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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Cashgate web_ the links between payers, paid and beneficieries

The cashgate web. Down load the link and post in your browser and it will take you to where the web of beneficieries: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cdX3Qo5-qDQHGc02EVTLxYyiOODQ9wGPpRkRtRvLZ9M/edit?usp=sharing

The Cashgate Report

Access the names and payments recieved. Some were not able to cash. Copy the link and put it in your browser it will take you to the actual Excel file. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12NmFsO1R_Dnx3u6Mj-n06Wm4pJgXxHjBzGn0CCxdfUk/edit?usp=sharing

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adios amigo, adios Dennis Atcheya Chirwa- one day we will meet again

Adios amigo, adios my friend
The road we have travelled has come to an end
When two love the same love, one love has to lose
And it's you who she longs for, it's you she will choose 

Adios compadre, what must be must be
Remember to name one muchacho for me 
I ride to the rio where my life i must spend
Adios amigo, adios my friend 

Adios compadre, let us shed no tears
May all your maƱanas bring joy through the years
away from these memories my life i must spend
adios amigo adios my friend.-by Jim Reeves


When we thought we got it right in our life journey, death bites hard and takes away one of our own. We were four, in 2001, Chiletso Shati then having a shop in area 18A, introduced me to a friend, who instantly turned into a brother Aubrey Kalino. Aubrey one day brought along  friend, Denis Chirwa, who would years later follow me into Journalism and become one of the closest sparing critic in everything I did. Limbikani Nzungu Chisi moved to Lilongwe, the boshitia gang was born. Boshitia is a Mozambican hit, nobody but Nzungu can tell its singer, Denis was the pilot of the group, I was the one one sitting in front and Aubrey was the story teller. We traveled all corners of Malawi, we planned all sorts of things. But Denis, among us had one unique character, he would be the most argumentative, more than Nzungu when high, but he will be the peacemaker with everyone.
He never left a friend, even if they had quarreled. He would argue, argue and argue, then remark in his idol Bakili Muluzi's voice "Mumaona Atcheya Amatekeseka" then take a long sip of his carlsberg green, and go on to the dance floor, in his jacket and dance. After his dance, he would order all of us home, that his BCA Hill Jnr should not be left empty.
In the morning, he will be the first up, drive to my place, let himself in and drink anything he found. As if nothing happened, as if there was no argument, if you brought it up he will tell you, "za dzulo Atcheya amwela dzulo, lero ndi tsiku lina". He imparted that bond, that no matter what happened or argued on, you should wake up a different person the next day.
Many knew him for his strong criticism of any Government of Malawi, many wondered if he had lost his head, many wondered why he admired Former President Bakili Muluzi than any other politician. The politician whom we named him after- Denis, became our Atcheya. He became the symbol of boldness amid chaos.
I write far away, wondering what is going on with his spirit. What is happening to this bold brother of mine, all alone, killed like a dog in a foreign land, looking and crying over the spilled blood. The blood now on You Tube, died a painful death. I hope I can provide answers to what he lived for and what he did for the 14 years, we became good friends, workmates and brothers.
We were four, now we are three. May the soul of Atcheya look upon and protect us.
Denis, never wanted to be a journalist. But since 2001, when I was covering local Government elections for the Nation, he offered to drive me around. His daddy, now my Uncle Brigadier Marcel R.D Chirwa, loved his first born son more, he gave him a Toyota Corrola at the age of 17. It would be our feature of transport for fun or work.
We covered the elections, he took my notes, or brought to my attention anything that I had missed. We spoke and argued about parties and when Limbikani Chisi, then an engineer moved to Lilongwe, politics was the main subject, that Aubrey always shouted at us to find better topic.
In 2008, he applied, without any qualification to the Malawi Electoral Commission as a stringer. He was picked, he called me and told me "I will be your driver and you will tell me how you spot news" I took it as a normal project.
We literally travelled wide and far, thats when the fascination with President Bakili Muluzi started. He believed Muluzi presented both politics of the past, but more importantly what he called "human politics."
Every time we covered a presidential rally, Denis would come to MBC area with his MEC badge just to check what President Muluzi was wearing and which jokes he would through. He always thought Dr. Muluzi was a human first and a President later. He bought jackets and wrist watches that matched Muluzi's and spoke and joked about him everyday.
When his father was arrested, he was furious and dared even Police officers who were refusing us entrance to court, he said all these are Brigadiers sons, they will go in and write what this stupidity is all about.
He loved and adored his father. We spoke at length why he never wanted to be a soldier like him, he said my mind I would not be a disciplined soldier. He had company of soldiers whom he called friends.
