Malawi tea loses grip in Africa

  Poor tea quality and old variety of shrubs are threatening the position of the country as the second major tea producer in Africa after Kenya as new countries are emerging with new varieties and better quality. Malawi was once Africa’s leading tea producer until the late 1950s when Kenya pushed the country to the…

Egenco in K5bn Nkula dam dredging project

  Faced with pressure to increase power generation, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has embarked on a K5 billion project to dredge sediment load lying on the bed of Shire River at Nkula Falls to increase water storage. The project comes at a time Malawi is struggling to produce adequate electricity due to low water levels…

Escom CEO removed, Chiwaya takes over

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) chief executive officer (CEO) Evelyn Mwapasa has been removed from her position and replaced with Dr Allexon Chiwaya who is making a comeback to the power utility. In a memorandum dated November 9 2017 addressed to Escom heads of department and all staff, director of human resources and administration…

Panic: Egenco to airlift generators

Faced with pressure to improve power generation, the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) plans to airlift generators from India to speed up the process of generating power from diesel-powered generators. In an interview yesterday, Egenco chief executive officer William Liabunya said the first generator with a capacity of six megawatts (MW) destined for Mzuzu will be…

How Joyce Banda contained the blackouts

  When then estranged vice-president Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency in line with constitutional order following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, some notable changes Malawians instantly noted were reduced power blackouts and an end to fuel shortages. Exit Joyce Banda and enter Peter Mutharika after the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, the power…

From bad to worse

  Power generation woes have moved from bad to worse with a loss of 20 megawatts (MW) within a week, a situation that has prompted a drastic load shedding programme that will see some areas having over 24 hours of no power. Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), which sells its power to Electricity Supply Corporation of…

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…

Medic collapses in theatre, expectant teenager dies

  Thyolo District Health Office (DHO) is investigating circumstances under which an 18-year-old pregnant woman, Mphatso Phiri, and her unborn baby died on an operating theatre table on Sunday morning after the clinician on duty collapsed in a ‘drunken’ suspicion. Mphatso’s death brings to 15 the number of women dying while giving birth at Thyolo…

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…