Tuesday, October 29, 2013

President Joyce Banda launches the 2013 Poppy Week, donates 1.5Million Kwacha to Ex-Service League

Press Release

State House

28th October 2013

President Joyce Banda has launched the 2013 Poppy week with a call to the nation to support the Commonwealth Ex-servicemen Of Malawi CELOM.

Speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, President Banda who is the patron of the group said she is aware that the two World Wars caused great devastation and brought untold suffering to humanity.

“As a nation we should be proud that our courageous men and women offered their services to help bring an end to these devastating wars” said the Malawi Leader.

Banda noted that while the nation honor those that lost their lives, it is also important to pay homage to those that are still living by contributing generously through the Common Ex-Service League of Malawi (CELOM).

President Banda made a personal contribution of 1.5million Kwacha to CELOM and 290 bags of Maize. (Twenty nine families of ex-servicemen will each receive ten bags of Maize).

The President assured the War Veterans that she will make sure that they live a decent life.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Commonwealth Ex-service League of Malawi Major General Namwali thanked the President for her endless effort in making sure that the War Veterans are well looked after.

Namwali said the president support since she took office has eased the challenges the veterans face in their daily lives.


There are currently 29 War Veterans living in the country’s Barracks.

500 War Veterans live in the villages across the country.

This year’s Remembrance Day activities will be held on Sunday, 10th day of
November, 2013 at the Zomba Cenotaph with similar events taking place in Lilongwe
and Mzuzu.

Formation of task force on preparations for 2014 presidential candidates debates

BLANTYRE - As Malawi moves closer to the May 20, 2014, the date for holding Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is pleased to announce the formation of a task force for presidential candidates’ debates.

With technical support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI),the taskforce will work on all preparatory, organizational and production aspects of the Presidential Candidates Debates.

Members of the task force have been drawn from various civil society organizations and broadcast media houses basing on the expertise and some already had plans to conduct presidential debates.

The task force has been formulated in line with MEC’s 2014 electoral calendar which includes presidential debates as one of the key activities ahead of the elections. Around the world, presidential candidate debates are used to enable citizens to learn more about their candidates and policies in order to make informed electoral choices.

In addition, we anticipate the presidential candidates’ debates will provide an important public space to generate dialogue on citizen interests regarding the future and direction of Malawi.

The taskforce under the Chairmanship of MEC will operate independently to undertake the following responsibilities:

1. Discuss and agree on the modalities of holding presidential
candidates debates;

2. Decide, in collaboration with the Malawi Electoral Commission,
the dates and venue of the debates ;

3. Agree on the number of debates to be conducted, themes and the duration of each debate;

4. Develop parameters for media outlets/ media mix to be used for airing the debates;

5. Agree on the format of the debate; whether the debates will be held live or will be prerecorded and broadcast later and whether spectators/audiences will ask questions directly or all moderator will ask all questions;

6. Work out the budget for hosting the debates;

7. Determine logistics of the debates such as travel and accommodation;

8. And determine the extent to which supporters of candidates/contestants will be involved.

Below is a complete list of organizations that are forming the task force.

1. Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)
2. National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
3. Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
4. Public Affairs Committee (PAC)
5. National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE)
6.Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD)
7. Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Malawi Chapter
8. Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN)
9. Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)
10. Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS)
11. Malawi Human Rights Commission

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From The Mouth of South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma

“We can't think like Africans because we're in Johannesburg and not some national road in
Malawi.” (Jacob Juma, President of South Africa).





On 12th September, 2013, the Anti-Corruption Bureau received a complaint alleging that Government Officers at Capital Hill were making entries in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

The Anti-Corruption Bureau immediately instituted investigations. The investigations found that Mr. Geoffrey Sinoya Accounts Officer at Accountant General’s Office tampered with transactions in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

It also established that Mrs. Tressa Namathanga Senzani, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife had instructed the ministry to make payments in favour of her company Visual Impact for no service supplied or offered to Government.

On 21st October, 2013, the Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Mr. Geoffrey Sinoya and Mrs. Tressa Namathanga Senzani.

They will be taken to court for them to be charged after they have been interviewed on the matter.

Mr. Geoffrey Sinoya may be charged with abuse of official powers contrary to Section 25 B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

Mrs. Tressa Namathanga Senzani may be charged with corruptly performing official duties contrary to Section 25 A (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act, intent to defraud contrary to Section 364 as read with Section 21 of the Penal Code and negligence contrary to Section 284 of the Penal Code.

ACB Senior Public Relations Officer


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For immediate release

The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is concerned with the arrest of Galaxy FM radio journalist Sylvester Namiwa, who was cautioned and charged with publishing content likely to incite violence on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.

MISA Malawi does not condone professional misconduct and parroting of lies and half-baked stories. But we at the same time consider the arrest of a journalist over professional misconduct retrogressive and attempts to stifle critical voices and opinion.

It is important to note that in any democracy, free speech is paramount and affords the citizenry, including the media, a chance to debate and shape public opinion. Without free speech, the media cannot effectively perform its watchdog role and check abuse of power and safeguard democracy. That is why MISA Malawi has been in the forefront campaigning for repeal and review of laws that restrict free speech, such as Criminal Defamation and other insult laws, which continue to be used to arrest and instill fear and trepidation in journalists and the citizenry.

We would like to appeal to people concerned and aggrieved by the programme aired by Galaxy FM to use appropriate channels of resolving their grievances such as lodging a complaint with the Media Council of Malawi (MCM) or indeed MISA rather than using the police to instill fear and trepidation in people.