He loved and adored his mother. He would speak of her hours end. When he lived in Blantyre at Chimwankhunda, he only had one fear- I dont know what would do if my mother died. He feared her, never even wanted to sleep out, but sneak in. I cant face Denis's mother today and not any time soon.
He adored and loved his mother Tamara, they became buddies and more often driving around together. Whilst in Kenya, he told me where they went, what they were doing. A bond so rare.
The he adored his sisters Felistas was his best friend than a Sister, dragging us to see her. We knew Marion and Mtisunge before we met them. Claudia was an angel in Denis words. He would stop everything, even his favourate drink would be second if any of the sisters called, he would walk away at a distance to speak to them. He would come back beaming "Atcheya monga mwini mbumba was being consulted." He planned their weddings, spoke about it and wanted the best out of them.
Then there is Pacharo Marcel, his brother he loved and protected. He admired and openly expressed his emotion. Very rare would Atcheya speak about emotions, even the "First Ladies" at each time, would rarely be a subject of discussion, always ending with I give them enough attention. But Pacharo was his world. When he went into the Army, he spoke everyday about him, he planned his pass-out more than his graduation. Pacharo's return into the military was a triumph for Denis personally, a soldier was in the house. On the pass-out, though I was out of the country, he sent me a picture of himself, the retired brigadier and the young-man, telling me "osaopa" we have conquered. No words can heal the pain his brother will forever fill.
Then there are other two people Malumbo he called My elder brother and fighting partner, they argued fought, but anything happened, he called him first and also Ralph whom he said, "I want to get better and write something about his skills."
Despite his well-to-do status at any point, he gave priority to his friends. The stories are abound about his driver-like attitude at MEC as a stringer in 2004, Democratus where he picked everybody and even at Capital Radio, where he enjoyed radio more than any other place.
If you asked him his dream, he said meeting Atcheya and having a cup of tea, Ooh Yes, we will be two Tcheyas in on room. 
Apart from his criticism to any work you did, he was an advisor to the gang. When I moved to the Office of Vice President, he gave me three months to survive, when I told him I was moving out of the office- he laughed as said "I told you, cant work with politicians, it needs boot looking and pretenders. You cant fit in, come to BCA jnr tizawotche mbuzi." When we gathered at BCA Jnr, he never raised the issue, he said that is gone, forget you worked there, lets find something to do.
He hosted a barbecue when he was about to leave for Kenya, within a short time he had been in Area 25C, everyone around him knew about BCA Jnr and himself as an organiser and his skills.
Politics, he never supported any party- he would tell you the good and bad things about each party and why nobody among the gang should join politics, saying "Ndizabwera mmakwanu kuzakusamutsani mukalowa ndale." He sounded very political on social media, but he never wanted to join anybody. He said it was the easiest way to destruction.
Last Friday we spoke about a death of his closer friend, I called him, he was defiant as usual, we agreed in December we will be in Malawi, we will roast mbuzi which I had run away. After his degree he will come to London and stay and look for post graduate opportunities. We should he said, go back to Balaka and see what we saw that night. We should go back to Salima and dance on top of those boats again. He said we should make sure we record videos of eevrybody dancing. On Saturday, his last day on earth he wrote inbox "You dont like football, Tcheya akunyamuka kukaonela mpira, tilankhulana mawa". The tomorrow that will never come.
I have left out deliberately his amazing part of life- Denis liked reading on human life and freedoms. He read Martin Luther King Jnr. He knew everything about it. He said "the great die young".
He seemed to have prepared for his death. He took photos of all of his family a week ago and put them together on his war. His last profile page.
He took pictures of all of us, his gang at wrong places and times, and in-boxed us. We went berserk that he was keeping the photos, we laughed and joked about those days. Before he died, he found time to remind us the bond we shared, the good times we took for granted. More important he brought us together again.
My family of the Chirwa's, the loss is not bearable. To my brothers of the gang, Tcheya will always linger around, huge and larger than in our past when we thought he will be forever somewhere and we will meet again.
All alone, he was stabbed and killed from behind, nobody could face this courageous from front. He travelled today alone in a box. He said when he died everyone including foreign media will write about him. Tragic as it has been, it has been true to his word.
Perhaps tomorrow I will wake up and understand this bad dream.
Perhaps when I see his grave one day, closure will come.
Perhaps there is a reason his life has been short, his departure brutal
Perhaps he was an angel, who came to teach us something we never knew
Perhaps very soon, we will join him and roast heavenly goat
Everything is in doubt, but I am sure he looks down smiling, wanting us to forget the pain, and live as if nothing happened.
Quoting his hero MARTIN LUTHER KING, Free at Last, Thank God Denis Atcheya is Free at Last.

