Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
The Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda says there was ample debate on the protected names and emblems amendments bill and that all procedures were followed which upon approval has changed the national flag.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe, Chimunthu Banda said the opposition fully participated in the debate on the bill to modify the flag only that they walked out during voting.
“The contribution from the opposition was there, just not in support of the motion on the floor. They were just absent during voting,” he said. The speaker said it was not the first time for the public to gang up against actions of MPs in Parliament but his feeling was that they were entitled to their opinions.
The final quarter of the last sitting of Parliament was characterized by boycotts from the opposition following the swift passing of the K297 billion budgets but also speedy passing of bills in the House.
MPs completed the committee of supply stage within two half day sessions and would sometimes pass bills in less than two hours which the opposition UDF and MCP protested and boycotted voting in the house. Chimunthu Banda said it was normal for MPs to boycott Parliament proceedings but this should not be encouraged because a full House was necessary to conduct business in Parliament.
On the speedy passing of votes during the committee of supply, which several commentators condemned, Chimunthu Banda said ordinarily, the process was a one day affair but it was taking long in the previous Parliament because opposition was in majority.
“There was nothing extraordinary about it. The committee of supply stage was made to become a one week exercise because of the majority of the opposition in the house,” he said.
Chimunthu Banda, however, declined to comment on other controversies which have characterized Parliament such as the ouster of Abele Kayembe as leader of opposition and reinstatement of John Tembo.
He said absenteeism in Parliament was common in the last sitting because of poor communication between the party whips and the office of the Speaker.
“We would have wanted representation of MPs to be 100 per cent but those who were not in the chamber had valid reasons. The weakness is that whips had no offices so once they occupy those offices, I am optimistic there will be swift communication between these offices,” he said.
The speaker also disclosed that the National Assembly would give laptops to each MP within the financial year but they would start with training of MPs on the use of ICTs-Daily Times.
Former President Bakili Muluzi has said he is elated by the highest national award of Most Excellent Grand Commander of the Malawi Order of National Achievement conferred upon him during independence cerebrations on Tuesday.
Muluzi said in a telephone interview from Cape Town, South Africa where he is getting medical attention that he was happy with the honour.
“I feel greatly honoured. When I received communication from the Secretary to the President Bright Msaka on Sunday informing me of the honour, I was naturally very happy,” said Muluzi who sounded jovial.
“I want to thank the President and Government for recognizing me with this honour. I will cherish this for the rest of my life,” added Muluzi.
The former President said he feels that the honour is a ‘collective achievement’ for the attainment of multiparty democracy in the country.
“The fight against one party rule was not a one man show. Millions supported me and the late Chakufwa Chihana. We should also not forget the Catholic Bishops and other religious organizations that helped us to fight for change. It is as collective honour but one man had to get it and it was me,” he said.
Muluzi missed out on the awards during their inception last year. His son Atupele received the award on his behalf-The Daily Times.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP says it will support formation of any party that would champion the views it is propagating and use the region as its base.
This comes in the wake of reports that some politicians from the region are planning to register a political party.
“As a synod, we will always talk of politics. We are here to monitor issues affecting people and would advocate any ideas that would enhance political development in any form be it formulation of a new party,” said the synod’s general secretary Rev. Maurice Munthali.
He said that the synod would only play an advisory role to those forming the new party.
Munthali said the church sees no problem with the party having its base in the northern region, adding that this does not mean that the party is regional.
He said problems would arise if the new party was made personal as the aim of those political platforms is to represent people that follow it not serve individuals.
“I am actually happy that people have noticed how much we are putting efforts in issues affecting northern region. It is not being regionalistic but rather domestic because there is no way we can start speaking of regions when we know that charity begins at home,” said Munthali
“We are only beginning here because we are the type of people that vote for any party without looking at its base,” he said
Attempts to have a party with a strong following in the northern region come at the time that the Alliance for Democracy (Aford), which in the early 1990s commanded a huge following in the region, has been losing ground.
Recently there have been numerous attempts to mobilize people in the North to rally one political grouping but such have not yet borne the much needed fruits.
