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)…

‘K4bn Fund underutilised’

Only 12 out of the country’s 28 councils utilised over 80 percent of the Community Managed Social-Economic Project Fund (Comsep), popularly known as the K4 billion Fund, Weekend Nation understands. Both Treasury and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development confirmed in earlier interviews that all the funds were disbursed in two tranches, both in…

State House headcount fails

 The National Audit Office has, since 2016, not conducted a head count at State House—an exercise government embarked on in 2015 to flush out ghost workers in the public service, NAO told Weekend Nation this week. In May 2016, former Auditor General (AG) Stephenson Kamphasa told a joint parliamentary committee for the Public Accounts and…

CSOs launch anti-corruption alliance

Some civil society groups in the country have launched a National Anti-corruption Alliance (Naca) aimed at mobilising and coordinating civil society activities in combating corruption. The founding members of the alliance include Youth and Society (YAS), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Church and Society of the Livingstonia Synod.…

Condemned at birth

 Under the moonlight, with no proper cover against the harsh weather conditions, the babies smile and make inaudible noises from the back of their mothers, oblivious of their plight and how they came to be found here. They know of no other home. They were born here and are being raised here, in the streets…

Misa, Mesn speak on influence of debates

 Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has expressed optimism that the just-ended presidential debates have helped Malawians to focus on issues and not personalities when voting for candidates. Misa Malawi Chairperson Theresa Ndanga was speaking to journalists at the end the third and final presidential debate held on Friday evening in Lilongwe. Ndanga…

JB’s arrest warrant still alive

The government has today broken its silence on former President Joyce Banda’s warrant of arrest, saying the warrant is still alive and valid, Minister of Information Henry Mussa has said. Mussa said this at an impromptu press briefing held in Lilongwe. He was accompanied by Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Justice and…

Bishop Mtumbuka talks tough on governance

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Catholic diocese of Karonga has challenged Malawians to wake up from their deep slumber and start demanding answers from duty-bearers on a wide range of socio-economic ills affecting the country. Mtumbuka, who chairperson for Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), was speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday when the Episcopal…

Government given one year to remove street kids

Office of the Ombudsman has directed that government should withdraw all children living or working in the country’s streets within one year. The directive follows findings by the Ombudsman that government’s failure to discharge its duties has fuelled the plight of street children and contributed to criminal elements now threatening the country’s streets. But Minister…