Adios amigo, adios my friend. You will forever live in our hearts!
The pain of loosing you is eased by knowing that one day we will meet again!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE5nLMzmja4


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Changing the way you look- the World is always falling around

If you asked people in the 1950's, the Africans specific, the World was falling around. The colonialists were supposed to go and the self-governing philosophy would entail development. It would mean deciding what Africans wanted, self-rule and quicker development. 50 years down the line, countries that championed such arguments, like Ghana, Zambia, Malawi and even Zimbabwe, there are almost worse off than they were.
Today, the same World is falling again. There are conspiracy theories, either the Western World is blocking development, or pettiness and pure tribalism is affecting our development. The arguments now range like in Malawi from Federation to Succession, while in other countries like Sudan, the newly created South Sudan is already into civil war, less than a year it moved out of Sudan.
Again the World is falling around, just as it was during liberation struggle, some poisoned minds wants people to move into second liberation fronts, without proper analysis or thinking, to jump and make them power shakers and movers.
Looking at development data over the past 50 years, the poorest of the poor are now heading towards more poverty and very few have hope of moving out of the trap. Investments, or larger investments are only heading to "big" countries that can offer markets and very few small states on the international arena are able to attract investments.
In debating the future of any country, especially development, making an economic argument should be the major priority, than arguing on sharing of positions and seats in parliament. Unfortunately it is the opposite in most of the debates that are now taking place in Africa, that have resulted in a few starting mob debates, without proper research and splitting the countries further.
Abdul Raufu Mustapha paper "Ethnic structure, inequality and governance of the Public Sector in Nigeria" examines some of the core issues that many of the African states are still grappling with and why models that split people on tribal or regional lines do not work.
He states on Nigeria "Nigeria has about 374 ethnic groups that are broadly divided into ethnic “majorities” and ethnic “minorities”. The major ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani of the north, the Yoruba of the southwest, and the Igbo of the southeast. These three “hegemonic” ethnic groups constituted 57.8 per cent of the national population in the 1963 census. All the other ethnicities constitute different degrees of “minority” status. The dominance of the national population by the three majority groups was further accentuated by the tripodal regional administrative structure of the 1950s, which gave each majority ethnic group a region. From this demographic and historical starting point, Nigeria has evolved a tripolar ethnic structure, which forms the main context for ethnic mobilization and contestation. This paper investigates the consequences of the demo­graphic and historical legacies for the management of inter-ethnic relations, particularly within the public sector. The paper is divided into three parts. 

The history and geography of the ethno-regional cleavages in Nigeria, and suggests reasons for their endurance. Early colonial rule in Nigeria was based on the implicit concept of one country, many peoples, and very little was done to create unifying institutions and processes for these peoples. The internal geography of colonialism expressed itself as a cultural geography, which emphasized the distinctiveness of peoples, and the indissoluble connection between the “tribesmen”, their territories and their chiefs. Colonial administrative regionalism consolidated the link between ethnic distinctiveness and administrative boundaries: Hausa-Fulani in the north; Igbo in the east and the Yoruba in the west. The ethnic minorities in each region were forced to accommodate themselves the best they could in each region. Four factors that guided the evolution of the Nigerian state from 1900 are examined: the policies and practices of colonial administrations; the attitudes and prejudices of colonial administrators; and the colonial economy. From the 1940s, these three factors were joined by the politics of the emergent regional elites who had the incentive to mobilize along regional and ethnic lines, and in the process further entrenched the cleavages developed under colonial rule.

The long-drawn politico-historical process of regionalism, statism and localism has led to a concentric pattern of seven ethnic and political cleavages in Nigeria: (i) between the North and the South; (ii) between the three majority ethnic groups; (iii) between these wazobia groups on the one hand, and the minority groups on the other; (iv) rivalry between states, sometimes within and sometimes between ethnic groups; (v) interethnic rivalry in a mixed state composed of minority groups of different strengths, or a segment of a majority ethnicity surrounded by minority groups; (vi) intraethnic or subethnic rivalry within each majority ethnic group, sometimes also corresponding to state boundaries and sometimes within a single state; (vii) and finally, interclan and intraclan rivalries, particularly in the southeast and the north-central parts of the country. The most politically significant cleavages on which this report concentrates are the first three.

He further examines the manifestations of the inequalities associated with the cleavages examined on the history, particularly in the political, bureaucratic and educational apparatuses of the state. It argues that the cleavages coincide with systematic patterns of horizontal inequalities. It was particularly in the sphere of education that regional differences were first manifested under colonialism. And this then had a knock-on effect on the regional formation of human capital, and general economic development. Persisting educational and socioeconomic inequalities between different regions and ethnicities form the context for the observable inequalities in the staffing of governmental institutions in Nigeria. The long-run patterns of overlapping inequalities have come to shape people’s life chances and their political perceptions. They have also had a tremendous impact on the electoral politics of the country and the composition of different cabinets and bureaucracies, giving rise to political conflicts centred on the nature of ethno-regional representation within the public sector. The patterns of ethno-regional representation in various cabinets, parliaments, military juntas, and different levels of the public sector bureaucracy are examined, showing patterns of systematic correspondence between cleavages and horizontal inequalities in these institutions.

He also looks at various efforts aimed at reforming the lopsided nature of representation within the institutions of the Nigerian federation. Particular attention is paid to an attempt to banish ethno-regional differences through the imposition of a unitary system of government, and the reasons for the failure of this policy. Other reform measures examined include the breaking up of the powerful regions into smaller states, the evolution of a quota system for elite recruitment into the educational system, the constitutional provision for affirmative action under the federal character principle, and the building of a federation with a strong centre and a powerful presidency as the antidote to ethno-regional separatism. There was also the reform of the party system and the introduction of majoritarian and consociational rules to moderate divisive tendencies within the political process.

These efforts at reforming ethno-regional representation and relations in Nigeria have had only limited success. While the reforms have fundamentally transformed the Nigerian state, they have yet to solve the problem of ethnic mobilization and conflict. As a consequence, there is still a plethora of grievances from various ethnic groups."

