Monday, April 29, 2013


For immediate release 29th April 2013

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter would like to
regrettably inform the general public that President Mrs Joyce Banda has
formally declined to sign the Declaration of Table Mountain as part of the
2013 celebrations to mark World Press Freedom Day.

As you are aware, MISA Malawi held an audience with President Banda at
Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on 22nd April 2013. The main purpose of the
talks with the President was to request her to consider signing the
Declaration of Table Mountain on 3rd May, 2013 as part of the celebrations
to mark World Press Freedom Day.

We have, unfortunately, received an official communication from State
House that the President has declined to sign the Declaration. No reasons
have been given.

MISA Malawi Chapter believes strongly in the fundamental role that the
media plays in building and sustaining democracy, but we are mindful that
this can only be achieved in tolerant and democratic societies that
cherish and respect local and international protocols that uphold the
freedom, independence and safety of the media and media practitioners
When media leaders across the globe gathered in Cape Town, South Africa in
June 2007 under the auspices of the World Association of Newspapers and
News Publishers and the World Editors Forum, they made an urgent call to
African leaders to consider press freedom as a key to sustainable
economic, political, social and cultural development, prosperity and peace
in Africa by repealing colonial laws that restrict press freedom.

This call is what has come to be known as the Declaration of Table Mountain.
As an organisation and the media in the country, we take the refusal by
President Joyce Banda as a lost opportunity on her part because she could
have registered her name on the world map as a President who is committed
to promoting and defending democracy in the country.
We are disappointed that the President has declined to make that
commitment by refusing to sign.

However, President Joyce Banda has in the past demonstrated that she is a
true defender of media freedom and that she is committed to seeing
democracy flourish in Malawi by impressing on Parliament to repeal Section
46 of the Penal Code and also removal of VAT on news print and newspapers.
We still have hope that she will find it necessary to sign the

MISA Malawi Chapter would also want to take this opportunity to thank the
President for granting us an opportunity to engage with her. We look
forward to continued engagement for the good of our country.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Malawi Government Speaks on World Press Freedom Day


Government would like to re assure the media that it is still committed to ensuring respect for media freedom and freedom of expression in the country. Furthermore, the current leadership highly values the constructive checks and balances that the media provide towards decision making processes by those in authority.

The current administration will therefore strive to ensure protection and promotion of the rights of journalists in their daily operations in this democratic dispensation. Government will in no way make decisions that seek to suffocate the media freedom as rightly enshrined in the country's constitution under Sections 34, 35 and 36.

In addition, government still stands by the positive steps it took such as the scrapping off of the undemocratic and draconian laws such Section 46 of the Penal Code and a further commitment for the passing of the Access to Information Bill. This is in view that only well informed citizens can make informed decisions.
The awarding of broadcasting licenses for radios and TVs aims at giving Malawians a wide variety of information sources so that they can fully enjoy their right/freedom to choose which source to use, whenever they want and government pledges to continue with this.
As government, we further realize that the country's vision to recover the battered economy would be in vain if the media is left out or suppressed.

Realizing the media's significance to national development agendas, President Dr. Joyce Banda's administration pledges to maintain the current cordial relationship with the media. It will continue holding consultative meetings with media managers on issues affecting them and the nation at large.

President Dr. Banda, whose administration is built on openness and inclusiveness, will continue making decisions that ONLY meet the inspirations of Malawians after thorough consultations with various stakeholders.

The media's significance is evident on among others, how it handled the Lake Malawi issue which we can proudly say is a won battle because of among others, the media who did a great job in telling the world the whole story about Lake Malawi and why it rightly belongs to Malawi.

In conclusion, the government is appealing to media managers to continue engaging government constructively on issues that have a bearing on Malawians and its Sovereign image on the international community.

The government would like to ask the media continue working professionally and we commend the skills that local media has demonstrated in avoiding sparking debates that have the potential of causing confusion and distortion of facts.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sally Nyundo Talks Music

It is not just once, or twice, or thrice, but day after day, that Sally Nyundo- once a foreigner in the land of music- returns to the companionship of the guitar, the drum, percussions, or keyboard. In this new-found world of music, his only nemesis remains hunger, thirst and exhaustion because they take him home.

Yet, Nyundo has not always been this close to music, and is one of the antagonists of the primordial assertion that ‘musicians are born and not made’ because he is one of the many that have been ‘made’. In fact, his continued involvement with music smacks the famous quote made by the American William James (1842 - 1910), who said: “For a national mind differentiates itself whenever a genius is born in its midst by causes acting in the invisible and molecular cycle”.

“I was nor born a musician. I learned and perfected the art,” Nyundo says.

That may explain why, at the time of the Ndirande-born musician’s birth, no ‘actions’ registered in the invisible and molecular cycle. In deed, so negligible was the scene 36 years ago that neighbours had no idea that the dread-locked artist would, one day, shake the nation with his close-to-life lyrics.

Nyundo is, in a way, a victim- and benefactor- of circumstances because it is the death of bread winners in his family that forced him to resort to desperate measures, including the sale of flitters to supplement household income, and, somewhere along desperation’s path, he stumbled on music. That was in 1994, when he joined the Imagez Band.

He spent six years in the band, playing the guitar and providing main vocals, before going solo in 2001- recording ‘Nyimbo’, an album that captivated the nation’s interest with beats such as ‘Ras Amadya Nzimbe’. Today, Nyundo has seven albums to his credit, namely: ‘Nyimbo’, ‘Bimbi Overstanding’, ‘Usadandaule Malawi’, ‘Nyasa Reggae Revolution’, ‘Tingoti Phee’, ‘Sing Pon It’, and his latest album, ‘Riddim’.

Reaching out

If there is one thing that disposes local musicians to an outright sense of submission, it is the desire to go international. Of course, this ambition may be shaken by resource constraints or altered by shambolic productions, but, still, the musicians keep on hoping.

While the Reggae musician is no exception, he has lived his dreams of going international, and has performed alongside the world’s iconic musicians both in Africa and beyond.

“I first performed in Re - Union Island in 2003 and went to Zimbabwe in 2004, where I performed with Ben Michael and the Zigzaggers Band at HIFA festival,” Nyundo says.

He has also performed alongside Tiken Jah Fakoly, Israel Vibration, Baobab Band, Ibo Cooper, among others. These experiences, says Nyundo, taught him to work hard and believe in his ability.

“I have put what I learnt into my career by assembling my (own) band Run Tings so that I should be able to grow musically in my performances and maturity,” he says.

Asked why local music struggles to make the cut internationally, Nyumbo cuts it down to poor quality recordings.

He says, because the problem lies in the quality of productions and not the music per se, he has decided to put these conceptions to rest by releasing his latest Riddim album, Sing Pon It, “so that my fans should sample and taste how heavy and capable I am as one of the greatest reggae artists”.

Nobody knows how he will manage to do that in the absence of a manager to sell outside Malawi, though.

Disinfecting Malawi music

When everything is said and done, the question remains: Is Malawi music sub-standard?

Nyundo has ready answers: “The fact about our music is that some artists are busy creating music by copying other international artists’ music and trying to make it their own. (And), like I said before, it’s our recordings that, sometimes, let us down in terms of quality. In addition, most of established artists are afraid to break the barriers and go beyond the borders.”

He says the challenges could be overcome by composing mature beats and severing ties with fear.

The government also needs to fully support musicians in much the same way as it aids football, while the corporate world should stop investing in music only “when they are promoting their agenda”.

“The greatest threat to our music industry is piracy and lack of originality among some artists and musicians. Piracy is one big disease that is killing musicians because, despite the hard work invested in a project, the one who benefits in the end is not the artist. Piracy can only be defeated if musicians are respected and buyers are willing to pay what the art is worth,” Nyundo says.

On originality, Nyundo implores musicians to be creative and create their won legacy.

New Reggae sounds

And, as if to show that his bid to give the world the fuller powers of Malawi music will not be stifled by the fatal twins of piracy and lack of originality, the ‘made-musician’ has just released his new E.P. album, Sing Pon It.

Talking of the title track’s strange name, Nyundo says and the tittle simply explains that he has settled for riddims which producers in Jamaica recorded and produced.

