This month, Washington is consumed by the impasse over reopening the government and raising the debt limit. It seems likely that this episode, like the 1995-96 government shutdowns and the 2011 debt limit scare, will be remembered mainly by the people directly involved. But there is a chance future historians will see today’s crisis as…

Audit shows K90N stolen under DPP

Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), now in opposition, presided over the loss or mismanagement of over K90 billion  through the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis) abuse between 2009 and 2012, The Nation has learnt. This is according to an interim investigative audit report of the Ifmis that the National Audit Office (NAO)…

‘Let’s show gays love’

Recently, the Centre for Development of People (Cedep)—with finding from Aids-Fondet (AF)—organised a workshop for religious leaders on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) with special focus on minority rights. One of the religious leaders was Sheikh Mdala Ali Tambuli who also made a presentation at the workshop. Ephraim Munthali caught up with Tambuli for…

Sheikh backs gay rights

A respected Mangochi sheikh, Mdala Ali Tambuli, has spoken out strongly in favour of gay rights, saying homosexuals need love and understanding from religious leaders and society. Tambuli told Nation on Sunday recently that religious leaders and communities in the country should accept men who have sex with other men (MSMs) or those who are…

After dissolving her Cabinet over a week ago, President Joyce Banda hired her new management team on Tuesday. While she has thrown in five new faces, including internationally respected economist Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba as Finance Minister, as well as Fahad Assani as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister—the President has retained roughly 85 percent of her…

In his 2013/14 national budget speech,  the resignation tone-deaf Finance Minister Ken Lipenga made a cheeky statement  that hit at folks who questioned the sustainability of the kwacha’s strength,  which at the time had started to appreciate after a year of decline. While Lipenga and his sympathisers said  the strengthening of the kwacha was due…

Where were political leaders and controlling officers when some civil servants were writing outrageous sums of money on government cheques as payments to dubious companies for goods and services to government they never supplied? Where was the political and technical leadership as well as other players in the public finance and economic management (PFEM) system)…

Govt payment system collapses, as donors urge swift probe into Mphwiyo saga

The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS)—the Malawi Government payment platform at the centre of recent investigations into alleged theft of public funds—has collapsed, the Accountant General confirmed Friday. News of the system’s failure came as sources from the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General’s office confided in Weekend Nation that government has shut down IFMIS pending investigations…

As billions of kwacha meant to develop the country and improve livelihoods of poor Malawians leave government bank accounts only to land in civil servants’ and their accomplices’ accounts, car boots, bedrooms and sometimes cleaned up by the villains through acquisition and construction of mansions and properties in low density suburbs and prime areas, the…

The other day, Malawi Switch Centre (Malswitch) whined that its creator—the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM)—was throttling it systematically, leaving the firm to face a slow and painful death. At issue, according to tersely written exchanges between the two institutions that Weekend Nation was recently privy to, is RBM’s decision to facilitate the setting up…

The Northern Region vote is for the People’s Party (PP) to lose. But is the governing party’s leadership inspiring and motivating enough to earn the province’s respect and confidence? Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the region’s hearts in 2009, sweeping ballots in record numbers largely thanks to the political grouping’s sound policies on the economy…

Former vice-president Justin Malewezi this week jolted the country into the running mate buzz by tipping  presidential candidates to pick running mates with strengths that are the candidate’s weaknesses. This is a sound criterion among a vast alley. Obviously, the power to choose a running mate remains with the candidate who, in making the pick,…

For a party notorious for its dark, undemocratic past that—among other mafia-like characteristics—murderously silenced dissenting voices during its three-decade long one-party dominance, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has since the return of multiparty politics consistently showed that it is the most democratic party in the country—at least if the process of electing its leaders is…

There are a lot of policy questions on which President Joyce Banda and I have never agreed and I doubt we ever will. But on the issue of the Lake Malawi border dispute with Tanzania, the Head of State has made the right call despite bungling some messages in some instances that Foreign Affairs and…

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is one of Malawi’s most important public institutions. Established under the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crimes and Terrorist Financing Act (2006), the unit—which purports to be an autonomous central national body—became operational in July 2007. The unit says it is responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and…

Since April when Malawi started harvesting maize—the staple grain that contributes 50.2 percent to national inflation (the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time)—the general rise in prices has been moderating. The moderation was largely because as the grain’s supplies increased, prices started falling from a high of over K200 per…