State says Manondo is a flight risk

The State has objected to the release on bail of Pika Manondo, one of the suspects in the attempted murder of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo. Manondo has been in custody since November 8 2013 and has been remanded at Kasungu Prison even before he applied for bail. He did not appear before…

The Ministry of Finance on Monday failed to turn up for a scheduled meeting with the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament to give an update on theft of billions of public funds at Capital Hill. The committee wanted to know how the development had impacted on the implementation of the first half of the 2013/14 National…

Admarc sounds SOS, seeks 20 000MT maize

State produce dealer, the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), has asked government to help it source about 20 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize to be sold to Malawians who will not have food from January 2014. Admarc director of operations Feckson Kantonga told the Agricultural Committee of Parliament in Lilongwe yesterday that the…

No Mphwiyo cashgate link yet—Police

Malawi police say they have not discovered a connection between the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and the theft of billions of public funds under his watch. However, he remains a crucial witness in his attempted murder case. Deputy Inspector General of Police (operations) Nelson Bophani told journalists in the capital,…

Mphwiyo expected to solve cashgate puzzle

Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, the man who is widely expected to solve the puzzle of the theft of billions of kwacha in public funds from Capital Hill, is back in town. Mphwiyo returned home yesterday after spending about two and a half months in South Africa where he was being treated for…

Donors propose new allowance rates

Malawi’s development partners have proposed new rates for allowances and transport reimbursements for donor-funded events and meetings to reduce expenditure due to the delay in donor funding as a result of cashgate. In a press statement issued on Wednesday by the European Union (EU) delegation in Malawi on behalf of the donors, measures have been…

Power struggle in CSTU affects members

Wrangles in the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) have reduced the bargaining powers of the union causing some workers to start mobilising themselves in protest against new cost-cutting measures which government has put introduced. This development follows the union’s delay to hold a congress where new executive leaders would be elected to replace the current…

‘Cashgate women’ plead not guilty

Four women accused of stealing about K550 million (about $1.3m) in the Capital Hill cashgate on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering levelled against them in the High Court in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. Hearing of the cases against them is expected to begin 21 days after the State submits a…

PAC still pursuing Mphwiyo

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has insisted on interrogating Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo who is currently in South Africa recovering from gunshot wounds. PAC has since Wednesday last week conducted meetings with various stakeholders in its investigations into the looting of billions of kwacha from government coffers. Those interviewed so…

Ministry starts paying Sacco remittances

The Ministry of Education has started paying the K1.2 billion it owes lending institutions, including savings and credit cooperatives (Saccos). The loan was accrued after the ministry failed to remit money deducted from teachers’ loan reimbursements. The development led to teachers failing to access loans for the past year. Ministry of Education Principal Secretary Macphail…

The College of Medicine, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, has introduced a Master of Medicine programme which will result in an increased number of obstetricians and gynaecologists in the country. The new four-year post-graduate programme is expected to train and produce obstetricians and gynaecologists in Malawi for the first time with assistance…

Lipenga speaks on cashgate

Former Malawi minister of Finance Ken Lipenga has told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament that he was not aware that some civil servants were siphoning billions of public funds from government coffers. Lipenga, who was left out of President Joyce Banda’s new Cabinet hired in mid-October this year, on Thursday night heeded summons…

Daza predicts MCP breakdown

Former Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Chris Daza has predicted the downfall of the country’s oldest political party, saying many people will quit MCP before the May 20 2014 General Elections. The social media and public domain has been rife with rumours that MCP deputy campaign director Joseph Njobvuyalema will soon join Daza in…

‘Ifmis still not ready’

The Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), government’s electronic payment platform, is yet to become fully operational because some ministries have not submitted names of new user rights holders who would be allowed access to the system. It was discovered that some civil servants took advantage of the weakness of Ifmis to facilitate theft of…

Ex-Accountant General defends Ifmis

The man at the centre of procurement of the now problematic Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) former accountant general Reckford Kampanje today told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament that the system is near perfect. Kampanje appeared before PAC where he outlined how the software for Ifmis was procured and challenges that have…

Tourism’s Kalonga charged with money laundering

Embattled Ministry of Tourism chief tourism officer Leonard Kalonga has been charged with theft and money laundering for allegedly defrauding government of K84 million (about $210 000) through dubious means. Kalonga was rearrested on Monday this week and he is already facing similar charges in the High Court. He is at the centre of the…

Pika Manondo seeks bail

Pika Manondo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, has applied to the High Court in Lilongwe to grant him bail 10 days after he handed himself to police. Manondo’s lawyer, John-Gift Mwakhwawa, said in an interview yesterday his client was not afraid of being released as…

Treason case judge opts out

High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga yesterday asked to be recused from the treason trial in which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika and other party heavyweights as well as former government officials are accused of attempting to take over government after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012. Kamanga asked to…

No tears for Daza—MCP

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it cannot shed tears over the defection of its secretary general Chris Daza to the People’s Party (PP) on Wednesday. Daza, who has served only two months since his reelection at the MCP convention, served on the SG position for five years. During the five-year period, Daza dragged the…

Doctors say Kasambara needs treatment

Medical doctors have recommended that former Malawi minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara needs specialist attention for his heart condition which his lawyers claim has deteriorated since his arrest on Friday last week. However, despite pleas from Kasambara’s lawyers that he needed immediate medical attention, the High Court in Lilongwe on Wednesday reserved its ruling…