A peep at the album reveals that Reggae furnishes the theme while religion and politics are some of the issues that breath life into it . Some of the notable tracks include ‘Bless Me’, ‘Make a Change’, ‘Za ku Ndirande’, ‘Sanasinthe’, ‘The Story’, and ‘Moving Away’.

“And, because I have sang on riddims, already it has international potential to make it big outside Malawi,” Nyundo says.

Nyundo, then, denies that his career has been on and off, blaming it on music promotion trends in Malawi.

He says, for instance, that radio DJs who double as music promoters put personal interests first, a development that has created a plethora of half-cooked music.

“And this has led to a lot of bubble gum music being on top, leaving the real long-life music laid back. So, because I am a musician who refuses to dilute his creativity, I stuck to what I know best, thereby enjoying less air play because most of the bubble gum music dominated the airwaves and transformed once great music minds to listen to more of this noise and half-baked music,” Nyundo says.

He adds: “So, as time passed, good music has become heavy for the listener’s ear (and is) not being respected and appreciated as it used to be thereby killing the international potential of Malawi music.”

Still, Nyundo hopes that, with the release of Sing Pon It, it will be easy to discover new international markets for local music.

“I am confident that I will make it and, as long as I live, I will be one Reggae artist representing Malawi at big Reggae festivals either in Jamaica or across the world. The sky is the limit for me and my career,” he says.

Such self belief, may be, could be one of the means of attaining that feeling of vital significance- a feeling that comes only through exposure and experience!

