Thursday, December 2, 2010

Joyce Banda bribes Blantyre Synod

Malawi Vice President and 2014 Presidential aspirant Joyce Ntila Banda has engaged an extra gear in her quest to rise to the country's top job.

Banda, using her inlaw Rev. Macdonald Kadawati has bribed senior clerks in Malawi's second largest christian church, the Church of Central African Presbyterian.

Kadawati is married to a sister of Vice President Joyce Banda.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speaker defends MPs on flag modification

Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda says there was no fault in the flag bill.

By Suzgo Khunga

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.

Bakili Muluzi happy with top award

Former president Bakili Muluzi says he is happy to have been honoured.

By Mc Donald Chapalapata

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

CCAP's Livingstonia Synod joins politics

By Diana Liabuba

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.

Thyolo man kills girlfriend over affair

By Eliah Nthara

Police in Thyolo have arrested a man for allegedly assaulting his wife to death after she discovered that he had an affair with another woman.

Thyolo Police spokesperson, Edith Msesa , comfirmed the arrest of Wellosi Wanja, 36, ofNkhuna Village, T/A Liwonde in Machinga, who allegedly killedhis wife, Violet, 32, of Mbelula Village, T/A Mchilamwela in Thyolo.

According to Msesa, the incident happened last Friday when the deceased, who has been married to Wanja for 14 years, discover that her husband was in a love affair with another woman from the same village.

This angered the wife who confronted the suspected girlfriend. In the heat of things, the two women started fighting.

The news of the fight reached the husband who rushed to his girlfriend’s house and beat his wife severely,” said Msesa.

She said because of the beating, the woman collapsed.

According to Msesa, the deceased was taken to Thyolo District Hosipital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Post-mortem results indicated that the woman died due to serious injuries,” she said.
Msesa said are looking for the girlfriend who is on the run.

Wanja has been charged with murder-The Nation

Opposition UDF party dragged to court

By Wezzie Nkhoma-Somba

The United Democratic Front (UDF) Blantyre Urban Committee has dragged the former ruling party to High Court for dissolving the committee and imposing K2, 000 nomination fee for the candidates in the party’s forthcoming district elections without approval the National Executive Committee.

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.

However, UDF Task Force National coordinator Ken Msonda said that the issue of nomination fee was discriminatory and retrogressive and that it may be a political move aimed at frustrating other aspirants within the party.

UDF spokesperson Rob Jamieson wondered where Malindi was coming from saying he does not appear anywhere as a member of UDF.

Jamieson explained that UDF NEC has mandate to make any decisions on behalf of the party.

Commenting on the issue of dissolving district committees UDF Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala said that it is a positive move that will help in rebuilding the party as it tries to reclaim its the lost glory. He further said that this development is long overdue as the party has gone a long time without holding elections.

Meanwhile, in a statement Makwangwala has stressed that the party has sections within its constitution that provide for collection of nomination fees from its members particularly those that voluntarily elect to take part in a leadership contest.

“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

Mutharika donates equipment to Mzuni

Prof.Peter Mutharika: Put the equipment to good use

By Edwin Nyirongo

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Professor Peter Mutharika on Saturday turned savior for the Mzuzu University (Mzuni) when he donated a set of printers and photocopier to the institution.

The donation came against the background of strike by students of the college who last week boycotted classes and damaged property over allegations that management was dragging its feet in repairing malfunctioning printers and photocopies at the campus.

Mutharika made the donation during a public lecture he held at the university.

“I have given you these machines not from the Ministry of Justice but from my personal account. Share them between the students and staff and use them properly,” he said amid protests from students after he mentioned the staff.

Mutharika, who arrived over thirty minutes later than the scheduled time of 6pm, received a standing ovation from other dignitaries who included Cabinet ministers Goodall Gondwe, Abbie Shaba, Ken Kandodo and some deputy ministers.

Some students wore T-shirts emblazoned with Mutharika’s face. The T-shirts also had words: ‘Our democratic Constitution: Some reflections 15 years later, 19th June 2010,” inscribed at the back.

But the lecture was not without controversies, especially after the students were asked to send questions in advance for scrutiny. Some students feared dean of students Chrispine Mphande would remove some critical questions.

And when Mphande started calling names of students to ask questions, there was a protest from those who demanded that everyone should ask questions freely. This forced Mphande to give in and allow students to ask questions freely.

Then came the time when deputy Vice Chancellor Orton Msiska took the floor. Students were not happy with him and started calling: “Nthawi [Time] less than a minute after he began speaking.

