Norwegian Church Aid denies funding HRDC’s anti-Ansah demonstrations – AFROINSIDER
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Norwegian Church Aid denies funding HRDC’s anti-Ansah demonstrations



Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has distanced itself from rumours hovering on the social media that the organisations is funding the ongoing demonstrations organized by Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) aimed at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Dr. Jane Ansah.

The country held its second tripartite election on May 21, 2019 where President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was declared winner of the disputed polls.

Since then the country has seen a number of demonstrations aimed at forcing Ansah to resign for failing to manage the polls.

The general public is accusing Ansah of conniving with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the move forced Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Transformation movement (UTM) to seek legal action on the matter.

Due to the ongoing demonstrations, some DPP cadets have been threatening to make public the names of the organizations sponsoring the demonstrations.
The cadets then implicated NCA as one of the sponsors of the ongoing demonstrations but this has not pleased the organisations.

In a statement released by the organization, the grouping has described the statement as malicious aimed denting the image of NCA.

Below is the statement;


Kenyan man hacks son to death,villagers celebrate



Villagers of Eshirembe village in Butere, Kakamega County, last weekend burst into celebration after an elderly man hacked his 38-year-old son to death.

Apparently, the deceased, Habil Amunza, was a notorious thief and had tried to attack his father before the unfortunate incident.

The two had quarreled over stolen maize and Amunza took a panga.

“When the father inquired from him in the evening, he, as usual turned against him in a murderous rage but fortunately, the father managed to snatch the panga and hacked him to death,” said their neighbor Jared Nandwa.

Adding: “They have been leading a quarrelsome life and we were afraid that the son would kill his father like he has been killing people around this village.

“Fortunately, it is the father who hacked him to death. God is Great!”

It also emerged that the deceased had killed Nandwa’s son some years back but was released just four months after his arrest.

William Wambani, also a neighbor, described the deceased as a notorious thief who had become a nuisance to the community.

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HRDC Informs Embassies on Malawi Airport Shutdown



Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has informed foreign embassies in country notifying them on their planned Anti-Ansah demonstrations to seal all major boarders and airports slated for August 26-30, 2019.

The move to notify the foreign embassies came immediately after president Peter Mutharika ordered Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and Malawi Police Service (MPS) to stop the demonstrations with the “necessary force”

Despite Mutharika’s threats, HRDC chairperson and his vice Timothy Mtambo have notified embassies of Zambia. Mozambique, Zimbabwe, south Africa and Tanzania on their planned demonstrations.

In the letter seen by Faceofmalawi reporter, HRDC has justified their decision to hold protests in the airports and boarders saying the government has failed to honor people’s needs by not firing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.

“We regret any inconveniences this may cause, but it is our hope that that government will heed to the demands of citizens,” reads part of the statement.

HRDC has been organizing nationwide demonstrations calling for resignation Ansah who is being accuised of manipulation presidential election results in favor of Mutharika who was declared winner of the disputed elections.

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Op-Ed: Of Cabinet Minister Ben Phiri and Blantyre street beer party – Malawi Nyasa Times – News from Malawi about Malawi



Last weekend, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in President Peter Mutharika’s government,  Ben Malunga Phiri, became probably the first Cabinet Minister in the history of this country to throw a street beer party on a Sunday afternoon.

Ben Malunga Phiri, became probably the first Cabinet Minister in the history of this country to throw a street beer party

He removed his ministerial robes to fete his friends and compatriots at ‘Zibolibili’ off Victoria Avenue in downtown Blantyre on high volumes of alcohol. In pictures that went viral on social media, the Minister  is seen sitting on a chair surrounded by bingeing friends whilst talking and laughing unreservedly around many alcohol bottles. He seemed to be clearly comfortable and relentless with the group which was unmistakably enjoying itself as well.

Nyasa Times should state clearly at this onset that it is not wrong to chat with friends or to connect with long lost compatriots over a bottle of beer. Actually it is even encouraged to develop networks and bond with friends and acquaintances whilst enjoying a good brew or Shisha, because that is what creates societies and brings about peace and understanding. Just that the Ben Phiri scenario may not be your typical case of bonding over a glass of brew; it is something else appalling which is why we are talking.

To begin with, Honourable Malunga Phiri is a Parliamentarian representing the noble people of Thyolo Central Constituency. On top of that, he is also a Cabinet Minister in the new government of President Arthur Peter Mutharika; as such he is no ordinary individual whose actions and conduct cannot just be passed up. It is only natural that he should be under constant public scrutiny as duty bearer entrusted to carry out public duty under the Constitution of this Republic.