Friday, April 19, 2013




001 Chitipa East Kezzie Kasambala Msukwa Independent M

002 Chitipa South Chimango Chipimpha Mughogho Independent F

003 Chitipa Central Luwi Alinuwila Msongole DPP M

004 Chitipa North Aladin Nixon Masebo DPP M

005 Chitipa Wenya Godfrey Mudulansi Munkhondya Independent M


006 Karonga North Palisha Ng'ambi DPP M

007 Karonga North West Beatrice Kankhonde Mwangonde DPP F

008 Karonga Central Cornelius Thomson Mwalwanda Independent M

009 Karonga Nyungwe Khwauli Msiska AFORD M

010 Karonga South Chembe Glad Munthali DPP M


011 Rumphi East Albert G.M. Doza Thindwa DPP M

012 Rumphi Central Prof. Moses C. Chirambo DPP M

013 Rumphi West Austin Jatula Mkandawire DPP M

014 Rumphi North Tasokwa Caseby Msiska DPP M


Nkhatabay North Ephraim Mganda Chiume DPP M

017 Nkhatabay Central Symon Vuwa Kaunda DPP M

018 Nkhatabay West Grace Chiumia DPP F

019 Nkhatabay North West David Yohane Kaweche DPP M

020 Nkhataby South East David Kapenyela Mphande DPP M

021 Nkhatabay South Eta Elizabeth Banda DPP F


022 Mzuzu City Prof. Peter Nelson Mwanza DPP M

023 Mzimba North Goodall Edward Gondwe DPP M

024 Mzimba North East Catherine Gotani Hara DPP F

025 Mzimba West Billy Kaunda Independent M

026 Mzimba South Paul Shawa Independent M

027 Mzimba Central Prof. Donton Samuel Job Mkandawire DPP M

028 Mzimba Hora Rev. Christopher S. Mzomera Ngwira Independent M

029 Mzimba Luwerezi Dr. Bofomo Immanuel Nyirenda DPP M

030 Mzimba Solola Patrick Akimu Ballot Mwanza DPP M

031 Mzimba East Abbie Marambika Shaba DPP M

032 Mzimba South West Khumbo Hastings Kachali DPP M

033 Mzimba South East Rabson Chihaula Shaba DPP M


034 Likoma Islands Olivia Anita Thundu Independent F


034 Kasungu North McJones Mzondi Mandala Shaba DPP M

035 Kasungu North-North-East Grenner Nkhata DPP F

036 Kasungu West Otria Moyo Jere DPP F

037 Kasungu North-West Moses Arthur Chingayipe Mtegha DPP M

038 Kasungu South Vasco Mtunduwatha Chimbalu Independent M

039 Kasungu South East Bokosi G Khamba DPP M

040 Kasungu East Grenenger K. Msulira Banda DPP M

041 Kasungu Central Ken Edward Kandodo DPP M

042 Kasungu North East Eugustine Gracewell Mtendere DPP M


043 Nkhotakota North Chimunthu Banda DPP M

044 Nkhotakota North East Daniel Liwimbi DPP M

045 Nkhotakota Central Edwin Banda MCP M

046 Nkhotakota South Cassim Chilumpha Dr. Independent M

046 Nkhotakota South East Agness Mandevu M. Chatipwa Independent F


048 Ntchisi East Victor Baudala sanjeni Songazaudzu DPP M

049 Ntchisi South Jermoth Ulemu Chilapondwa DPP M

050 Ntchisi North Herbert Josiya Bimphi DPP M

051 Ntchisi North East Geoffrey Henock Mbuzi DPP M


052 Dowa East Bauleni Jimmy Manna DPP M

053 Dowa South East Hastings Petros Chitsamba DPP M

054 Dowa North East Leckford Mwanza Thotho DPP M

055 Dowa Ngala Ewart Cara Gawanani DPP M

056 Dowa Central Dr Jean Alfazema Nachika Kalilani DPP F

057 Dowa West Abele Ephraim Kayembe MCP M

058 Dowa North Benjamin Chikusa Independent M


059 Salima North Kaphamtengo C.H.B. Yona MCP M

060 Salima Central Benjamini Benzani Mangira DPP M

061 Salima South Uladi Mussa MPP M

062 Salima South East Killiot Kufuna MCP M

063 Salima North West Deriah Kankhwani DPP F


064 Mchinji North Rachel Zulu Mazombwe MCP F

065 Mchinji North-East Alex Chitete MCP M

066 Mchinji East Ellen Thokozani Solomoni Chisale DPP F

067 Mchinji West Theresa Gloria Mwale DPP F

068 Mchinji South Jerome Gervazio Waluza Independent M

069 Mchinji South-West Francis Leobin Mussa Banda DPP M


070 Mapuyu North Christina Winnie Chiwoko DPP F

071 Mapuyu South Joseph Rabson Njovuyalema MCP M

072 Lilongwe North Titus Malipa MCP M

073 Lilongwe Msozi South Vitus Gonamtunda Dzoole Mwale MCP M

074 Msozi North Jowell Billy Nyanda Independent M

075 Lilongwe Kumachenga Maureen Katani Bondo MCP F

076 Lilongwe North East Lefani Maxwell Thyolera MCP M

077 Lilongwe City West Edwin Bhagwanji DPP M

078 Mpenu Nkhoma Joyce A. Banda (Mrs) Independent F

079 Lilongwe Mpenu Makala Watson Ngozo MCP M

080 Lilongwe South East Gwengwe Alfred Willard MCP M

081 Lilongwe East Ezakiel Peter Ching'oma MCP M

082 Lilongwe Central Lobin Lowe MCP M

083 Lilongwe City Centre Shadreck Jonas DPP M

084 Lilongwe North West Ishmail Fillimon Chafukira MCP M

085 Lilongwe city north Jolly Saweta Dyson Kalelo Independent M

086 Lilongwe south west Jean Muonaowuza Sendeza MCP F

087 Lilongwe City south East Agnes Nandau Penumulungu DPP F

088 Lilongwe city south west Wells John Adam DPP M

089 Msinja north Peterson Stanley Patisi Chalera MCP M

090 Msinja south Lingson Kambewa W. Belekanyama MCP M

091 Lilongwe south Patson Kachingwe Mthyoka MCP M


092 Dedza north Patrick Zebron Chilondola MCP M

093 Dedza central Sosten Gwengwe MCP M

094 Dedza South West Clement Claude Mlombwa MCP M

095 Dedza North West Wodala Alekeni Menyani MCP M

096 Dedza East Hyacinta Palingana Chikaonda DPP F

097 Dedza South John Zenas Ungapake Tembo MCP M

098 Dedza West Phllipo Chinkhondo MCP M

099 Dedza Central East McSteyn Swithin Mkomba MCP M


100 Ntcheu North East Everton Herbert Chimulirenji DPP M

101 Ntcheu Bwanje North Steven Stafford Kamwendo DPP M

102 Ntcheu Bwanje South Grandson Lucious Kanyumba DPP M

103 Ntcheu Central Jones Vincent Chingola DPP M

104 Ntcheu South Damson Chimalira DPP M

105 Ntcheu North Shadreck Assan Lipande DPP M

106 Ntcheu West Chikumbutso John Hiwa DPP M


107 MANGOCHI NORTH Ibrahim Imed Matola UDF M

108 MANGOCHI NORTH EAST Alfred Mkwanda Mwechumu UDF M

109 MANGOCHI MALOMBE Hassan Ailalie Ajinga UDF M

110 MANGOCHI EAST Abukakar Mbaya UDF M

111MANGOCHI SOUTH Yusuf Billiati Matumula Independent M


113 MANGOCHI CENTRAL Clement Terence Chiwaya UDF M


115 MANGOCHI WEST Stephen Okoma Atani Aipira Independent M

116 MANGOCHI MONKEY BAY Ralph Pachalo Jooma DPP M

117 MANGOCHI LUTENDE Makumba Abdallah Shabani Independent M

118 MANGOCHI MASONGOLA Moffat Malisie Yakiti UDF M


119 BALAKA CENTRAL EAST Yaumi Aufi Mpaweni UDF M

120 BALAKA NORTH Getrude Hendrina Maseko DPP F

121 BALAKA WEST Nasrin Pillane DPP F






126 MACHINGA EAST Kenneth Thomas Kamu UDF M

127 MACHINGA SOUTH Harry Fabiano Kamba UDF M

128 MACHINGA LIKWENU Mwalone Jangiya UDF F

129 MACHINGA SOUTH EAST Rev. Wilson Ndomondo UDF M


130 ZOMBA NSONDOLE Jenifer Deborah Chilunga DPP F

131 ZOMBA THONDWE Annie Lemani Singani Anambewe DPP F

132 ZOMBA CHINGALE Lonie Phiri Chijere Chirwa DPP F

133 ZOMBA CHANGALUME Grace Zinenani Maseko DPP F

134 ZOMBA LISANJALA Enock Elias Luka DPP M

135 ZOMBA MALOSA Joyce Banda DPP F

136 ZOMBA NTONYA Ted Salule Masangwi DPP M

137 ZOMBA CENTRAL Yunusu Mussa DPP M

138 ZOMBA LIKANGALA Peter Hamilton Bvalani Independent M

138 ZOMBA LIKANGALA MacRonald John Table Khwepeya Independent M

139 ZOMBA CHISI Peter Chizalo Mangulenje Independent M



141 CHIRADZULU CENTRAL Philomena mononga Kasambwe Independent F

142 CHIRADZULU NORTH Margret Roka Mauwa DPP F


144 CHIRADZULU WEST George Namatumbo DPP M


145 BLANTYRE NORTH Francis Lucky Phiso DPP M

146 BLANTYRE NORTH EAST Cecilia Emily Bwanali Chazama DPP F

147 BLANTYRE RURAL EAST Henry Dunken Phoya DPP M

148 BLANTYRE SOUTH WEST Juliana Nanyoni Mphande DPP F

150 BLANTYRE MALABADA Aaron Mpusya Sangala DPP M

151BLANTYRE CITY SOUTH Moses Kunkuyu Shawa Kalonga Independent M

152 BLANTYRE CITY EAST John Francis Bande DPP M

153 BLANTYRE BANGWE Henry Mpofu Shaba UDF M


155 BLANTYRE CITY WEST Trasizio Thomie Gowelo DPP M

156 BLANTYRE KABULA Felix Njawala Independent M

157BLANTYRE WEST Wells Mari Rungfuss Gama DPP M


159 MWANZA CENTRAL Nicholas Harry Dausi Independent M

160 MWANZA WEST Paul Lackson Zakaliya Chibingu DPP M


162 THYOLO NORTH Anita Kalinde DPP F

163 THYOLO WEST Charles Thomson Mchacha DPP M

164 THYOLO CENTRAL Kingsley Sostines Namakhwa DPP M

165 THYOLO SOUTH Harry Henry Phiri DPP M

166 THYOLO EAST Prof. Peter Muthalika DPP M

167 THYOLO SOUTH WEST Dr Allan james Chiyembekeza Independent M

168 THYOLO THAVA Lifred Lapukin Nawena Independent M

169 PHALOMBE SOUTH Daveson Therethere Feyala Nyadani Independent M



171 PHALOMBE NORTH Anna Andrew Namathanga Kachikho DPP F


173 PHALOMBE NORTH EAST Douglas Jonas Thamanga DPP M


174 MULANJE SOUTH EAST Benson Bonongwe DPP M

175 MULANJE SOUTH Richie Bizwick Muheya DPP M

176 MULANJE CENTRAL Kondwani Nankhumwa DPP M

177 MULANJE LIMBULI Fraser Nihorya DPP M

178 MULANJE BALE David Richard Lupiya Luka DPP M

179 MULANJE SOUTH WEST Dr. George Thapatula Chaponda DPP M

180 MULANJE PASANI Cephasi Peter Nowa DPP M

181 MULANJE WEST Patricia Annie Kaliati DPP F

182 MULANJE NORTH Stephen Namacha DPP M




185 CHIKWAWA CENTRAL Benardetta Mlaka Maliro Independent F

186 CHIKWAWA NORTH Grain Wyson Philip Malunga DPP M

187 CHIKWAWA EAST Ragson Kamunda Chirwa Independent M

188 CHIKWAWA WEST John Zingale Independent M


189 NSANJE SOUTH Gloria Ireen Ntopi DPP F

190 NSANJE SOUTH WEST Vera Chilewani Faramenga DPP F

191 NSANJE CENTRAL Francis Lazalo Kasaila DPP M


193 NSANJE NORTH Frank Ellias Viyazyi DPP M


158 NENO SOUTH Reen Bessie Kachere DPP F

161 NENO NORTH Gladys Benson Tembo DPP F


DPP: 114
MCP: 26
UDF: 17
Independents: 32
MPP: 1
Mafunde: 1
Aford: 1
Totals: 192

Monday, April 15, 2013


The Malawi Electoral Commission is a body mandated to conduct elections in Malawi. The Commission is further mandated to promote public awareness of electoral matters through the media and other appropriate and effective
means. The Commission delegates its mandate to accredited service providers to assist in the delivery of Civic and Voter Education. This is in line with democratic principles and best practices as observed internationally.

The Commission is hereby informing the general public that after evaluation of the applications it received, the following organisations have been accredited to conduct Civic and Voter Education for the 2014 Tripartite Elections:-


