Honourable Folks, talk about hitting the jackpot. A lawyer who handled the deceased estate of former president Bingu wa Mutharika on behalf of his family made a standard legal-fee claim for his services—five percent of the total value of the estate. That standard rate made the lawyer an instant billionaire! He netted K3.5 billion or,…

Honourable Folks, the one achievement of  Zodiak’s  public debate for running mates held last Saturday is to train the nation’s eye on a constitutional office whose importance has remained controversial since the advent of the multiparty political dispensation in 1994. From the days of Bakili Muluzi, the pair that contests as presidential candidate and running…

Honourable Folks, selling the incumbent President, Joyce Banda, as presidential candidate for People’s Party (PP) in the forthcoming elections may prove a challenge for her spindoctors. Should she lose on May 20, it would partly be for the reason that her government seems to take the trust of the electorate for granted. Elections are coming…

Honourable Folks, transformational leadership is a mantra for the 2014 presidential election. Virtually, all candidates in the presidential election talk about it. It’s a thinking that attests to the fact that there’s little to show for the past 50 years we’ve been an independent sovereign State and a realisation that the success or failure of…

Honourable Folks, allow me to start by thanking old pal, Levi Zeleza Manda, for his account of the Rwandan miracle published in the previous issue of Weekend Nation. I’ve talked about Rwanda before, but Manda’s account is by far more detailed. Machetes were wheezing at the speed of death in Rwanda in 1994. At that…

Honourable Folks, ever heard of Agenda 2063? It’s a developmental framework for the African Union for the next 50 years. Like Malawi, many African countries wasted a greater part of their first 50 years of independence, reeking abject poverty in the abundance of sweet-smelling natural resources. The continent was better known outside for its civil…

Honourable Folks, something about the word “just” casts a spell on Malawian politicians. In the past week alone, politicians on both sides of the political divide have used “just” in a manner that betrays a tendency to take voters for granted. On Saturday, 18th January, Information Minister Brown Mpinganjira—flanked by Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba and…

Honourable Folks, the prospect of voting again in the May 20 tripartite polls evokes in me both excitement and trepidation. Excitement because the dead wood among elected leaders shall face the wrath of the short-changed voters!  From the President to MPs, they all have their fate in the hands of the electorate—the ultimate stakeholders in…

Honourable Folks, the prospect of voting again in the May 20 tripartite polls evokes in me both excitement and trepidation. Excitement because the dead wood among elected leaders shall face the wrath of the short-changed voters!  From the President to MPs, they all have their fate in the hands of the electorate—the ultimate stakeholders in…

Honourable Folks, as the head of the civil service, Chief Secretary Hawa Ndilowe appears too relaxed in the aftermath of the cashgate for my liking. True, with the help of international forensic experts, government is combing its cupboard to see what’s missing, its value, how it went missing and probably who could have been responsible.…

Honourable Folks, spending more than two weeks, including Christmas and New Year, without experiencing a minute of power outage either due to load shedding or technical fault feels different. Thanks to Escom for enabling us to enter 2014 without having to feel our way in darkness as was the case in much of 2013 and…

Honourable Folks, for reasons beyond my control, I didn’t have an early opportunity to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, my idol. Being who he was, a lot has  been said and written in the past two weeks so much that it’s now hard to conjure up something fresh to say about him Still, in the…

Honourable Folks, I use electricity for lighting, heating water and cooking. Most of the appliances in the home—computers, TV, fridges, fans, etc.—also depend on electricity. I guess that makes me different from most of the village folks. I could also be different from 90 percent of the Malawian population not connected to the Escom grid.…

Honourable Folks, where’s President Joyce Banda in the cash-gate scandal? I’m not questioning whether she’s implicated or not. Nothing known so far indicates she was involved. If she was, now isn’t the time for us to worry about it. A President is taken for an angel while in office. If at all there are skeletons…

Honourable Folks, so the cash-gate is a crisis, uh? International Monetary Fund (IMF) may say so but, by their actions, folks in government see no crisis at all but a normal trend of government operations dating back to the Bingu wa Mutharika, if not Bakili Muluzi, administrations. Budget director Paul Mphwiyo may have been shot…

Honourable Folks, while public discourse is centred on the arrests of people in connection with the shooting of budget director Paul Mphwiyo or Capital Hill looting, what will hit us hard on the nose is the aftermath of donor aid freeze. The 2013/14 national budget, which provides for pay hikes in government and a generous…

Honourable Folks, when we queue up to vote in May next year, let the vote be about reclaiming our country and our democracy from the political mediocrity that has seen us moving round the vicious circle of poverty since the advent of multiparty government in 1994. We took the multiparty path for a purpose. We…

Honourable Folks, the drama unfolding at Capital Hill, code-named cash-gate, poses a difficult question for voters in the 2014 elections: who among the known presidential aspirants—Joyce Banda (PP), Peter Mutharika (DPP), Lazarus Chakwera (MCP) and Atupele Muluzi (UDF)—has what it takes to ensure taxpayers’ money is kept in a secure wallet and strictly used for…