Questions ranged from why there are so many constitutional amendments and if DPP would not abuse its majority in Parliament.

The most famous question came from Charles Namalele who wondered why the Justice and Constitional Affairs Minister did not include the role of the in his lecture.

Said Namalele:“The police came to our campus and manhandled us left, right and centre. Is that their role?”

Mutharika said the police are a service and not a force and that if anything bad happened, it might have been due to poor judgment on the part of the law enforcers.

In his lecture, Mutharika said he felt embarrassed that he was involved in the drafting of the Constitution, saying it is long and contradictory. He described it as one of the most amended constitutions on earth.

He also said while he supports the return of the Recall Provision, it is not easy to prove that constituents have lost confidence in their MP.

He also backed Section 65 of the Constitution [on crossing the floor] which he said safeguards political morality although it infringes of freedom of association.

Mutharika also said while it is good to have a presidential limit, the principle should also apply to MPs-The Nation.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mutharika inspires Mzuni students

Prof. Peter Mutharika is an international decorated lawyer.

By Sarah Munthali

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.

First Lady donates MK1 million to Chewas

The First Lady Madame Callista Mutharika says let's all be proud of our culture.

By Our Correspondent

The First Lady, Madame Callista Mutharika Saturday pledged to give K 1 million to the Chewa Heritage Foundation to help in the promotion of the Chewa tradition and culture.

The First Lady made the pledge at Civo Stadium in the administrative capital, Lilongwe during a Chewa Cultural Day which was organised by the Chewa Heritage Foundation with an aim of fundraising and displaying different Chewa dances.

Chairperson of the Organising Committee for Chewa Cultural Day, Mark Zilirakhasu said the money realised at the fundraising event would be used to cater for transport and accommodation expenses for chiefs and delegates attending this year’s Kulamba ceremony for Chewas at Kalonga Gawa Undi headquarters in Zambia.

Madame Mutharika appealed to all the Chewas to wisely use the money realised so that people attend the Kulamba ceremony every time it has been organised to pass the Chewa tradition from one generation to the other.

She also said she was very proud to be a Chewa and appealed to all Chewas to be proud of who they are following the function’s poor patronage.

“I’m not happy with the way Chewas have patronised this function. I’m therefore, appealing to everyone who belongs to this tribe to be forthcoming when functions like these are organised,” she said.

Concurring with the First Lady, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Anna Kachikho said this is a great day for Chewas as it is a time when they would see where they are coming from and reflect on where they are going.

Kachikho said she is also proud as a Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, to note that the Big Dance popularly known as Gule wa Mkulu is one of the dances that is recognised world wide, according to a declaration made by United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Senior Chief Mazengera said it is sad to note that most Malawians are not proud of who they are and that is why most if them follow what other people do in foreign countries.

Chairperson for Chewa Heritage Foundation and the country’s former vice president, Justine Malewezi appealed to all Malawians to be living in unity and harmony by not looking at their differences in culture and traditions.

“I also appeal to government to come with a day when all tribes from the country can come together and display their dances and traditions,” added Malewezi.

The First Lady advised chiefs to conduct initiation ceremonies for children during holidays so that their education should not be disturbed.

“Let me warn all chiefs who interfere with the school calendar by taking children to initiation camps that whoever will be found doing this malpractice, will be dealt with accordingly. This is in line with what His Excellency, Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika and Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi have been saying that children should be going to school at the same time knowing their traditions and culture,” she said.

The First lady thanked all companies, organisations and well wishers who had donated to the Foundation either in cash or kind.

The Kulamba ceremony takes place every year in commemoration of all the Chewa chiefs that have been there ever since. It takes place in Zambia and it is patronised by all the Chewas from Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique-Malawi Digest.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ngwazi says Malawians must dream in colour

Prof. Mutharika, thanks to Mulli Brothers, Malawi is back on the international map for tea.

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.

Professor Mutharika made the remarks during a press conference held at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe when he saw off the President of Kosovo Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu.

Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu was flying back to Kosovo after a three day official visit to Malawi where among other things he held bilateral talks with president Mutharika and addressed the National Assembly to thank the people of Malawi especially President Bingu wa Mutharika for recognising the independence of Kosovo which took place on 17th February, 2008.

On Friday the two leaders visited Small holder Tea Company (Steco) in Mulanje which is owned by local entrepreneurs Mulli Brothers Limited.

The factory which was formally known as Malawi Tea Company (Mateco) Limited, a government parastatal then, almost collapsed a couple of years ago, thanks to Mulli Brothers Limited which bought and revived it.