Some people in the region believe that northern region needs a strong political party and the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP has expressed willingness to help formation of such a party-The Daily Times.
Msesa said are looking for the girlfriend who is on the run.
According to court documents dated July 1, 2010, the committee through Watson Malindi, is asking the court to order and declare whether the party’s national working committee had the powers to dissolve the Blantyre UDF Urban District Committee or merely to make its recommendations to NEC and whether the defendants were justified in dissolving the said committee under article 32 of UDF’s Constitution.
Malindi is also asking the court to declare whether the said district committee could be dissolved without being accorded the rules of natural justice under article 32 of the UDF constitution by the district committee and whether UDF’s national working committee has power if any to dissolve the Blantyre Urban Committee in the absence of proof of any contraventions of the UDF constitution.
The Blantyre district committee is also asking the court to declare whether UDF, s National working committee has the power to impose K2, 000.00 fee for candidates in UDF District Elections without approval of NEC.
UDF Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala confirmed to The Nation early last week about the K2,000 nomination fee, saying it is enshrined in the UDF constitution and that the money will not go into the party coffers but rather will be given back to district for the day to day running of the structures.
“The nomination fees that are subject of the statement are meant to help the party undertake logistical preparations to facilitate the holding of the elections of office-bearers of the districts committees and such other committees. Suffice to indicate that the remainder of the money collected shall be allocated to the incoming district committees as a starter-pack with which to kick-start their political operations,” he said.
Makwangwala added: “The present modus operandi is such that the National Headquarters or senior members of the NEC provide financial assistance to districts committee to meet the cost of funerals, treatment of sick members, payment of various donations or, indeed, for holding party meetings. This practice is becoming unattainable during these difficult economic times as the party has a large membership. The party has to break with some practices of the past that are difficult to sustain.”
He said the issue of nomination fee is provided for in the UDF constitution as amended in 2008 and the subject has been thoroughly discussed with members.
Makwangwala explained that to remove discrimination that might arise due to some serious contenders’ failure to secure nomination fees.“The party has included a proviso that allows eligible leaders proven without means to ask for exemption where individuals are not able to source nomination fees to take part in the electoral process,” he said in a statement dated July 2-The Daily Times
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Professor Peter Mutharika says his ministry values inputs and recommendations it gets from the general public saying this ensures that the Malawi Constitution remains an important tool in the country.
Professor Mutharika was speaking at Mzuzu University on Saturday night during a public lecture entitled “Our democratic constitution, some reflections 15 years later’ organised by the state owned, Malawi Television (TVM).
“A good constitution can bring good changes in a country and a poorly drafted and structured constitution can bring confusion and misunderstanding, hence the need for a properly drafted constitution,” he said.
He told the jam-packed university hall that during the 2006 constitutional review conference, the Malawi Law Commission made recommendations which should be debated and looked into.
“Some of the inputs which people suggested were interesting and controversial for example, the repealed Section 64 which enabled constituents to recall the Members of Parliament. This provision can give the people their democratic right to recall their MP but at the same time, the provision could be abused.”
He said for instance, an aspiring MP who lost an election could mobilise subjects, sometimes even bribing them, and write a petition to the speaker to have the incumbent parliamentarian removed out of petty jealously and frustration.
Other areas included Section 65 of the constitution which entails the Speaker to declare vacant the seat of any member of the National Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of one political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party and has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly.
“Section 65 contradicts with Section 32 which says every person shall have the right to freedom of association, which shall include the freedom to form associations, saying these sections should be deliberated thoroughly to avoid contradictions,’’ explained the highly read international lawyer.
He also encouraged people to look into issues of witchcraft and issues of whether Malawians in diaspora should be allowed vote.
The public lecture organised by Malawi Television, was second after another one held at Chancellor College in Zomba two months ago.
President of the Mzuzu University Students Council, Charles Kajoloweka commended Professor Mutharika for sharing his ideas and knowledge through the public lecture, saying the lecture inspired students and would leave an indelible mark in the history of the university.
The public lecture moderated by Local Government Minister, Goodall Gondwe, was attended by a cross section of people which included cabinet ministers, senior government officials, Members of Parliament, students at the university, civil servants and the general public-Malawi Digest.