We, at the same time, appeal to radio stations and the media in general to safeguard journalism as a profession and to conduct thorough research before publishing stories.

We have hope in the Police and the media to collaborate in safe guarding Malawi’s nascent democracy and to thoroughly investigate the looting at Capital Hill for the benefit of the tax payer and Malawi as country.

Overzealous reporting on the part of the media or indeed arresting journalists on the part of the police will not help the investigations and Malawi as a nation.


Thom Khanje



For immediate release

Dated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Journalist Union of Malawi (Juma) is concerned with the conduct of government through its law enforcing agency over the questioning and arrest of Galaxy FM radio journalist Sylvester Namiwa, who also happens to be the Union's Vice President.

We understand that Mr. Namiwa was cautioned and charged with publishing content likely to incite violence on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.

It is the view of Juma that the government should have followed civilized and proper channels as an aggrieved party to the purported offensive broadcast by Galaxy FM by either lodging an official complaint with the Media Council of Malawi (MCM) or MISA Malawi or Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).

The use of state machinery like the Police when clear and appropriate channels of resolving media grievances are available is tantamount to gagging the press and suppressing freedom of expression and media freedom as such practice instills unnecessary fear in people that the government is entrusted to govern.

Government's action in this instance has brought to the fore the need for the review and repeal of laws that restrict free speech, such as Criminal Defamation and other Insult Laws, which are used to silence critics and stifle media freedoms.

Although Juma does not condone professional misconduct by its members in the execution of the noble profession, we do not think the arrest of a journalist over professional misconduct when there are appropriate channels for lodging media-related complaints is the right thing for government to do.

Juma would like to echo sentiments by other professional media bodies such as MISA Malawi Chapter that those who have been aggrieved by any media house in its broadcast or publication should use available appropriate and professional channels of resolving their grievances like engaging MCM, MISA, or Macra and that they should desist from using government machinery and state organs to instill fear in
journalists and the public.

Frederick Ndala Jnr


Monday, October 21, 2013


‘Maintaining Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace’ – Eph 4 vs 3

Press Statement: For Immediate Release

Our Mandate

Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) is a fellowship of 25 Protestant Member Churches and 20 para-church affiliates which is committed, faithful, transparent, accountable and financially sustainable in the advancement of God’s mission, transforming humanity after the image of Christ, promoting holistic human development and fostering communities in the communion of peace, justice and love.

Our Concern

THE Malawi Council of Churches would like to express total shock and surprise at the manner public servants have ripped and continue to rip off government coffers, which has demonstrated a lack of fiscal control on the part of government, and the Finance Ministry in particular.

The Council finds that such gross abuse of public funds does not only deny God’s people the opportunity to take part and enjoy His resources with equity and without bias.

The Malawi Council of Churches also bemoan the fact that it has taken government long to start to be seen to uproot the vice, notably recognising that a lot of people have been denied progress in their day to day livelihoods such as in the health, education, agriculture (food security) and other sectors. Due to this unwelcome development, Malawians have met with inadequate and lack of quality service delivery on the expense of a few civil servants who have connived with some politicians. The Council wonders if members of the banks and private sectors have not taken part in this rip off.

However, the Council takes this opportunity to commend the government and leadership of the country for taking the first steps in addressing this serious matter, and by providing a conducive environment for a rejuvenated fight into graft, by way of:-

Dismissing and hiring in a new cabinet

Ensuring that the arms of the law, i.e. the Malawi Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the Fiscal Investigations Unit, among others, engage in serious and meaningful discharge of their duties such as:-

Arresting suspects

Investigating the scandal further at public and private sector platforms.

The Council is aware that Malawians are angry and are expecting that more will be done following this scandal. The Council is also confident that government will take the peoples’ concerns at heart and ensure that all the culprits are apprehended and brought to book.

More dilly-dallying in catching and prosecuting the so-called ‘big fish’ implicated in the fiscal scandal will only further cost the citizenry more in terms of democratic and economic strides and continue to corrode the confidence the people have in the leadership. That is the only way the Rule of Law must be adhered to at all times.

Malawi Council of Churches emphasizes that exhaustive and sober conduct of fiscal investigations throughout the processes be employed in dealing with this scandal. As the Church, we are anxious that billions of tax payers and donor money have already been lost and may continue to be stolen if nothing tangible is done.

Our Stand and Call

The Malawi Council of Churches therefore strongly calls upon the leadership, and all other stakeholders that the plans to develop a comprehensive roadmap towards dealing with this financial scandal be a concerted effort. Government must be seen to act to register serious approach to the concerns of Malawians and the donor community, and must not stop at the current arrests, but must apprehend all that are implicated following extensive investigations.

Delay by government in addressing this matter can lead to more loss of public funds and loss of trust of the people in the leadership and the entire fiscal establishment. Government should be made aware that such looting over the years has had negative impact on Malawians, especially rural masses that are the hardest hit as they are more dependent on public services. This kind of looting is also in conflict with the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which was established rather to transform the economic livelihoods of the people.

The Council also calls upon the Police, ACB and FIU to hasten efforts to arrest the situation as this has the potential to prevent the objectives of socio-economic development and set austerity measures. All stakeholders and the citizens of Malawi must place more interest in the way government runs its business by joining hands in bringing to light any malpractices. The Council therefore wishes to thank those courageous and law upholding citizens for blowing the whistle in this scandal.