It also naturally expected that a Cabinet Minister should be a person of high decorum and integrity; one who is expected not to behave waywardly, and one expected to set a good example of positive public life particularly to the youths of this country.  It is such appalling and sad that  Ben Phiri has chosen to be a very bad example to the public because of his display of unbecoming public behavior, which is exactly what a Cabinet Minister ought not to do.

A ministerial position is very high position in this country because it means one is an advisor to the President and a key player in the policy-making framework for the government and a country. It means  Ben Phiri is a senior and entrusted individual who plays a key role at the apex level of decision making in the President Peter Mutharika government.  Now what message is he sending when he buys alcohol and throws street parties at ‘Ziboliboli’ with curio sellers and known hoodlums in full glare of the public and on Sunday afternoon?

We know he may have done that to endear himself with the people, who are mostly ‘men of town’; we also know that Ben Phiri has had his fair share of life in the streets and at ‘Ziboliboli’. He may have been driven by the desire to reconnect with his long time friends and to demonstrate to them that he has progressed in life and that he is Cabinet Minister now.  In as much as we understand that there is always a powerful instinct in people to ‘show off’ to friends that they have made it in life, what Ben Phiri did was ill-conceived for a Cabinet Minister.

It is an open secret that the place called ‘Ziboliboli’ in Blantyre is a bastion of illegal trade. It is a place where most of the illegal trade in foreign exchange takes place; it is also the central dwelling place of ruthless loan sharks and experts of underhand dealings; obviously the least place to expect a whole Cabinet Minister to sit and drink beer with alleged friends on a Sunday afternoon. On top of that,  Ben Phiri also claims to be a Christian from Cavalry Family Church, which abhors, not just drinking alcohol, but also drinking in public places.

What Minister Ben Phiri is doing is to dilute the position of Cabinet Minister and bringing the government of President Mutharika into disrepute.

This country is going through a difficult time economically; a majority of Malawians are living on less than a dollar a day, which is below the internationally recognized poverty threshold under the United Nations (UN), and for the whole Cabinet Minister to be found bingeing publicly on useless alcohol with questionable characters in town is a display of insensitivity of the highest order to the suffering of the people. Just what message is  Ben Phiri trying to send to the world? That he does not care even if other people are suffering as long as he is Cabinet Minister?

If Ben Phiri had wanted to fete his friends, he should have easily done that in private, and not publicly like he did. It only means there is something horribly wrong with his moral compass which is dangerous for a Cabinet Minister.  We have had people with funny characters who have been Cabinet Ministers in Malawi before.  Dumbo Lemani is a perfect example.  He served in the UDF government of Bakili Muluzi, and his office was in Umoyo House closer to where Ben Phiri threw his street party.

Dumbo Lemani would often descend from his office to chat with people and friends in the streets down. He would sit on benches and giggle comfortably with the people but there was no record of him throwing public street parties where people would drink alcohol relentlessly.

If the Cabinet Minister  was following in the footsteps of President Mutharika, who not long ago feted some DPP youths at Sanjika Palace, then he did it badly. President Mutharika was roundly criticized for throwing that party, and will most likely not do it again, and he did it at Sanjika Palace not in the streets.

For Ben Phiri to emulate that example and in that manner is deliberately fanning the fires of public anger that Mutharika hoped time would douse. It is not long ago when the same Ben Phiri was publicly reprimanded by the First Lady when he courted controversy after he insulted the very womanhood of former First Lady, Dr. Patricia Shanil Muluzi. Now he thinks throwing alcohol street parties with gangsters is a way of cultivating his own brand of populism.
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Stop demonstrations, Peter Mutharika orders police, Malawi Defence Force – The Times Group Malawi



By Yohane Symon:

President Peter Mutharika, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of Malawi Defence Force (MDF), has directed MDF and Malawi Police Service to stop border and airport demonstrations which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has organised from August 26 to 30 2019.

Mutharika made the remarks in Mangochi District Wednesday when he commissioned six warships which the government has bought for the MDF Maritime Department.

A highly charged Mutharika accused HRDC, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM of organising the demonstrations to topple his government unlawfully.

“Without borders, there is no Malawi. Undermining our borders is undermining the very existence and sovereignty of our country,” Mutharika said. “Invading borders is the greatest threat anyone can pose to our country. I, will, therefore, have no choice but to take all measures necessary to ensure and protect the sovereignty and integrity of our nation.