“A few years ago that company was going somewhere and I refused that it should be sold to foreign investors until Mulli Brothers bought the company and revamped it now its back on its feet and running,” said Mutharika.

“The lesson from this is simple and straight forward. We must learn to dream in colour. Malawi tea was known the world over and when this company was going down we were removed from the map as a tea producer, thanks to Mulli brothers we are back on the map” added Mutharika.

The Malawi leader also thanked his Kosovo counterpart for coming all the way from Kosovo to visit the country. He said there is a lot the two countries have in common and can share.

Giving an example he said, Kosovo is rich in minerals and Malawi can learn mineral technology for the research institute to be opened in Karonga.

"We discussed a lot of things including: increasing trade between the two countries. First, its political relations and from there, the business community from the two countries can link up to learn from each other. Kosovo buys a lot of tea from other countries and they can buy that from us. We have also agreed to support each other,” Mutharika said.

On his part Sejdiu said he was delighted to be in Malawi and was happy with how he was received in the country. He said he saw optimism in the eyes of Malawians believing tomorrow will be a brighter day every where he visited in the country.

“I feel at home here and next time I will come, I will only use my passport to check in at a hotel. I’m grateful for the huge support that Malawi gave for our freedom and our independence,” he said.

The Kosovo president also announced that he has invited President Mutharika to visit Kosovo as soon as possible to see for himself how free people are in that country. He then asked president Mutharika who is also chairman of the African union to provide information about Kosovo to other nations that know little about the country.

Kosovo is an independent state with a population of about 2 million people and is supervised by the international community following the conclusion of the political process to determine Kosovo final status envisaged in United Nations Security Council resolution.

It lies in the southern east part of Europe and shares boundaries with Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania and its economy relies heavily on agriculture, mining and micro enterprises.

Upon arrival in the country on Thursday Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu was met by president Mutharika and was hosted at a state banquet at the State House before visiting Steco factory in Mulanje on Friday and he addressed members of the National Assembly later on Friday-Mana.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sarkozy praises Africa, condemns Europe

By Adack Pafupi in Nice, France

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy has asked developed countries and organisations to honour commitments which they make during international conferences.

The French leader has also asked business people who are working on the sidelines of the 25th France and Africa Summit to produce practical results, otherwise international conferences will lose all their credibility.

Sarkozy, made the appeals when he officially opened the 25th France and Africa Summit in Nice city in France on Monday.

Opening the summit, Sarkozy said he was worried that developed countries and organisations are not fast at honouring their pledges to African countries.

“I’m talking about honouring pledges to African countries made at international conferences like the Copenhagen. These need to be fully honoured otherwise international conferences will lose all their credibility,” he said.

He said it was this reason that his country decided to organise a meeting of business people to run alongside the summit.

“The fact that we decided to have business people meet here as well was not of course by coincidence. These business people did not wait for us to start working together but we are expecting them to produce practical results for this summit to endorse,” said the host leader.

The French President said that the France-Africa Summit is important because the two parties have a special relation in that they have things which they need to achieve together and that these can be discussed at these meetings.

“I am convicted that it is no longer possible to deal with major world issues without involving Africa,” he said, adding, “the failure of Africa would be a tragedy for Europe.”

The French President said that he wants a new France – Africa relation to have no complexes.

He also discouraged the cases of having big countries on one side and smaller ones on the other.

Sarkoy encouraged a relationship of trust where all issues should be open for discussion with interests to defend and views to put across, based on equal and forward looking relationship.

He also said that if European countries call themselves friends of Africa, they must be ready to give Africa a role in global governance.

“There can be no double speak, there can be no hypocrisy. We cannot say that we need to closely involve Africa in major issues affecting peace, security and a balanced world but then do nothing about it,” he stressed.

The French president said that the African continent should take it rightful place in bodies dealing with such issues which he said is not the case today.

President Sarkozy said that the United Nations Security Council has to be reformed because it is not right that Africa is not a permanent member of the Security Council.

“We can no longer manage the 21st century world with 20th century institutions,” he said.

He also praised the African Union because he said outside interventions on the African continent have nearly come to an end.

“I would like to pay tribute to the role played by the African Union (AU), represented here by its Chairperson and Chairperson of its Commission, whom I commend greatly,” he said.

Malawi President and AU chairperson Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is attending the summit which is expected to end this Tuesday afternoon.

After the summit, the two leaders are expected to host a join press conference-Malawi News Agency.