1. Active Youth in Development (AYIDO)
2. Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (AYISE)
3. Angaliba Foundation
4. Association of Progressive Women (APW)
5. Blantyre Synod Church and Society Programme
6. Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
7. Centre for Alternatives Victimised Women and Children (CAVWOC)
8. Centre for Children's Affairs Malawi
9. Centre for Children's Aid
10.Centre for Development Communications (CDC)
11.Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)
12.Centre for Human Rights, Education, Advice & Assistance (CHREAA)
13.Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD)
14.Centre for Sustainable Community Development
15.Centre for Youth and Children's Affairs
16.Centre for Youth Development & Social Empowerment
17.Chagunda Community Project
18.Chigwirizano Women Movement (CBO)
19.Chikulamayembe Women Forum (CBO)
20.Chimwemwe Persons with Disabilities Organisation
21.Chinansi Foundation
22.Christian Compassion for the Destitute & Development
23.Church and Society Programme—Livingstonia Synod
24.Church and Society Programme—Nkhoma Synod
25.Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD)
26.Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC)
27.Communities in Development Activities (COIDA)
28.Concerned Youth Organisation (CYO)
29.Democracy Yathu Programme (SRGDI)
30.Development Communications Trust
31.Ekwendeni Community Based Organisation (CBO)
32.Evangelical Association of Malawi (AEM)
33.Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi
34.Forum for New Direction
35.Foundation for Children's Rights
36.Foundation for Community Services (FOCUS)/Forum for Advocacy &
Community Development
37.Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC)
38.International Group Association (IGA)
39.Islamic Information Bureau
40.Justice Link
41.Kabula Youth and Community Initiative
42.Karonga Debate Club (KADEC)
43.Ladder for Rural Development
44.Lobbyists for Peace, Justice and Transparency
45.Malawi CARER(Centre for Advice, Research and Education on Rights)
46.Malawi Council of Churches (MCC)
47.Malawi Electoral Support Network
48.Malawi Human Rights Youth Network
49.Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA)
50.Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD)
51.Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB)
52.Maonde Youth Initiative for Support (MAYISS)
53.Mbawemi Women Orphanage Care
54.Mithungu Youth
55.Mpemba Youth Organisation
56.Mtendere Election Support Network
57.Munawwarah Islamic Organisation
58.Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM)
59.Muslim Forum for Democracy and Peace (MUSFORD)
60.Mzimba Community Based Organisation Network-CBO
61.Mzuzu Youth Association
62.Nanzikambe Arts Development Organisation
63.National Elections Systems Trust (NEST)
64.National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE)
65.National Women's Lobby Group
66.Neno Youth Works (CBO)
67.New Apostolic Relief and Development Programme (NARDEP)
68.New Restoration Ministries International
69.NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN)
70.Nkanamwano Community Development Organisation
71.Nkhotakota Youth Organisation
72.Northern Region Women Forum
73.Ntchisi Organisation for Youth and Development
74.Ntchisi Women Forum
75.Pamudzi Community Trust
76.Pan African Civic Educators Network (PACENET)
77.Peace in God Organisation (PIGO)
78.Pentecostal & Charismatic Network (PECHAN)
79.Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP)
80.Phunzilani Development Organisation
81.Public Affairs Committee (PAC)
82.Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi
83.Social and Economic Justice Organisation
84.Society for Peace
85.Solomonic Peacocks Theatre Organisation
86.The Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI)
87.The Registered Trustees of Reach Out Ministries
88.The Story Workshop
89.Thondwe Youth Skills Development Org. (THOYODO)
90.Tikondane CBO
91.Tilimbikire CBO for the Elderly-Mzuzu CBO
92.Tiphedzane Community Support Organisation
93.Tithetse CBO
94.Ufulu Wathu Community Based Organisation
95.Umodzi Youth Organisation
96.Umunthu Foundation
97.Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA)
98.Women of Victory-CBO
99.Women's Voice
100.Young Politicians Union
101.Youth and Children Rights Shield
102.Youth Association for Behaviour Change
103.Youth Coalition for Consolidation of Democracy
104.Youth Empowerment & Civic Education
105.Youth Impact Organisation
106.Youth Watch Society
107.YouthNet and Counseling (YONECO)

B. Media and Advertising Agencies

1. AFJ Television
2. AMB Advertisement and Marketing Bureau
3. Capital Radio
4. Chilankhulo Media Consultants
5. Corporate Colours
6. Dynamic Media Communications
7. Galaxy Solutions
8. Go Bright Media,
9. HBI Media Services
10.Kamia Media Consultants
11.Nation Publications Ltd
12.Radio Maria
13.Radio Tigabane
14.Ruflo Agencies
15.Thengo Investments
16.Zodiak Braodcsting Station

C. Media houses/organisations

1. ABC Radio and TV
3. Blantyre Newspapers Ltd
4. CAN radio and TV
5. Capital FM Radio
6. CFC Radio and CFC Tv
7. Dzimwe Community Radio
8. Joy FM
9. Luntha TV
10.LWC 100 FM
11.Matindi FM
12.Maziko Radio
13.MBC Radio and TV
14.Media Council of Malawi
15.MIJ FM Radio
16.MISA Malawi
17.Montfort Publications
18.Mudziwathu Community Radio
19.Mzimba Community Radio
20.Nation Publications
21.Nkhotakota Community Radio
22.Power FM 101
23.Radio Alinafe
24.Radio Islam
25.Radio Maria
26.Radio Tigabane
27.SDA Radio
28.Star FM
29.Transworld Radio
30.Voice of Livingstonia
31.Zodiak Broadcasting Station

D. Road Show promoters

1. Florite
2. Great Africa Communications
3. Tink Promotions
4. Wanga Crew Direct Marketing Company
E. Radio and TV Comedians
1. Chindime and Samalani Theatre
2. Community Radio Initiative (COMRI)
3. First Dawn Arts
4. Mr Jokes
5. Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa

F. Musicians

1. Body, Mind and Soul Band - Mzuzu
2. Chichiri Culture Troupe - Blantyre
3. Chilanjo Band - Nkhotakota
4. Dyghton Mbewe and Wonderful Birds - Mzuzu
5. Evergreen Video Company - Blantyre
6. Fitzqerad Simfukwe and The Chitipa Wailers - Mzuzu
7. Kaligo Melodies - Blantyre
8. Katawa Singers - Mzuzu
9. Lome Mafunga and Tinyade Sounds - Blantyre
10.Lucius Banda and Zembani Band - Balaka
11.Lusubilo Band - Karonga
12.Madalitso Njelema & Ndirande CCAP Praise Team -Blantyre
13.Makolo Music Disco - Blantyre
14.Mandevu Farm Band - Machinga
15.Maskal and Umunthu Band - Blantyre
16.Mbakaya Dancing Troup - Chitipa
17.Mlaka Maliro and Maloto Vibrations - Blantyre
18.Music Point - Blantyre
19.Ndingo Band - Lilongwe
20.Nyimbo Music Company - Lilongwe
21.Pamlonga Band - Mzuzu
22.Papa Mtume and the African Mingoli Band - Blantyre
23.Paradise Africa Band - Mzuzu
24.Patrick Simakweli - Blantyre
25.PK Media - Blantyre
26.Princess Chitsulo - Blantyre
27.Ravers Band - Blantyre
28.Snowden H. M. Ibbu, - Blantyre
29.Super Melody Band - Blantyre
30.The Superb Boys Band - Blantyre
31.The Never Ending Jupetters - Blantyre
32.Wanangwa Band - Mzuzu
33.Women Desk Band - Mzuzu