Such a detailed study is important for people that want to bring arguments that will bring fundamental changes to any state or country, not emotions that have little or scientific proof that will further the interests and development of the people they claim to represent.
Small states have the challenge already to rise up and be counted in economies and investment now built based on populations and very little on individual issues. 
For all arguments, the best possible way of debating and looking at issues is finding always the opposite side of what everyone is proposing, looking at the strength and weaknesses of the same, and reasons why we should adopt or not adopt particular system. Shouting for the sake of shouting does not help anybody, both in the short or long term.
In Malawi, institutions such as Public Affairs Committee, can only be taken serious if they commissioned a study on various models of political systems, encourage differences on opinion and propose a plan that will make sure that every Malawian is a winner and not only one particular end. The process requires thoughtful, careful and proper investment and not hurried approaches that the speed of some people suggests.
The World will always be falling apart, but it is the responsibility of all of us who professes to live and make a difference to find solutions to the challenges, than rush in make up solutions that will only reward our thinking and wishes.
High Commissioner for the St Kitts Nevis states "WHEN YOUCHANGE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS-THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE"
Perhaps, it the way we have been looking at things that needs to change, or perhaps it is the system.
After 13 years without Local Councils, we just formed new councils elected on May 20, 2014. Instead of looking at what we invested in in terms of devolution and power, we are already starting new concepts without evaluation if what we put in place would work or not? Such phased rush of developing ideas would be counterproductive to the very same development that we cry for.
Perhaps, we look at the current structure, change the voting systems to 50 plus 1 and indeed, even nominations of leaders should be endorsed by no less than 1,000 registered voters per district for one to be eligible to be a President. Unfortunately the speed at which we are debating, seems everyone has made up his mind and we will only remember sober facts, when everything ends up in a crisis, leaving the poorest of the poor- very poor and victims of political football as usual!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ebola needs attention just like Islamic State

This morning, thousands of West Africans have flown out of their countries-including Ebola affected areas, and alongside many Europeans, Americans, Chinese and fellow southern Africans, they have shared public toilets or plane toilets each heading different direction. Every hour, every trip nowadays brings Ebola close to any part of the world.
With millions of people crisscrossing airports, people searching each other physically, attending conferences, falling in love or simply even going for peace keeping operations, the risk of transmitting the fluid contact virus are higher.
The Centre for Disease Control and the American National Institute of Health estimates that 5 people, at least every hour in Seirra Leone-one of the worst affected countries alongside Liberia are being infected.
Many of those affected do not want to come out for fear of being quarantined. Many have hidden their loved ones and relations for fear of losing them, others simply fearing they wont be able to bury them properly and the "curse" or "angry spirit" will haunt them or some claim will kill them.
Aid or funding to the Ebola hit countries has been on decline, that is obvious just like the absence of funding to many of the poorest countries, with funny conditions attached to many of todays funding. But the risk of an outright global risk does not spare the rich countries, in terms of global health challenges like Ebola, no one, with or without money is safe today.
Imagine a student working on internship in one of the affected countries, going into a club or disco for farewell party. Then flies into London or New Yorks club for a welcome party, sweaty, lots of body fluids exchanges, even kissings and whatever. We can have at least a thousand Ebola cases just in a case of one person coming into crowded areas.
The threat is real and the cost is devastating and without proper treatment, Ebola poses one the greatest challenges to the world, just like the emergence of the Islamic State. While the brutal Islamists behead people and wantonly kill Christians and those of other beliefs, Ebola sadly does not choose the colour or belief of a human being.
Anything to control it today, should be as urgent, well coordinated and well resourced than anything else as a matter of public concern. Not for African states, but the whole world as well.
The United States has just reported its first Ebola case. The large scale of people that the suspect came across with should send more worries to many people.
A media briefing organised by the Kaiser Family Health Programme indicated that at least 1.4 million people could be affected by January 2015, in other words in the next three months if the present response remains the only option for Ebola. The cry for USD$1 billion has largely been ignored and many countries are willing to invest billions a day in controlling the Islamic State than fighting the epidemic that could wipe out all the economic gains made since the 2008 financial meltdown.
The case in USA should raise alarm on the inadequacy and the danger that Ebola can be elusive for as far as 21 days, making it a greater risk than anything esle that can be tackled quickly because it is seen.
Unfortunately, all international reports on media houses like BBC and CNN end with a statement that the virus natural home is a west african bat, which is a delicacy to many in the region.
In a face of a global health threat, it is no longer a matter of reminding people about the bat, whether a delicacy or not, Ebola is now being trasmitted among human beings and it is human to human transmission that is now more deadly than the bat eating communities. Editors should seriously consider removing the bat link which has lived its use as demeans the seriousness of the matter that needs to be delt with.
Nigeria and Senegal have reported no case for 24 days, meaning they might have contained it or as Medicines San Frontiers argues many in affected areas might not be coming forwards. The fact that what started in a small village in Guinea, has affected over 3,000 square miles and now America should worry everyone that we need to do something now.
Listening to Medicines San Frontiers during the Kaiser Health briefing, it is pathetic is that what they lack are basic items to quarantine or force hygiene on many of the infected persons. In a world where football teams spend billions of dollars to pay and buy players, singers spend billions of dollars on anything and politicians trillions on wars, fighting Ebola should have come easy than anything else.
Is it because its in Africa? Our present day connectedness removes the geo political boundaries as people now travel faster and everywhere.
With scramble for Africa's natural resources by Chinese and Westerners alike, supporting Ebola fight should have been  a priority or thousands of workers from these countries remain at risk of exporting, not only Africas minerals, but a bonus of ebola virus. Time to act is now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Called to the Service of Malawi