In Conclusion

The Malawi Council of Churches therefore urges all Member Churches and Malawians at large to continue to pray towards the maintenance of the national economy, and takes this opportunity to emphasize that the dismissing and hiring of the new cabinet has been with anticipation that the appointed ministers are of high integrity and are God fearing as already expressed by some of our Member Churches.

Finally the Malawi Council of Churches categorically emphasizes that the Christian Church is in support of the comprehensive fiscal audit and other corrective measures, including apprehension of all culprits involved so as a sure means of restoring the confidence of the people.

“…………………………………….” .

God bless Malawi.

Rev. Alex MAULANA, Chairperson

Rev. Dr. Osborne Lukiel JODA-MBEWE, General Secretary

Executive Board Secretariat

Dated: 18th October 2013



The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Wednesday,
16th October 2013, where the Committee wanted to know what the institution was doing in relation to the reported fraud scam at the Capital Hill.

Following this, the FIU wishes to share with the nation what it has done so far.

Between 2009 and now, the FIU has analysed more than 400 reports, 300 of which have been disseminated to law enforcement agencies. Out of the said disseminations, 112 border on fraud in the Public Service involving around 50 companies. The 112 disseminated reports indicate that an amount around K20 billion is involved, but this can only be confirmed after analysis and investigations havebeen finalised.

With regard to the recent alleged fraud scam that has taken place at the Capital Hill, there is still insufficient information for an exact amount of money involved or otherwise to be established since investigations are still going on. Such a figure will be made available to the public by the appropriate authorities at the right time.

The FIU, will continue to carry out its mandate as an autonomous central national agency with the power to receive disclosures of suspicious financial information from financial institution, analyze and disseminate the information as intelligence reports to Law Enforcement Agencies and Supervisors of financial institutions, while maintaining confidentiality as required by Section 17 (3).

The FIU may provide further updates of this nature from time to time whenever necessary.

Atuweni-tupochile Phiri


Monday, October 14, 2013


. The Guest of Honour, Dr. Gerard Chigona, Commissioner in the
Competition and Fair Trading Commission

. Distinguished invited Chief Executive Officers/ Executive
Directors of various companies and organisations

. Directors and all staff of the Competition and Fair Trading

. Members of the press;

. Ladies and Gentlemen.

My simple duty this morning is to invite the Guest of Honour, Dr Gerard Chigona, Commissioner in the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, to officially open our meeting. But before I do so, allow me to say a few remarks.

First of all, I would like to welcome each one of you to this meeting and invite you to feel free. I would like to extend a special welcome to our Guest of Honour,who, despite his busy schedule has set aside time to be with us this morning.

Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the high level attendance of this meeting. I would, therefore, like appreciate the gesture you have shown by sparing your precious time to avail yourselves to this important forum where we will be discussing important issues regarding competition and consumer welfare issues.

This meeting has been organized by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, an autonomous agency of the government mandated to regulate, monitor, control and prevent acts or behaviours which are likely to adversely affect competition and fair trading in Malawi.

The personal presence of Chief Executives here demonstrates the commitment and passion the private sector in Malawi attaches to issues affecting our economy and I do not take this for granted. Your presence further demonstrates the strong working relationship existing between Government and the private sector as crucial partners in driving the development agenda for our beautiful country.

Honourable Minister, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen; as you might have noted from the invitation letters extended to you, the objective of our gathering today is to sensitise one another on the Competition and Fair Trading regulatory framework in Malawi and its attendant obligations placed on various players in our economy.

This meeting is, but, a continuation of the advocacy and engagement strategies that the Competition and Fair Trading Commission has deployed as a means of reaching out to all relevant stakeholders that are deemed crucial in the realisation of the aspirations of the Competition Policy and the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

This is the third in a series of such workshops. The Commission has already met CEOs and the media in Blantyre. Later this week, we will be in Mzuzu.

Guest of Honour, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, as you may be aware, the Competition Policy was adopted in 1997 as part of policy reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment for business growth and economic growth.

Specifically, the Competition Policy seeks to promote economic efficiency in the production and distribution of goods and services and to safeguard consumers. The Policy envisages to achieve this objective by, among others, working towards creating a business environment which is free of restrictive business practices; countering unfair business practices and affording consumers protection from business malpractices.

The Policy targets the following broad areas:
. effecting change to legislation impeding competition and make
appropriate recommendations to relevant institutions;

. checking against business behaviour calculated to eliminate
or reduce competition including price fixing, collusive
tendering or customer allocation and tied sales;

. market structures which permit abuse by an entity in a
position of market power;

. Government legislation which may impact on the operation of
the free market in Malawi; and

. unfair business practices which have a negative impact on
consumer welfare.

We may further wish to remind each other, ladies and gentlemen, that as one way of actualising the aspirations of the Competition Policy, the Government of Malawi passed the Competition and Fair Trading Act in 1998. The Act provides for the creation of Competition and Fair Trading Commission to be responsible for the implementation of the Act.

From the brief background given, it is the wish of the Commission to go full throttle in fulfilling its mandate as provided for by the Law i.e. ensuring efficiency in the economy by preventing unfair trade practices that restrict competition and protecting the welfare of consumers.

While the Act gives the Commission enforcement powers in relation to violation of the provisions of the Act, the Commission’s preference is to encourage voluntary compliance.

This is why the Commission has decided to engage various stakeholders, including private sector, in sensitisation and advocacy campaigns so that we are all aware of our rights and obligations under the Act. It is our expectation that this meeting will contribute to fostering adherence to competition and fair trading principles and therefore, leading to a significant
reduction to anti-competitive and unfair business practices.