“As the Commander-in-Chief, I am directing the MDF and the police to protect our borders and airports with all the necessary force to ensure that the integrity of our borders is not compromised even for a single minute.”

He also accused MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima of using HRDC to destabilise the country due to their failure to win the May 21 presidential election.

“The disruptions we are witnessing in the name of elections are not about elections, but the opposition attempt to take over a lawfully constituted government by unlawful means using the HDRC mask. This will not be allowed,” Mutharika said.

He accused Chakwera of instructing MCP members of Parliament to disturb the State of the National Address when Mutharika opened this year’s session of Parliament.

“Our Constitution does not say we will choose our leaders through anarchy and violence… Rev Chakwera, I don’t care whether you respect me or not. I don’t need your respect, but please respect the presidency,” Mutharika said.

But HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence, in a statement released Wednesday, say Mutharika was being fed with lies by people who have surrounded him.

“Malawians are extremely shocked by the President’s position given that his power derives from the people and is not absolute as stipulated in the Constitution. After hiding in the cocoon for too long, Mutharika missed an opportunity today to simply announce that he has fired Jane Ansah. He instead went on the offensive, making a decree which has no basis in law. HRDC would like to remind the President that he is not above the law and that Malawi is a democratic State where the citizenry, that include the President, are subjected to the rule of law.

“We wish to remind Mutharika that his decree is not only against established human rights and good governance values and principles, but also the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, which, under Section 38, guarantees the citizenry the right to assemble and demonstrate with others peacefully and unarmed.”

Mtambo said HRDC was not being used by politicians but it was doing what Malawians were looking for.

He said HRDC would continue with their planned airport and border shutdown to force Ansah to step down.

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General Nundwe says Malawi army prepared ‘to defend sovereignty’ and citizens as Constitution order – Malawi Nyasa Times – News from Malawi about Malawi



Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has the military will highly vigilant protect the sovereignty of the Republic and its citizens according to the Constitution.

General Nundwe:  MDF role number one is protection of the sovereignty of Malawi and again protection of its citizens

The Commander  has made the comments  amid on-going electoral disputes with  President Peter Mutharika directive that MDF and Police should  stop  demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC)  scheduled to take place in the country’s airports and borders from 26-30 August 2019.

Nundwe, the 13th army commander, said the MDF will continue discharging its duties according to the supreme laws of the country – the Constitution.

“As a professional we have been told how to deal with the current situation.  Primarily  Malawi Defence Force role number one is protection of the sovereignty of Malawi and again protection of its citizens,” said Nundwe.

President  Mutharika said during the commissioning of the MDF ships in Malindi, Mangochi,  that the demonstrations by HRDC,  supported by opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM are not about elections anymore but rather they are about usurping power from him.

He said HRDC, MCP and UTM are “waging war on the country and it’s treasonous.”

The President ordered the military and police I to protect the borders “with all the necessary force.”

But General Nundwe said: “I have always said as professional I have to apply what is in the Constitution and is to protect the citizens of Malawi.”

Nundwe  was appointed  commander of MDF and promotion from Lieutenant General to the rank of General on June 20 2019. He replaced General Griffin Spoon Phiri who was appointed national security adviser.

President  Mutharika said the border disruption agenda is a plot to disable the  national security at the border, allow enemies of the country enter the country unimpeded and to disrupt Malawi’s national interests at the borders.

He said MDF was established to:

▪ Protect Malawi from external forces;

▪ Maintain the Constitution order of Malawi; and

▪ Assist civil authorities in maintenance of law and order.

Mutharika has since called on the HRDC and its supporters to “deeply reflect” on their intention to cause mayhem at the borders.

“Border disturbance is an act of aggression against Malawi and its citizens,” said Mutharika.

However, HRDC’s Vie Chairperson, Gift Trapence said HRDC is non-political and is not influenced by any interests other than the best interests of Malawians.

“If Mutharika wants to declare state of emergency, he should follow due process. HRDC will not sit down and watch people’s rights being curtailed. We will seek legal redress to such decrees and impunity until Jane Ansah resigns. The president should know that,” Trapence said.

The MDF has been pivotal in shoring up efforts by Malawi Police Service (MPS) in maintaining law and order during a series of ongoing post-election demonstrations nationwide.

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Audit report stirs debate – The Times Group Malawi



An audit report into the management of May 21 2019 tripartite elections by an auditing firm, DBO, shows that there were 273 tally sheets which were corrected with Tipp-Ex while 65 forms were manually amended.