Monday, June 21, 2010
By Patrick Bande
Malawi President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika on Saturday urged local business captains to dream in colour if they are to succeed.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
By Adack Pafupi in Nice, France.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
President Mutharika told a press conference Saturday soon after holding private talks with United Nations Secretary General Mr.Ban Ki-Moon, who was on a two day official visit to Malawi, that he has pardoned the gays purely on humanitarian grounds.
“What they did was wrong against our culture and tradition, and it was against our penal code under which they were tried and convicted. However, I would like to make this announcement that, with my powers as President of this country, the two have been pardoned on humanitarian grounds.” said Mutharika.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon hailed President Mutharika for making what he described as ‘a bold and courageous decision.’
“I know that each country has its laws and traditions which need to be respected, but it is a pity that some countries still have laws that discriminate against people with certain sexual orientations, and this is against international human rights,” he said.
Mr. Ban, who was expected to address members of parliament later Saturday afternoon, said he was going to propose a reform of Malawi’s laws that seem to be violating human rights.
However, President Mutharika insisted that the two have been pardoned solely on humanitarian grounds, and warned against similar acts of moral decay in the country.
The pardon has come amidst pressure from international and the donor community, condemning the arrest and sentencing of the couple.
The two conducted a public engagement ceremony in Blantyre in December last year, and were subsequently arrested, and convicted.
Malawian laws do not allow same sex marriages and the offence attracts a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.
One of the workers at the rehabilitation centre who pleaded for anonymity said, there has been an improvement in her condition as compared to the time of her hospitalization.
Efforts to talk to Centre Director or any relative to her have proved futile since both sides refused to meet this reporter who visited the centre to ascertain the condition of the former legislator and minister.
Physiotherapist Reuben Kalavina who is helping Ngaunje with some physical exercises however confirmed the admission but maintained he could not divulge information on her condition.
“We respect every patient’s privacy, she has refused to talk to you so I can not comment much, but yes she is here and this is her third week in this hospital,” he said.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Professor Peter Mutharika has disclosed that he has found a lady that he is planning to marry very soon.
The State President Bingu wa Mutharika on Saturday blasted the business community for not supporting the development of the Nsanje Inland Port Waterway project.
Mutharika was speaking during the official opening of the 22nd Malawi International Trade Fair (MITF) at the trade fair grounds in Blantyre.
By Karen Msiska
Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Motoyoshi Noro says President Bingu wa Mutharika deserves recognition including considering him for a Nobel Prize as an acknowledgement of his achievements.
Noro says Mutharika has demonstrated that Malawi can transform from a dire state to one that provides the needed services.
He said this during Toyota Malawi’s official opening of its Mzuzu Branch on Saturday.
“Hastings Kamuzu Banda was christened the Father and Founder of the Malawi nation, Bingu wa Mutharika is the father of development in the country,” said Noro in a speech that was never short of humour.
“The talking point has been food security, the turning point for Malawi’s food security situation was undoubtedly the introduction of the input subsidy programme.”
He acknowledged that Malawi increased maize production to three million tones after introducing the programme and has kept it there for four consecutive years “because of the policy.”
The input subsidy programme, first implemented in 2005 and against wishes of the donor community, has been hailed the world over as Malawi’s turning point as regards food security.
The United Nations (UN) has also urged developing countries on a number of occasions to emulate Malawi’s example and turn around their own fortunes on food reliability.
“In the words of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) this really is the Malawi miracle,” he added.
“It is also encouraging to note that because of the subsidy programme, Malawi’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rate has been above 8 percent compared to the 2.1 percent prior to the implement of the programme.
Noro extended his applause to the country’s economic growth of 9.7 percent in 2008 “which is said to be the second fastest growth rate in the world,” and for the inflation rate which has continued to remain under a single digit.
He also hailed Toyota Malawi’s Managing Director Rosemary Mkandawire for displaying that she was a good manager after noting that she was the only local managing director in seven African distributors entirely owned by Toyota Tsusho, Toyota Malawi’s parent company.