The meeting is organised in such a way that members of staff from the Competition and Fair Trading Commission will make presentations on various topics as per the programme circulated; after which we shall all be free to discuss and engage in meaningful debate.

The main topics to be covered will evolve around the following areas:

Overview of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission’s work and agency effectiveness, mergers and acquisitions and how they are regulated, as well as consumer welfare Issues and unfair trading.

Guest of Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the belief that by the end of today’s session, we will all find the discussion enriching and beneficial.

I,therefore, encourage all of us to participate in the sessions and interact to the fullest possible as we aim to develop our country.

With these few remarks, may I invite our Guest of Honour, Commissioner Dr Gerard Chigona, to officially open the meeting.

I thank you all for your attention!

God bless you!


. The Master of Ceremonies

. The Executive Director of the Competition and Fair Trading
Commission; Mrs Charlotte Wezi Malonda

. Chief Executive Officers of various companies and
organisations or your representatives;

. Directors and members of staff of the Competition and Fair
Trading Commission;

. Distinguished participants;

. Members of the press;

.Ladies and Gentlemen.

I’m delighted to stand before you this morning to perform the official opening of this high level private sector meeting for Chief Executives on implementation of the Competition and Fair Trading Act which has been organised by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission.

I’m particularly delighted to see that all sectors of our economy are represented at this meeting. I wish to join the Executive Director of the Commission in commending CEOs present here for finding time to attend this very important meeting despite their busy schedules.

As the Commission, we do not take your participation for granted and therefore thank you most sincerely.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this meeting tackles one of the cornerstones of a vibrant economy, that is, competition. Competition gives rise to a more efficient allocation and utilisation of resources and promotes consumer welfare through competitive prices for goods and services.

In any economy, vigorous competition results in lower prices, higher quality of goods and services and top draw innovations leading to new products and services and wider consumer choice. The absence of competition can be a barrier to investment as existing business operators may use their dominant market power to block new investments or business expansion into their markets. Further, it makes business operators to become less innovative and less interested to produce and market goods and services that satisfy consumer needs.

It is against this background that the Government of Malawi enacted the Competition and Fair Trading Act as part of economic reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment where the private sector can easily thrive.

The Competition and Fair Trading Act enumerates a number of business practices which are anti-competitive and establishes the Competition and Fair Trading Commission, as an enforcement agency to ensure adherence to competition and fair trading principles.

Since 2005, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission has been operating under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. I am however, pleased to inform you that, in recognition of the important role that the Commission is playing Government has with effect from July 2013 started funding the Commission directly. This has been done to ensure that the Commission
operates autonomously and effectively.

The Commission is a semi-judicial body which is charged with the responsibility of adjudicating over cases on competition and fair trading. This adjudication function of the Commission is done by the Board of Commissioners while the Secretariat, in addition to managing the day to day operations of the Commission, undertakes investigations of cases. The purpose for this division of responsibilities is to ensure that there a separation between case investigation and case adjudication.

The Board of Commissioners consist of representative from a cross section of the economy and include two private sector representatives, a lawyer, an economist, an accountant, two civil society representatives and three ex-official members representing the Government.

As you can note the Board of Commissioners come from diverse backgrounds and interests. This was deliberately done to ensure fairness and objectivity in the operations of the Commission.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to report that the Commission has investigated and resolved several cases of anti-competitive and unfair business practices in the marketplace to the benefit of the Malawian economy as well as consumers. The cases that the Commission has handled are those that were brought before it.

I am however, aware, that there a lot of anti-competitive and unfair business practices that are happening in various parts of the country. These cases go unreported and therefore people suffer without knowing where to seek redress.

Although the Act was passed in 1998, it is still new among most Malawians. This therefore needs to be taken to the home of every business and consumer. This is why I applaud the Executive Director of the Commission and her staff for organising this meeting to sensitize the private sector and consumers about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Fair Trading Act.

Without doubt, advocacy and stakeholder engagement initiatives of this nature, promote healthy competition. Not only do these initiatives deter the private sector from engaging in anti-competitive business practices, they also encourage individual companies and trade associations to evaluate the effects of their policies on competition.

Over and above this, companies strive to reduce deceptive or unfair business practices that harm consumer welfare.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to appeal to the private sector to comply with the provisions in the Competition and Fair Trading Act. As a Commission, we would like to see a significant reduction in business practices that abuse consumers. May I also take this opportunity to appeal to the Secretariat of the Commission to leave no stone unturned in its quest to protect consumers and ensure effective enforcement of the Act.

In closing, I would like to thank you all for accepting to attend this important meeting. I hope that from the discussions that follow, participants will fully appreciate competition and fair trading issues as provided for in the Act.

It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare this high level private sector meeting for CEOs officially opened.

I thank you for your attention

Karonga Justice and Peace Office’s Press Release on the Statements Made By Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and the Former Minister of Mines, Honorable John Bande MP.

The Justice and Peace Office which is the governance arm of Karonga Diocese would like to make its comments on the discourse carried in the media regarding mining related activities taking place in Karonga and Chitipa. Paramount Chief Kyungu was
quoted as saying that Paladin Africa would not be allowed to mine in new areas it has been exploring unless a Memorandum of Understanding is signed between Paladin and the community so that Paladin is held accountable for their activities.

In a response to what the Paramount Kyungu said, Honourable John Bande, the former Minister of Mines; argued that it is only his ministry, apart from the Office of the President and Cabinet that has mandate over all mining issues in the country and no one else. As such, the statement made by the Paramount Chief Kyungu is not founded.

