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.