What started as a normal Saturday morning for me was spoiled with a text message on WhatsApp from a Lilongwe-based friend who works for a commercial bank. She wrote: “Wamva [have you heard] kuti [that] Paul Mphwiyo was shot? He’s alive but critical. This country! Eish!” I breathed a sigh of relief on learning that…

Change is inevitable. It is the currency of progress. Yet, naturally, human beings resist change. Change occurs in two ways: Either positive or negative. Fear of the unknown is usually what breeds resistance to change. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the former president of the United States of America, once said about change: “Change is the law…

Watching from the sidelines, I have always seen Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), the commercial bank 100 percent owned by government, as one example of public enterprises with potential to grow and perform better if they were run as an autonomous entity from the bondage of political shenanigans. Sadly, however, that has not been the case…

In The Nation newspaper edition of August 14 2013, Economic Empowerment Action Group president Lewis Chiwalo cried foul over fares South African Airways (SAA) is charging passengers on the Malawi-Johannesburg route. He described the fares as a rip off. Further to this, Chiwalo said the high fares are contributing to the increased cost of doing…

This week, Standard Bank Malawi Limited, one of the commercial banks operating in the country, made an interesting statement about the kwacha exchange rate and what the future holds in terms of foreign exchange availability as the lean period approaches. In brief, Standard Bank ruled out the possibility of the economy experiencing massive, or what…

In his 2013/14 National Budget Statement, Malawi’s Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga announced the reintroduction of input value added tax (VAT) on internet services. In justifying the VAT, currently charged at the rate of 16.5 percent, the honourable minister argued that introduction of the input VAT on internet services would eventually help reduce the costs…

Half the time they live without power, yet at the end of every month, they get ever-rising electricity bills for such a poor service. That is the sad story of Malawian electricity consumers (both industrial and domestic/households) who, in the name of liberalisation of energy prices, are paying through the nose for the power they…

I came to know British High Commissioner Michael Nevin in the early 2000s. That time he was working for the British High Commission in Lilongwe as Secretary for Chancery (Political, Press and Public Affairs). That time, I was a reporter on the current affairs desk at Nation Publications Limited (NPL) based in Blantyre. We knew…

  Malawi gained independence from Britain on July 6 1964. This Saturday, July 6, we will be celebrating 49 years of political independence. I am underlining ‘political independence’ because, somehow, on the economic side, we are yet to be independent if the dependence on development partners to finance our budgets-both development and recurrent expenditures—is anything…

  This is interesting! From the look of things, on the one hand, the State is giving us the picture that it wants to discharge some services as a business venture, asking consumers to pay for the full cost, so to speak. But, on the other hand, the same State is investing billions of kwacha,…