He also indicated that the Ministry is guided by the Mines and Minerals act that is prevailing in the country at the moment.

Our Position and Appeals

The position of the Justice and Peace Office of Karonga Diocese is that the view expressed by the Paramount Chief is a clear reflection of the views of many Malawians living in Karonga and Chitipa Districts and therefore must be respected as the view of the people most affected by the mining activities.

Our long history of working with communities in the said areas has convinced us that the affected communities in
Karonga feel cheated and let down by both government and Paladin (Africa) as they seem not to have benefited from the commercialization of the mining resources being extracted in the areas they live.

It is, therefore, our appeal to government to revisit the way business is done currently before Paladin can extend it’s to extractive activities to other parts of Karonga.

We also urge mining companies to emulate internationally recommended best practices in extractive industry such as Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in which a social contract is reached with communities before mining activities can start.

We also appeal to government to adopt this principle and make part and parcel of the process of awarding prospecting or mining licenses to investors. The principle takes cognizance of the fact the community members have rights, dignity and aspirations which must be considered always.

Also, while we agree that Mines and Minerals Act of 1981 is the prevailing law on mining issues in the country, we make our submission that the said law was made by Malawians, and therefore, Malawians can change it to suit their current developmental
vision and aspirations. As such, we call upon government to quickly enact a new law to guide the mining sector in the country. Malawi needs a law which will address challenges in the mining sector and promote the aspiration of all Malawians.

It is an open secret that the Mines and Minerals Act of 1981 leaves a lot to be desired as, among many weaknesses, it does not favour the interest of a common Malawian but the investors and a few elite of the society.

We also call upon government to consider the rights of Malawians seriously by, among others, providing the communities affected by mining with adequate and relevant information about what is or will be, happing in their areas and how people would be affected. This will help to manage people’s expectations and address the fears that people may have.

Further, we appeal to government to institute grievance handling structures at District level with power and mandate to handle grievances from communities. The District Commissioners, while willing, fail to adequately handle concerns from communities as
the Ministry of Mines has not devolved to the District Councils.

Meanwhile, the District Commissioners continue to receive numerous complaints from communities which are
mostly referred to headquarters with limited chance of action from above.

As the Justice and Peace Arm of the Diocese of Karonga, we share the belief of many people in Malawi that the natural resources that Malawi is endowed with can contribute to socio-economic development of Malawian if properly managed and equitably shared.

Signed By

Mwawi Shaba
Diocesan Justice and Peace Desk Officer for Karonga Diocese.

Jessie Kabwila, the Good-Hearted!

It has become very common, and usual, for ruling party and government officials ignorant of the nature of freedom, to criticise and demonise people- read, honest citizens- who follow the dictates of their heart: Politically, socially, economically, and otherwise.

Most of these people- short-sighted in their thinking- are those who toe the line of the President- in this case, President Joyce Banda; the President who has failed Malawians big time, but is refusing to resign. A President who has become the over-night owner of a tea company in Southern Malawi, houses in Ngumbe in Blantyre, trucks registered in the name of ordinary citizens, school blocks constructed within eight months of her ascending to Malawi's highest office on April 7, 2013, and more questionable wealth. A President who has metamorphosed from hope to despair for Malawians.
Kabwila (centre) has let bygones be bygones

And, as would only be expected of them, these people have gone on over-drive, demonising an innocent and well-meaning citizen, even the renowned academic- the head of the English Department at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, during the infamous Academic Freedom stand-off that tainted the already tainted reputation of former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika's regime- Dr. Jessie Kabwila.

Kabwila, for starters, is so many things to so many people. She is an accomplished academician. A tell-it-as-it-is feminist. A human rights activist who has waged her own war against descrimination of any kind. And, now, a politician- the spokesperson of the Malawi Congress Party, the party that led Malawi to independence from former colonial master, Britain, in 1964.

More than anything else- more, even, than her Academic Freedom crusade- the cronies of the under-fire President Joyce Banda- otherwise known as the Plunderer-of-Malawi's-Meager Financial Resources due to her relentless travel (both locally and abroad; and her incessant liking of allowances and the trappings of power- have gone over-drive, criticising Kabwila for joining the Malawi Congress Party. Now they want her to resign as lecturer because, they say, in the myopic thinking, she has joined active politics.

But ask law expert and lecturer at Chancellor College, Dr. Edge Kanyongolo, and he will tell you that university lecturers are not civil servants; rather, they are public servants. So, President Joyce Banda- who has a hand in all these headless sayings- and her cronies, who try hard, even harder, to please the embattled President, have got it all wrong. 1-0 in favour of Kabwila!

It is also prudent that people understand that Kabwila is not the only University of Malawi lecturer to have shown interest and participate in active politics.

What they have forgotten is that there is a precedent of lecturers participating in active politics while fulfilling their obligations with the university of Malawi. For example, the late Harry Chiume remained a lecturer while serving as the president of the United Party. Another lecturer, Prof. Wiseman Chimjere Chirwa continued to fulfill his obligation as lecturer while serving as the Secretary General of the People's Progressive Movement in the morning of the party.

That is not all, however. Joseph Salule Masangwi continued to lecture while serving in the executive committee of the National Democratic Alliance of Brown Mpinganjira. Nobody complained.

Why didn't anyone complain? May be because of the Constitution. The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi has this to say on the issue of civil servants. Section 193 has the answer:

"193. 1. Members of the Civil Service shall ensure that the exercise of participation in political activities does not compromise their independent exercise of their functions, powers and duties as impartial servants of the general public.

