12 more Msundwe saga

Lilongwe senior resident magistrate Florence Msekandiana yesterday released on bail 12 suspects arrested in connection with the Msundwe fracas following the State’s failure to justify their remaining on remand. The 12 had their bail ruling pended on Monday after they pleaded not guilty to the charge of endangering safety of people by allegedly blocking the…

Police accused of starving suspects

Private practice lawyers representing suspects arrested in the Msundwe saga have unveiled plans to seek compensation from government after police allegedly kept their clients for three days in custody without food. In an interview on Monday, lawyer Sylvester Ayuba James said he found the police’s treatment of his clients as strange and inhuman. He said:…

Budget gets nod, K6bn up

Parliament on Thursday authorised Treasury to spend K1.7 trillion in the 2019/20 financial year to the delight of Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha who saw his maiden national budget passed. But the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament and some economists have asked government to ensure that the financial plan is…

House approves stadia funding

Parliament on Tuesday approved for the construction of two stadium for private football clubs—Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward—despite opposition parties and cluster committees protesting the move. By allowing Vote 180 to be part of the recurrent budget, members of Parliament (MPs) have allowed the allocation of K1.6 billion to the construction of the…

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday approved funding to State Residences, National Audit Office (NAO), Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD). The House went into Committee of Supply after a heated debate on the confirmation of Duncan Mwapasa as Inspector General of Police hit a deadlock following disagreements on…

IG confirmation pended on technicality

Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara on Monday curtailed debate on the confirmation of Malawi Police Service Acting Inspector General (IG) Duncan Mwapasa as IG following a misunderstanding that ensued in the House on a constitutional interpretation. Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi had just moved a motion for the House to confirm Mwapasa when…

Bad debts, others choke parastatals

Rising trade debtors and unfavourable market and operating environment continued to worsen the performance of parastatals in the 2018/19 financial year that ended on June 30, the 2019 Annual Economic Report indicates. The report, produced by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, shows that the performance of most statutory corporations subdued in the…

Chakwera’s lawyer robbed

Unknown assailants on Wednesday night broke into the house of Pempho Likongwe, one of the lawyers representing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera in the elections case, and stole his laptop, mobile phones and court documents. In an interview yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said police recovered a briefcase and some documents, but…

Speaker suspends  2 MPs for chaos

Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara has slapped two legislators with two days ban each for causing disorder in the House on Wednesday and yesterday. The Speaker yesterday announced the suspension of Dowa East member of Parliament (MP) Richard Chimwendo Banda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) and Blantyre City South East MP Sameer Suleman (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP)…

Justice system rotten—report

The Malawi Prisons Inspectorate has faulted courts, prisons, police and lawyers for acting like criminal entities on their own by allegedly standing in the way of justice prisoners. In a report whose findings were disseminated on Friday in Lilongwe, the Malawi Prisons Inspectorate Report 2019 said the way the criminal justice system is operated by…

Govt dared to walk the talk on budget

Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee has challenged government to “walk the talk” on the promises made in the proposed 2019/20 National Budget. Making the committee’s response in Parliament yesterday afternoon, committee chairperson Sosten Gwengwe said it is their hope that the forecasts and assumptions underpinning the budget will translate into reality. He said his committee…

Committee bemoans unabated illegal mining

Parliamentary Cluster Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Climate Change co-chairperson Werani Chilenga says government’s laxity in curbing illegal mining is shortchanging the nation and depleting mineral resources with impunity. He said this after his committee met officials from the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources and Mining during a parliamentary cluster meeting last week,…

Admarc irks MPs on rotten maize

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Climate Change has faulted Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) for the rotting of 7 000 tonnes of maize while in stock. Admarc chief executive officer Margaret Roka-Mauwa told the committee Tuesday that most of the rotten maize was in their Northern Region depots where people…

Mutharika leaves for Unga

President Peter Mutharika yesterday left for the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Unga74) with a message that Malawi is on the right track in eradicating poverty and empowering women. Speaking on departure to the UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America, Mutharika said this year’s theme, Galvanising Multilateral Efforts for…

Parliament says Escom is a failure

The Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Climate Change Parliamentary Cluster Committee on Tuesday called Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) a disappointment. According to the committee, the sole power supplier has failed to connect customers to the national grid and to manage blackouts. But Escom officials argued that they are failing to work efficiently because…