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…

Govt justifies Gandhi ‘statue’

Government says the erection of the Mahatma Gandhi bust in Blantyre will strengthen good relations and benefits between Malawi and India. The India Government proposed to erect Gandhi’s bust on the junction of Mahtma Gandhi Road and Masauko Chipembere Highway in Blantyre, but thousands of Malawians have signed a petition against the move citing recent…

Group against Gandhi statue

Over 3 000 Malawians have signed a petition to stop Blantyre City Council (BCC) and the Indian Government from erecting a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian activist, at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre. The immortalisation of Gandhi, who never set foot in Malawi, faces continued protests as the group that has set the petition threatens…

SKC pushes UTM  registration

Vice-President Saulos Chilima has filed six grounds of appeal against the decision by the registrar of political parties to reject the registration of United Transformation Movement (UTM) as a political party. In the application filed as Civil Case Number 113 of 2018 at the High Court in Blantyre on September 27 2018 through private practice…

Macra warns airtel for failing to deactivate sim cards

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has warned Airtel Malawi that it risks monetary fine, licence suspension or a warning for failing to deactivate about one million unregistered numbers after the subscriber identity module (SIM) registration deadline. In an interview yesterday, Macra deputy director for consumer affairs Thoko Chimbe said the regulator’s monitoring system on Monday…

MEC tips off parties on  primaries, candidates

  Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has advised political parties in the country to use its guidelines when scrutinising candidates during primary elections to identify their representatives in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections. The electoral body has since warned that in the event of a political party’s candidates being disqualified it would not be possible…

‘Parties profiting from dirty money’

Major political parties are surviving on tainted money from donors, cuts from shady contracts from government and handouts from politically compromised businesses and individuals in exchange for future business deals. Such lack of tangible income, according to studies and interviews, make the parties susceptible to corruption and money-laundering. In December 2017, Parliament passed the Political…

Are police on killing spree?

Over 40 shot dead in police custody in months Activists fear extra-judicial executions in MPS Seven years after some local NGOs claimed to the UN that Malawi was involved in extra-judicial killings, Weekend Nation has traced scores of robbery suspects who have turned up dead in dubious circumstances at the hands of police over the…

About 50% register sim cards

Over three million mobile phone users risk being cut out of mobile phone service as the country’s mobile phone operators have only registered over 50 percent of the sim cards in the country ahead of the September 30  2018 deadline. The sim card registration exercise started in February this year and is expected to end…