The report also shows that there were 45 forms with missing signatures and 66 forms without political parties’ signatures.

The report has been making rounds on social media from Tuesday evening.

The report, among other things, calls for improved transparency and accuracy of results at consistency tally centres, saying there was lack of knowledge and experience with regards to the required procedures and form-filling process as well as consolidation of the votes at the centres.

“[There is need to] increase the awareness among presiding officers [POs] to the election process and workflow inside the polling stations and the constituency tally centres; conduct practical training for POs and other officers of the polling stations as they all acquire required knowledge and have a clear understanding of the voting process,” the report reads.

The report recommends that the role of the external auditor should be amended and expanded to cover processes at the constituency tally centres as well as the final approval issued at the main tally centre.

“The auditors should have enough time to arrange for hiring local auditors so as to include conducting first and second interviews as well as contacting references,” the report reads.

Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said the commission submitted the report to the court although it is yet to have the final copy from the auditors.

“Mec got the initial report from the auditors through UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] on July 11 2019 for Mec to give its management comments. This we did and sent them to the auditors on 20 July. The auditors responded on 23 July advising that they were looking into the comments and working towards the final report.

“Mec has followed up with several reminder emails and phone calls to the auditors with emphasis on the importance of the report regarding the ongoing elections case,” he said.

But MCP Legal Affairs deputy director, Larry Nita, said they do not have the report as part of their evidence because Mec did not furnish them with the report when they requested.

“We do not have the report and I doubt if, indeed, they submitted the report to the court because, normally, we are supposed to have whatever documents go into the judges or the respondents’ files,” he said.

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Debt to GDP ratio remains elevated – The Times Group Malawi



Malawi’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has more than doubled since 2011, seen at slightly higher than 60 percent in the last financial year.

Investment management and advisory firm, Nico Asset Managers, says in its July Monthly Economic Report that the government thus faces increasing exposure to high domestic debt.

In the report, the firm echoes concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the situation is raising fears over the country’s financial position.

In the seven-year period to 2018, Malawi’s debt to GDP ratio has more than doubled to 62.5 percent of GDP from 28.9 percent in 2012.

Accumulation of public debt stems largely from fiscal deficits as the government has frequently spent over the budget in recent years.

“This presents a significant risk, as the deficit is expected to be largely financed by high-cost domestic borrowing,” Nico Asset Managers says in its report issued last week.

It says, while the stock of domestic debt is lower than external debt, the interest burden is substantially greater.

As at December 2018, external debt stood at $2.1 billion (about K1.6 trillion) with debt from multilateral creditors accounting for 80.3 percent of the total debt stock while the remaining share constituted debt from bilateral creditors.

Domestic debt, on the other hand, stood at $2.2 billion (about K1.7 trillion), with Treasury notes and Treasury bills dominating the domestic debt portfolio at 60.1 percent and 32.8 percent, respectively.

Nico Asset Managers says, since the 2013/14 financial year, the government has been making high interest payments on domestic debt, reaching 20 percent of its revenue.

In the last financial year, the government’s borrowing gradually transitioned, with a shift away from the Reserve Bank of Malawi and towards commercial banks and non-banks.

“With the fiscal deficit expected to widen, this will increase domestic public debt, undermining fiscal sustainability. Considering the elevated levels of domestic debt, Malawi needs to reduce fiscal deficits to support fiscal and debt sustainability, particularly during years of relative macroeconomic stability,” says Nico Asset Managers in its report.

Recently, the World Bank said, to address this, the government needs to strengthen fiscal discipline to spend within budget while also budgeting for reduced primary deficits over the medium term.

It said the treasury should also strengthen its public financial management systems, possibly enabling it to regain donor confidence, complemented by growth enhancing expenditures, strengthening expenditure controls and improving domestic revenue mobilisation.

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Big Bullets ‘reddy’ – The Times Group Malawi



By Williams Gondwa:

Nyasa Big Bullets left for Zimbabwe Wednesday beaming with confidence ahead of their Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League second leg match with Platinum FC on Saturday.

The first leg ended goalless at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, leaving the tie wide open for both sides at Barboufields Stadium in Bulawayo.

Before departure yesterday, Bullets assistant Coach, Peter Mponda, said they were determined to reach the next round.

Mponda said they had included Captain John Lanjesi, who has recovered from an injury, in the 22-member squad that has travelled to Zimbabwe by road.

Mponda said Lanjesi would not be available for selection.

“All preparations have gone well and we have taken all players that are fit and ready to play. Every member is aware of the importance of the match. We are geared up to face FC Platinum,” Mponda said.