G. Drama Groups

1. Amazon Arts Theatre - Blantyre
2. Anganga Afiki Theatre - Blantyre
3. Anyoni Drama Group - Blantyre
4. Apawo Drama Group - Blantyre
5. Ashimo Drama Group - Kasungu
6. Astrovaganza - Mzuzu
7. Auze Drama Group - Ntcheu
8. Azizi Travelling Theatre - Blantyre
9. B.E.N Theatre, Blantyre
10.BA-HE-CE Drama Group - Blantyre
11.Bantu Arts Theatre - Blantyre
12.Business Eye and Creative Communications - Blantyre
13.Bwalo Drama Group - Blantyre
14.Chikolopa Performing Arts - Karonga
15.Chimwemwe Arts Group - Dedza
16.Chisomo Drama Group - Lilongwe
17.Chithozi Drama Group - Mzuzu
18.Chiyambi Drama Group - Lilongwe
19.City Public Awareness Arts Group - Lilongwe
20.Damascus Drama Group - Blantyre
21.Dragon Arts - Mzuzu
22.Dygo Cultural Troupe - Blantyre
23.Fikisa Dancing Troupe - Balaka
24.Gado Drama Group - Thyolo
25.Islamic Arts Laboratory - Lilongwe
26.Judges Cultural Troup and Drama Group - Blantyre
27.Kachere Cultural Troupe - Blantyre
28.Katoto Mvalenji Drama Group - Mzuzu
29.Kauni Theatre for Development - Ntchisi
30.Kukaya Cultural Dance Troupe (K.C.D.T.) - Mzuzu
31.Kumvera Drama Group - Blantyre
32.Kunthazi Arts Theatre - Mzuzu
33.Kwathu Drama Group - Blantyre
34.Lilongwe Arts Theatre - Lilongwe
35.Lions Theatre - Blantyre
36.Luka's Theatre - Blantyre
37.Magagula and Che Jali Crew - Blantyre
38.Masache Drama Group - Lilongwe
39.Maziko Drama Group - Blantyre
40.Mbakwiza Drama Group - Mzuzu
41.Mbawala Travelling Theatre - Dowa
42.Mbelo Travelling Theatre - Chiradzulu
43.Mdoka Travelling Theatre - Blantyre
44.Moto-Moto Drama - Chitipa
45.Mpemba Youth Group Theatre - Blantyre
46.Mpoto Wafika Drama Group - Mzuzu
47.Mussa Pennoh and Halu Drama Group - Nsanje
48.Mvao Travelling Theatre - Blantyre
49.Mwaziona Drama Group - Blantyre
50.Mzati Theatre Company - Blantyre
51.Nang'ombe Drama Group - Thyolo
52.National Theatre Association of Malawi - Blantyre
53.Ndikhoza Drama Group - Blantyre
54.Nginde Theatre Company - Blantyre
55.Nkhutukumve Drama Group - Kasungu
56.Nkumbira Arts Theatre - Blantyre
57.Noriega and Atcheya Drama Group - Blantyre
58.Nthalire Drama Group - Chitipa
59.Oneness Drama Group - Mzuzu
60.Pamodzi Travelling Theatre - Blantyre
61.Pess Theatre Company - Mzuzu
62.Pfuko Arts Theatre - Lilongwe
63.Phunziro Arts Theatre - Lilongwe
64.Prison Reform Drama group - Zomba
65.Reformation Theatre/ Queens Pride - Lilongwe
66.Rising Chores Theatre - Lilongwe
67.Rufiri Drama Group - Mzuzu
68.Solomonic Peacocks Theatre - Blantyre
69.Soniso Aids Fighter Drama Group - Mulanje
70.Storm Arts Theatre - Lilongwe
71.Tabwera Dance Troup - Lilongwe
72.Tafika Arts Group - Lilongwe
73.Taoloka Travelling Theatre - Blantyre
74.Tauka Arts Theatre - Blantyre
75.Ticheze Performance Arts - Blantyre
76.Tilinamwe Travelling Theatre - Mzuzu
77.Tithandizane Drama Group -Blantyre
78.Tithandizane Theatre for Development - Dowa
79.Tiwale Cultural Troup - Lilongwe
80.Tiyanjane Arts Group - Lilongwe
81.Tonse Drama Group - Mulanje
82.Twapochere Drama group - Machinga
83.Ulemu Drama Group - Ntcheu
84.Upile Drama Group - Blantyre
85.Wakwithu Theatre - Mzimba
86.Wanna Do Ensemble Theatre - Blantyre
87.Women in Theatre -Blantyre
88.Zakaria and Mwambo Arts Theatre - Blantyre
89.Zatelera Drama Group - Blantyre
90.Zawo Performing Arts - Blantyre
91.Zikomo Cultural Troupe - Lilongwe

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Malawi's Confused Confusionists: President Joyce Banda, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, The State House Press Office!

...Top leadership attacks on Madonna sign of confusion

It is now official.
The Joyce Banda administration is made up of confused confusionists.
The President herself could, also, be a confused confusionist.
Need evidence?
Look at the way the Joyce Banda administration has treated Madonna.
Have a look at this, a Press Release from the confused State House on Madonna:





Claims and misgivings have been expressed by Pop Star, Madonna and her agents, against the Malawi Government and its leadership for not giving her the attention and courtesy that she thinks she merits and deserves during her recent trip to Malawi.

According to the claims, Madonna feels that the Malawi Government and its leadership should have abandoned everything and attended to her because she believes she is a music star turned benefactor who is doing Malawi good.

Besides, in the feeling of Madonna, the Malawi Government and its leadership should have rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute in her honour because she believes that as a musician, the whiff of whose repute flies across international boundaries, she automatically is candidate for VVIP treatment.

For not receiving the attention and the graces that she believes she deserved, Madonna believes someone, not lesser in disposition than the President's sister, Mrs. Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, has been pulling the strings against her following their earlier fallout bordering on a labour dispute.

State House has noted these claims and misgivings. State House has followed the debate incidental to these claims with keen interest, and would wish to respond as follows to put the record straight:

1. Neither the President nor any official in her government denied Madonna any attention or courtesy during her recent visit to Malawi because as far as the administration is concerned there is no defined attention and courtesy that must be followed in respect of her.

2. In any case, even if the defined parameters of attention and courtesy existed in respect of Madonna, the liberties of discretion to give or not to give that attention or courtesy would ordinarily and naturally remain the preserve of the host. Attention or courtesy is never demanded.

3. Granted, Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi. According to the record, this gesture was humanitarian and of her accord. It, therefore, comes across as strange and depressing that for a humanitarian act, prompted only by her, Madonna wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude. Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous. If it can't be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes.

4. Granted, Madonna is a famed international musician. But that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government under whose territory Madonna finds herself, including Malawi, to give her state treatment. As stated earlier in this statement, such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory.

5. It should be put on record that Madonna did not come to Malawi at the invitation of the President nor her government. In other words, she was neither the guest of the President nor of her government.
6. For all that is known, she came to Malawi like any other visitor that feels like coming to Malawi. Such visitors don't have to meet with the President and are never amenable to state attention or graces.

7. If the argument is that because she is an internationally renowned star, and, therefore, Madonna believes she deserved to be treated differently from other visiting foreigners, it is worth making her aware that Malawi has hosted many international stars, including Chuck Norris, Bono, David James, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville who have never demanded state attention or decorum despite their equally dazzling stature.

8. Among the many things that Madonna needs to learn as a matter of urgency is the decency of telling the truth. For her to tell the whole world that she is building schools in Malawi when she has actually only contributed to the construction of classrooms is not compatible with manners of someone who thinks she deserves to be revered with state grandeur. The difference between a school and a class room should be the most obvious thing for a person demanding state courtesy to decipher.

9. For her to accuse Mrs. Oponyo for indiscretions that have clearly arisen from her personal frustrations that her ego has not been massaged by the state is uncouth, and speaks volumes of a musician who desperately thinks she must generate recognition by bullying state officials instead of playing decent music on the stage.

10. For all that is known, Mrs. Oponyo has never been responsible for arranging state meetings with foreigners who are looking for those meetings. If Madonna was indeed a VVIP and a regular guest of State Governments as she wants to be seen and treated, she would have been familiar with procedures that have to be followed to get such meetings. They don't happen by simply sneaking into a country whose President and Government you scarcely desire to meet.

11. Even if Madonna followed the procedures to have her meetings with the President or government officials, the administration reserved all its rights to grant the meetings or not.


It must be noted that the President, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda and her Government are ready to welcome any philanthropist seeking to assist in improving the welfare of the people of Malawi knowing that Her Excellency, herself, is a known philanthropist. However, acts of kindness must always remain as such; they must not smack of blackmail. In addition, let philanthropists not hold to ransom the President and any official of her Government because they showed some kindness to any Malawian.

Tusekele Mwanyongo

This is what the confused confusionists can do! It's the height of their madness.
Power, may be, has, as it does more so often, inebriated them.
They care about themselves. They don't care about the Malawi people. The children especially.
That is why they have ganged up against Madonna.

Personal issue
To begin with, the issue between Madonna and the State House is not about Madonna and the State House. It is about Joyce Banda's sister, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo.
Aponyo- what a strange name- once worked for Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi, but, somehow, Madonna was not satisfied with the way things were being run. Inevitably, they parted ways with Aponyo, who is demanding lots of money from Madonna.
Unfortunately for Madonna, President Joyce Banda practices the cheap politics of nepotism- and makes sure that some members of her family are put close to the national purse. So, Joyce Banda,riding on the horse of nepotism, appointed Aponyo to be Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
It is Aponyo- who, to say the truth,is more powerful than Joyce Banda- who is making all the decisions against Madonna.
It is her who has spearheaded a campaign against the Good Madonna, trying to cast her in negative light to some unproductive extent.

Resolute Madonna

From the look of things, however, Madonna is not about to be frustrated.
She has come to Malawi several times. She knows the experiences of Malawian children, and how they toil in the sun to get a decent living.
She has, during the times she has been to Malawi, met the children- bare-footed, bare-backs, 'bare-everything'- smiling at her in their miseries. And that is why she will not give up.
Of course, the shameless administration of Joyce Banda will stop at nothing to frustrate Madonna and let Malawian children suffer.

