Donors: Clean up mess or forget aid

The message from donors is clear. This new DPP government must clean up the mess as a result of the Cashgate scandal in which billions were stolen from Treasury or it should forget about direct aid. In an exclusive interview, the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) chairperson Alexander Baum, said the follow-up to the…

Government circular sparks row

The Department for Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) says it cannot withdraw a circular stipulating new guidelines for daily subsistence allowances for civil servants implementing donor-funded projects despite concerns from various ministries and departments over some provisions. Instead, secretary for DHRMD, Sam Madula, has referred the concerns to the Office of the President and…

PAC takes mediation path

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has taken a mediation path to resolve the electoral impasse that has halted the announcement of the winners of the May 20 Tripartite Elections. PAC executive director Robert Phiri said yesterday that a mediation team, which was instituted in February this year to intervene in any major electoral disputes, has…

How the mighty have fallen

Several veterans in Malawi Parliament and some political old guard have fallen by the way side in the country’s first-ever tripartite elections held on May 20 as unofficial results keep trickling from polling centres. Most members of incumbent President Joyce Banda’s recently dissolved Cabinet, who abandoned Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) immediately after the death of…

Poll suspense MEC, parties, stakeholders meet

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has appealed to candidates in the May 20 Tripartite Elections to avoid declaring themselves winners before official results are declared. MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera made the appeal last evening at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre when he delivered a statement endorsed by MEC, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Malawi…

Treasury forces K25m loss on MSB

Government has forced the Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) to shoulder the loss of K25 million (about $60 000) incurred through enchashment of fake cheques which were printed outside the normal government system, Treasury has confirmed. Sources at Capital Hill have revealed that the government owned commercial bank has been punished for honouring fake cheques despite…

Court warns children against political violence

The Blantyre Child Justice Court says children should not be used to perpetrate political violence in the run-up to May 20 Tripartite Elections. Magistrate Esmie Tembenu said in an interview it was important to warn children in the wake of demonstrations last year against government in which pupils stormed the streets, stoning people and vehicles…

Ministry ignores new allowance directive

Officials in the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation are still collecting high rate hotel accommodation and sitting allowances despite government’s directive to implement new guidelines for daily subsistence allowances, Weekend Nation has established.   Secretary for Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) Sam Madula issued a circular in January advising all principal…

Government duped with fake cheques

As the country is reeling from Cashgate, which has almost rendered government bankrupt, some unscrupulous Capital Hill staff have been swindling public revenue using fake cheques printed outside the normal system, Weekend Nation has established. The trick, according to Capital Hill sources, was invented immediately after Treasury stopped processing payments using the Integrated Financial Management…

Cashgate, aid withdrawal bite so hard, departments cannot afford stationery to print memo

If government were a private entity, it would be declared bankrupt because normal civil service operations have virtually ground to halt due to lack of funding as a result of the Cashgate and resultant donor aid withdrawal. Some senior civil servants have confided in us that things have reached pathetic levels where offices are failing…

Catholic Church wants violent parties disqualified

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), which is under the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), has appealed to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to disqualify candidates in the May 20 Tripartite Elections proven to be perpetrating violence. In a statement released yesterday, CCJP national secretary Chris Chisoni was reacting to the acts of…

The High Court in Blantyre is today expected to hear arguments on whether the police and medical personnel violated the rights of 11 Mwanza women by subjecting them to mandatory HIV testing. Lawyer representing the 11 women, Chrispine Sibande, filed an application in court on March 10 2011, arguing that their rights were violated when…

CCJP proposes inquiry into jet sale

The Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace (CCJP) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi says the presidential jet sale puzzle can only be solved by instituting a commission of inquiry. CCJP national secretary Chris Chisoni said in an exclusive interview that apart from setting up a commission of inquiry, citizens have an option of taking…

PAC engages govt on conference

In a bid to remove any suspicion, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) says it has been engaging government to clarify that the forthcoming All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference was not targeting the current regime. PAC executive director Robert Phiri confirmed in an interview on Monday that his organisation has been meeting State representatives to discuss issues surrounding the conference…

Cashgate to hit JB in polls

A  survey carried out in 11 districts in the country to gauge citizen perception of key issues and elections has revealed that cashgate and the way government handled the matter is a concern to the electorate. The research identified the Capital Hill looting of public money and President Joyce Banda’s handling of the matter as…

PAC meets JB today

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is this morning scheduled to hold an interface meeting with President Joyce Banda in its quest to seek transformative leadership from presidential candidates in the May 20 elections. PAC executive director Robert Phiri confirmed yesterday that the meeting is scheduled for 9 am at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where, among other issues,…

Cashgate: PAC meets Feb 24 to discuss handling of Capital Hill plunder

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference, expected to discuss the cashgate scandal and the handling of the matter by government, has been slated for February 24 this year. PAC executive director Robert Phiri confirmed in an interview on Sunday that the conference, to be held at a venue yet to be identified, would gather at least 90…

MHRC underfire over gay rights

Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has come under fire from some civil society organisations for failing to advise Malawians through the High Court on the link between human rights and sexual orientation. The concern was raised by Centre for Development of the People (Cedep), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Manerela+, which are…