K9bn MDF utility bill worry committee

The Parliamentary Committee on Defence and International Relations has proposed that legislators should move a motion to write-off part of the K9 billion bill that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) owes utility companies in the country. The committee’s chairperson Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma said in an interview yesterday government needs to find a special arrangement, or…

UNDP meets HRDC

The United Nations (UN) on Friday met the leadership of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in Lilongwe for what was said to be a routine and private agenda. But Weekend Nation understands that the meeting was a continuation of UN’s efforts to broker peace after the country has been experiencing violent protests aimed at forcing…

Diplomats clinging to embassies

 Taxpayers will continue paying salaries and allowances for some recalled diplomats holding on to their positions at various embassies. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila has since warned that government can strip off the diplomatic status of those resisting to come home. “The position of the ministry is that each diplomat is…

AG, HRDC talks start amid bomb scare

Security concerns, including an alleged foiled grenade attack on a vehicle, nearly spoiled key discussions between Attorney General’s team and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) members on how to manage future anti-Jane Ansha demonstrations. Due to security concerns, the meeting had to be shifted three times from Civic Centre to Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC),…

How else can Ansah be removed from MEC?

Despite the law providing procedures for removing a Malawi Election Commission (MEC) chairperson from office, those demanding the resignation of the incumbent—Jane Ansah—have instead opted for protests, a move that has divided opinions among legal minds. Section 75(4) of the Constitution—the supreme law of the land—states that a member of MEC may be removed from…

Consultant still controlling Maltis

Government is still grappling to take full control of an upgraded Malawi Road Traffic Management System (Maltis) from a South Africa-based consultant, Weekend Nation understands. On at least two occasions, government was forced to extend the contract period with the consultant, Gerrit Fischer who owns Fischer Consulting, in efforts to iron out outstanding issues, such…

Treasury admits fleet scam

Parked outside most government offices is a common sight of grounded and neglected vehicles that are wasting away. If some of these vehicles were auctioned earlier, the government could have saved millions of kwacha needed to buy a new fleet where necessary. But who is to blame for this wastage? Government suspects there exists a…

ACB moved on Cashgate cases

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been given two months to start prosecuting 14 Cashgate-related cases that have been in limbo for the past five years or risk having the cases thrown out. This follows court orders on July 11 the magistrate’s court in Lilongwe made, warning the bureau to appear in court within 14 days,…

Motorcycle taxis: moving death traps

Motorcycle taxi business is booming and financially empowering many Malawians, but lack of proper guidelines to police the trade is sending many to an early grave. In an interview, Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) spokesperson Angelina Makwecha admitted the danger the booming business is posing to travellers. She said the directorate and…

Lifestyle audit haunts ACB

It is an open secret that some public servants in the country have questionable lifestyles compared to their source of income. Section 32 of the Corrupt Practices Act was, therefore, framed with that in mind and clearly empowers the graft–busting body to investigate any public officer for maintaining a suspicious standard of living beyond ones…

Fire Ansah or persuade her to quit—MCP

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has warned that unless the beleaguered Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah is fired or resigns protests across the country will continue to paralyse normal business. Interim leader of opposition Robin Lowe told parliament on Friday that there are three options left for the MEC chairperson which are to…

USA for Fisp reforms

The United States of America (USA) says the Malawi Government’s flagship Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) is in need of reforms to achieve its objectives and give a return on its investment. USA deputy chief of mission Andrew Herrup expressed his sentiments in Lilongwe on Tuesday evening during his country’s 243rd Independence Day celebrations. Herrup,…

Assets office wants teeth to bite

Unless the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Assets Declaration is given teeth to bite, the annual exercise requiring public officers to declare their assets, will just be repetitive with lawbreakers walking scot–free, the office’s director Christopher Tukula has cautioned. In an interview on Friday, ahead of the July 1 to 30 submission of…

Councils resist audit on K30bn funding

Several local councils are resisting government efforts to audit the K30.9 billion funding for development projects they received in the past five years. The projects include Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which totals K16.7 billion, District Development Fund (DDF) which amounts to K10.2 billion and funding for boreholes pegged at K4 billion, according to statistics from…

APM for consolidation of gains

Malawians should not expect many new things during President Peter Mutharika’s second-term as his administration will mostly focus on consolidating the gains from his last five years. In his one-and-a-half hour State of the Nation Address (Sona) when he opened the 1st Meeting of the 48th Session of Parliament on Friday, Mutharika sounded upbeat about…

K350m for disaster not accounted for

About K350 million meant for disaster related activities in the past two years cannot be accounted for, an audit report shows. The Auditor General’s report, issued May 23 2019 on public funds expended on disaster in 2016/17 and 2017/18 when Malawi was hard hit by floods, drought and fall army worms, shows no supporting documents…

MPs betray constituents

Independent parliamentarians whose number is growing every general election are proving to be serving their own interests. Just last week President Peter Mutharika hosted 30—yet to be sworn-in—independent legislators at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, coaxing them to join his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Fifty-five out of the 501 independent candidates in the recent elections made…

Disgruntled Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters on Friday took to the streets of Lilongwe in a peaceful march to express their anger with the outcome of the just-ended May 21 elections. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika was declared winner in the elections which some civil society organisations such as Public Affairs Committee (PAC)…