Monday, May 31, 2010

DPP 2014 presidential campaign turns nasty

Professor Peter Mutharika at one of his rallies in his home village of Thyolo East constituency. His popularity is reported to be giving sleepless nights to Vice President Joyce Banda and Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda.

By Lucy Liponda
Campaign for a successor to incumbent Malawi President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has gone vicious with some of the aspiring candidates going a mile further to damage the reputation of other rival unconfirmed presidential aspirants.

Our sources have revealed that so far three camps have emerged in the ruling party and these are of incumbent country Vice President Joyce Banda, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda and that of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Peter Mutharika.

Mutharika is a lawyer by training and younger brother to President Bingu wa Mutharika, the other competitor Joyce Banda is a long time women entrepreneurship campaigner whilst Chimunthu Banda is a trained secondary school teacher.

Peter Mutharika has a doctorate degree at international law, Joyce Banda has a first degree in women adolescence and Chimunthu Banda has a diploma in education.

Our informants in the ruling party disclose that the two Bandas though working in isolation are spending all their efforts in fighting the president’s brother who they feel has an upper hand in the competition.

“In fact they feel allowing a clean campaign to take place, they fear Peter Mutharika would walk away victorious,” said our source who is also a member of the ruling DPP’s National Governing Council.

The source disclosed that there was a lot of infighting which has just turned nasty with all sorts of stories being prepared to tarnish the image of the strong candidate, Peter Mutharika.

“You have heard of stories about his American citizenship, you have heard about these allegations of him being homosexual just because he is a widower, you have heard stories of him alleging he holds too much power in both government and the party and there will be a lot more stories to come all targeted at Professor Peter Mutharika,” he said.

Our source disclosed that all these campaigns being propagated by Vice President Joyce Banda and Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda are aimed at weakening Peter Mutharika who they think can relent the competition.

“There is a lot of underground work being carried out to weaken the young Mutharika but I don’t think this may yield anything at the end of the day because he is such a force to recon with both locally and internationally,” said the source.

A political scientist at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba has cautioned the ruling party’s aspiring presidential candidates to resist from conducting a malicious campaign saying the party stands to be the biggest loser at the end of the day.

“It is easier to smear mud on a vehicle but removing it it’s not that easy. The character assassination campaigns being propagated by Chimunthu Banda and Joyce Banda on Professor Peter Mutharika if proven may only play badly for the ruling party in the long run,” said the analyst who pleaded for anonymity.

When contacted for comment, Professor Peter Mutharika said that he is not aspiring for any other position apart from concentrating on his job as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and Member of Parliament for his Thyolo East constituency.

Vice President Joyce Banda’s spokesperson Ruth Govati refused to speak on her bosses political ambitions saying she only responds to issues related to her office as Vice President of the country.

Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda’s number could not be picked the five times we called his two mobile phone numbers.

DPP Secretary General Binton Kuntsaira said that his office has not sanctioned any campaign for presidential aspiring candidates in the ruling DPP saying 2014 is such a long way to go.

“Nobody is campaigning for the presidency in our party and if there are any then it’s not to my knowledge after all 2014 is too far,” he said.

President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika’s second 5 year term of office comes to and end in 2014 when he would have finished his constitutionally required 10 years in power-Malawi Digest.

Mutharika in Nice for France-Africa summit

President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika arriving at a Nice airport with his entourage. Pic by Adack Pafupi, Malawi News Agency.

By Adack Pafupi in Nice, France.

Malawi State President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika arrived in Nice-France on Sunday afternoon to attend the 25th France and Africa which begins on Monday.

The Malawian leader who is also chairperson for the continental grouping, the African Union left the country on Sunday morning using a presidential jet.

Accompanied by his wife, the First Lady Madame Callista Mutharika, the first couple and their delegation were welcomed at the Cote d’Azur Airport in Nice City by Head of Administration in Nice City, Falille Christophie and senior Malawia government officials who went ahead of the State President.

Ngwazi Professor Mutharika was then escorted to Sheraton Elysee Palace where the State President got a briefing from senior cabinet ministers on the trip and government officials led by the Chief Secretary Bright Msaka.

This morning, President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika had a breakfast meeting with the Word Bank President, Robert Zoellick.

The AU chairperson is also expected to have other working breakfast meetings with African of heads of state and government attending the summit.

President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is in Nice, France to attend the France-Africa Summit an initiative by the French government.

The summit is expected to be opened by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Nice Acropolis Convention Centre, venue for the international conference-Malawi News Agency/Malawi Digest.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

President Mutharika pardons gay couple

State President Ngwazi Prof.Bingu wa Mutharika with the UN Secretary General BanKi-Moon in Malawi's presidential residence, the New State House in the administrative capital, Lilongwe.

