violence, fight corruption and turnround the fortunes of the country by withdrawing the Electoral Reforms Bills. PAC chairperson Reverend Felix Chingota in an e-mailed response on Thursday commended…

How APM lost mojo

The year 2017 should have built strong momentum for the Peter Mutharika administration as the economy began to stabilise, but missteps resulted in what some say is a disappointing end. Analysts Weekend Nation talked to this week say government’s struggles to deal with corruption, end power blackouts and how it handled the Electoral Reforms Bills…

4 nabbed in 250 passport scam

Ministry of Home Affairs has said police have arrested four foreign nationals in connection with the missing 250 passports at the Immigration Department last year. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security  Cecilia Chazama said in an interview yesterday that those arrested are Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian and Nigerian nationals. “The arrest of the four by…

K6bn MSB money still in limbo

There is still a cloud of uncertainty as to whether government will recover K6.1 billion which the State paid off on behalf of some companies and individuals who owed the now defunct Malawi Savings Bank (MSB). Ministry of Finance spokesperson Davis Sado on Wednesday in an e-mailed response confirmed that two years after the government…

Debt waste

The IMF has said Malawi could spend 30 percent of its revenue to service debts in 2017, raising concerns that the interest payouts are snapping up resources for social and infrastructure investments crucial to boosting people’s living standards. For a country that already loses around 30 percent of its budget to fraud and corruption—according to…

APM facing war on two fronts

PAC, Parliament want him to reduce presidential powers President Peter Mutharika is facing war on two fronts—PAC and Parliament—which have said they will put pressure on him to reduce some of his powers in line with promises he made before the 2014 Presidential elections. Public Affairs Committee publicity secretary Father Peter Mulomole  said in a…

ACB probing maize theft at prison

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is investigating the disappearance of 150 bags of maize for inmates at Mikuyu Prison in Zomba this year. ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed in an e-mail response on Monday  that investigations are underway on the matter. But she refused to shed more light on who exactly the graft-busting body is investigating.…

FUM lodges complaints against NFRA

Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) has accused NFRA of allowing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members to jump the queue and sell their maize to the agency at the expense of other people. FUM president Alfred Kapichira Banda told Weekend Nation in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the organisation has received complaints from farmers who…

Rail network in state capture

Local and international commentators have blamed politicians for failing to take a decisive action to maintain the country’s railway system and connect to the regional network to facilitate trade and reduce landing costs to and from the ports. As a result, Malawi’s transport costs are the highest in the region at 56 percent of the…

MJ bars BWB from accessing intake

Communities around Mulanje Mountain are taking turns to guard a point at the foot of Mulanje Mountain to stop Blantyre Water Board from launching the $22 million water project aimed at supplying water to the commercial city Blantyre. The communities started guarding the river course a day after Blantyre Water Board (BWB) unveiled India-based SMC…

Africa Court sets for more engagement

President of the African Court for Human and Peoples Rights (AfCHPR) Justice Slyvain Ore has said, the court should strive at getting closer to the people through a more effective tool for managing its communication and media relations. Ore said this during an inauguration of a consultative meeting to review the court’s media and communication…

House rules hook dodgy presidents

Revised Standing Orders sealing the loophole that Presidents have been using to dodge appearing in Parliament to answer questions from backbenchers will be tabled in November, Speaker Richard Msowoya said on Tuesday. “The matter was on the order paper in the last session but members were not able to deliberate upon it due to time…