Bullets Chief Administrator, Albert Chigoga, said the team was expected to have a training session in Harare before proceeding to Bulawayo today.

“The arrangements are that the team would spend a night in Harare and, on Thursday, depart for Bulawayo. We have put everything in place and, the second group will travel to Bulawayo on Friday. These are Bullets supporters and officials. We want to ensure that the team is given all the required support,” Chigoga said.

Platinum, who are mentored by Bullets Coach Kallisto Pasuwa’s childhood friend Norman Mapeza, have relocated from Harare to Bulawayo ahead of the match.

“It is not going to be easy, but the important thing for us is to find our way back and regroup after the Triangle defeat,” Pasuwa told Herald newspaper on Monday.

“We must get a result on Sunday [Saturday] against Nyasa Bullets so that we keep up in the Champions League, but we know it is always going to be a challenging task because our opponents are an equally good side, so we must be at our best.”

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Kwathu brings back 2014 play – The Times Group Malawi



Kwathu Drama Group has gone back to its old files to fish out its 2014 production Kulira kwa Ana to be staged at Gymkhana Club in Zomba and Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) this coming weekend.

The first performance is on Saturday at Gymkhana Club before dating BCC on Sunday.

Written by the group’s director, Eric Mabedi, popularly known as Jakobo, Kulira kwa ana was Kwathu’s fourth and last production in 2014.

Asked why they had brought back the play which they premiered in 2014, Mabedi, said the play has a message that still stands out today.

“Again, we have been asked by our fans that we should be giving them some of the old plays and so we are responding to this call. It is the same with musicians—who perform some of their old songs during live performances and this gives people memories,” Mabedi said.

In 2014, Kulira kwa ana had a cast of, among others, Bon Kalindo, better known as Winiko, and Evans Mbewe.

“We will miss Bon Kalindo and Evans Mbewe this time around and in their place we have Ben Maluwasa and Allison Mpunga. The rest of the other actors are featuring in the production,” he said.

This is a play that focuses on men who impregnate women and abandon their responsibilities of taking care of children. The play centres on a story of Blessings, played by Charles Mphoka, who impregnates Mervis played by Linda Chatha and yet he has a fiancée by the name of Nora played by Emma Chikwembeya.

Kwathu has only staged one new production Dziko, which was premiered in April.

“We only came out with part one of Dziko, We were supposed to have part two but, due to the political environment at the moment we have failed,” the veteran actor said.

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Ghana Named Second most Corrupt African Country



A report by the Transparency International (TI) has said Ghana has been rated as the second most corrupt country in Africa, followed by Nigeria, with South Africa perceived as the most corrupt nation on the continent.

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) noted about 71 per cent of people living in Ghana saying corruption had increased over the last 12 months.

The report revealed how people on the continent perceived their countries as far as corruption was concerned and what their leaders were doing to minimize the unpleasant act.

It noted that the act of corruption was so endemic that all the respondents wished that the leaders in their various countries would acted swiftly to end the canker.

Most governments across Africa were also seen as failing in their duty to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals.

It noted that the act of corruption was so endemic that all the respondents wished that the leaders in their various countries would acted swiftly to end the canker.

Most governments across Africa were also seen as failing in their duty to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals.

Yapita ijaHRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo hunted by police
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HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo hunted by police



Timothy Mtambo

Information reaching faceofmalawi indicates that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has received instruction from above to arrest Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo to scare Malawians from holding the planned airports and border districts shutdown set for next week.

According to inside sources, this is the second move by the government after failing to set him and his family a blaze two weeks.

Mtambo also confirmed of the planned arrest in a statement posted on his official facebook page seen by faceofmalawi reporter.

“I am a dead person bcoz in your hearts, you already killed me by petrol bombing my compound, now you are planning to arrest the dead person, you are welcome! I can promise you that you will not stop Malawians this time around. As long as I live and I still have mental faculties, I will never stop fighting for a free, just, fair and developed Malawi.

“For this, I am ready for anything and even in the after life I am committed to this cause. We are ready to engage anyone but we do not want to be threatened. We worship a powerful and owesome God. The Heavens are watching,” wrote Mtambo.

Meanwhile the move by government to arrest Mtambo has attracted mixed reactions on the social media with many Malawians warning government to tread carefully on the matter.