By Our Reporter

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.

He said the two were wrong according to the country’s tradition, and that they also violated the country’s laws under which they were tried and convicted.

“I would like to take this advantage to make this announcement to the media. The issue of gays has caused a lot of stress to the nation and Government. What the two boys did, created a situation which was unheard of in this country,” he said.

The President said Tiwonge and Steven were not only wrong against tradition and culture, but were also wrong on religious grounds, saying religions in the country do not allow same sex marriages.

“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.

Marjorie Ngaunje battling for life

By Our Reporter

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.

Our sources have disclosed that Ngaunje has been at the medical facility receiving medical attention for almost three weeks now.

Before the 2009 general elections, Ngaunje was one of the strongest cabinet ministers in President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika's cabinet.

She served as the country's Minister of Education and Health among many other portifolios in the Bingu-led administration.

Monday, May 24, 2010

NEWS!!! Prof. Peter Mutharika finds wife

Prof. Mutharika: I've finally found a woman to marry.

By Lucy Liponda

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.

Mutharika, a younger brother to Malawi State President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika disclosed this in the administrative capital Lilongwe on Monday.

Professor Mutharika said that he has finally found love in a Malawian woman that he plans to wed very soon.

“Once preparations are done, I am going to disclose the name of the woman,” he said.

Professor Peter Mutharika disclosed this when he was commenting about the conviction and jailing of a guy couple last week to 14 years imprisonment for holding a marriage engagement although both of them are men.

“As Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, I condemn the behavior of the guys and I will personally lead by example when I get married to a woman that I have fallen in love with very shortly,” he disclosed.

When pressed further to give a hint on the woman, Professor Peter Mutharika only said; “She is a Malawian woman and once the preparations are complete, I will made her public.”

Professor Mutharika said that he is a widower who has three grown up children, two girls and a boy.

“I was married for 30 years and had three children with my dear wife. Unfortunately she died of cancer leaving me with the responsibility of raising the children as a single parent,” he said.

“It has been hard to live as a widower and now I have found a woman that I feel can make a good wife,” he said.

Professor Mutharika condemned the international donor community and some non governmental organizations for using the issue of guys as a condition of providing aid to Malawi.

“Malawi is a sovereign state whose Laws also need to be recognized and respected,” he said.

The Justice Minister also wondered why the condemnation is coming out now when the Law was actually done by the former colonial master, Britain.

“These Laws were left by the British in Malawi and no one has raised any objections up until now when this issue of the guy couple happened,” he said.

Last week, the Blantyre Magistrate Court sentence two men, Steve Monjeza, 26 and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, to 14 years imprisonment for holding a public marriage engagement although both of them are of the same sex.

According to Malawian Laws, same sex marriage is punishable to imprisonment with the maximum sentence pegged at 14 years which Monjeza and Chimbalanga got-Malawi Digest.

Bingu lambasts business community

By Caroline Kandiero

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.

The President wondered whether it was out of ignorance on the part of the business community that they do not want to support the project.

“I am disappointed with the business community in Malawi. Why are you not supporting the Nsanje Port? Whether it is because of ignorance I don’t know,” said Mutharika.

He further said the inland port will not benefit him but the country as a whole through various activities like tourism and trading.

“I want you to establish a big duty free shop at the port which will help generate forex for the country.

“I want you to make noise about the port. It is not for me, it is for you the private sector,” said Mutharika.

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Chancellor Kaferapanjira in an interview said the business community has partly not been supportive.

“Things are moving at a slower pace but as the business community we are now working together with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development,” said Kaferapanjira.

He further said once the feasibility study report is out, the business community will continue to work hand in hand with government.

In a separate interview Mulli Group of Companies Managing Director Leston Mulli said it is the mindset of some individual businessmen that the inland port is a mare dream.

He said the port is possible and that it is important as the private sector to support the initiative.

“What the President said is true. We need to support government not only in the construction of the port but also in other developmental areas,” said Mulli.

He further said the business community can mainly come in through construction of infrastructure services.

“Apart from that as the business community we need to organize ourselves so that every now and then we should be having meetings with government so that we get to know where they (government) are having problems so that we can come in and assist,” said Mulli.

Completion of the Nsanje Inland Port would see reduced transport costs by almost 60 percent and also imports costs-The Daily Times.

Bingu deserves recognition-Japan

Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika said to be winning favours for more honours.