2. The National Assembly may prescribe a category of civil servants, who by reason of their seniority shall not be able to directly participate in political activities:

Provided that -
a. the civil servants so restricted shall have the right to resign in order to participate directly in political activities;

b. nothing in this section shall be deemed to prejudice any civil servant having the absolute right to vote in accordance with this Constitution;

c. without prejudice to subsection (1) any civil servant whose functions are not directly concerned with the formulation and administration of the policies of the Government shall be exempt from restrictions under this section; and

d. nothing in this section shall prejudice the right of any civil servant to hold office in, or be a member of, any association, group or professional body..."

Jessie Kabwila, the Good-Hearted!

What has inspired this write-up, however, is the issue of Jessie Kabwila's good-heartedness. There is a side of Kabwila that some people may not know; her forgiving, let-bygones-be-bygones side. What is it?

When Malawi attained independence from Britain in 1964, all started well, and all we satisfied with the manner in which Malawi's first president, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, governed.

However, as his rule wore on, he became unimpressed with some of the things that were happening among citizens, among them the refusal by Jehovah's Witnesses to pay tax. The ruling elite were inflamed that, despite refusing to bulge on paying taxes, the Jehovah's Witnesses continued to benefit from services offered partly by taxes payers' money and partly by development partners.

So, the then ruling Malawi Congress Party leadership had a solution cut out for them: ban the Jehovah's Witness faith because some of its beliefs were tantamount to democracy. The ruling elite had the means of fast-tracking Malawi's development, and one of these means entailed paying tax. And one section of the population, Jehovah's Witnesses, could not pay tax for religious reasons.

And, so, Jehovah's Witnesses- for their unrelenting faith- were forced into exile.

Which brings us to the issue of Kabwila. She was a Jehovah's Witness- and still is- then, and happened to be one of the people- along with her parents- who were forced to abandon the only land they had ever known for the unknowns of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, among other countries that were willing to accept them.

Kabwila, during that time, grew up in a country outside Malawi. Simply because she had a religious belief, and could not abandon it to please the powers that be, and the, then, ruling Malawi Congress Party!

That (the experience) might have been painful. And the Jehovah's Witnesses had to wait a long time to set their eyes on Malawi again. And that moment came in 1994, when the United Democratic Front, under Bakili Muluzi, thumbed the once mighty Malawi Congress Party and occupied Sanjika Palace- the seat of Malawi's sitting president.

And, with that change of direction for the political winds, the Johovah's Witnesses were to freely come back home. The Kabwilas were welcome in their own country again.

Today, instead of holding grudges, Kabwila has become the spokesperson of the party that ostracised her faith and members of her family.

Such an unforgiving spirit, such a let-bygones-be-bygones attitude, is what Malawi misses.

And, as it were, it is the greatest gift Kabwila can give!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chance Fails Malawi's Chance President Joyce Banda

President Joyce Ntila Banda- once touted as Malawi's panacea to an ally of problems that plagued the Southern African Development Community member state when she took over the reigns of power from fallen President, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, on April 5, 2012- now eats folly, breathes folly, sits on folly, and thinks folly!

Need evidence?

Of late, Malawi's public coffers have gone to the dogs, with civil servants getting away with whatever chuck they want- ostensibly with the help of the ruling People's Party officials- the party of the lame-duck President, Joyce Ntila Banda.

And, in reassuring Malawians that they are in good hands, what does the President do? She claims that the looting has taken place since 2005, and that former ruling parties have benefited from the same. So, instead of addressing the issues, she is busy finding excuses and, if she does not find one, buy some (excuses). A typical example of a human being misplaced!

The President's sense of speech, and her thinking, have declined incredibly she would do well to resign. What do you expect when a sitting president speaks of the plunder and looting at Capital Hill as if it were something inevitable, which people who will inherit her top seat after her have only to discover, and whose consequences anyone can, without fail, foretell but do nothing to reverse or alter.

Malawi is in a loud crisis of leadership bankruptcy. The only cure? President Joyce Banda's resignation!

She has failed Malawians. Big time.

What is it called, if not failure, when the European Union and the United Kingdom freeze budgetary support until sanity returns at the burning Capital Hill in Lilongwe? Failure, of course. President Joyce Banda has failed. That what Head of the European Union's Mission to Malawi, Alexander Baum, explanation that the looting at Capital Hill has turned the public kitty into a bottomless pit!

In the words of Baum, Malawi's public finance management has gone Joyce Banda (sorry, awry) and that it is so negative it is uninspiring!

Public Accountability institutions, as he suggests, have truly, not had the impact expected of them.

The European Union pledged to give Malawi- a country which depends on donors to meet 40 percent of its financial needs- 29 million British Pounds by December this year. To date, no single penny has trickled down to Malawi, thanks to the long hands of President Joyce Banda and her cronies.

British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin, has also said his government is yet to resume budgetary support to Malawi, while Germany Ambassador to Malawi, Peter Woeste and US Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Gabriel Hons-Olivier maintain that their governments are keenly watching the developments.

As if this is not an arrow long enough to fish the insides of a crooked government, other development partners have also said they are watching the events with more than average interest.

As these events unfold, President Joyce Banda has gone on a shopping spree, purchases plots of land at Nkhumbe, on the outskirts of Blantyre, and, using the names of ordinary members in society, has bought several companies, among them tea and real estate companies.

Her justification?

