Mzimba CBCCs in shambles

  Low funding is watering down quality of early childhood development (ECD) programmes, Mzimba district social welfare officer Jim Wotchi has said. In 2010, government adopted an ECD policy that backs establishment of community-based childcare centres (CBCCs) to ensure every child has a solid start in life. But 90 percent of these centres in Mzimba…

Safe water for safe motherhood

At Chitekesa health centre in Phalombe, struggles for universal access to quality healthcare got harder due to lack of safe water and sanitation facilities. Pregnant women and guardians used to draw water from unprotected, shallow wells almost a 30-minute walk from the facility. The wells get contaminated by run-offs when it rains and runs dry…

Turning art  Into business

An American businessperson and author Robert Kiyosaki once said ‘Entrepreneurship is a process, not a job or profession. So be faithful to the process and remember that even when times are bad, the process will give you a glimpse of the future that lies ahead.” This is exactly what renowned poet Robert Chiwamba has embraced…

Card donates pesticides to farmers

  Churches Action in Relief and Development (Card), a faith based organisation, has distributed pesticides to communities in Dowa to help curb fall army worms that have hit their fields. The pesticides, valued at over K1.3 million, have been distributed to 600 farmers in Nachisaka, Chibvala and Mponela extension planning areas. The donation was in…

APR Energy, PCL set to generate 28MW power

  Malawi is poised to become one of the first countries in the world to produce 28 megawatts (MW) electricity using locally-produced ethanol within three to five months. To make it a reality, privately-owned US-based fast-track power company APR Energy intends to partner Press Corporation Limited (PCL) plc through one of its subsidiaries, Chikwawa-based Press…

Suspected criminals exhume body

  Suspected criminals have exhumed the body of Vasco Nkhoma who committed suicide in his video showroom in Mzimba on Monday last week. Mzimba Police Station spokesperson Peter Botha said the grave was tampered with this Monday, exactly a week after Nkhoma’s death. “The police visited the scene and discovered that private parts of the…

Keeping teachers in rural schools

  Alberto Gwande and almost 800 pupils at Khuzi Primary School in Lilongwe need more teachers. The school is severely understaffed, with only six teachers. “I was supposed to receive new teachers last year, but they never came,” recalls the head teacher. Khuzi is 20 kilometres away from Nathenje Trading Centre. Its pupil-teacher ratio (PTR)…

Revamp education sector—Nyalonje

  Mzimba North Constituency legislator Agnes Nyalonje has asked government to stop “making empty promises” and revamp the education sector. The vice-chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education blamed government for failing to employ newly trained teachers while primary schools in many districts lack qualified teachers. She said this at a meeting M’mbelwa District Council…

Ex-PTC employees get 7 years for K100m theft

  The Blantyre Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced two former Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) employees and a businessperson to seven and a half years and six and a half years imprisonment respectively, for stealing about K100 million from the company. Principal resident magistrate Innocent Nebi jailed Richard Kamunga, who was working as chief accountant…

Repair Chakazi, Mnjili bridges—M’mbelwa

  Paramount Chief M’mbelwa V has asked government to renovate Mnjili and Chikazi bridges in Mzimba which he described as ‘life-threatening.’ The Ngoni paramount chief was speaking when Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa launched the construction of the K2.5 office building. He said: “Chikazi Bridge got washed away five years ago,…

Pigs become big business

  The country’s agriculture has long been heavily dependent on maize and tobacco cultivation. In a push to diversify, pig production has been on the rise as well. Despite encouraging steps, there is still a long way to go. Tobacco and then a long time nothing. This is what the country’s agricultural market looked like…

Mzimba gets new council office

  Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa on Saturday launched construction of the K2.5 billion office complex at M’mbelwa District Council in Mzimba. During the groundbreaking ceremony, the minister said government will construct similar facilities in Ntcheu, Thyolo and Mzuzu City Currently, M’mbelwa District Council staff uses dilapidated colonial buildings which are…

Sorrows of artisanal fishers

  It is windy and showering in Malindi, a fishing hotspot in Mangochi District on the southern tip of Lake Malawi. Yusuf Kalanje, 45, is already two kilometres in the freshwater lake on a rickety dugout canoe to pull out gill nets he did set the previous evening. With no life jacket, he braves the…

Mzuni constructs K7m solar fish dryer

  Mzuzu University (Mzuni), in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, has constructed a  solar fish dryer at Tukombo in Nkhata Bay to promote value addition. The solar tent saves trees and reduces the amount of fish lost due to poor preservation methods. According to Mzuni project manager Petros Chigwechokha, the initiative…

First Lady prays with women at Sanjika

  First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has urged women in the country to dedicate their time to spiritual matters as the future of their communities largely depends on their dedication to God. The First Lady was speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when she hosted interdenominational thanksgiving praise and worship prayers on Saturday. She urged women…

Female musicians’ voice

  As role models in our society, some of our local artists have played important roles than just producing something that sounds like music. Since there are many challenges and problems that confront our society, these artists have conveyed  messages of such issues through their songs. One crucial aspect is that of being the voice…

Thugs vandalise Ntcheu DHO security lights

  Unknown thugs last Thursday vandalised newly installed solar-powered security lights at Ntcheu District Hospital. The thugs went away with three batteries, solar charge controller, two street lamps and a stand. Ntcheu district health officer (DHO) Mike Chisema described the incident as worrisome,  considering that the security lights were just installed six weeks ago. He…