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

Professor Bingu, the President of Africa

Malawi State President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika was recently in the Peoples Republic of China where he attended the official opening ceremony of this year’s World Expo 2010 in the Chinese commercial capital, Shaghai.

Whilst in China, President Mutharika held a number of international meetings including closed door discussions with the Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The Malawian leader, who is also chairperson for the continental grouping, the African Union (AU) held discussions with ambassadors representing their respective countries to the Peoples Republic of China.

During his discussions with the ambassadors, President Mutharika sold his agenda as chairperson for AU to the country representatives.

In the picture, President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika (sitting) is seen surrounded by the ambassadors and some members of the Malawi cabinet, who accompanied the leader on this official trip. Pic by Samuel Makaka, Mana and text by Lucy Liponda, Malawi Digest.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mutharika calls for universities' practical

By Mike Chipalasa in Nairobi, Kenya

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

Kinnah aiming high wants Fifa's top 60

Flames coach Kinnah Phiri remains confident that his team can go far in the Fifa rankings.

By Gomezgani Zakazaka

The Malawi national football team, Flames coach Kinnah Phiri says he wants the Flames to be below 60 on the Fifa ranking by the end of this year.

Fifa is the world football governing body and regularly issues official rankings for national football teams in the world.

The Flames mentor said this ahead of Wednesday’s away international friendly match in Yemen.

He said the team has made a tremendous progress and there is need to safeguard the status and even improve it further.

Currently, Malawi is 82 on the Fifa rankings released last month after slipping one step.

The Yemen game will have a huge bearing on the rankings of this month and that is why we want a strong team and we’ll take it very seriously.

“A win against Yemen and then convincing results against Angola in the Chan competition will ensure that we get a good position in the next rankings to be released before the kickoff of the World Cup,” said Kinnah.

He said if the team managed to move 56 places up in two years, there are chances that it can rise even higher by December.

“Just two years ago, we were on position 138 and now we are 82. We are starting the qualifiers in September and there are more games coming up later in the year. If we win all of them, we should rise by many places. So that is my target to be in the 50s,” he said.

Flames midfielder Hellings Mwakasungula said Malawi’s improved standings will help the players in the coming transfer window to get better deals.

“We have failed to get good deals because of the rankings but if we keep on moving up then our players will be highly marketed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malawi have announced that the Flames will depart for Middle East on Monday for the international friendly match against Yemen on Wednesday.

The Flames are expected to leave Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport and connect the for Yemen in Addis Ababa on the same Monday evening.

Fam says that the team is expected to arrive in Yemen just before midnight same Monday and the players will spend their time on Tuesday resting and feel on the weather in the country before their important international friendly with the hosts on Wednesday-Nation on Sunday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nigerians lobby for vice-presidency

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan being congratulated after the swearing-in ceremony. Pic BBC World Service.

By BBC World Service

Nigerian groups are lobbying for the post of vice-president after Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as president following the death of Umara Yar'Adua.

Whoever is named vice-president could be a strong contender for presidential elections due in 2011, analysts say.

It remains unclear whether Mr Jonathan will seek to stand for the governing People's Democratic Party.

There is no deadline for him to name a new deputy but an announcement is expected within the coming days.

Many shops and business in Nigeria remain closed as the seven days of official mourning continue.

But the BBC's Caroline Duffield in the capital Abuja says politics ticks on - over the phone and in private meetings.


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

She says there are still no answers to the big questions about Nigeria's future.

The political deal that has traditionally ensured peace between north and south is coming under strain, our correspondent says.

The PDP has a tradition of alternating power between the mainly Muslim north and the largely Christian south.

Mr Jonathan is a southerner and Mr Yar'Adua died less than half-way through the north's "turn" of two presidential terms.

To maintain regional balance, Mr Jonathan would be expected to name a northerner as his deputy, which could put that person in a strong position to contest the elections due early in 2011 on behalf of the PDP.

However, there is strong speculation that Mr Jonathan may seek to defy political convention and stand himself.

Thousands at funeral

Tens of thousands of men shoved and pushed their way into the stadium in Katsina to pay their respects to Nigeria's later President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) began as his body - on a bamboo stretcher and wrapped in a Nigerian white and green flag - was carried in by military men.

Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida were among the mourners. Other dignitaries included Niger's interim prime minister. There was also a government delegation, but Mr Yar'Adua's deputy, newly sworn-in President Goodluck Jonathan, was not among them.

Security was tight during the prayers, which lasted about 30 minutes in the 40 degree heat; and the mood was sombre as the body was removed to the cemetery for a burial mainly attended by those close to the late president.