For many that Malawians that have traveled, lived or visited other countries, the first identity they always bear is that of a Malawian. Nobody readily identifies himself or herself by his tribe, home district or ethnic orientation. The diversity, that's what I call the various tribal or ethic orientations of Malawians, including 9 in Chitipa district alone, has been a great source of pride than division.
The crowded nature of our cities, intermarriages and movement and resettlement's across all the 29 districts, has diluted the ethnicity of a particular area. Attempts to shift teachers from other regions to the North in the late 90's saw the majority of schools in one region almost close. The policy, myopic as it was, was short-lived.
The majority of Malawians, in the major cities and towns, rarely live with their ethnic-like identities as neighbors, they are from all over the country. The fact that they have lived together, worked or schooled together, many have become best of friends, others have married and others literary have become brothers and sisters through our community extended family system.
Many have lived together that their communities even forget where they came from and have looked at their competences and sent them even to Parliament, as their representatives, without looking as where they are coming from.
People like Chambo Kalua, from Rumphi is now MP for Mangochi North Constituency. Others before him include Late Elizabeth Aipira for Mangochi Northwest, Gift Mwamondwe for Blantyre City Central, Henry Mpofu Shaba for Blantyre Bangwe, Moses Kunkuyu for Blantyre City South, Billy Kaunda for Blantyre City East, Late Mary Kaphweleza Banda for Lilongwe City Central and Samuel Kaphuka for Blantyre Kabula.
The quality of Malawian non discriminatory attitude, when you look at Malawians of different origins getting elected to represent the ordinary black indigenous Malawian. These include Jan Jaap Sonke for Kabula, Jacqueline for Rumphi West and David Bisnowaty for Lilongwe City Central.
This proves that to ordinary Malawians place of origin, and ethnicity or tribal alignment is secondary, perhaps its our politicians we should be asking, why the bring the issue as a key issue instead of taking a cue from ordinary voters.
The tolerance of Malawians is well documented beyond even religious boundaries. A predominantly Christian nation with as high as 75 to 80 percent professing and practicing Christians, many forgot their religious inclinations and sometimes outright campaigning by some religious leaders for a particular candidate-Malawians have voted before for a Muslim President and later a Muslim Vice President. It tells you religion really does not matter in our choices.
This should bring us to examine our past. Those that before us were called to Service of Mother Malawi. Were they too selfish to identify regions, tribes or ethnicity  or even religion to make decision or decide what role they would play to their country?
The answer is an overwhelming no, they served Malawi and its interest first and never at any time did they think of how their region or particular tribe first, but they thought of Malawi, they were pride of their country and they came together for a cause.
This generation of politicians, commentators and even businesses can learn from those that were called to serve in all capacities who served Malawi first, its interest and its cause. There are many but the following can suffice to say they were true Malawians and served our cause:
Reverend John Chilembwe, who protested the inclusion of all NYASA's not from his village alone, in the First World War. He did not specifically ask for people from Mbombwe or Chiradzulu to be exempted. He knew he had a platform and voice and spoke on behalf of all Nyasa's.
Then we had Levi Ziliro Mumba, James Sangala, Lali Lubani, Kanyama Chiume and Orton Chirwa, Masauko Chipembere, Yatuta and Dunduzu Chisiza and many more, who despite their huge differences, came together at different times from 1935 to 1964 to stand up for what will become Malawi.
I am sure when they were deciding to recall Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, tribe or ethnicity was not part of their thoughts. Their thoughts were to liberate the future Mother Malawi. Self determination does not include tribalism or splitting of areas, it includes ability of like minded and love of ones land to succeed.
What has gone wrong, that every jim and jack wants to put tribal label on everything about Malawi. Who is serving Malawi and why is suddenly everybody so much in a hurry to acquire a certain label.
When Masauko Chipembere heard that his colleagues including Orton Chirwa, Yatuta Chisiza and others had rebelled against Kamuzu Banda, he did not think of where they came from, he thought of the service to Malawians-he quit in solidarity to his colleagues.
Yatuta Chisiza picked guns and was killed trying to save Malawi, Masauko Chipemberes rebellion was about Malawi.
When people like Attati Mpakati, August Bwanausi, David Rubadiri, Amunandife Mkumba, and later the Chakufwa Chihanas, ArchBishop James Chiona and colleagues. Dr. Silas Ncozana and many others, they have stood up and spoke for Malawi, they have worked to serve Malawi.
How may today have been called to service of Malawi and are serving the interest of Malawians? That is a great question each has to ask. Does the solution lie in splitting or entrenching regionalistic systems instead of building on how others, from political podiums crossed regions and won seats in areas they would not call home tribal or ethnically?
Are there lessons to be learnt from our past heros, why did they not look at a tribe or region to fight for a cause, they demanded within Malawi and got what they wanted?
The colonialist mentality was to keep different tribal groups against each other, that worked well until people like Levi Ziliro Mumba, James Sangala and Lali Lubanis refused to be bound by tribal lines and worked for the country. Kamuzu kept Malawians guessing of each other, people like Chihana rose for Malawi and mobilised a unity of purpose to spread the gospel of change!
Some peoples legacy will go as quick as they open their mouth, serving their bellies and mouths, than the larger and true calls of mother Malawi.
Just as there is enough room for all of us to stay together, there is enough room for all diverse group to demand changes or more, without trampling on the united country we have been for years. Perhaps we should look from the past and learn how they did it...........it should be service to Malawi first!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MALAWI NEW CABINET MINISTERS

