UTM witness testifies in polls case

One of the key witnesses for UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima says Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) pledged during the May 21 Tripartite Elections results transmission that any altered results would not be admitted by the electoral body. Mirriam Gwalidi, who worked as the party’s roving monitor but was stationed at the Main Tally Centre…

For posterity’s sake…“If the only tool you have is a hammer,” goes one African proverb, “you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Well, perhaps, we should be grateful that President Peter Mutharika, after all, has remained quiet as the country burnt because each time he speaks he seems to make matters worse. At…

APM, Ansah audios played in court

As SKC case shrinks to presidential Chilima also quizzed on nullification of elections The Constitutional Court, sitting in Lilongwe yesterday, heard a glimpse of the evidence UTM presidential candidate Saulos Chilima has in the case, including audio recordings in which MEC officials are overheard discussing election irregularities. Some of the evidence came to light as…

Court dismisses MEC, APM appeal

The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed with costs an appeal President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had filed to throw out the ongoing presidential election petition case at the Constitutional Court. The ruling paves the way for the Constitutional Court to today continue hearing the presidential election case from UTM Party…

AG and Chilima tussle over monitors, tippex

Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale on Friday battled with the country’s immediate past vice-president and UTM leader Saulos Chilima over the use of party monitors and the now infamous correctional fluid (Tippex) during the ongoing presidential election case. Lawyers for the UTM presidential candidate suffered a setback after the court rejected an application by lead…

Malawi lauds Egypt support

Malawi has commended Egypt for fostering strong bilateral relations and national development. Deputy Minister of Defence Chipiliro Mpinganjira said this during the commemoration of the Egyptian revolution held at Egyptian Ambassador Hassan Shawky’s residence in Lilongwe recently. He said Egypt’s support to various sectors has boosted the country’s socio-economic endeavours. Mpinganjira cited technical and financial…

Court reserves ruling on demos injunction

The High Court in Lilongwe yesterday reserved its ruling to ‘as soon as possible’ in a case where the Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale sought to stop demonstrations for causing violence. The AG had also petitioned that demonstration organisers, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), should pay K2 billion as surety to cover damages incurred…

Still, Chasowa’s ghost haunts us

The last time our police service acted like a paramilitary branch of a ruling part—attempting to curtail the constitutional right of demonstration, something very terrible happened. I am not talking about the 21 bullet-ridden bodies we collected across the country on July 20 2011. Well, that was a shameful, police act, but I am talking…

PAC meets APM  On dialogue

Public Affairs Committee (PAC) mediation team is today set to meet President Peter Mutharika in Blantyre to discuss possible solutions to the post-May 21 Tripartite Elections stalemate. Both presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani and PAC executive director Robert Phiri confirmed in separate interviews yesterday that the President has granted the quasi-religious grouping an audience at…

Army chief explains military role in demos

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has explained the involvement of MDF in internal security, saying the Army is legally mandated to ensure constitutional order. Responding to a question during a news conference convened by Malawi Police Service Inspector General Rodney Jose at National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe on Monday, the Army chief…

Rome is burning

I’ve learnt that those who want the truth don’t need much convincing while those preferring lies will ignore the truth no matter how meticulously presented,” Thuli Madonsela, former Ombudsman, Republic of South Africa. The opening quote from the former South African Ombudsman has been exciting rabid thoughts in my mind as I watched Malawi burn…

Contractor to pay for botched K188m deal

State-owned Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) and a contractor of a K188 million mobile water treatment plant have ended a protracted legal battle for alleged breach of contract following the contractor’s agreement to refund the money. In a letter dated June 17 2019 addressed to LWB chief executive officer Engineer Alfonso Chikuni, the water utility firm’s…

Yes, we need a conversationThe scenes of President Peter Mutharika arriving in Lilongwe this past week—in full military escort with armoured vehicles in front and behind his convoy—tells us something about the poignancy of today’s Malawi. These are precarious times. Save for a drastic change of the situation, which one cannot bet on anyway! When…

Govt defies orders

Though the Ombudsman earned a public apology over government’s messy handling of a $50 million (about K37 billion) credit line from India for tractors, there is no joy to ensure proper closure of the matter. The public protector called for prosecution of members of the internal procurement committee (IPC), who presided over the sale of…

So, should we cry?

There are many ways to describe the current state of affairs in the country. My favourite writer, the irreplaceable and ultimately irredeemable Raphael Tenthani would have said, I reckon: “A moment of flux.” And it could have been both apt and right. For now our country’s is more just crossroads, the happenings make up for…

Trapence, Sembereka out on bail

Activists Gift Trapence and Macdonald Sembereka were finally granted bail on Friday by the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court amid mounting pressure for authorities to drop charges against them. Trapence (second accused) and Sembereka (first accused) have formally been charged with fraud related to criminal accounts concerning alleged abuse of donor funds, but the move has been…

Police arrest Trapence, Sembereka

Police have arrested human rights activists Gift Trapence, vice-chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) who organised the recent demonstrations against the outcome of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, and McDonald Sembereka for alleged fraud. National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said in an interview yesterday that Fiscal Police arrested the two following a complaint from…