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Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009
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Malawi army warships named after Mutharika, Muluzi and ex MDF commanders – Malawi Nyasa Times – News from Malawi about Malawi



President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday presided over the commissioning of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) warships on Lake Malawi at the Maritime Force Headquarters in Monkey Bay, Mangochi, two of which have been named after Mutharika and former president Bakili Muluzi.

The warships on Lake Malawi.-Photo by Abel Ikiloni, Mana
The newly commissioned warship on Lake Malawi.-Photo by Abel Ikiloni, Mana
President Mutharika being briefed about the warships.-Photo by Abel Ikiloni, Mana
The warships on Lake Malawi.-Photo by Abel Ikiloni, Mana
First Lady and wives of army officers in the warships .-Photo by Abel Ikiloni, Mana

The warships are dubbed Ship of the Malawi Republic (SMR) Mutharika and SMR Muluzi.

There are also other four warships named after former MDF  Generals; SMRs Yohane, Maulana, Khanga and Chigawa.

President Mutharika, who is commander-in-chief of MDF, said  the warships will help to beef up the security of the country  and appealed to the soldiers to take good care of them.

He, therefore, commended MDF for ensuring that there was peace and order in the country, pledging his support in discharging their duties.

“The military will continue getting the best support from my government and let me assure you that your welfare is at my heart. Currently, hospital facilities and houses of officers in MDF establishments are in our plans,” he added.

MDF Commander General, Vincent Nundwe also thanked President Mutharika for equipping the military with the warships, saying the vessels would go a long way in enhancing the operations of the marine unit.

“The ships have come at a right time and our job will be easy. We thank you for that. The ships have been named after Muluzi because he is the first president in multiparty democracy and some of the former commander generals who made impact in the force,” said Nundwe.

Deputy Minister of Defence, Chipiliro Mpinganjira thanked President Mutharika for approving procurement of the warships despite the current economic challenges.
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SRFA open doors to all candidates vying for FA Malawi presidency – Malawi Nyasa Times – News from Malawi about Malawi



Contrary to some media reports which indicate that the Southern Region Football Association (SFRA) has endorsed the current Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Vice President James Mwenda for the top position, the bodys Chairperson Raphael Humba has indicated that they are still undecided on the move.

SRFL chair Raphael Humba: We have not endorsed anybody

Mwenda, who is the only candidate so far to have interacted with all the regional football bodies during his campaign trail he has launched, has seen the northern region endorsing his name while the central region seems to be divided on the matter.

In an interview, while confirming that indeed SRFA committee had a discussion with Mwenda over the weekend, the body was there just to listen what he has as part of his vision but they have not vouched for his name.

“Yes it is true that we met him and he told us his intention of standing as FAM President, so as the committee we will wait for other candidates to come and after that the committee will come with our candidate,” he said while labeling the media reports that the body has endorsed Mwendas name as not true and unfounded.
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FINCA Malawi launches ‘Takunyadirani  campaign’  – Malawi Nyasa Times – News from Malawi about Malawi



Foundation for International Community Assistance (Finca) Malawi  Limited has launched a new service for their customers called “Takunyadirani Campaign” which is aimed at thanking all their potential customers in the country.

Finca officials
Mangani captured during Takunyadilani Campaign and Finca’s 25 years anniversary celebrations

The ‘Takunyadirani campaign’  which is expected to run from a period of August 20- November 20 2019 was launched  on Tuesday at FINCA Malawi’s head offices in Blantyre where the company was also celebrating  25 years  of anniversary.

Speaking during the event  FINCA Marketing Manager Violet Mangani said the company has decided to introduce  Takunyadirani Campaign as part of expressing their pride which they have to all their customers which she said  has been inspiring and added more value to their  products.

According to Mangani the campaign which is open in all FINCA branches  is targeting all Fixed Deposit customers, both new and existing clients who will be  depositing over K100 000.

Mangani explained that customers who deposits more through Fixed will among others have an added advantage of enjoying higher return of lucrative interest rate of 12% .

“We always appreciate the support that our clients have been giving us in our 25 years of operations, so as we are celebrating our existence we thought wise to consider our customers with this new service so that they can feel our love and celebrate with us during this period because they have been inspiration for our growth  and we don’t take it for granted.

“The journey has been quite good since we started in 1994 and the growth has been there because we started as a group lending facility but over the years we have grown to provide both savings and credit facilities as well as individuals and group lending products which is a great achievement, ” said Mangani.

She further added that currently FINCA clients are also able to reach them through their branches savings agents, call centre as well as networks and FINCA mobile.

