RBM plans to probe Illovo forex deals

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says it will investigate Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc for suspected foreign exchange externalisation and price transferring based on revelations in a court case. At the same time, the listed sugar manufacturer’s 300 minority shareholders say they will pursue the case against the company, demanding full disclosure of out of…

Interest capping bill resurfaces

Parliament is set to get a report on the controversial Financial Services Act (Amendment) Bill after its joint committee concluded local and international consultations. In November 2018, Dowa West member of Parliament (MP) Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) introduced the contentious Bill which proposes a regulatory measure to prevents banks and financial institutions from…

UNDP Malawi censured

A draft report from UNDP head office has censured the Malawi Country Office for subjecting over 4 200 national registration staff to unfair living and working conditions, including exposing women to sexual harassment. According to a report from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which Nation on Sunday has seen, the staff involved in the National…

K53bn storm far from over

Dust is refusing to settle on the controversy surrounding the K53.9 billion Immigration Department uniforms supply deal with Parliament Secretariat and the Attorney General differing on its status in court. While Parliament Secretariat’s legal department has stopped the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) from summoning top government officials to explain queries relating to the deal purportedly…

Is manufacturing sector on its deathbed?

Malawi’s drop in manufacturing over the past 25 years—which amounts to deindustrialisation—means that the country will find it harder to improve its employment numbers and sustain high economic growth rates, Business Review analysis shows. Instead, it is the service sector, whose contribution to job absorption rates in Malawi is much lower than manufacturing—according to the…

Inside K53bn deal

PAC notes shirt costs K60 000, belt K100 000 Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed fears of profiteering in the controversial K53 billion Immigration uniforms supply deal and demanded documentation after noting what it termed exorbitant prices for items. In an interview on Tuesday, PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said his committee has cast doubt…

New firm to run airports

Malawi is set to have a new company to work alongside a new body, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), to operate all public airports in the country on commercial basis. Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure spokesperson James Chakwera disclosed in an interview on Thursday about the establishment of the new company in explaining government’s delay…

Blame game over Chileka Airport rot

Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, condemned by South African Airways (SAA) safety auditors last week, has been a target of   government initiated safety interventions projects which have not materialised since 2010, Weekend Nation can disclose. International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) in 2013 asked Malawi to comply with international safety standards after a safety audit had…

Elections threaten economic stability

As the country slowly inches towards May 21 Tripartite Elections, the African Development Bank (AfDB) fears that Malawi might lose economic gains due to government’s appetite for spending to woo votes. Despite facing several challenges, the country’s economy registered an average growth of 3 percent in 2018 with inflation largely remaining low while the kwacha…

Firms want govt’s K53bn

Two suppliers that signed uniform supply deals with the Immigration Department in 2012— Africa Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company—want taxpayers to pay them K53 billion, which is more than five times the agreed contract amount. Government is now fighting this claim, believing that both contracts—signed for just over K9 billion in March 2012—fell off…

UTM admits election mess

UTM director of Elections Paul Chibingu on Friday admitted that the party’s first ever primary elections planned to be heard in one day were characterised by logistical and coordination challenges which resulted in postponing elections in some areas election. He, however, said lessons have been learnt and that if UTM was to conduct the nationwide…

Matumula quits UTM

Former Mangochi South legislator Yusuf  Matumula yesterday resigned from UTM Party a few months after joining it. In a brief letter addressed to UTM Party secretary general (SG) Patricia Kaliati, which we have seen, Matumula says he has resigned with immediate effect “ because it is not possible to fit in well”. He says he…

Chaos mars UTM primaries

UTM Party’s attempt to hold primary elections simultaneously nationwide yesterday failed as the polls were marred by ugly scenes of violence and unavailability of delegates in some areas, prompting cancellations in several areas. Initially the party, whose leader is Vice-President Saulos Chilima, announced that the primaries would cover all the 193 constituencies and 462 Wards…

Govt settles for Zim company in Ifmis deal

After months of uncertainty, government has confirmed that it has awarded a tender to supply Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) software to a Zimbabwe-based company, Twenty Third Century. Ifmis came under scrutiny in 2013 when it was discovered that billions of kwachas were stolen at Capital Hill. Since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came…

How Malawi fought  corruption in 2018

In 2018, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had several opportunities to win confidence of Malawians on the way the bureau was conducting itself in fighting corruption. The colossal opportunity availed itself in July 2018 when leaked documents revealed the corruption scandal that implicated the high office of the land and the Malawi Police Service (MPS). President…

UTM ‘biggies’ step aside

Masangwi, Msowoya, Makondinot contesting for party positions As the new kid on the block, UTM Party, goes to its first-ever elective conference on December 17 2018, some pioneers of the movement will not contest for positions in the party, Weekend Nation has established. The party says, among other things, the highlights of the convention would…

Borrowers dance, but banks cringe

The interest rate cap bill set to come on the House floor today could—if enacted—gift borrowers billions in direct cash backs, but the proposed legislation could also bring losses to banks that a banking sector player warns few can survive. The private members’bill—officially known as Financial Services (Amendment)—seeks, among otherprovisions, to put limits on how…

Tussle over fuel levies

Two weeks after the controversial increase in fuel prices, it has emerged that parastatal National OilCompany of Malawi (Nocma) has not been remitting around K17 billion in leviesto Mera, including the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) that cushions fuel prices. But Nocma claims the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) also owes it K13.8 billion in import…

Muluzi’s trial starts today

  Former president Bakili Muluzi is today expected to appear before the High Court in Blantyre in a case in which the State his accusing him of diverting K1.7 billion public funds into his personal account. Muluzi is being jointly accused with his personal secretary Lines Whiskey. The 12-years-old case is scheduled to start nine…

Former minister Kubwalo dead, burial tomorrow

  Former Cabinet minister and diplomat Joseph Kubwalo died on Wednesday evening and will be laid to rest in Blantyre tomorrow, his family has announced. Kubwalo, who served in former president Bakili Muluzi’s first multiparty Cabinet appointed in 1994, died at Blantyre Adventist Hospital after a long illness. A statement signed by Chief Secretary in…