Political legitimacy: a tall order for leaders

Just a day after the Catholic Bishops released the April 29, 2018 pastoral letter calling for a new era in Malawi, one audio clip made rounds on social media, particularly WhatsApp, creating what I would call a ‘dimensional debate’. In the clip, Father Ernest Mwinganyama of Mangochi Diocese addresses a congregation. “Ine ndingokufunsani. Kodi mwamulemba…

This week, we on the streets spent some hours in the library and stuck on our eyes was one file exposing how tight civil activism has become in Malawi. In our hands was one fat file with several petitions by civil society organisations (CSOs) and Public Affairs Committee (PAC) as well as pastoral letters, among…

Small markets of everything

Daybreak at Chilomoni Market in Blantyre promises nothing much. Just a 40-something man pushing wastes towards the skip on an empty street. The market’s gates open at 6am and closes at 7pm every day, workers say. But the sight of plastic and glass bottles of liquor and condoms in the waste tell a story of…

It is 25 years since the June 14 1993 Referendum when Malawians chose  multi-party democracy after 31 years of one-party rule. Is the lamp of democracy still shining? Our reporter ALBERT SHARRA engages political analyst Dr Michael Jana, who has done a study on the legitimacy of Parliament in emerging democracy. Living Our Faith, the…

Kamuzu Barrage ready October end

  The upgraded Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde in Machinga is expected to be completed in October this year, 12 months after missing the initial deadline, an official has said. Speaking in an interview after a media tour of the barrage on Friday, government site engineer Toney Nyasulu said the works are at an advanced stage.…

From zero to a graduate

  A girl who spent 10 years without any reason and push to learn has become the first graduate in her village, our Staff Reporter ALBERT SHARRA writes. Fransca Faiti is the first university graduate from Panganani Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in Chikwawa. Despite growing up in a society where girls marry before…

No talks with DPP

Recently, President Peter Mutharika announced that he has established a task force to look into the petition submitted by protestors on April 27. Almost a month on, Our News Analyst ALBERT SHARRA caught up with Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo, one of the organisers of the demonstrations, to track progress.…

Pushing forward the last girl

On a sunny day, choruses of adolescent girls welcome you to Nkata in Malombe, a rural setting in Mangochi District. For the community, these songs, with painful memories and growing relief intertwined to depict the gratitude of one-time neglected teenagers, mark a new dawn. There are 35 girls who have been under instruction for nine…

When a nation ignores mothers

For Griffin Banda, a clinical officer at Ngabu Rural Hospital, the first three months of the year were horrendous to his career. He lost five babies during birth. “I believe they could have been saved,” he says when asked about the circumstances. But this has been the situation for three years in which the facility…

Allow me to begin by welcoming amayi back home. Takulandirani amayi. The Warm Heart of Africa is as good as you left it or should I say just as bad? Nothing has changed except increased load-shedding. People are still suffering, the economy remains in bad shape, businesses are shrinking, jobs are scarce and there are…

NPL journalist wins UN energy contest

  The United Nations (UN) has selected Nation Publications Limited (NPL) features editor James Chavula as one of the six winners of a global contest on sustainable energy reporting for least developed countries. Chavula, who heads NPL’s newly formed Solutions Journalism, is among five reporters who have travelled to Lisbon, Portugal, to attend the ongoing…

‘Our laws increase  discrimination and stigma’

Three organisations, Women’s Coalition Against Cancer (Wocaca), Centre for Human Right Education Advice and Assistance (Chreaa) and Youth Watch Society (Yowso) have collaborated in a drug policy reform to address the harms caused by the current laws. In their March 2018 report, the network exposes serious gaps that are derailing the fight against drug abuse.…

‘Chikwawa has one  functional ambulance’

With a projected population of over half a million, Chikwawa District is operating with only one functional ambulance at the district’s main hospital, Weekend Nation  has learnt. This has compromised the district’s referral system forcing patients to dig deep into their pockets to seek medical attention at the facility and Ngabu Rural Hospital. Both Chikwawa…