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…

Honourable Folks, government has moved in with speed to curb the enrichment of civil servants and other unscrupulous suppliers of goods and services at the expense of 14 million Malawians. Heads have rolled, Cabinet dissolved and reshuffled, auditing systems scrutinised, opposition and civil society consulted on the way forward, foreign expertise in forensic audit sought…

Honourable Folks, it is amazing how the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has engaged the extra gear and made significant arrests in the wake of the looting at Capital Hill which has shocked Malawi to the core. Some civil servants suspected to have had a hand in the shameless scam, through which a third of government revenue…

Honourable Folks, while the so-called  “looting at the Capital Hill” is still the talk of the town, and the focus on  whether the JB administration is on top of the situation, my concern is what all  this means to honest, law abiding and hard working Malawians. At a press conference on Wednesday, the  President alluded…

Honourable Folks, the one good thing out of the Mphwiyo tragedy is that, it has helped give corruption in government its deserved place high on public discourse. A day doesn’t elapse before the media quotes a diplomat or civil society leader talk about corruption as a serious problem in government. The more people talk about…

Honourable folks, when the media reported two weeks ago that the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) called on the President, advising her to order Parliament to disclose the value of her assets and liabilities, JB’s response echoed what Attorney General Anthony Kamanga had said earlier: there’s no law to support public disclosure. Of course, they are…

Honourable Folks, there’s no government in the world whose prime duty is to feed its citizens. That’s the task God gave to the citizens themselves. Mudzadya thukuta lanu [you will have to sweat to make the soil produce anything]. On its part, government collects tax in order to provide public goods and services—roads, markets, schools,…

Honourable Folks, PP deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda never stops bragging about his party going one step ahead of DPP and UDF by separating party from government affairs. But if you asked businessman Leston Mulli, he’d most likely dismiss the assertion as false. Until April 2012, his business empire—Mulli Brothers Limited—was government’s point of call…

Honourable Folks, while all the four major parties—PP, DPP, MCP and UDF—have elected their presidential candidates democratically, it looks like the electorate will have to wait much longer to know who will represent these parties in the parliamentary and local government elections. Voters are busy registering; the clock is ticking, showing eight months to the…

Honourable Folks, we may not tell who’ll be in the State House next year but it’s more likely to be one of the four—Joyce Banda (PP), Lazarus Chakwera (MCP), Peter Mutharika  (DPP) and Atupele Muluzi (UDF). Of the four, the new  kid on the block is Chakwera and understandably, it didn’t go down well in…

Honourable Folks, it’s only earlier this month when I lamented the fact that Escom—a virtual monopoly in the generation and supply of electricity—and which is 100 percent state-owned and, therefore, a parastatal despite its status of a limited company—has increased tariffs by over 80 percent since JB ascended to power in April 2012. Like a…

Honourable Folks, game changer is what the Rev. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has become in the eyes of quite a few folks I’ve changed notes with on the recent developments in MCP. Some say the second round of the registration exercise is likely to swell due to the ‘Lazarus fever’. Delegates to the MCP convention deserve…