Mr Jonathan has been acting president since February and will serve out the rest of the current presidential term.

Mr Yar'Adua died on Wednesday in the capital Abuja.

Thousands attended the funeral in his home town of Katsina.

Mr Yar'Adua's election in 2007 marked the first transfer of power from one civilian president to another since Nigeria's independence in 1960.

He promised a string of reforms in Africa's most populous nation, including tackling corruption and reforming the inadequate energy sector and flawed electoral system.

Analysts say he made the most progress in tackling unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta by offering amnesties to rebels.

His long absence and the lack of detailed information about his health led to a political limbo in Nigeria, which was only filled when Mr Jonathan was named as acting president.

However, there was constant tension between supporters of Mr Yar'Adua and Mr Jonathan and in March the acting president dissolved the cabinet and later put his own team in place.

During Mr Yar'Adua's absence, Nigerian Nobel prize-winning author Wole Soyinka was involved in the campaign to resolve the power vacuum.

On Thursday he said Mr Yar'Adua's illness had been manipulated by politicians who had concealed the fact he was in a vegetative state while making arrangements for the forthcoming election.

He told the BBC the late president had been a victim of a macabre game over his succession and not been allowed to be ill in dignity-BBC World Service

Prof. Mutharika says Africa can export food

Malawi President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika greeting the African ambassadors after the meeting. Pic by Samuel Makaka.

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 on right path-Minister of Justice

Malawi's Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor Peter Mutharika is reported to be growing in popularity each day passing. Pic by Malawi Digest.

By Emmanuel Muwamba

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.

Mutharika, however said the ministry does not have enough lawyers to effectively carry demanding tasks.

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.

He said the ministry is also formulating a bill on the Wills and Inheritance.

“There will be no more property grabbing in Malawi,” he said.

Professor Mutharika’s address at Chancellor College marked the launch of public debates by the country’s state owned, Malawi Television (TVM).

According to the station’s Public Relations Officer Ruth Gama, the debates are aimed at allowing viewers and the public at large to interact with public figures in Malawi.

During the programme at Chancelor College which was beamed live on TVM and aired on the national broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation student’s from the university were allowed to ask questions relevant to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

The minister Professor Peter Mutharika, an internationally decorated lawyer and lecturer ably handled the questions in a moving way.

Each time the Professor articulated issues to do with the Law and his ministry, there was a round of applause from the students who swarmed the college’s famous Great Hall.

Professor Peter Mutharika, President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika’s younger brother is reported to be growing stronger politically, each day passing.

He is reported to be one of Malawi’s most popular politician at the moment.

Apart from Professor Peter Mutharika, there Professor Matthews Chikaonda and Deputy Minister in the Office of President and Cabinet, Nicholus Dausi spoke at the event-The Nation/additional reporting by Malawi Digest.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wedding of the year, Bingu & Callista 'I do'

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika recently officially wedded former cabinet Minister Madame Callista Chapola. The two were officially married before a huge crowd at the Civo Stadium in the administrative capital, Lilongwe.

The marriage ceremony was presided over by the head of the Roman Catholic church in Malawi, His Grace Archbishop Tarcizious Ziyaye and all Malawian bishops.

In the picture, Dr Mutharika and the First Lady kneels before Archbishop Ziyaye in the course of the church service.

Call him Prof. Ngwazi Bingu wa Mutharika

President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and the First Lady Madame Callista at the East China University during the ceremony on Sunday.

By Samuel Makaka in Shanghai

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika said on Sunday that Malawi values the support it is receives from the Peoples Republic of China in human capacity building as many Malawian students are on Chinese sponsored academic scholarships, studying in Chinese Universities.

Dr Bingu wa Mutharika was speaking at East China Normal University in his acceptance speech after the institution conferred on him an honorary professorship in economics.

In accepting the honorary professorship title, the Malawian leader, joins his younger brother Professor Peter Mutharika.

The young Mutharika is a respected international decorated professor at Law.

In his address to the gathering at the ceremony, Dr Mutharika said that Malawi and Africa as a whole cannot develop without well trained experts who he said are lacking at the moment.

“We need human capacity building in our countries and Malawi is looking forward to new areas of cooperation between the East China University and Malawi’s University of Science and Technology being established with assistance from the Peoples Republic of China,” he said.

The State President said that it is possible for Africa to be developed but only when African experts take a lead in the fight against poverty and ignorance.

“Through education and human capacity building we can change humanity for the better and Malawi as a country is happy that we are doing just that,” he said.