Attempts to frustrate Madonna

Already, the shameless administration has engaged another gear; this time, accusing Madonna of running Raising Malawi illegally.
That's what the confused 'boys' and 'girls' at State House and the NGO Board are saying.
What they are forgetting- these confused 'villagers'- is that you do not need to re-register a charity organisation that is registered outside Malawi. That's what the laws say.
That's how the administration of Joyce Banda has become confused.
It is so confused it will leave no stone unturned to let the children of Malawi suffer.
That's why the President is blowing millions of Kwacha in trips (foreign and local) when hunger is on the door in Malawi, when public hospitals still do not have 95 percent of essential drugs. Yes, when 2 million people face starvation (according to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report released on September 5, 2012. Among other things, the report observed that the 2 million people will brush shoulders with hunger between November 2012 and April 2013.
In fact, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed this week that Malawi's silos are now empty.
But, sadly, this could just be the beginning. The State President is confused. She doesn't know what to do. She is running this country through experiments.
The experiments may not always go right.

Madonna's response

However, thanks to common sense, Madonna's love for Malawi's children is just starting to manifest.
She will not bow down to her two detractors- Joyce Banda and Aponyo- just yet. She will continue her good works.
That's why she said, in response to the confused heads at State House and the Ministry of Education:

"I am saddened that President Banda has chosen to release lies about what we've accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths. I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations.
"I came to Malawi seven years ago with honorable intentions I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit. I will not be distracted or discouraged by other people's political agendas. I made a promise to the children of Malawi and I am keeping that promise." - Madonna, Los Angels 11/04/2013

Shame on all confused Malawians in leadership positions!

Has Hip Hop Made The Mark As Malawi's Commentary Tool?

“For no man lives in the external truth, among salts and acids, but in the warm, phantasmagoric chamber of his brain, with the painted windows and the storied walls,” so says Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894) in the essay, ‘The Lantern-Bearers’, where he pays honour to the youth who, in their wistful dreams, transform their everyday frustrations into creative forms such as music and poetry.

Of course, Stevenson was referring to the youth of the mid and late 1880s, but his observation holds true even today- as modern youth continue the tradition of expressing their feelings through music. Among African youths, this frustration has often been expressed through the hip hop music genre, through the genre has all but faded in the USA, where it was extensively used as a social commentary among African Americans.

So darling was the genre to African Americans that, in 1988, American hip hop artist Chuck D famously referred to it as the ‘Black CNN’; meaning, the best way to gauge opinion about the goings-on in the ghetto, the authorities simply had to listen the hip hop music emanating from these communities.

Not surprisingly, Malawian musicians caught hip hop’s magic wand in the late 1980s, with local acts such as Taps Bandawe (between 1988 and 1989), Boyz Lazy (between 1990 and 1995), Criminal A (Alfred Makunje), and The Real Elements (the first Malawian group to record a hip hop album due to their international exposure) becoming some of the first acts to join the fray.

However, perhaps because of the prevalent conditions then, the artists did not immediately turn their lyrics into an ample commentary on poor living conditions, and poor government policies. They tasted the ground with love, and other soft issues. It could be said that the mood of mixed anguish and fear was not mirrored in their lyrics- just exultation at the many positives that decorate the land: the lakes, rivers, the beauty of love, and other feel-good themes.

“In so doing, however, the early hip hop musicians neglected the real issues despite doing well to avoid colouring their music with obscenities- which often furnished the background of the original hip hop music in the US,” says local hip hop artist, Noxious.

Noxious believes that, had the hip hop pioneers in Malawi played the role of the political critic, things would have been far much better.

However, musician Wellington Chatepa, who once served as Musicians Association of Malawi chairperson, says there is nothing wrong with the approach musicians take, “so long as they manage to put the message across”.

Local hip hop thematic lines

Chatepa, however, observes that local musicians have made the best out of genres such as hip hop by fusing them with traditional beats, thereby creating something close to the heart of Malawians.

Chatepa says experience has proved that Malawians, including those in authority, take heed of the strong as well as subtle messages conveyed through music. He says this is done to ensure that the audience is moved with something like the emotions of life- emotions variously provoked by the fusion.

He says, for instance, that it is not often the beat that drums the message across; rather, the audience gets moved when a young man labours to find the love of his life, a young woman bemoans the lost spark in their love, or when a divorced spouse lambasts her lost love, or expresses raw emotions as she sinks into irretrievable emotions- issues so close to life.

In line with Chatepa’s words, the country is full of musicians who have made names for themselves by fusing hip hop with traditional beats such as Manganje, Mganda, Tchopa, Gulewankulu Dance, Ingoma, Vimbuza, or some elements of Afro Pop, R & B, just to mention a few, and got nominations on the strength of it.

Take, for instance, the example of Tay Grin, who has more than once been among Channel O nominees for his close-to-culture beats, pointing out, yet again, that there is gold in culture.

The most outstanding feature in his beats is the unmistakable sound of the drum, which feeds well into the opinion of people who have a kin eye at history. Some of the people with a kin interest in African history and current affairs, especially University of Malawi lecturer Simbalashe Mungoshi, have always bemoaned the missing element of the drum in local music.

One of the things Mungoshi takes issues with is the way local music sounds from afar. He observes sounds of the keyboard override the voice of the musician and the drum- a tool he says was supposed to override the key board, percussions, and the guitar strings because Africans have always been known by the drum.

In deed, the drum is the epicenter of African music, and is a common feature at traditional ceremonies such as Chinamwali (initiation ceremony), rural weddings, funerals of respectable people among the Chewa, Vimbuza (spirit dance), among others.

Perhaps Tay Grin has taken heed of this message, and punctuates his songs with the heart-rending sound of the drum which, when featured in a video tape, comes with a full course of traditional dancers that expose local traditional beats to audiences far and wide.

The themes in the Nyau King’s songs range from culture exultation, war cerebrations, heritage (as in Kumalira Ngwenya), and, sometimes, self aggrandizement- a typical feature among the youth who, it seems, find relish in ‘beefing’ (mocking) others.

Then, there is Third Eye, whose genre has the characteristics of pure hip hop. The musician, using hip hop as a social commentary, addresses social issues such as violence, and promotes the respect for child rights, and real love, among others.

That is how his songs have come to be identified with the African child, as in ‘African Child’, a song that is decorated by the unmistakable voice of Jay-T. ‘Deep’ is another piece that shows how it feels when emotions have been stretched to the limit.

With Barry One, whose songs also boast of hip hop elements- although it is clear that he fuses some local elements to create a unique, but hip hop leaning touch, the themes are often love, beauty, and self-aggrandisement which comes in a positive way- touting all the resources, including the human soul, endowed in man and Malawi.

This make-merry spirit reflects itself when he sings of ‘Life Kuusumana’ (enjoying life), as waxes lyrical about all the positive things that surround man. This, in a way, represents a self-detachment from the Malawian way of singing, in which most local musicians bemoan the many social challenges besetting the nation.

This also goes for Young Kay who, though his songs come nowhere near hip hop (and tilt towards R&B) and Afro-Pop, waxes lyric about love with beats that have some traces of hip hop as they employ hip hop-style anecdotes- just like Genii Blakk also does well to retain the flow. There message is about positive consciousness.
“It does not matter how one passes the message, the point is that Malawians listen to the message,” Chatepa says.

Learning from others

In the African Studies Quarterly (Volume 13, Issue 3 | Summer 2012), Msia Kibona Clark- Assistant Professor in the Department of Pan African Studies at California State University with a research focus on African American relations, and African hip hop expressions- notes that Africa has positively used the genre as a social commentary.

Clark observes that hip hop’s origins lie in its use as a tool of self -expression and self-definition, “using the platform of hip hop to speak out on a host of social and political issues”.

Clark says, when hip hop arrived in Africa in the 1980s, it swept across the African continent like a tidal wave, becoming firmly implanted in almost every country on the continent in the early 1990s. All over Africa, in countries like Burkina Faso, Kenya, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, hip hop’s presence dates back to the 1980s and 1990s.

“Today, each of Africa’s metropolitan areas, has a hip hop community, a community that includes rap emcees, producers, DJs, graphic designers,musical performances, and in many cases radio stations, dancers, and fashion designers. All of these elements promote hip hop by participating in the continuation of the culture in various ways,” says Clark.