“Our main objective is to make sure that our customers are enjoying our services and keep on getting lucrative interests which we give to them,” she said.
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Airport, border demonstrations – The Times Group Malawi



MTAMBO—We will not waste time with any form of dialogue that has got no direction

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has declined former president Bakili Muluzi’s fresh call for a meeting over the coalition’s plans to hold demonstrations that would shut-down Malawi’s airports and border posts from August 26 to 30 2019.

Muluzi, who hosted HRDC recently to try and convince them to ease down on the demonstrations and pave the way for dialogue, penned the coalition’s leadership yesterday calling for the fresh talks, saying the next wave of protests could hurt the country.

“I learnt with great concern, once again, about your intentions to shut down the airports and borders on 26th August 2019,” Muluzi says in the letter addressed to HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo.

“For the sake of this country may I propose another meeting between your team and myself to find solutions to this impasse. We should endeavour to work at finding peaceful lasting solutions that will keep our country together. As I mentioned to you when we met the last time, as a country we will always have problems and differences, and to resolve such differences, dialogue remains the key.”

In reaction, Mtambo told The Daily Times Monday that, while they were equally concerned that the demonstrations could hurt the economy, they could not forfeit their right to holding peaceful demonstrations against impunity.

“To respond to the question of dialogue by him [Muluzi], I am saying [that] we are not going to have any dialogue with him until he gives us the feedback of what he discussed with [President Peter] Mutharika. When we met with Muluzi, he promised us to meet Mutharika and he, indeed, met with Mutharika. Up to date, no Malawian is aware of what Muluzi and Mutharika discussed. So, we will not waste time with any form of dialogue that has got no direction. We said we believe in dialogue but we are not going to dialogue with anyone just for the sake of it. We said the issue of Jane Ansah [resigning] was non-negotiable,” Mtambo said.

Nonetheless, Mtambo said he was grateful to the former Malawi leader for sympathising with him over the torching of his car at his Lilongwe residence last week.

HRDC is organising the protests to push for Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Ansah’s resignation for allegedly mismanaging May 21 tripartite elections results.

HRDC wants to hold such demonstrations after its previous rounds of protests failed to have Ansah resign.

Ansah, however, has insisted she will not resign and branded such calls as mob justice. Ansah said there is need to wait for the outcome of the electoral case which the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe is hearing.

Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima petitioned the court seeking nullification of the election results. Mec declared Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party the winner of the elections by 38 percent against 35 percent for Chakwera and 20 percent for Chilima.

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Objections dominate day 7 of elections case – The Times Group Malawi



Objections and counter-objections Monday dominated day seven of hearing of the elections case underway at the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe.

The frequent stoppages, especially in the afternoon, resulted into little progress recorded in the case when the court rose at 5 o’clock in the evening.

Chairperson of the panel of judges hearing the case, Healey Potani, admitted that progress recorded on the day was unimpressive.

“Today, I must admit that we haven’t recorded satisfactory progress,” Potani said.

He urged lawyers representing parties in the case to demonstrate acumen in the way they make their submissions to avoid further time wastage.

When the court resumed sitting, Frank Mbeta, who is lawyer representing the first respondent in the case President Peter Mutharika, continued cross-examining first petitioner, UTM President Saulos Chilima, on what is contained in Chilima’s affidavit.

Among others, Mbeta quizzed the UTM leader on allegations that the number of ballots cast in Mzimba South West Constituency was greater than the number of registered voters.

Mbeta also played audio clips which depicted Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah answering questions from reporters at the main tally centre in Blantyre in which there was an indication that two people were given premarked papers by election officials in Mzimba.

The court also listened to an audio clip in which Mutharika claimed that his votes were stolen in the Central Region.

Objections started when Mbeta handed over the floor to Charles Mhango, who is also representing Mutharika in the case, to continue cross-examining Chilima.

The bone of contention was the use of documents in the cross-examination which were not served to the other parties involved in the matter.

The matters attracted objections and counter-objections for the better part of the afternoon until the court intervened.

Thereafter, Mhango continued cross-examining Chilima, especially on the results of Rumphi West elections.

The court is expected to resume sitting this morning when Mhango will continue cross-examining Chilima on Rumphi West and Machinga South East results.

“I am very satisfied with the manner in which I have started. I know there were so many technical issues that were raised by the petitioner but I insisted that we need to present the complete picture of evidence before the court,” Mhango said.

He urged Malawians to be patient, saying what was crucial in the case is for justice to prevail.

Chilima and Malawi Congress Party President Lazarus Chakwera want the results of the May 21 elections nullified on allegations that they were riddled by irregularities.