"I have been a businesswoman since the age of 21 years. Money is not a problem, my friend," as she told a member of the media representatives that attended her press conference at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre. That was after her arrival from the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Did she say businesswoman since age 21? Why didn't she purchase all these things while serving as a businesswoman since age 21, or while serving as Vice-President to President Bingu wa Mutharika?

The only answer- now that Joyce Banda has become a clueless president who thinks that she can fight looting by sheltering corrupt ministers and party officials; and by dissolving her cabinet while letting the rot go on behind the scenes- is that President Joyce Banda has found a nasty friend: Folly!

She eats folly, shields folly, breathes folly, sits on folly, and thinks folly!

Friday, October 11, 2013


Thursday, 10 October 2013

For Immediate Release

The Malawi Editors Forum (MAEF), a body of senior print, magazine, broadcast and other electronic media editors and media educators in Malawi, has followed the press conference which Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre and would like to:

1. Commend the President for resuming her press conferences on return from her foreign trips after failing to do so on previous occasions.

2. Applaud the media for attending the press conference in their large numbers and for, by and large, asking pertinent questions without fear.

3. Deplore the continued flooding of government and party officials in what is supposed to be a meeting between the President and country’s media. It is our feeling that these cadres have several other opportunities to interact with the President and the atmosphere in such press conferences is intimidating with the potential to inhibit the media from asking some questions.

4. Condemn the clapping of hands and interjections by the President’s support cast as journalists asked questions. This can be seen as an attempt by the political activists to influence the nature of questions that the journalists can ask.

5. Implore the President to desist from disrupting questions from journalists and engaging herself in a duel with them. She must always keep in mind the unfair advantage she has in those situations given her position in society and refrain from exposing herself to situations that may embarrass the high office she holds.

6. Express regret that what was supposed to be a press conference was dominated by statements from the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and only little time was provided for questions. This was a case of giving with one hand and taking away with the other and we feel the President lost a golden opportunity to clear the mist surrounding several issues of the day.

As a body committed to the nurturing and deepening of media freedom as a democratic value in Malawi, MAEF would like to commend the political operatives present at Sanjika Palace for exercising restraint despite their clear discomfort with some of the questions raised by the media. This gives us hope that together we can work towards building a tolerant society where those seeking answers from powers that be are not seen as adversaries but partners in serving the Malawian public.

MAEF would like to inform government, political parties, civil society and media practitioners that it is committed to constructive engagement with everyone with a view to ensuring transparency and openness in the conduct of public affairs while defending media freedom through all available institutions.


GRACIAN TUKULA, Secretary General

History in the Making: President Joyce Banda Dissolves Cabinet

State House Press Statement
10 October 2013

For Immediate Release

Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, in exercise of the powers conferred upon her by Section 94 (1) and Section 95 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, has today, 10th October 2013, dissolved Cabinet.

Following the dissolution of the Cabinet, all ministerial matters will revert to the Presidency through Controlling Officers.

Her Excellency the President will announce a new Cabinet in due course.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I have been receiving briefs on the developments in the country after the shooting of Mr. Paul Mphwiyo, the Budget Director. As much as these developments are disturbing and regardless of the smear campaign against innocent people, they will not deter me from fighting corruption, fraud and embezzlement wherever it is.

I have noted the efforts by Police, the Anti corruption Bureau and other Government Agencies in uncovering and intercepting large amounts of cash in homes, offices and vehicle boots of some individuals in the civil service.

I am aware that investigations are still under way. It is important to note that these revelations are as a result of some of the efforts by my Government is implementing to stamp out corruption, fraud and embezzlement in the public sector. I wish to call upon the nation not to panic.

We have a very able and professional Police Service and so nobody will be arrested just based on rumour and smear campaign but I will also not protect anyone.

It is therefore important that I put the recent developments in perspective so that the nation comes to know and appreciate the real truth behind these developments.


It is a known fact that the challenge of corruption has been before us for a long time. For Example, under the United Democratic Front (UDF) administration, the Director of Public Prosecutions then, announced that 30% of our national budget was being lost through fraud and corruption.

The same was the case under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The recent K61 Billion saga and the K404 million found in the personal bank account of a junior officer in 2011 woke me up to the plunder going on in government.

There are reports that the investigations into the K404 million case were stopped by some government officials, and I wish to ask that these investigations resume. It is obvious that huge amounts of public funds have been lost through corruption and theft within the public service, and regrettably this still continuing.

In this regard, I had a meeting with the Minister of Finance and the Secretary to Treasury at Kamuzu Palace to discuss the flaws in the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and my concerns. Some of our development partners expressed the willingness to support the review process of the IFMS.

I gave the Minister of Finance four weeks to do the following:

•Come up with a review plan for improving financial management of Government resources; •Immediately close up loop holes for siphoning such huge sums of money.

I further assigned the Deputy Minister of Finance to focus on auditing Government Ministries and Departments on the use of resources and how Government can effectively draw down the US$500 Million standing to our credit from the World Bank as I was informed that many Ministries and Departments were failing to fully account for the World Bank funded projects to allow them recoup for further funding, due to weak capacity at Ministry Level and Department Level.

Furthermore, I directed the Attorney General to fast track the finalisation of the Declaration of the Asset Bill and ensure that it was brought before Parliament this coming sitting in November.

I further directed the Attorney General to consult stakeholders on broadening the officials to declare assets and related matters to contain fraud and corruption in the public sector.

I am also of the view that all those receiving money on behalf of ordinary people e.g.: NGOs Foundations, Churches should be called upon to be accountable and transparent.

I informed the nation about some of these measures on 7th September 2013 in my speech during the Economics Association of Malawi annual conference in Mangochi.

