Thursday, February 25, 2010

Malawi's First Lady in action

Malawi's in-coming First lady Madame Calista Chapola Chimombo (right) has taken into action as wife to Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika. Madame Chimombo, herself a former cabinet minister and distinguished member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party engaged President Mutharika on 14th February( the Valentines Day), 2010.

The couple is set to get married in the Roman Catholic church on 1st May, 2010.

Waiting for her official marriage day, has not stopped the in-coming Malawi First Lady from getting into action in her new role. Over the weekend, Madame Chimombo was in the tea growing district of Thyolo, southern Malawi where she presided over the launch of a government initiative on family support package for child headed households in Thyolo East.

In the picture, looking on is Women and Children Affairs Minister, Patricia Kaliati and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika-Malawi Digest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Malawi's presidential marriage engagement

Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika unveiling his beloved wife-to-be Calista Chimombo during their private traditional engagement (chinkhoswe) at the New State in the administrative capital, Lilongwe.
The just engaged couple Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and Madame Calista Chimombo waving and smiling to the crowd that came to the afternoon feast after their tradition chinkhoswe (engagement) earlier in the day.
The First Lady to-be Madame Calista Chimombo looking and smiling at her husband to-be Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika during afternoon celebrations after the traditional engagement (chinkhoswe) in the morning.
The pick of the traditional engagement (chinkhoswe). Two marriage counsellors (ankhoswe) from the two engaging families exchanging a cock standing for a man (Bingu) and a hen representing the woman (Calista).
Traditional engagement at its best as ankhoswe (counsellors) from Bingu's home village district of Thyolo bringing utensils for Calista's home use.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ngwazi the AU chair tours Addis office hqs

By William Malimero
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Malawi State President and Chairperson of the African Union Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, has urged the African Union (AU) secretariat staff to be innovative to ensure that aspirations of Africans are realized.

He was speaking at AU Secretariat in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on familiarization tour to acquaint himself with activities of the Secretariat on Wednesday.

Dr Mutharika said at the just ended AU summit, a bureau comprising Malawi, Uganda Gabon, Liberia and Libya set priorities and isolated agriculture and food security, transport infrastructure, communication and energy to be priorities among priorities for the AU.

“For the priorities to yield results there is need for the secretariat to work hard for the union to yield results within a short period of time,” he said.

President Mutharika observed that any meaningful development starts with food security and hoped that Africa will achieve that within the coming five years.

“I am optimistic that in five years time no child will die of hunger or go to bed without eating in Africa,” he said.

He also said that transport and infrastructure were important for Africa as food produced need to be transported to the market or other areas of need within Africa and beyond.

He noted that most African countries construct roads of no direction as most of them fail to link with their neighbours.

“It is time we make our transport network, be it roads, railway or airline have a purpose. It is sad to note that some countries in African can only be reached though Europe. For how long are we going to go through that,” wondered Dr Mutharika.

He, therefore, advised the Secretariat that as they are entrusted in running the affairs of the AU they should consider linking Africa so that mobility of people and commodities can be eased.

President Dr Mutharika also said that Africa need to improve its communication facilities to ensure that services are improved.

“I note with sadness that when one want to communicate with countries in Europe faces not problem but when it is countries within Africa there are a lot of intermissions,” he observed-Malawi News Agency.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dr Mutharika meets UN Secretary General

WITH THE POWER THAT BE: Malawi State President and AU Chairman holding talks with the world's most powerful man, the United Nation's Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon in Ethiopia. Pic by William Malimero, Malawi News Agency.

By William Malimero

The global grouping of countries, the United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon has asked the newly elected African Union chairperson Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika to intervene in political conflicts taking place in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

The UN chief, said this in an interview after an audience with Dr Mutharika on Saturday at African Union Secretariat on the sidelines of the 14th Ordinary Session of the African Union.

Moon said that he has a trust in Dr Mutharika’s experience and his ability to lead in various issues, hence his request.

“I know Dr Mutharika very well, he is able and mean it when he wants to achieve something, that is why I thought that he is the right person to put to rest political conflicts in the SADC region,” he said.

Meanwhile, State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika has expressed concern over armed conflicts in some African countries which, he said, remained the biggest obstacle towards achieving prosperity and development in Africa.

Speaking in his acceptance speech soon after being elected AU Chairman, Dr Mutharika urged African countries to redouble their efforts to eliminate the conflicts and promote peace and security, democracy and good governance to ensure sustainable development of the continent.

Apart from the UN's Ban-ki-Moon, Dr Mutharika has also held secret talks with Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Djibouti President Omar Ghelli among many other global leaders-Malawi News Agency.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Malawi's new chancery in Addis commissioned

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika cutting a ribbon marking the official openning of the Chancery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pic by William Malimero, Malawi News Agency.

By William Malimero

Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika on Friday opened a magnificent K210 million chancery, an office complex for the Malawi mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Speaking during the opening ceremony in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Dr Mutharika
spelt the need for better facilities at the country’s foreign missions, saying such facilities would motivate staff to be committed to their work.

“I hope you will make better use of the facility to foster better relations with the people of Ethiopia and those from other countries as this is the political capital of Africa,” he advised staff working at the Mission.

Government, through ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Lands, Housing and Urban Development, has embarked on an infrastructure improvement programme of its foreign missions.

Other offices are also being built in Lusaka, Zambia. The programme has also earmarked Missions in Brussels, Belgium, Berlin in German, Maputo in Mozambique, Washington and New York in the United States of America.

Foreign Affairs minister, Prof. Etta Banda, and Lands, Housing and Urban Development Prof. Peter Mwanza said during the opening ceremony that the programme was aimed at improving the work environment for Malawians in Foreign Service.

Malawi’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, James Kalirangwe described the chancery as a manifestation of President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika’s commitment to Malawi’s development.

“This will motivate us to work even harder,’’ he said.

He, however, asked government to consider constructing houses for staff as well, saying this will help to cut rental costs which were very high.

Senior officials from the Ethiopian government, AU and representatives of other African countries witnessed the opening ceremony.

President Mutharika left for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday to attend the 14th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) where he was to elected Chairperson of the continental grouping on Sunday.

Speaking before departure for the session, Mutharika said as AU chairperson, he would work to attain food security on the African continent.

“Africa is not a hopeless continent, and I am confident that Africa will develop. It’s just a matter of time,” he told dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony of the Chancery.

Dr Mutharika observed that Africa has all the required resources to make herself self sufficient and become more independent.

‘It is just a matter of changing our mindset that Africa is poor, and concentrate on developing our continent using the available resources,’’ he said-Malawi News Agency.