Showing posts from June, 2011

Between Phoya and Amunandife Nkumba- How long will Malawi's democracy last.

John Tembo in his many quirky answers to the press, when asked by a reporter in 2005 about the "development" by President Bingu wa Mutharika of building a moseluem for the First President Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda, he quickly retorted a question back to the poor reporter- when you construct a memorial pillar for your loved ones, do you call it development? He asked. Many thought he was just being political, but to those that suffered under the regime of President Kamuzu Banda, were shocked that even Tembo was not celebrating the misuse of their pain and suffering to reward the departed dictator. I was reminded of this story this week when I read that the United Democracti Front wants to celebrate June 14 as a Yellow Day. Comments from some Malawians on the Nyasatimes online edition however clearly show how much people misunderstood the intentions of the the former ruling party, the party first democratically elected since Malawi became independent in 1964. June 14 has a me

Presidency, Ministers, MPs to spend K3 billion in salaries and allowances

Everybody but us is a well known nature of any politician, especially those graced with power. The same can be said about the June 3 Budget presented by the Honourable Minister of Finance Ken Kandodo, it is everything for the poor but for the rich ones, it remains the same. There were no austerity measures announced for the President, Vice President, his cabinet and Members of Parliament whose combined total of allocation for salaries and allowances is close to K2 billion in salaries and allowances are not facing any cuts in their allocations. Malawi is one country where inequality in terms of income and real livelihoods are wide apart between the rich and the poor. In essence the budget will tax the poor more, cripple businesses who will lay off many employees creating greater unemployment in an already crowded unemployed market and widen the gap between the rich and the poor. The lowest paid Civil Servant is grade R whose salary is pegged at K8,000 a month while the majority of Civil

Cancer: A forgotten killer?

Imagine a woman without breasts? What would be your reaction? There many survivors of Cancer around the World, who had their breasts removed to beat off the deadly condition. But to Malawi, cancer remains a rarely spoken topic. On May 27, 2007, Cancer claimed the life of the country’s mother –The First Lady Ethel Mutharika, there was a talk of a need for specialist cancer centre, hope was created to many cancer survivors that something would be done. Almost three years later, a retired politician-turned- cancer activist Aleke Banda breathed his last on 9 April, 2010, the mourning nation remembered that we were yet to honour our promises as a nation we made in 2007 when we mourned the passing of the late First Lady. A cancer clinic is still far away from the cards. With the emergence of HIV and Aids, cancer patients now even have to live with stigma of being accused of having acquired HIV which has seen many in rural areas shun seeking medical treatment in public hospitals. The lack of