President: His Excellency Prof. A. Peter Mutharika
Vice President: Rt. Hon. Mr. Soulos Chilima
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation: Dr. George Chaponda
Minister of Health: Dr. Jean Kalilani
Minister of Finance: Mr. Goodall Gondwe
Minister of Education: Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs: Mr. Samuel Tembenu
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education: Mr. Kondwani Nankhumwa
Minister of Labour: Mr. Henry Mussa
Minister of Transport and Public Works: Mr. Francis Kasaila
Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation: Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture: Ms. Grace Obama Chiume

Monday, June 2, 2014

President A. Peter Mutharika inaugural speeech

INTRODUCTION
First of all, I would like to extend a special welcome to Your Excellencies and distinguished guests who have travelled from various countries to witness this momentous occasion. I thank you all for coming to Malawi and it is a great honour to have you here. Your presence is a source of inspiration to us and a demonstration of the confidence and trust that you have in our young democracy.
My fellow Malawians, I feel greatly humbled today to be inaugurated as the fifth President of Malawi. A country known for Peace and Calm, Law and Order. A country known for its hard working citizens. A country known for its political tolerance. A country that is safe from internal and external enemies.
Today, we begin another leg of 50 years. My fellow Malawians, the next 50 years of our journey presents us with an opportunity to reset our priorities, rethink our strategic focus, redefine Malawi, and make it progressive.
Today, we have people from the North, South, Centre and East to inaugurate a new era. During the 2014 Tripartite Elections, Malawians went to the polls to vote for change, and change they voted for a better Malawi. Today I stand before you to offer you, with your help a very distinct possibility of the future in our hands. Change has come to Malawi. Yes, our vote for change was not easy, you voted for change and victory belongs to us all.
UNITY OF PURPOSE
My fellow Malawians, this is not time to rest; this is not time for vengeance; this is time to build our great Republic into the force for good that we can be. This is time for Malawi to be strong again. Strong against marginalization, strong against poverty and disease, strong against fraud and greed, strong against weakness and fear.
Let us pick up the pieces. The journey has just begun. We must strive for unity of purpose, oneness of vision. We may belong to different political parties, but we belong to one nation. We voted for different parties, but we all voted for development.
It is now time to share our common development agenda. It is time to share what binds us as Malawians. It is time to show the World that we may differ in ideology, but we stand together as Malawians. That we shall develop this nation together. That we shall defend, if need be, this motherland together. We may share a divided past, but we share a common future. We may come from different origins, but we are heading towards the same destination. We share a common destiny.
My fellow Malawians, today we embark on a long journey of hope, patriotism, security, passion for country and pride to be Malawian once more. And we have come on a long journey.
OUR FUTURE, OUR DESTINY
Fellow Malawians, every fifty years has brought a new era in our history. One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1864, the first European missionaries began the idea of creation of Nyasaland. This is the moment that began to unite tribes of the land. One hundred years ago, in 1914, a great World War began and ignited the spirit of independence in the dreams of our forefathers. These forefathers faced a global super power with conviction and courage. My fellow Malawians, we face similar challenges today.
Fifty years ago, in 1964, Malawi was born when we became politically independent. Today, in 2014, we inaugurate the rebirth of our nation. We inaugurate the lost dreams of our forefathers and fallen heroes. We inaugurate the spirit of economic independence. We re-launch a new, better, stronger, proud nation once more.
The pursuit of our dreams knows no limits, no boundaries, no skies. Our only problem is the way we think. The only barrier to our national achievement is our Belief in others at our expense.
My fellow Malawians, We know that no nation was created poor by God. No nation has license to bury its naturally endowed treasure: No country can call itself poor.
Today, my fellow country men and women, we declare ourselves ready for the next fifty years. Today we get new faith and belief in ourselves. Today we begin the road to a coherent nation of achievers.
My fellow Malawians, the first years of the DPP in government restored faith in ourselves. We proved that it is possible for Malawi to be the second highest growing economy in the world. We proved that it is possible to grow abundant food and make prices more affordable. We may not have done some things well. But we have learnt our lessons, great lessons. We pledge to do better, to do more, and to live the lessons of the years.
Our first task is to create a proper economic, political and democratic system. Our task is to re-create an environment that gives our people hope and belief once more.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SERVICES
Security for our businesses and homes is key to sustainable national development. We intend to restore Peace and Calm, Law and Order. I intend to over- see a Malawi that has good road networks within the townships we live, a Malawi that does not victimize its professional civil servants simply because of change of Government. A Malawi which has clean cities, functional street lights, viable public transport, visible infrastructure, good housing for our Police and Army, strong security, jobs for our youth and college education for everyone who passes at Malawi School Certificate of Education.
We must be a country where critical dialogue prevails for our collective participation in the pursuit of socio-economic development. I am therefore looking forward to leading a listening government. It is only with a listening government that citizens participate because people feel valued whenever we listen to them.
My fellow Malawians, I intend to actively involve the youth in my Administration. We need the Youth to participate. The Youth are the energy that drives any country, any vision, any dream. It is on their shoulders that we must delve away from the shackles of non- performance of the last few years. It is to them that I call upon to meaningfully move into small and medium enterprises, to get an education, to do something for themselves every day, to look up with pride and energy and help me transform our cities into clean places, help me defend our borders, help me move Malawi to a major force for good in this part of Africa.
