Only K2.3m collected in Malata, Cement subsidy

Despite the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP) entering its third year, chaos characterise its operations as there is no clear mechanism for recovery of government money, Nation on Sunday has established. The programme, popularly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy, has only recovered K2.3 million of the K14 billion disbursed, representing 0.1 percent.…

The flop that is housing subsidy

President Peter Mutharika’s grandiose initiative to help the poor own decent houses has failed spectacularly three years after its launch, Weekend Nation can reveal. The Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP)—for that is the official name of the building initiative—has two components. The largest is the subsidy part, in which people get building materials…

Escom messes up gensets deal

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), the distributor of electricity, has messed up the procurement of generators that were expected to add 78 megawatts (MW) to the national grid to minimise the intensity of current blackouts, The Nation has learnt. All things being equal, the heavy-duty generators were scheduled to start running from this month.…

Road traffic paper scandal

As authorities dither to act on those behind the theft of road traffic security papers and production of fake vehicle documents, the practice continues with just one catch—tightening of security around the paper for road traffic documents. Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) regional manager for the South Madalitso Kuyera said earlier in…

Water polluters face jail, penalties

While officers in water boards , city councils and companies, who make people eat feaces stand to be fined K50 million and serve 15 years in jail, and companies risk having their operating licences revoked, experts say weak democratic institutions and policies militate against set standards to right such wrongs. The country ’s water system…

How industry is poisoning you

As if eating and drinking faeces is not enough danger and humiliation for Malawians, Weekend Nation has found that people are also consuming heavy metals and chemicals that industries are emitting into rivers and the collapsed sewer system. Various studies carried out in Blantyre on several rivers that pass through industrial areas have found a…

Faeces in your vegies

  Some city councils and water boards—which are supposed to run the country’s water and sewerage systems—conceded this week that they have lost control of the solid and liquid waste management systems. In the end, millions of Malawians are paying the price that may appear to be just a health and social problem for now,…

Faeces as daily diet

The presence of faeces in what should be potable water in Lilongwe’s Area 18 residential estate has sparked national outrage; but that is nothing compared to the dirt The Nation has dug up. A review of various studies conducted in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu cities as well as some districts in the Southern Region—plus interviews…

2019 purge?

Tough recommendations in the electoral and general public sector reforms could completely change Malawi’s political landscape if implemented, and could purge some of the leading politicians from the 2019 polls. The electoral recommendations are contained in a report of the Special Law Commission on the review of electoral laws while others are in the exit…

Reforms on deathbed

  The Public Sector Reforms Programme is barely breathing six months after the initiative moved to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), effectively weaning them from the direct supervision of Vice-President Saulos Chilima. Interviews with multiple sources—including local government councils, OPC; ministries, departments and agencies (MDA)—have shown little contact between the reforms unit…

Law commission endorses 50+1 system

The Malawi Law Commission has backed the introduction of 50+1 percent system of electing the country’s President while maintaining First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system to consolidate acceptability and legitimacy of the elected Head of State. In a Report on the Review of the Electoral Laws to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the commission said it…

Law commission  Endorses 50+1

  The Malawi Law Commission has backed the introduction of 50+1 percent system of electing the country’s President while maintaining First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system to consolidate acceptability and legitimacy of the elected Head of State. In a Report on the Review of the Electoral Laws to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the commission said…

Ministry botches textbooks deal

Term 1 ends without textbooks Teachers told to refer to old curriculum A wangle between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and a supplier left junior secondary students going through the first term of 2016/17 academic year without approved textbooks for the new curriculum. In June 2016, MoEST overturned its own decision to…

Ireland discusses aid strategy for Malawi

As the debate on the effectiveness of aid rages on, development practitioners and economists have differed on its impact in African countries including Malawi. While Catholic University head of economics department Gilbert Kachamba says aid has not entirely helped Malawi, former Irish Ambassador Aine Hearns argues their aid to Malawi has been effective and there…

New face of traffic rot

Parallel Road Traffic offices in Blantyre Use stolen official security paper to produce traffic documents The rot at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) has reached new levels, with its staff nourishing black market issuance of road traffic documents by illegally selling official security paper at K4 000 to users. Papers such…

NRWB writes ODPP to take action against Plem  for interference

Northern Region Water Board has written the Office of the Director of Public Procurement to take action against   Plem Construction Limited saying the firm violated procurement procedures for the K14 billion  Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation project. But Plem director Mohan Khrishnan said the allegations are baseless and aimed at diverting attention away from…

Contractor forced back to site, to bear the cost

Lilongwe City Council (LCC) has asked Plem Construction, a contractor of some city roads, to re-do the rehabilitation of some roads following government’s displeasure with the quality of the works. In the 2016/17 financial year ending this June 30, LCC set aside K2.175 billion for the rehabilitation of some roads in the city. However, Ministry…

Little hope for K6.1bn MSB toxic loans recovery

Two years after government set up a special recovery vehicle for K6.1 billion Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) toxic loans, no single tambala has been recovered and only hope remains for the initiative to succeed. Even the board of the special collection vehicle, MSB Debt Collection Company, comprising Chadwick Mphande as chairperson, lawyers Modecai Msisha and…

Prison Service blows k100 million on plants

Malawi Prison Service (MPS) has blown K100 million they did not have to procure machinery for purposes that are not the core business of the prison service. MPS, which is now negotiating with Treasury for funding of a tipper and an excavator it acquired outside its budget, has attracted the wrath of the Public Accounts…