Another side of by-laws

Times have become rough for guardians of schoolgirls who get pregnant or marry young. By-laws and fines are part of the national strategy to keep every girl in school. Several organisations want community leaders to adopt sanctions against child marriages and teen pregnancies. At the same time, it may be dangerous. Centre for Community and…

Good people, there is something about lights that they sometimes make a dull performance glow like neon. Some say they add colour to things that need just a ray to become a little more stunning. Others say lights are instrumental in depicting the mood in which a scene is taking place. Whatever the magic light…

Total switch to solar power

  A petroleum firm has made a pioneering step from just talking about renewable energy to doing something about it, Our Staff Writer JAMES CHAVULA writes. As darkness thickened over Lilongwe City, dazzling rays from the country’s first solar-powered service station shined a light on a dimly lit lawn where Total Malawi managing director Salamata…

 Solar energy rekindles farmers’ hopes

It is 8am when we arrive in Mwalija Village, a floodplain in Chikwawa District where gushing water from Lake Malawi freely flows to the Indian Ocean. The sun is scorching and villagers on the roadside can be seen rubbing off profuse sweat, but they need not worry. Abundant water and sweltering sunshine constitute life-changing endowments…

Good people, every city has its own heroes and Mahatma Gandhi has nothing to do with Blantyre. Unsurprisingly, his statue under construction in Blantyre has stirred a backlash from concerned Malawians petitioning for a stop to the project glorifying the indian lawyer deemed ultra-racist. A listening government would have halted the monument following objections building…

Coughs, urine…and stools

New findings show the search for effective TB screening is leaving nothing to chance, our Staff Writer JAMES CHAVULA writes. For decades, health workers in Malawi have been telling patients to cough out sputum for tuberculosis testing, but it can be difficult to get ailing children to spit up. In some hospitals, X-ray machines have…

Pupils not teachers’ brides

Among teachers in Malawi, ‘burning a payslip’ is getting sacked or jailed for having sex with a schoolgirl. The press keeps splashing on these outlawed sexual affairs. Teacher accused of impregnating a Standard 7 Girl in Mchinji, forcing her to abort. Teacher rapes and impregnates a pupil. Four years for horny teacher. Teacher impregnates 14-year-old,…

Good people, the festival that celebrates the immutable beauty of Malawi’s prime tourist attraction, Lake Malawi, returns tonight. The three-day Sand Music Festival slated for this weekend at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima has become an annual tourist attraction. The crowds that patronise the arts festival on the sands and rock outcrops that pave the…

It’s  Salome’s birthday, but…

On this day in 2001, a baby girl was born to the Felix family in Lisungwi, a rural setting in Neno District. They named her Salome. But not many people sing ‘Happy Birthday’ for her. Her agemates are completing secondary education, ready to go to university. However, the 17-year-old is still in a congested Standard…

Researchers turn to stools for TB screening

Complex, stressful and painful are some the words coming from clinicians struggling to collect respiratory samples from children undergoing tuberculosis tests. However, a new study shows stools offer a simple way to free children from sputum test that exposes them to the agonies of being hospitalised overnight and having a tube inserted through their noses.…

Veggie farmstead on wheels

  In Malawi, worn-out tyres are a common sight. As vehicles on the roads increase, tyres pile. According to the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS), 48 vehicles enter the country every day. As the wear and tear continues, the wheels go up in smoke as motorists struggle to discard responsibly. “People either…

Good people, there is something about lights that they sometimes make a dull performance glow like neon. Some say they add colour to thing that need just a ray to become a little more stunning. Others say lights are instrumental in depicting the mood in which a scene is taking place. Whatever the magic light…

Community threaten to close Optichem mine

Disgruntled community in Phalombe District have threatened to close Thundulu Mine to force Optichem (Malawi) Limited to invest in local projects. The locals, speaking during a fact-finding meeting organised by Centre for Policy and Advocacy (Cepa), said they would block roads to stop trucks from hauling rock phosphate from the hills in Phalombe North East.…

Mutharika’s false bubble

President Peter Mutharika has picked an unnecessary fight with human rights defenders and he does not sound brave, our Staff Writer JAMES CHAVULA writes. Last week, the President jetted back from New York looking much fitter than he was on a similar touchdown last year when he could not lift his right hand. Nine days…

Setting political record straight

Youthful Malawian volunteers at the Lost History Foundation are unearthing censored and distorted history from the dictatorial era. During a day-long public lecture on the 1967 War in which former Internal Affairs minister Yatuta Chisiza died in combat, our Staff Writer JAMES CHAVULA caught up with Kwacha, the second-born son of the man who took…

Setting political  Record straight

  Youthful Malawian volunteers at the Lost History Foundation are unearthing censored and distorted history from the dictatorial era. During a day-long public lecture on the 1967 War in which former Internal Affairs minister Yatuta Chisiza died in combat, our Staff Writer JAMES CHAVULA caught up with Kwacha, the second-born son of the man who…

Fresh push for  Yatuta’s body

Renewed efforts to rewrite history have revived demands for the Malawi Government to disclose where its agents buried former Cabinet minister Yatuta Chisiza who was killed in an armed combat 51 years ago. Yatuta, a former minister of Internal Affairs during founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s administration, led 17 exiles in a military incursion in…

Good people, every city has its own heroes and Mahatma Gandhi has nothing to do with Blantyre. Unsurprisingly, his statue under construction in Blantyre has stirred a backlash from concerned Malawians petitioning for a stop to the project glorifying the indian lawyer deemed ultra-racist. A listening government would have halted the monument following objections building…

MW leads in challenging old laws

  A seller of plastic carrier bags has become a glowing face of Africa’s push to decriminalise petty offences after moving the Constitutional Court to strike off a colonial law neglected since 1934. In March 2015, vendor Masauko Gwanda challenged his wee-hour detention by three police officers on his way to order fish at Limbe Market.…