We need women to participate in our development agenda. They are the ones that build the fabric of society. Women have always been at the core of the economic fabric of the African society. No society, and no economic system can do without women. My Administration intends to work with all women in utilising all of its human resource to develop this country in the shortest period possible.
NATIONAL RECONCILITAION
We need collective participation in development. That is why I have extended a hand of RECONCILIATION to my colleagues who contested for this highest office. I offer them a new way of doing politics in Malawi: Respect, Consultation, Integrity and Honesty. I offer them a progressive way of doing politics which should not push us asunder, but rather bring us together. Together we can do more for each other. Together we can do more for our communities. Together we can do more for our country.
My fellow Malawians, TODAY, we must begin to put interests of Country First before our own. And you do not need to be in government in order to love, serve and develop your country. I want you to spend one minute greeting those next to you, promising them that from now on You will put the interest of Malawi First above personal interest.
My fellow Malawians, these contestants are great and patriotic sons and daughters of the land. We were all fighting for the same thing - passion for a new direction, a transformational Leader for genuine change, we all shared those sentiments during the debates, We still share that common purpose to heal our country.
You voted for me because you saw that what we need as a Country is not vengeance and pretence but a transformational leader who would take this country to greater heights. Greater heights, indeed I promise you.
You saw just as I did that what we need is a unity of purpose to transform our country to a middle income country; capable of producing and exporting once more. You saw that what we need is development. My fellow Malawians, today we begin that journey, TOGETHER!
My fellow Malawians I swore to defend and protect the Constitution of Malawi and uphold the rule of law. This I will do. But let me make one thing clear. The law must be left alone to do its work whenever crime is committed. We should never again arrest anyone and hunt for the crime later. We should never again punish those we don’t like because they hold a political view different from ours. The age of using state instruments of justice to deal with our political opponents is gone. Let us not confuse the pursuit of justice with political vendettas.
RULE OF LAW
Fellow Malawians, in the last 12 months or so, there were a number of crimes committed against the State for example the infamous cashgate scandal. I wish to state that the cashgate investigations which Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda started will be pursued and concluded justly.
Malawians are waiting to know who did what. Malawians need their plundered resources paid back. Malawians need justice delivered and no one should blackmail the state by saying this is witch-hunting.
The Police, the Anti-Corruption Bureau the Directorate of Public Prosecution and other security and law enforcement agencies are from this day free to operate independently but, professionally.
We will fully arm the Anti-Corruption Bureau with human and financial capacity to do its job without the interference of the executive.
In service to the nation, I will not tolerate one day more if a Cabinet Minister or civil servant takes what does not belong to them. Next time you see a cabinet minister arrested, do not be surprised. My cabinet shall live up to this principle of being accountable to the people.
I want this message to be very clear even before I appoint my cabinet. If what anyone wants is to become rich instead of serving Malawians, then do not come into my cabinet. When I appoint you, please just say ‘No’! Today, I hereby draw a red line against corruption, theft of public funds, and I am prepared to draw this red line with my blood.
Today, we are launching a government that must be accountable to the people. The central principle of democracy is that everyone must be accountable to someone else. The rule of law follows to ensure that we are all accountable to the people and the law.
We cannot afford to waste time with plundering public resources. We have urgent work to do. As I have said, our country is on the edge of collapsing. This country is dying. Organs of government departments are in a state of paralysis. The veins of the economy in the private sector and businesses are paralysed. The cost of living is no longer affordable by many anymore. We cannot even afford to heal those in pain because there is no medicine in our hospitals. It is time to get this country functioning again. And we have no time to waste.
We shall protect the public purse because we need to provide adequate public services. These include quality health care to all Malawians, quality education, good infrastructure and investing in the creation of jobs. We need to invest in the creation of an efficient, motivated, results-oriented civil service which will be the catalyst for the creation of wealth. Our manifesto has promised to create new wealth, and we need a motivated and performing civil service to deliver our policies to the people.
MEDIA AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
Our administration will ensure that there is access to public information and in this regard we shall cooperate with all relevant stakeholders including the media in passing and implementation of the Access to Information Bill into law.
We will allow the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation operate in an open, free and fair manner, make independent editorial decisions and I don’t want my Minister of Information to interfere in their work. This is a promise I make to Malawi.
The era of using the Public Broadcaster for Political mileage is gone. The era of intransigence through use of the public broadcaster is gone.
PUBLIC SERVICE
There is no more doing business as usual. For the first time, we shall now have a central and local government. This will be the government of the people. From this year, the politics of development has changed. With the arrival of the ward councillors, government has come to your doorstep. I welcome all ward councillors, irrespective of your political party into the fold of government. You are part of the government of the people. And to you the people, make sure we do your will, provided it is the right will. And I invite the media to ensure that we deliver our promises.
At central government, we shall keep our promise to maintain a lean, disciplined and efficient cabinet of 20 members. Other new measures include reorganising our ministries for more efficiency. The new measures we bring include elevating the Ministry of Labour to a key ministry in my government. For us, Ministry of Labour is the engine-room for creating jobs. We must create jobs for the youth and everyone capable.