President Dr Bingu wa Mutharika reiterated his conviction that Africa will develop and become a major contributor to the global economic development.

At this point he repeated his view that Africa is not poor but that the people on continent are the ones who are poor.

The President said that this is the case because of the vast resources Africa is endowed with. He said that he is aware that Africa needs financial resources and well trained human resources to turn the raw materials on the continent into wealth.

Dr Mutharika disclosed that Africans are aware that they are marginalized in many ways by the rich nations.

“Africans are aware that they are being marginalized in global politics, science and technology, economic development and trade. Africa is also marginalized in global resource financial allocation simply because Africa is poor,” said Dr Mutharika who is also the chairperson for the continental country grouping, the African Union (AU).

But he said AU sees emergence of globalization as an opportunity for the people of Africa and other nations to work together through the pursuit of global peace and security and fight against terrorism so as to create new wealth through promotion of industrial development, manufacturing, mining, agro-processing and promotion of human capacity.

He told the gathering that Malawi has improved tremendously in the last five years he has been in power, explaining that more and more people are living above the poverty line because of the abundant availability of food.

He said 75 percent of Malawians are already accessing clean portable water, beating the UN set target of 74 percent by 2014.

Dr Mutharika, also commended China for being one of the biggest cooperating partners in Africa and hope that African countries will benefit much more as the cooperation gets closer and closer reducing poverty among the people of Africa through support from China.

Speaking when he introduced President Mutharika to the audience, president of the University, Professor Yu Lizhong said it was a great honour and pleasure that President Mutharika agreed to accept the title of honorary Professorship in Economics.

“His Excellency, Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and chairperson of the African Union is a well known economist and politician. He holds a PhD in development economics from the Pacific University of Los Angeles-USA,” the University President told the gathering. He also disclosed to the gathering of other positions that Dr Mutharika held before becoming State President of the Republic of Malawi.

Prof Lizhong also pointed out that President Mutharika spearheaded the formation of several regional economic organizations including the Association of African Central Banks, Conference of African Ministers of Finance and many more.

“So it is therefore our pleasure and honour that President Mutharika agreed to accept the title of Honorary Professorship from our University,” he said.

Currently, there are four Malawian students studying at the East China University.

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.

Amongst the donation, was his yet to be published book which the President described as somehow controversial.

Malawi at the World 2010 Expo in China

The Malawi first couple of Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and Callista being welcomed by their Chinese counterparts of Hu Jintao and his wife at the official opening ceremony for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.
Young girls holding flags from countries all over the world that are participating in the World Expo 2010. This was part of the performances during the official opening of the Shanghai World Expo on Friday evening.
The Shanghai Expo Culture Center were the opening ceremony took place.

World Expo 2010 fire works lighting up Shanghai skies on the official opening evening.
Some of the structures which befit modern cities being shown at the World Expo 2010.

Malawi gets financial boost from China

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao just before the talks.

By Samuel Makaka in Shanghai, China

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.

“The Peoples Republic of China has provided about US$22 to 25 million to meet any financial hiccups that may arise in the course of carrying out works on the projects they are financing,” said Kachale adding, this is just to make sure that the projects are finished on time.

Some of the main project the Chinese are financing in Malawi include the Chitipa/Karonga road, the new parliament building in Lilongwe, the five-star hotel project and international conference centre in Lilongwe and the sports complex in the same city, Lilongwe amongst many other projects.

The minister said that following this huge financial assistance from the Chinese, the Malawian President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika had proved his critics wrong when he decided switch ties from Taiwan to the Peoples Republic of China.

When Malawi changed ties about two years ago, there were a lot of skeptics and critics who blamed government for dumping long time ally Taiwan for Mainland China. However, the Mutharika administration put its foot down and justified its move.

Malawi is currently enjoying huge financial help from the Peoples Republic of China.

Kachale also commended President Hu Jintao for being keen in seeing that the Malawi-China relationship grows from strength to strength.

He said the relationship has only been in place for two years but within this short space, already, huge projects are being implemented in Malawi.

On her part, Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Etta Banda said during the discussions, President Dr Mutharika began by condoling his counterpart for the loss of life and property during the earthquake which hit China about three two weeks ago.

She said Dr Mutharika asked the Chinese government to assist Malawi with specialists to do extensive exploration work in Malawi for minerals that exist in this southern African country not known and in unknown quantities.

The minister said Dr Mutharika took advantage of the talks to invite President Hu Jintao to visit Malawi on his next leg of tours to Africa.

The Foreign Affairs Minister has since disclosed that President Hu Jintao has accepted to visit Malawi.