Chatepa cannot agree less: “Look, some people say that we do not have a music identity as Malawians. But the truth is that music identity does not exist; it’s the individual artists who have an identity," Chatepa says.

Permaculture: Making Malawi's problems edible

Is there anything that strikes people more than the seven-letter word ‘problem’? Can there be such a thing as ‘immunity’ to problems?

Ask Mugove Walter Nyika who, at 53, is supposed to know problems better, and he will tell you in the face that there is no such thing as a problem in Permaculture. The Rescope Regional (East and Southern Africa) Coordinator even has the audacity to stand up for his assertion.

“I am talking of Permaculture here, and not any other branch of Agriculture,” Nyika says.

The Permaculture Institute, an educational institution based in the United States of America, defines Permaculture as “an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor” that “teaches us how to build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities and much more”.

Nyika says, in Permaculture, problems that plague other forms of farming are turned into food for predators, thereby promoting food sovereignty.

“For example, when we deal with the issue of Natural Pest and Disease Management- which is one of the key characteristics of a Permaculture landscape- we look at predator and prey systems. In Permaculture, we don’t say we have a problem of snails; we say there is lack of ducks (which prey on snails), Nyika says.

In the same vein, there are no pests in Permaculture; just lack of predators. Because there is nothing on earth that has no predator, Nyika challenges that nothing goes out of hand in the world of natural pest and disease management.

Rescope, spurred on by the righteousness of its anti-Agricultural -problems cause, last year embarked on a project dubbed ‘Growing Resilient School Communities’, which targets learners in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions. The initiative is being bankrolled by the German organisation, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst e.V. (The German Pentecostal Church Development Service).

Nyika says learners are targeted because they are not yet corrupted by experience and, therefore, stand a better chance of absorbing new ideas. He says schools also serve as centres of community meetings, offering people the chance to tap from new ideas.

Among other districts, the organisation is working with 18 partner organisations in Chikhwawa, Blantyre, Ntcheu, Nkhatabay, Mzimba, Karonga, Lilongwe, Thyolo, and Mangochi.

Rescope Project Coordinator, Chifundo Khokwa, says they were spurred into action after the 2006 National School Health and Nutrition Baseline (NSHNB) survey revealed that, of the 2,935 out of 3 million school-aged children (aged between five and 10 years) surveyed, 54 percent had anaemia, 50 percent had Iodine deficiency problems.

This represented an increase in the number of school-age children suffering from Anaemia, an ailment that borders on diet because in 2001, the National Micronutrient Survey revealed that 22 percent of school-aged children had anaemia. However, the survey findings indicated progress in terms of the number of children that faced Iodine-deficiency problems because the 2001 survey pegged the figure at 64 percent, while the 2006 survey found that only 50 percent faced the problem.

But the relative improvement in Vitamin A deficiency cases was blighted by NSHNB findings that 30 percent of school-aged children were stunted;,18 percent underweight, 30 percent never ate breakfast, 19 percent had bilharzias, nine percent had intestinal worms, 20 percent had malaria parasites, while 34 percent had reported illness in the past two weeks!

“We settled for Permaculture because it fits into one of the components in the School Health and Nutrition Strategy 2008 – 2018, and this is (the component of) eating healthy. Permaculture can help the country attain food sovereignty, which happens when a household is able to meet all its food requirements,” Khokwa says.

The overall goal of the School Health and Nutrition Strategy- formulated by the Ministries of Education, Science and Technology; Agriculture and Food Security; and Health- is that Malawi should have healthy, well-nourished school-aged children who can fulfill their optimum learning potential by 2015. It plans to achieve this by ensuring that children enjoy good health and eat balanced, nutritious diets.

Already, Permaculture has registered positive changes in the lives of pupils at Thunga Primary School in Thyolo, where pupils are putting hither to bare land to good use by planting trees and food crops. So far, 40 schools already benefitted from Permaculture knowledge during the pilot phase in 2007. It was funded by GTZ.

Nyika, Khokwa and their team have been working with Primary Education Advisors and School Health Nutrition (SHN) Coordinators in a number of districts to achieve their goals. Mighty Kayoyo, SHN Coordinator from Mzimba South District Education Zone, is one of the people who benefitted to new Permaculture knowledge, and waxes lyric about its wonders.

“These interventions are changing us, and helping us to go back to our nature. You see, beauty is not all about growing flowers at school. We can grow crops, too,” says Kayoyo.

These sentiments are shared by Anna Chauluka, Primary Education Advisor for Koche Zone in Mangochi, who says school officials have, in the past, contributed to soil degradation by encouraging pupils to lacerate grass and throw the materials away. Like Chauluka, Lilongwe Rural East (Malikha Zone) Primary Education Advisor, Elizabeth Chalowelera, rues the energy educators have lost promoting conventional agriculture systems.

The problem with conventional agriculture, Nyika will tell you, is that it feeds the plant and not the soil.

“They (farmers) treat the plant as a patient admitted at, say, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. They give the plant a lot of nutrient feeds and neglect the soil that anchors the plant. In Permaculture, you do not feed the plant; you feed the soil which, in turn, feeds the plant. After that, you keep the process going by turning to the soil what came from the soil,” Nyika says.

So, while it has been argued that the ground of man’s joy has a shallow surface that is within problems’ reach, building it on the hard edifice of Permaculture is the only way of making the joy long-lasting.

Dying in vain?

Perhaps, some 100 years ago, the likes of John Chilembwe, John Gray Kufa, and other great sons and daughters of the then Nyasaland (now Malawi), were too rattled by current events and the unbeatable logic of despair and had to go the extra-mile to go out into the woods and strategize on how to come over the problems They then, apparently, organized the 1914 uprising.

The guys were tired of the colonialists-perpetuated bonded labour (Thangata system). Their wives and children, too, might have felt helpless at the powerlessness of their husbands in face of the challenges at hand. How could the likes of Kufa ‘discipline’ their children with some good whip when they were failing to pump sense into the white-farmers who were exploiting them?

Life must have been tough for them, inside out. I can guess that, in doors, even second hand news was mostly negative and bad; perhaps bad enough to draw even the most positive of people into a dreadful fascination with doom and demise. This happens when one’s faith in extinction gets stronger, that you sit down and tell stories that begin with the end.

The Rev. Chilembwe and friends would have stormed out of their homes (in doors), feeling that they belonged outdoors at this crucial point in time; that is, if they had to really strategize, let their voices heard, and, if need be, free themselves from pain by hook or crook. Killing did not amount to murder anymore, it meant freedom. The good thing about freedom is that it recognizes no murder; the assumption is that you are acting in self defense.

So, outdoors (where the news is usually energizing and miraculous) they went. A fly might, then, have flown into the Rev. Chilembwe’s, or one of his friends’, mouth and went deep- forcing the Rev. Chilembwe to swallow, inducing a major life change for him. It is so simple to understand, how a simple fly could have energized our good Reverend. Outside, when it is flying and wallowing in human waste, it is a fly. Granted. When it flies into your mouth and you swallow it, everything changes: it changes from fly to protein. More energy for our dreams!

Just like that.

That, too, is how we shall be changed one day, as one Garrison Keillor rightly observed. That’s how the status quo gets changed as well. A fly can be anything, from the vulnerable, orphans, neglected, colonized and afflicted. It represents powerlessness, though great powers have been known to develop from it (powerlessness), when one acknowledges it and sets on the path to improve on it.

The likes of Kufa and others might have seen, upon looking at the Rev. Chilembwe, how furious he looked. At first, it was anger vented at the fly, something (anger) that spilled over to focus on problems of the day, including the Thangata issue. He woke up, beckoned his fellow lieutenants to battle and……boom, with stolen guns, there they were, attacking isolated estates. At last, Kufa jumped. He was happy. The head of Lisitoni (Livingstone) was here at last, in his hands.

The battle for freedom had started for real.

This may as well be a redo, albeit exaggerated but real, of the battle for freedom in Malawi, which started as far back as 1900 and culminated into the Chilembwe Uprising. People wanted freedom and, by virtue of us being independent today, got their bid. They, and the likes of Orton Chirwa, Kamuzu Banda, fought for the freedom we are enjoying today as repeated every year during Martyrs Day Commemorations.