We will implement stern cost-cutting measures. This will include the President working in the office more than on the road. Yes, I will come around to visit you on state functions. But do not ask me to travel around aimlessly and spend your state resources. I will empower all relevant officials in the public service to do their work as they are mandated.
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
But first, we will see to it that the economy begins to grow again. And we plan to take a “bottom-up” approach that involves and directly benefits ordinary people. And we plan to deliver a people centred economic growth at the rate of 7.5% in the next five years.
What you need is not your President being all over, but it is infrastructure development coming all over and wherever you are. Our plans are to build a new network of first class roads across Malawi. We need open up our rural centres to the main roads and cities of our country so that rural areas have tarmac road access to the rest of the country. We plan to build more rural growth centres so that we can take development to the people.
The DPP has already planned some of these projects. We started some of these projects before and we want to continue and do even more.
We will revive Malawi’s colourful dreams of Nsanje port and building new cities.
FOOD SECURITY
We plan to ensure that every Malawian can afford adequate food, a descent house, and a dignified means of earning a living.
You did not vote for maize in vain. We want to make fertiliser subsidy available to all subsistence maize farmers. We shall continue to grow surplus food to bring down the cost of living. And we shall revive the Green Belt initiative to make Malawi the breadbasket of Africa.
EDUCATION
It is time to revive an education system that empowers the youth in technical and productive skills as well as train them on how best to run their businesses. That is why we will introduce Community Colleges to empower the youth of this country to start creating their own wealth. This robust entrepreneurship education will also create a new middle class which has been missing since we received independence 50 years ago.
Our education programme also includes rehabilitating and expand existing universities while building and opening five new universities in Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Mangochi and Nsanje. And the forgotten MUST in Thyolo needs to properly open with high calibre internationally recognised scholars as soon as we get settled.
SOCIAL WELFARE
My fellow Malawians, is a Malawi without grass thatched houses possible? Yes it is.
We promised to subsidise iron sheets and cement and we are going to do just that. This policy will make construction easy and revive the construction industry.
A vibrant construction industry resuscitates the economy. A vibrant construction industry creates jobs for everyone, and it creates business for all sectors. We want to make construction easy because every Malawian wants to afford to sleep in a descent place.
Our street vendors, our tomato growers and our civil servants should be able to build houses for our mothers and fathers across those rivers, hills and villages where we all come from. And one day, we will travel this country and see development with our eyes everywhere.
SECURITY
As we begin a new era today, we commit ourselves to provide Malawians with “Total Security” so that every individual, our children, our property and businesses are safe. We must live in a country where we all feel safe.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
This country lives in a global community and it is no longer possible to think as if we are an island. We need development partners from the West and the East equally, North and South alike. Let it be known that Malawi will strive to be a friend to everyone in the global community. Even as we protect and uphold our sovereignty, we need each other as humankind in a common global community.
Malawi will continue being a good and trusted partner on the international scene.
We remain committed to the ideals of SADC, COMESA, African Union, the UN and other International Organisations where Malawi is a member.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion allow me to say that we voted for the rebirth of our country and a new beginning. We voted because we believe in the best of Malawi. Today, we have gathered with our feet here because we are ready to walk the new beginning. In every house of our communities we have gathered before television sets because we want to see the new beginning. Across the country, in every village, at every trading centre, in every shop and every house, and at every veranda, we have glued our ears to our radios because we want to hear that we have begun a new beginning. Because this is a new beginning we must walk together.
This is the will of the people. May the will of the people prevail as we move forward as one nation, one country, one destiny! And may God grant us the courage to change the things we can, the serenity to discern the things we cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We have this day consecrated our nation to walk the path of progress. Our future is for us all, and we need to work for it. No nation can live for us. No country can develop our country for us. So, let each one of us go and work hard knowing that we have a government that will see to it that we earn as we labour. No food for lazy man. Let us all go and roll up our sleeves and be productive with our lives.
My fellow Malawians, I want to thank our development partners our neighbours for being with us at all times.
And I thank Malawians for the spirited fight for our country to be where we are today.
May God bless our beloved country. May God bless you all.
Thank you!

Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Malawi Elections Results -Congrats Peter, walk the talk now

Congratulations to the DPP family. The battle was great, but they have managed to sway Malawians that they offer the best option. Malawians now look forward to moving on after 10 day comedy that has damaged our nation. Congratulations Soulosi Chilima two, Malawi's 5th Vice President, cant wait for Government reforms to a corporate entity and selling of Malawi to foreign investors. We will again write more on such topics. Justice of Appeal and Chairman from the Malawi Electoral Commission at 11.32pm declared Professor Peter Mutharika as the duly elected 5th Republican President. Here is the breakdown:

His Excellency the President-elect: Professor Peter Mutharika (DPP) 1, 904 399- 36.4%
Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera (MCP) 1 455 808-Leader of Opposition- 22.8%
Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda (PP)  1 056 236 -20.2%
Mr. Atupele Muluzi (UDF)717 224-13.7%

How will Professor Mutharikas Presidency look like, read the 2009 interview he granted to me which is among the older posts of this blog.
Congratulations to DPP, now lets build one Malawi