PAC for Police mess hearing

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for a meeting to map the way forward on the K2.7 billion Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations scam. PAC’s communication to the graft-busting body follows a leaked ACB investigative report that showed abuse of public resources and implicated President Peter Mutharika in connection…

State House, others overspend by K23bn

State Residences and the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) have emerged among seven ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that collectively overspent their allocations by K23.1 billion in the 2016/17 financial year. An Audit Report on Malawi Government Accounts for the fiscal year 2016/17 which The Nation has seen, prepared by the former Auditor…

Public sector reforms face challenges

  The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) says implementation and enforcement of the much touted Public Sector Reforms is facing challenges due to lack of an enabling law. Seodi White, chief director for Public Sector Reforms Unit in OPC, made the down-to-earth admission in an interview in Lilongwe on Monday on the sidelines…

State asks for 90 days in Kasambara appeal case

  The State has asked for 90 more days to submit skeletal arguments in the case in which former minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara and others are appealing sentences and convictions in the attempted murder of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo. Kasambara is appealing the conviction and sentencing for conspiring to murder,…

Poverty gap narrows—report

  Malawi’s economy has become more equal with the gap between the rich and the poor slightly decreasing, a new National Statistical Office (NSO) Malawi Poverty Estimation Report has revealed. The report, which covers the period April 2016 to April 2017, states that moderate poverty levels in the country did not change, ultra-poverty has declined…

CSOs give APM 14 days to resign

  Civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) have called for President Peter Mutharika’s resignation within 14 days following his alleged involvement in the Malawi Police Service (MPS) fraud. Media reports and a leaked Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) document at the weekend indicated that Mutharika was involved in a K2.3 billion…

Govt audit exposes rot

Unsupported payments rise to K5 billion Missing payment vouchers and other important documents rose to K2 billion in 2017 from K158 million in 2016. Recommends recruitment of qualified accounting personnel. Auditor General recommends suspension of proforma invoices. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Prudent public finance management remains a pipedream as…

Weak laws fuelling charcoal burning—Ministry

  Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining says weak forestry laws in the country are fuelling the charcoal burning business which is threatening forests. Director of forestry Clement Chilima, speaking during a case review workshop on the harmonisation of the application of the new Wildlife Act and sentencing guidelines in Lilongwe, said people have…

Govt defeats motion to give MBC K1

It was a game of numbers in Parliament yesterday as the government side defeated a motion to reduce to K1 the K1.8 billion allocation to taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) over concerns of biased coverage against opposition political parties. With 74 votes against the opposition’s 40, the government side defeated the motion. Dowa North East…

House in early adjournment

  Parliament yesterday adjourned early after failing to reach an agreement on how to proceed with business after Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe refused to commit to realign some votes in the budget before getting legal advice. Members of Parliament (MPs) from both opposition and government side were, among other things,…

MHRC bemoans lack of corporal punishment law

Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has decried lack of corporal punishment law and clear stipulation of the penalty, saying this is denying the offended justice. MHRC commissioner Benedicto Kondowe said this in Lilongwe on Tuesday when opening a two-day workshop on promoting and achieving law reform to prohibit corporal punishment in Malawi. “Studies have shown…

Police faulted on political violence

  Taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and political commentators have asked authorities to bring to book hoodlums who attack people holding divergent political views. MHRC and the commentators said such impunity should not be tolerated as it threatens democracy. The calls come against a background of some members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)…

MCP takes a swipe at MBC

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) yesterday suggested that the public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), be given K1 in the 2018/19 National Budget for its continued bias towards the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This, the main opposition party observed, was despite the House passing a motion for the broadcaster to change. Standing on Standing Order…

Goodall for smaller families

  Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has said there is need for Malawians to self-regulate on the number of children they have as one way of controlling population growth. In an interview after officially launching the 2018 Population and Housing Census Publicity and Count Down Campaign at Bingu International Convention Centre…

MHRC summons Mchacha on degrading remarks to Kaliati

  The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has summoned DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha for alleged gender-based violence. While falling short of summoning the alleged perpetrators, the Parliamentary Women Caucus has also joined those condemning Mchacha’s public ridicule of legislator Patricia Kaliati and others. In an interview with The Nation yesterday, MHRC executive secretary…

Chilima to break the silence

The Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima will today end his silence on his political future and announce his eagerly anticipated response to calls that he should stand as a presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Chilima, 45, is expected to address the nation amid rising tension in the country two months after…

MCP releases final NEC

  Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has released its final national executive committee (NEC) members almost three weeks after its convention in Lilongwe. During the convention, about 70 percent of the positions were duly elected while 30 percent were filled by endorsement after the party said it wanted equal distribution of seats to make the party…

Ministries contradict on Fisp beneficiaries

Two government ministries have given contradicting numbers of beneficiaries of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in the proposed 2018/19 National Budget. In the Budget Statement read in Parliament, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said government has increased Fisp beneficiaries from 900 000 to one million. But days later, officials from…