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Zimbabwe Ex-Veep Declared Fugitive over Corruption



A former Zimbabwean vice-president has been declared a fugitive by authorities in the country over issues of corruption.

The state-run Herald newspaper said Phelekezela Mphoko had escaped from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officials who were set to arrest him on Monday, August 19.

The report said the Mugabe-era veep was being pursued for abuse of office charges which he allegedly committed during his tenure in office.

ZACC commissioner John Makarume has also confirmed that Mphoko had been classed a fugitive from law and anti-corruption officials were after him. The exact issue is yet to be established.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over who campaigned on a new dispensation in contested 2018 elections has vowed to probe all corrupt officials in the past.

Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira was charged in late July charged with corruption involving $95 million from the state pension fund after questioning by the newly formed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

Mupfumira is the first senior government official to be interrogated by the commission, which was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week after he promised tough action against graft.

The prosecution laid out charges ranging from alleged abuse of state pension fund money to finance Mupfumira’s political campaigning to directing investments of up to $62 million into a bank against the advice of the pension fund’s risk committee.

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Banking sector assets up 4.4% – The Times Group Malawi



Total banking sector assets grew by 4.4 percent to K1, 744.1 billion in the first half of 2019, recent Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures show.

The increase was largely driven by growth in gross loans and leases of 12.7 percent to K578.2 billion in June 2019.

The sector’s assets growth was, however, lower than the 10.3 percent experienced in the six-month period to December 2018.

Nevertheless, it was an improvement from a decline of 3.7 percent registered within the six months’ period leading to June 2018.

In its June 2019 Financial Stability Report, RBM says investments and securities also contributed to the growth as they increased by 2.8 percent to K699.0 billion in June 2019.

The investments and securities continue to account for the largest share of total assets at 40.1 percent, followed by gross loans and leases at 33.2 percent.

On the other hand, total liabilities increased to K1, 457.2 billion in June 2019 from K1, 403.5 percent in December 2018.

“The growth in total liabilities was largely attributed to an increase in total deposits by 4.9 percent to K1,132.8 billion in June, 2019 from K1,088.1 billion registered in December 2018.

“Other notable developments contributing to the overall growth of total liabilities included growth in borrowed funds and all other liabilities by 22.7 percent and 40.1 percent to K119.8 billion and K82.7 billion, respectively, in June, 2019,” reads the report issued last week.

RBM says the sector remained well capitalised with capital ratios above regulatory benchmarks.

Core and total capital ratios stood at 16.4 percent and 20.4 percent and were above the regulatory minimum benchmarks of 10.0 and 15.0 percent, respectively.

This was an improvement from the December 2018 positions of 15.4 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively.

In absolute terms, both core and total capital increased by 16.2 percent and 17.7 percent to K200.5 billion and K248.6 billion, respectively in June, 2019.

Risk weighted assets also increased with a proportionately lower percentage of 8.8 percent to K1, 219.3 billion in June 2019 from K1,120.6 billion registered in December 2018.

RBM attributes the sector’s asset quality improvement to the falling Non Performing Loans (NPL) ratio which it says fell within acceptable limit of 5.0 percent, for the first time since December 2012.

As at June, 2019, the industry NPL ratio stood at 4.8 percent and was an improvement from 6.1 percent reported in December 2018.

In absolute terms, the level of NPLs declined by 12.4 percent to K27.5 billion in June, 2019, while gross loans and leases increased by 12.7 percent to K578.2 billion in June 2019.

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QECH Stresses on Infection Prevention



Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) has said it wants to end cases of infection that account for at least 15 percent of all infections at the facility.

Nurse-in-charge for QECH main operating theatre, Taweni Chiumia, made specific mention of nosocomial infections, which occur frequently in gastrointestinal, respiratory and urinary tracts as well as at surgical incision sites.

“We are training our nurses and theatre assistants on theatre scrubbing. We want them to gain and improve knowledge and skills and attitudes towards basic theatre activities.

“By doing so, we are also improving our service delivery to patients,” Chiumia said.

QECH is undertaking the initiative in collaboration with Oslo University Hospital, Johns Hopkins and Oslo Blantyre Project among others.

A report published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health in 2012 indicates that hospital-acquired infections constitute a major public health problem worldwide.

According to the report, nearly 40 percent of roughly 300 people that underwent operations in most hospitals in Africa and Asia acquired infections.

According to the report, anyone admitted to a hospital is at risk of contracting nosocomial infections.

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