I am informed that the Budget Director, wrote a letter to the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner General for the need to profile tax status of every creditor before payment was effected by Treasury and I have confirmed this with the MRA Commissioner General.

While still addressing these matters, on Sunday morning of 14th September 2013, I received information that the Budget Director, Mr. Paul Mphwiyo, has been shot. On that same day, while attending an Ijitima Function in Blantyre, I expressed shock and concern over this incident, because I knew there were certain people that were not happy with my anti-corruption drive and instructed that Government makes arrangements for him to be airlifted to South Africa for further medical attention.

I am pleased to report that the Budget Director has been discharged and I think it will be important for him to tell us what happened.

On Monday morning, the 16th of September, 2013 I called the Auditor General, and the Chief Secretary to Government to State House to discuss two issues. One issue was on the Security for the Auditor General and to ask the Auditor General to do his job without fear or favour and to issue approval for payment only when he is satisfied of the legality of the payment.

On the same Monday morning, 16th of September I invited four members of delegation from the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Services, Malawi Prisons Services and the National Intelligence Bureau to Kamuzu Palace to discus with them the security situation in the country and the issues surrounding the shooting of the Budget Director.

It was an important meeting for me as it revealed so many things to me.

During the meeting, it was decided that the Malawi Police Service will intensify the sweeping exercise and the investigations on this matter while the other security agencies will reinforce those efforts. Later that morning, after consultations, it became necessary to strengthen the management at the Malawi Police Service and I made some new appointments including Mr. Bophani as Deputy Inspector General of Police, whose area of expertise is Criminal Investigation.

Following the shooting of the Budget Director, I knew that the fight against corruption and theft in the public service was truly underway and syndicates have now been unearthed. Relevant state machineries mandated to fight graft and theft are now investigating the syndicates to track the people involved.

I have left the matter with the Police, the ACB and other state agencies to continue with the investigations without political interference. I want to congratulate these agencies for their work so far.

In concluding, I wish to inform the nation that:

1. I have directed the Attorney General to present to Cabinet an urgent review the Asset Declaration Bill and it should be tabled before Parliament in the November sitting.

2. I have agreed with the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service that a Crime Committee be instituted in the police service to be chaired by the Deputy Inspector General Mr. Bophani and that he will lead in these investigations.

3. I have asked that Parliament should meet earlier than November.

4. Tomorrow, Thursday 10th October, 2013, Cabinet will meet and I will receive briefing on these recent developments.

5. I have asked the ACB, Police, NIB and other state organs for regular reports to me on their work and findings on these issues and the nation will be informed of the decisions that I will take after receiving these briefings.

It is a known fact that the challenge of corruption has been before us for a long time. This fight therefore should be for every Malawian particularly those of us in leadership regardless of our political parties.

I am committed to fight corruption and fraud wherever it exists and it will be exposed.

Those who are resisting change; those who are undermining my efforts and my economic recovery programme; those who are fighting the poor; those who are fighting the principles of a clean government will be exposed wherever they are.

It is a well known fact that those involved are very few compared to the large number of dedicated civil servants that work hard and are honest.

My commitment to all Malawians is that I will serve them and defend their interests, and I will work with the good citizens of this country to root out this evil in order that we may grow and develop into a more prosperous nation, with a better future for all.

I thank you for your support and prayers.

May God bless each you and the entire land of Malawi!

Dr Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi

Concerns on Sanjika Palace Presidential News Conference

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter is greatly disturbed by the manner in which President Joyce Banda’s news conference was held at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on Wednesday on her arrival from New York, the United States of America.

The environment in which the news conference was held was not conducive and friendly for journalists to ask pertinent questions that would benefit Malawians who have been waiting to hear from the President on a number of issues that have happened while she was away.

It was clear to us that the presence of the large number of cabinet ministers, party officials and supporters was to intimidate the media as it was apparent that the issue of Capital Hill looting of public funds would dominate the news conference.

The way the President handled the few questions that were allowed also left a lot to be desired as she was interjecting when journalists were asking questions instead of letting them finish the questions. This also gave an opportunity to party supporters to disrupt the flow of questions.

By cheering and clapping when the President was answering questions, party cadres disturbed the normal flow of information as journalists who were supposed to pay attention were being disturbed.

The conduct of party supporters also instills fear in journalists as our memories are still fresh when media practitioners who ask questions they deem irrelevant or disrespectful to the Head of State are roughed up.

Unfortunately, this is happening at a time when we thought the days of “Press Rallies” is over.

In a nutshell, the news conference at Sanjika Palace fell short of meeting the standards of a normal news conference. We believe the President lost an opportunity to answer pertinent questions which could be beneficial to Malawians who have waited anxiously to hear from her on how she intends to deal with the rampant stealing going on in government.

MISA Malawi appreciates Her Excellency’s efforts to grant the media in Malawi the opportunity to seek information. We recall that she has said several times that the media in Malawi was free to ask her any questions when the opportunity arises.

However, in spite of Her Excellency’s assurance of media freedom in Malawi, journalists continue to face various challenges such as intimidation from members of the public, especially from party members, as evidenced by the events at Sanjika Palace.

We also appeal to the President to appreciate that the media ask questions on behalf of Malawians and she should resist the temptation to personalise the questions.

MISA Malawi is hopeful that Her Excellency will consider our appeal and ensure that media freedom and freedom of expression as clearly provided for in the Constitution under Section 36 are fully defended and promoted.


Anthony Kasunda