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…

Winter of rage

It must also be very clear, by now, to anyone who cares, that our country is deeply divided and treading in very dangerous waters. We said all this before, but by now, if ever there were any doubts that the results of the May 21 elections and Justice Jane Ansah’s subsequent aloofness, have sent us…

MCP moves to block APM’s Auditor General choice

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it will block the appointment of chartered accountant Joseph Nangantani as Auditor General based on a myriad of reasons, including legal and political. MCP alleges that the appointee, whom President Peter Mutharika picked from a recommended shortlist of three after a selection interview, lacks the requisite experience for the job.…

Say what you want to say about Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah, we all will, but here is something about this woman: she is brave and courageous. And the fact that she presented herself for a media interview on the election case this week, ordinarily suggests that Ansah has nothing to hide—and…

Polls case hots up

Substantive matter hearing July 29 Petitioners go after MEC staff, ballots Proceedings in a case where two petitioners want presidential poll results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections nullified over alleged irregularities heated up on Wednesday before a five-judge panel of the Constitutional Court ahead of a full hearing which has been scheduled to start…

Ansah says won’t resign

Brands resignation   calls ‘mob justice’ Insists she operated within the law Embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has dismissed calls for her to resign for allegedly compromising herself and mismanaging the May 21 Tripartite Elections and purportedly favouring President Peter Mutharika. Breaking her silence in an exclusive interview with multi-award winning private broadcaster…

Don’t criminalise poverty—judges

Two judges of the High Court of Malawi have cautioned courts against criminalising poverty by handing stiffer sentences to economically poor offenders for petty crimes while the rich get away with lighter sentences. Judges Ken Manda and Chifundo Kachale expressed the sentiments in Lilongwe on Monday at the opening of a workshop for magistrates on…

Water scheme hits hurdle

Khato failing to get financier for LL-Salima water project Contractor of the K400 billion Lilongwe-Salima Water Supply Project, Khato Civils, is yet to find a new financier for the project, months after government rejected terms of the previous one. The development comes amid fears that Lilongwe may face water supply challenges as the current capacity…

On knife edge

Indeed, the art of winning power is not for governing. Whether legitimately or not, DPP won the 2019 elections, the dispute that has beset this country not withstanding. There were clear lessons inside the narrow victory. Over 63 percent of the electorate rejected the DPP and, by plausible extension, the manner in which it governed…

APM faulted on Al–Shabaab claims

President Peter Mutharika has come under fire for alleging that some politicians are trying to ‘recruit mercenary militias from Al-Shabaab and the Congo war zone to create anarchy in the country. Making his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the National Assembly on Friday, Mutharika alleged that some politicians had conspired to bomb Kamuzu…

MCP, UTM win first round

The Constitutional Court on Friday ruled against an application by President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to quash the referral case by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima who are disputing the May 21 presidential poll results. A panel of five judges made the ruling…

SKC, Chakwera fire up Lilongwe protesters

Political rivals Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima yesterday fired up protesters in Lilongwe as they hugged and walked side-by-side. The two were part of an estimated kilometre-long crowd comprising the young and the old, men and women, political party supporters and businesspersons as well as civil society groups…

There is a saying in these parts of the world that often ring true in many ways than one. Here in Africa, we don’t speak while eating. Well, for one, it’s the saying that excuses those benefiting from corrupt regimes from pointing any fingers at the corruption. It’s the maxim for sycophants and handclappers, as…