“This speaks volumes of Ms Rosemary Mkandawire. She is a force to reckoned with and that she is an excellent manager,” said Noro.
“I also rejoice for Ms Mkandawire for the fact that besides being the only local director, she is a female director in a male dominated industry. For me, Ms Mkanadawire is an epitome of the women empowerment.”
Meanwhile, Noro pledged that Japan would continue to assist Malawi’s socio-economic development through its Official Development Assistance (ODA), a gesture the country has extended since 1971.
Japan funded the upgrading of the Masauko Chipembere Highway in Blantyre and will fund construction works on the South Rukuru Bridge in Rumphi, but Noro also revealed that his country will also fund the rehabilitation of Sena railway project “to support road, railway, embankment and river basin management.”
Toyota Tsusho has 23 distribution outlets across Africa-The Daily Times.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Malawi’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor Peter Mutharika has asked African universities to stop being mere centres of reading and thinking but apply knowledge through technological innovations.
He said promotion of innovations, especially in agriculture, was critical in order to develop African economies, which largely rely on trade exports from agricultural products.
Professor Mutharika made the appeal on Wednesday in Nakuru, over 200Km east of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, during the opening of a U$200,000 Rhizobium Inoculant (Biofix) laboratory factory, which will be producing fertilizers for legumes such as beans.
The Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister launched the factory on behalf of the African Union chairperson, President Bingu wa Mutharika, who is currently in China.
“I am grad that the University of Nairobi has taken the lead,” said Mutharika.
The Rhizobium Inoculant (Biofix) fertilizer project started in 2008 by Kenya’s leading private fertilizer company, the MEA Limited, in partnership with the University of Nairobi and the British Council.
“If Africa is to develop, it should move from resource-based economy to knowledge based economy. I want universities to take this lead just as the University of Nairobi has done,” added Mutharika.
The minister said he would send a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Malawi to study the legume fertilizers to ascertain how they could contribute to food security through beans production, which had reached deficit levels in Malawi, leading to imports.
Professor Mutharika, however, said Malawihad managed to achieve food security in the past four years through subsidy programme despite fierce opposition from leading institutions like the International Monetory Fund (IMF), World Bank and the European Union, whom he said were no clapping hands for the country’s achievement.
He thus asked the Kenyan authorities to be bold enough against outside pressure when executing programmes, which benefit ordinary people.
The minister also noted that following the successful implementation of the country’s subsidy programme, which registered 1.2 million metric tonnes last year, Malawi had started donating and exporting maize to food insecure countries.
“We are a food secure country but we are a beans deficit country. I promise to ask the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to come here and study legumes,” he said, responding to MEA Limited managing director Eustace Muriuki, who asked Malawi to adopt the technology.
In a separate interview, Professor Peter Mutharika said he would be asking universities in Malawi to come together and develop a similar technology.
“My message is that let’s work together to develop technology. I will be asking the University of Malawi as Bunda College, Mzuzu University and other institutions to come together.
“We can also take advantage of the Lilongwe University of Science and Technology as well as the University of Southern Malawi in Thyolo, which will open soon and will concentrate on sciences,” he said.
Muriuki said there was serious need for the development of technology in the agricultural sector if efforts to sustain food security records were to be meaningful.
He observed that although Malawi achieved food security in maize, the country needs to diversify and start growing beans to supplement its food security record.
He, however, observed that food security records in Africa require the development of initiatives as MEA Limited had done in coming up with cheap innovations to support agricultural activities.
“We are now moving from inorganic to organic fertilizers, this requires factorism,” Muriuki stated.
According to Muriuki, MEA Limited is the only company in Kenya which has moved farming scientifically from soil testing to fertilisers.
The company produces 400 sachets of Rhizobium Inoculant (Biofix) every week, costing U$2.5 per sachet and wants to upscale production to 1,000 sachets per week in the next few years.
