Hon. Folks, hello 2019, the year of reckoning! Between now and the time of tripartite elections in May, candidates aspiring for presidential, parliamentary and local government positions will work very long hours and spend money, most likely a lot of it, to prepare for victory. The pressure will particularly be too much for the major…

Hon. Folks, hello 2019, the year of reckoning! Between now and the time of tripartite elections in May, candidates aspiring for presidential, parliamentary and local government positions will work very long hours and spend money, most likely a lot of it, to prepare for victory. The pressure will particularly be too much for the major…

Hon. Folks, having uninterrupted electricity from days before Christmas feels good. I wonder who do we thank for the respite–Escom? Egenco? APM and Government? Whoever it is, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. Having power all day everyday should have been the norm in this 21st Century but in Malawi, the norm has been to pay…

Hon Folks, so MBC has felt duty bound to honour APM for the Access to Information (ATI) law! Frankly, I’m chaffed. As a media practitioner and strong believer in the adage that information is power, I should’ve been giving MBC moral support for the decision to hail APM for the ATI. But that’d make me…

Hon Folks, I never lived a moment to doubt the need to protect MPs’ operational independence. In fact, many governance watchdogs have for long criticised the prevailing system which enables the Executive to use funding as a means for putting the Legislature on a short leash. Parliamentary committees have at times failed to meet and…

Hon Folks, Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembe was on Tuesday laid to rest. But the dust stirred by political drama at his funeral continues to choke the Tumbuka and entire Northern Region. There’s good reason for this. The North is an important kingmaker in the 2019 presidential race. DPP’s Peter Mutharika and MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera who…

Hon Folks, as we head towards the 2019 tripartite elections, inter-party battles are raging so much that MEC has already started talking to leaders of major parties to slow them down on spewing vitriol on the campaign trail. The big three—Peter Mutharika, Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima—are tearing into each other, chiding character and ability…

Hon. Folks, Damson Chimalira is an MP for Ntcheu South, a constituency where Martha Chilabade, 30, comes from. For the past four years Chimalira and councillors for the two wards in his constituency have watched the desolate Namisu Health Centre deteriorate further into a state of disrepair, depriving women from 60 villages in T/A Phambala’s…

Hon Folks, since 1994 a sitting President doesn’t justify Cabinet reshuffles. Hiring and firing of ministers is a presidential prerogative, they say. When the phrase was first used by the government of Bakili Muluzi, I thought it was a mere excuse by a political mentee of Kamuzu to flex muscle over his ministers. There were…

Hon Folks, after the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) released its report on the political environment in Malawi in the run-up to the 2019 elections, the reaction was narrowly trained on who could’ve won the presidential race if the polls were held in Q3 of 2018. But the study had the broader scope…

Hon Folks, Secretary to Treasury Ben Botolo asks Eric Chapola to resign as MRA board chair. He does not say why. The latter complies without a fuss. Good riddance, Treasury heaves a sigh of relief. Not so fast. The people of Malawi have the right to know what’s happening in government and why. That’s why…

Hon Folks, remember the song:  “Zonse zimene nza Kamuzu Banda.” (All there’s belongs to Kamuzu)? Growing up in Malawi in the 60s, 70s, 80s required embracing with an ear-to-ear smile the relics of this song. Why? It mattered a lot in those days when Africa was riddled with coups and civil strife to rally the…

Hon Folks, the health sector is where Malawi is bagging kudos. Life expectancy was at 63.7 years in 2016 from 39.4 years in 1967 and researchers say things are better by 0.97 percent annually, hurray! Malaria prevalence dropped to 33 percent in 2014 from 43 percent in 2010 (latest data is likely to reveal more…

Hon Folks, APM’s 2018 United Nations General Assembly (Unga) trip is harder to measure for its merit than it is for its intrigues. Surely the team of his spin doctors must have worked long, long hours to capture all the nuances into one good pack that could help make APM sell in these campaign times…

Hon Folks, a stitch on time saves nine, they say. As politicians have hit the campaign trail, trying to woo voters with lies and pledges, it’s up to us voters to realise that what is stake in the 2019 Tripartite Elections is our destiny. Already, we are the world’s case study of a country where…

Hon Folks, does APM—he of “we’re managing just fine with our own resources” fame—know that the 2018/19 National Budget is standing on quick sand? Treasury says unless World Bank injects K60 billion into the 2017/18 National Budget, government will have to recast and trim approved expenditure lines. Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe indicated that the recurrent…

Hon Folks, the number of Malawians who have opted to vote with their feet in next year’s tripartite polls is alarming. Of the 17 districts where voter registration has taken place, only Nkhotakota and Chikwawa have registered slightly more voters now than those that registered for the 2014 polls. The rest—Kasungu, Salima, Dedza, Dowa, Mchinji,…

Hon Folks, Malawi is on the world map for wrong reasons-violence. Earlier in the week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Southern African Human Rights Defenders issued statements, condemning violence unleashed against government critics.They urged the police to be on top of things and bring the culprits to book. Prior to that,…

Hon Folks, after the embarrassing exposure of the K145 million which ended up in a DPP account for which the President is the sole signatory, several things have happened. The ACB first embarked on a witch-hunt to smoke out the whistle blower within the organisation. Later it tried to do some damage control by clearing…

Hon Folks, as registration of voters, is in progress, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has released the outcomes of the exercise in the first three phases that covered districts in the Central Region. The figures show more women than men have registered. I guess there is little, if any, surprise here since there are more women…