At a time the election fever is high, at a time when budgets for elections are being prepared and submitted to well-wishers and when political manouvering in the parties and constituencies is becoming ugly, President Peter Mutharika decided to open a new session of Parliament by burying his head in the sand again and completely…

Court rebuffs State in Chaponda case, summons ministers

  The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court yesterday ordered the State to present its witnesses, including those currently attending Parliament in Lilongwe, to testify in the corruption-related trial involving former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda. The order followed a request from the State to adjourn the case to organise more witnesses having only…

Opposition firm on boycott

Riled by the absence of Electoral Reforms Bills on the agenda for the ongoing Parliament meeting, opposition parties are firm on boycotting proceedings unless government commits to table the proposed laws. The proposed laws, six in total, are missing from the Order Paper—an outline of business to be transacted in Parliament—despite assurances in June by…

It has been an important role of civil society in Malawi to raise concerns about the abuse of power by the state and advocating for various freedoms among them entrenchments of the fundamental rights to political participation and access to information. But as Malawians slowly forget the system that brought about civil society in this…

Malawi alert on plague

  Ministry of Health (MoH) says Malawi is on alert for any possible incident of a deadly form of plague which has so far killed 143 people in the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar. MoH Principal Secretary Dr. Dan Namarika said in an interview yesterday the plague would be manageable if the disease were…

Taulo removed as public procurement boss

The Director of Public Procurement Paul Taulo has been removed from office and moved to Airport Development Limited (ADL) where he will be deputy chief executive officer barely a year after his appointment. Taulo’s removal comes at a time when the Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) has become an authority following the amendment…

Malawi chances for MCC compact rise

  Malawi’s chances of qualifying for the next compact of the United States of America’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have gone up following improved scores on a scorecard, including controlling corruption. The controlling corruption indicator is one of the critical assessment tools for sustenance of the project and examines whether the country is making efforts…

Electoral bills not on agenda

  Proposed Electoral Reforms bills are not on the initial list of six Bills to be tabled when Parliament meets from this Friday, it has emerged. Parliament’s Business Committee, which maps the business to be tackled, met on Friday and agreed on several issues, among them the resuscitation of old bills which were not concluded…

Refreshing news came out of the Office of the President and Cabinet this week when President Peter Mutharika promoted the deputy director general of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba to head the graft-busting body, at least until May 2019. Much as the departure of the Lucas Kondowe might have been seamless, he left behind…

NFRA justifies maize price

  The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has justified its decision to buy maize at below government set minimum, saying most of the traders bringing maize bought it from farmers at lower prices. NFRA chief executive officer Nasinuku Saukira and his team gave the explanation in Lilongwe yesterday when they appeared before Parliament’s Committee on…

Will Matemba redeem ACB?

  President Peter Mutharika’s appointment of Reyneck Matemba as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general could be an opportunity to reshape an institution rocked in a perception crisis and help to reboot the fight against corruption. The appointment of Matemba—currently the bureau’s deputy director general and a career public servant—is subject to confirmation by the Public…

Matemba appointed ACB director

President Peter Mutharika has appointed Reyneck Matemba as the new Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) subject to confirmation by the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament. Until his appointment, Matemba served as  Deputy Director General, mainly responsible for prosecutions and has played the lead role in the prosecution of several Cashgate cases. Previously, Matemba worked…

Court orders Wandale mental exam

The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has ordered that Vincent Wandale, the self-styled supreme leader of the so-called United States of Thyolo and Mulanje (Must), should undergo a mental examination to determine if he is fit to stand trial. Wandale, who leads the People’s Land Organisation (PLO), faces the charge of publication of false statements likely to…

Medf defaulters  still owe K5bn

The Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf) has recovered about K2 billion from loan defaulters after taking legal action against them, but remains with over K5 billion to be recovered. Medf has so far engaged individuals who obtained the loans because of being politically-connected, but did not have business plans or effective methods of repaying the…

Commercial farming plan flops

    Plans to engage commercial farmers with the capacity to grow irrigated maize have flopped after only four companies out of the expected 25 participated in the exercise and the output was below expectation, it has been established. During the 2016/17 season, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development targeted commercial farmers to…

Another week has gone by and the comedy in the beautiful but cursed land of Malawi continues to play out. After attending the board meeting of Electricity Supply Commission (Escom) and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), President Peter Mutharika had the audacity to wave at the crowd loitering around Umoyo House and the shameless people actually…