The product is used in growing dry beans, cow peas, groundnuts, lucane, soya beans and other legumes to maximize production-Sunday Times.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
By BBC World Service
Nuhu Ribadu - former anti-corruption chief
Aliyu Gusau - newly appointed national security advisor
Alhaji Yayale Ahmed - cabinet secretary
Sule Lamido - governor of Jigawa state
David mark - president of the senate
Murtala Yar'Adua - late president's nephew
By Samuel Makaka in Shanghai, China
Malawi State President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika has once again delivered an emotionally charged speech telling African ambassadors based in the Peoples Republic of China that they have a critical role to play so that Africa does not only become food sufficient but also a net exporter for the whole world.
The Malawian leader was speaking in the Chinese commercial capital, Shanghai, where he convened a meeting for all African ambassadors based in the country.
“Africa is not as poor as we are meant to believe. It is important that we change this mindset.
The industrial revolution in Europe is based on resources from Africa and these include food, timber, meat, cotton, coffee and many more raw materials. We have the resources, what we need is to develop scientists, industrialists and technology to transform our natural resources and create wealth,” Professor Mutharika told the ambassadors.
He explained that when he was elected chairperson for the African Union (AU) he made a proposal to fellow African heads of state and governments to make a resolution that within the next five years, Africa must be able to feed itself because most of the problems on the continent come from the fact that Africa has not been able to feed herself.
President Mutharika reminded the ambassadors that in the 60s, Africa was exporting food to the world but it was ill advised to diversify its products by venturing into other agricultural productions like coffee, tea, cotton. He said while Africa was busy producing these raw materials for western industries, food production stopped and Africa became a hungry continent.
He told the gathering that it is possible to turn this mindset around: “Africa can feed itself within the next 5 years.”
Professor Mutharika argued that if a tiny country like Malawi has been able to make it what can stop other countries in Africa to achieve the same.
He then disclosed that alongside food production, there are also other elements to be considered and he cited transport and communication, energy, and environmental impact studies and climate change amongst the important areas of focus.
“Food processing needs adequate energy, and we need good transport infrastructure to transport food from food sufficient areas to where it is needed, where there have been draughts for example. We need highways from one country to another so that one is able to drive from Harare to Nigeria without problems and our immigration rules need also to be simplified because we cannot talk of African Union when one can hardly travel from his country to the next neighbour because of tough immigration laws,” he explained.
He also told them that Africa needs to harness its power so that national grids are linked to regional grids and regional grids go into continental grid so that a man in Uganda can use electricity without knowing that the power is from Mozambique.
“We also need ICT so that we develop data banks to record who eats and produce what. If Malawi is able to easily produce rice but doesn’t need, it must produce abundantly and transport where it is needed,” he stressed to the ambassadors.
President Mutharika then appealed to the ambassadors to work together, fight for priorities as a continent and not as individual countries.
He called upon them to be proud Africans.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation representative in China, Korea and Mongolia, Victoria Sekitoleko praised Malawians for electing a good and wise man in Ngwazi Professor Mutharika which she said is not often common in Africa.
“In Africa, it is not common that good men win elections, so Malawians must be praised for electing a good and wise man in the name of President Mutharika,” she told this reporter after the meeting.
During the meeting, Sekitoleko, an African appealed to President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika to encourage fellow African heads of state and government to see China as a true friend indeed and work along with it.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Professor Peter Mutharika has said the country has to move on the path of human rights, law and democracy.
Mutharika said this on Friday at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in the former colonial capital of Zomba when he delivered a lecture on the role of the Ministry of Justice.
He said it is the duty of his ministry to advise government on policy and the law, prepare bills before being presented to Cabinet and Parliament and defend the independence of the Judiciary.
He disclosed that there are only 66 lawyers, which is inadequate considering the volume of work they have to handle.
“We don’t have enough resources to help everyone. We appeal to the legal profession to join us,” he said.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
During the ceremony, President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika donated to the institution several books that he has written in his lifetime career as an economist.
One of Malawi’s closest allies, the Peoples Republic of China has provided over MK3 billion as top up to the projects it is sponsoring in Malawi for any financial problems that may arise due to depreciation or any other problems requiring more expenditure.
This was disclosed when the visiting Malawian leader, Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika met his host, the Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday.
Malawi is currently enjoying huge financial help from the Peoples Republic of China.