Parliament’s hits, misses

The 2014-2019 cohort of Parliament was moderate on legislation, but strong on oversight, The Nation analysis and interviews with the august House’s watchers show. Our search at Parliament Building in Lilongwe shows that enacted laws dropped five percent during the just disbanded House, chalking around 144 legislations against 152 by the 2009-2014 Parliament. Of these…

K400bn water project seeks new financier

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe says the K400 billion Lilongwe-Salima Water Supply Project contractor is negotiating with a new financier. The minister told Parliament in Lilongwe on Thursday that negotiations on the scope of the project and financing were under way. He said once the negotiations are finalised, the country would…

In the midst of the devastating floods that have hit some parts of the country and the ongoing debate on whether the government of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has failed to protect persons with albinism, the nation had a brief moment of déjà vu. Fearing that persons with albinism (PWAs) camping in his front…

House approves revised national budget

Parliament yesterday authorised government to use a revised budget for the second half of the financial year with cuts made to some expenditure lines on development projects. This means that the 2018/19 National Budget has been revised downwards by K25 billion to K1.4 trillion due to an expected decrease in development expenditure, especially under the…

Government over-expenditure worries IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over Malawi’s failure to tame public expenditure, a development that has resulted in government failing to balance the budget in the first-half of the financial year ended December 31 2018. Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has conceded that most of the reported cases of…

House approves K36bn ECD loan

Parliament has authorised government to access a $50 million (about K36 billion) grant from the World Bank for early childhood development (ECD) amid queries from opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on why government fast tracked the passing of the bill. The International Development Assistance (IDA) Investing in Early Years for Growth and Productivity in Malawi…

‘Police, intelligence have failed’

A joint committee of Parliament probing the attacks and killings of people with albinism (PWAs) has faulted the Malawi Police Service for lacking specialised skills to investigate the cases while criticising the National Intelligence Service for not doing its part. The joint committee—comprising Social and Community Affairs, Legal Affairs, and Defence and Security—presented a report…

Goodall rewards extravagant MDAs

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has rewarded with extra allocations ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that overspent in the first half of the financial year in the Mid-Year Budget Review Statement presented on Friday. Details in the draft Mid-Year Budget Review Statement tabled in the National Assembly show that the “bad-boys”,…

Opposition queries budget

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) plan to take the government to task over its failure to implement the National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism and overexpenditure in some government departments, including State Residences while others were underfunded. Parliament starts meeting tomorrow for the Mid-year Budget Review Meeting where Minister of…

For the past five years, a common feature of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has been divisionary tactics against any entity that shows subversive behaviour to authority. Malawi has seen ‘associations’, ‘joint coalitions’ sprout up just at the point that credible civil society organisations are organising demonstrations against various injustices or corruption. There are…

Lowe is new leader of opposition

Former Malawi Congress Party (MCP) chief whip in the National Assembly Lobin Lowe has replaced party president Lazarus Chakwera as leader of opposition in Parliament. Chakwera resigned as legislator for Lilongwe North West and subsequently as leader of opposition in Parliament earlier this month to facilitate his eligibility for nomination as presidential candidate in the…

Lowe replaces Chakwera as leader of opposition

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has elected Lilongwe Central member of Parliament (MP) Lobin Lowe as an interim leader of opposition replacing the party president Lazarus Chakwera who resigned from his position in order to contest as the party’s torchbearer in the upcoming May 21 elections. Parliamentary Standing Orders indicate that the opposition party with the…

Maize outlook promising

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has attributed a projected 25 percent increase in maize crop production to the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) despite the initiative not yielding similar results in recent years. Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha yesterday announced the first round of crop estimates at a news…

Parliament joins albino killings probe

Parliament has set up a joint committee to investigate the ongoing attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism, including the conduct of the police. Police have come under scrutiny for the suspicious deaths of three key suspects while in their custody and failure to get to the bottom of the matter by, among other…

As Parliament gears up to meet for the last time until new Members of Parliament are sworn in after May 21 elections, President Peter Mutharika would do well to heed advice on his Cabinet members: get rid of deadweight. The top of the list to face Mutharika’s axe should be Minister of Homeland Security and…

On Wednesday, the country woke up to news that a 14-year-old boy had been abducted from his home while his parents and sister were sleeping. The tragedy of this news is not just the abduction itself but the person who has been taken. The teenager, Goodson Makanjira, has a condition called albinism. He bleeds like…

IG empowers officers on political violence

Police Inspector General (IG) Rodney Jose has asked officers-in-charge (OICs) of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to take action without fear of any political party when incidences of political violence occur. The IG has come under fire from various stakeholders for acting slowly in arresting and prosecuting perpetrators of political violence largely believed to be…

The 40-year-old Atupele Muluzi has everything going for him: smarts, leadership, a grounded family and professional life and it has helped that dynasty has done him plenty favours in his life: He is former President Bakili Muluzi’s son after all. After a shady alliance between his United Democratic Front (UDF) with the Democratic Progressive Party…

Legislators seek police security

Members of Parliament are asking government to provide them police security ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, citing incidences of violence targeted at them. If the proposal goes through, it would mean providing about 170 police officers to act as bodyguards for the MPs, except for Cabinet ministers, the Speaker and his deputies who…