Of course, I have doubted if these people did these things for me. Honestly, I think they were doing it for their pockets. Who doubts the fact that the world stopped being governed with, and by, passion during the Dark Ages and is now being run on greed? You are entitled to your opinion and I, mine.

Did they know that they were fighting for me? Did they know my voice? How tall I am? Even my marital status? Eeh?

I also doubt if what they died for has come to fruition. Look here, we have so many problems and challenges synonymous with the Thangata System of the early 1900s. The death of our so-called martyrs has, certainly, not helped us look at life in a different way, as well as helping us reflect on the vision of those humans no longer being.

Need examples? Look at our markets, run under the guise of free enterprise. Free enterprise, or a liberalized market, as the name implies, would have been a system in which buyers and sellers met at a neutral market place, possessed equal power and equal information and made their exchanges without leaving any litter behind.

But our markets are not neutral. What is so neutral when tobacco buyers dictate the stakes, and when government issues directives that rig the markets, gives certain groups investment tax credits, incentives, depletion and depreciation allowances, subsidies, rebates, research and development funding, demonstration grant programmes and price supports?

Then, let’s look at our democracy. Democracy came about after realizing that power is contagious: one can fight it only with equal power. This is a system of checking this possible abuse, a living realization of the fact that every human group that exercises power does so, not in such a way as to bring total happiness to those who are subject to it, but in such a way as to increase that power.

Is they (freedom and democracy) happening in their actual sense in Malawi? I say no. In Malawi, everything happens in reverse. Take the issue of workers, for instance. Most people will report for duties at 10:00am instead of 7:30 am and knock off at 04:00 pm instead of 05:00pm. They have even changed the meaning of G.M.T to mean Genuine Malawian Time. Genuine Malawian Time, by its very purpose and nature, is always too hours earlier and two hours late! Just like that.

Measuring the faith of a nation

It once, in the early to late 1950s, was a place of such insignificance that it failed to make it onto the Atlas map. The Times Atlas of the World almost neglected to record its existence and the cartographers of Macmillan’s Atlas even reduced it to a mare footnote.

For all they cared, the tiny British colony could as well have slumped beneath the fresh waters of Lake Nyasa.

Yes, you might wonder, what a way to start a topic! What are we talking about? Your guess may be as good as mine- we are talking about Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa, of course! Fact is, what we now call Malawi was not always thus, when Malawi is Malawi and not Nyasaland anymore. What we call Malawi now, our beloved nation, first existed in the hearts and minds of those people who believed in the power of liberation and in the fact that dreams could take a physical form in this very life.

This we call faith. Malawi is a product of the faith of our fore fathers and mothers, though some of them might have died young and barren. Some of them even died in the attempt, leaving beautiful wives and handsome husbands on the land. Had you known what great things you missed, you would have clawed back for sure!

The country you left, our brothers and sisters behind the other side of the veil, has really changed. We can now be written large across the entertainment pages of big world publications, when Madonna Ciccone adopts one of our own and the world ignores the fact that we are one of the countries endowed with fabulous beauty that United States of America’s gilded riches seem taw dry by comparison. Instead, they focus on how impoverished and orphan-infested we seem to be. Many countrymen and foreign visitors almost agree with those observations of poverty and orphans and assert that we can not run away from them; that such is the face of Malawi now, a product of the faith of our forefathers and mothers.

Those assertions of poverty and orphans, apparently, seem to have riled our Chief Father here- His Excellency the State President Ngwazi Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika. The Ngwazi, for that is his new, adopted name, is angry and believes otherwise. He seems to have become more allergic to the terms ‘poverty’ and ‘poor’ than ‘orphans’ that he has embarked on a crusade against poverty.

The crusade, as expected, has a catch word: Malawi is not poor; in fact, it is the people of Malawi who are poor. That is how our Father puts it, when and wherever he feels like talking about it.

Now, I am not against it; I want to applaud it. The Big Man is a man of faith, big faith for that matter. He believes that the country can trod out of the poverty path, and, then, deal with the issue of orphans as well. In fact, the issue of orphans will sort itself out. There is nothing like a rich orphan, the term disappears with riches. So, the short of it seems to be, sort out the issue of poverty first and the product will sort the orphan riddle out! The guy is great; he things big. But very few politicians share his sentiments and beliefs.

In fact, some of these were heard during the May 19 parliamentary and presidential elections’ campaign saying the country was poor, vowing, even, to go outside the country, bowl in hand, to beg. Many people, too, seem to agree with this point; they call it their own life-reality. Why should they agree with assertions that Malawi is not poor, but the people themselves, when they can hardly afford iodized salt? Why should they believe it when their life is a struggle for the basic necessities in life? So, as fate would have it, they seem to agree and accept poverty.

Blame it on those who came before the new Father. A father who hides when he goes on holiday, sometimes leaving his own children without yandiwo. They did not have a positive mind, those former guys. Their only positive side could be their given nicknames, which the new Father has started adopting. Never mind the many unadopted orphans in the country1. Those predecessors were crazy and saw gloom where it, in deed, existed but could be up rooted! They never thought of doing anything about it- that the status quo could be changed. Our Father is different; he is positive.

Some say his ultra-positivity it’s derived from the fact that he sleeps in a big house, 300 bedrooms, whereas some of his subjects sleep on verandahs of ramshackle, glass-thatched huts. Ten children plus husband and wife. Just like that! Why not fill the other rooms of his Kliba with orphans? Well, that is the thinking line of some of his detractors; people who don’t want to believe in what he believes.

That, too, is his biggest challenge. How does he convince the tad-suspicious public that, in deed, Malawi is not poor? How does he make them toe his line of faith and turn his faith into some sort of national plague? I think we must begin to learn some positives from plagues. They (plagues) may start small, with a mere sneeze, and end in death. That is big because death is big. A plague is a life lesson of how we may start small and end big.

My assessment of faith, all faiths, foretells doom. This includes the faith of our Father that we can cross the poverty mark into the land of milk and honey. Why? Because even science may not help. We seem to have developed faith in science, which has, surely, helped us solve some of our most perplexing questions. We can now foretell the weather and many other things. True, but not faith: we can not measure faith!

What else, religion? I say no. Of course religion is based on faith, which we, madly, measure in faith. But how do we really measure faith on a barometer or whatever and see if we have reached the levels where, as a nation, we may have gathered enough faith to move poverty out. Enough faith to solve all the problems that give us a bad name.

That is the challenge the nation, and the world, faces right now. We cannot measure faith, and, as a result, don’t know where we stand. Our leaders and us are living on assumptions; we are not living the real package of life. We see sausages and polon when, in fact, the stomach is empty.

We are all mad, in a away. Just like that.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

IMF Executive Board Completes Second Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Malawi and Approves US$19.6 Million Disbursement

Press Release No. 13/108
April 8, 2013

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the second review of Malawi’s economic performance under a program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The Board’s decision enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 13.02 million (about US$19.6 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR39.06 million (about US$58.7 million).

The three-year ECF arrangement for Malawi in the total amount of SDR 104.1 million (about US$156.2 million) was approved on July 23, 2012 (see Press Release 12/273).

Following the Board’s discussion, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:“Malawi’s performance under the Fund-supported program has been commendable despite a difficult environment. The policy reforms have begun to yield positive results, including increased availability of foreign exchange. The government also successfully rolled out its social protection programs.

“Continued tight monetary policy and fiscal restraint are needed to contain aggregate demand, stabilize the exchange rate and prices, and boost international reserves. The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) is committed to maintaining a tight monetary stance until inflation pressures recede. The fiscal authorities are also committed to implementing prudent policies in the run up to the 2014 general elections. In particular, the FY2013/14 budget will include measures to offset the impact of recent wage increases on the budget. The authorities are also pursuing reforms to broaden the tax base, improve revenue administration, and exercise greater control over expenditures.

“It will be important to safeguard the stability of the financial system. The RBM is strengthening its oversight of banks and is assessing the true financial condition of all banks with a view to enforcing prudential regulations. It has also enhanced its monitoring of banks that have continued to have difficulty meeting liquidity requirements.

“The authorities are making progress in implementing structural reforms to enhance the country’s competitiveness and exports. They are committed to removing regulatory hurdles to doing business in Malawi.”