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Showing posts from 2009

Malawi in crisis;Bingu should bring back experience

I thought the fuel shortage would be something like a two day thing that would not warrant any comment fro many people. But third week into the problem, nobody seems to have answers and Government is nowhere making timely updates despite promises last week that trucks had started moving from Mozambique and some 2.2 million litres was docked in Dar es Salaam. Of course the President was on his Kucheza ndi a Malawi programme, something that has become a very interesting programme as after each broadcast, it leaves everyone wondering if my old man has advisers or he is being fed up with lies. One blue lie that he was fed up with was the quota system and Mzuzu corner which is located in a Cafetaria of Chancellor College of the University of Malawi. Some told my President that the corner which is in an open view is used by professors of Northern region origin to leak exams to Northern Region students something that has created imbalance in upper services as, according to the president the No…

Professor Peter Mutharika: a choice of presidency?

There is a huge debate going on in Malawi. The question is whether President Bingu wa Mutharika should is planning to leave his brother after being so pronounced that he does not have a wish for third term. We hear of task forces both in the president's home and the other in his deputy. We hear of bitter politicians in DPP who are waking up to realise that keeping silence does not pay. Others have silently started pushing for a convention.n This week I am embroilled in cancer challenge that I was not supposed to write anywhere. But I thought moving my thoughts out of cancer would only work if I engaged in politics. I am privilaged as a jorunalist to have been the first one to be granted one-on-one interview with professor Mutharika when he made decision to run for Thyolo East constituency. My opinion of him basically is formed out of the interview and his personal reaction when issue arise in the media. Contrary to public opinion, Professor Mutharika does not leave in the State Hou…

Quota systems and resignation of Northern MP's and Ministers

President Bingu wa Mutharika's support of the quota system was a political mistake. As a head of State he cannot openly voice support of any negative or positive discrimination in public. His support could have been done silently and remain politically right. He labels himself as unpredictable, but this is a political blunder that might end up haunting him for his entire political life. The issues of John Tembo and Northern Region are not necessary based on MCP torture or killings, they are based on two issues. Expulsion of teachers to their respective homes in 1997 which targeted the Northerners and the quota system. Unfortunately quota system affects people at household level. If my brother after working hard, using candles and match sticks to read scores 10 points but unfortunately all places for Rumphi are filled up, I feel bitter for him having been left out. Bitterness breeds anger and anger hatred. You would not wish to plant that in the young generation which has made stride…

The truth and fiction

The truth is might. May God bless all mothers in Malawi on Mothers day!

The Ghaddafi UN comedy, witchcraft and reality

I decided to take a break from my own blog after some scares- dont ask me- on one expressing his freedom of speech. In reality it is never there, someone who think you are talking of them can create problems for you. But at least I am back and in West Affrica trying to make sense of Lagos, Abuja. Accra and Freetown in two weeks. So help me God.
As I prepared to leave Malawi, there was plenty to write about, Big Brother- the reality show that has been changed for the worse, whether Malawi representative in the house should be smoking on TV and many other issues.
Of course there was a scare on swine flu, some political comedy from Malawi Congress Party which is now of course in the news and the death of several characters who made news for some of us. Yes Inkosi ya Makosi and T/A Chimaliro of Thyolo and old freind Ishmael Chafukira whose death is now talk of the town and getting the whole country into witchcraft debate. But I want to start with the Brother Leader Ghaddafu who seem is hell …

Are our leaders peverts? The story of a raped DRC woman!

Are African leaders peverts? This is a question that I have failed to come up with an answer and I hope as many as followers of this page would try to give me their verdits. This question has lingered on my mind since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially the war torn zone of Goma. She met women who were victims of rape and one woman had a chilling story. She said: " I am HIV positive I asked them to start raping my garls and finish with me. They did not listen they raped me and later my four garls. They raped us two times each the six of them. I am afraid my girls are infected. They should just have killed us. Just a month ago the African leaders in their wicked wisdom resolved not to recognise the Interntional Criminal Court if it pursued the warrant of arrest against Sudanese president General Al Bashir. I felt sick. I was involved in what was known as International Peace Carvan into Southern Sudan and then onyl aged 19 I hear…

A sick joke Goverment can play and BAT Malawi

I had taken time off after the elections to allow people to set down. My cabinet list missed about four people and the majority were as predicted. I am happy the Lucious Kanyumba is the Minister of Youth we go a long way in youth empowerment issues. I pray he will perfom as expected. I had decided not to comment on cabinet appointments, but a change at Ministry of Information is soothing and a welcome change. Its peace time and worriors should be recharging for 2014. I welcome the good professor Peter Mutharika, I am sure he has learnt a few tricks including not to park his vehicle at the door as many prying eyes surely note everything. But today its not about the cabinet, but a matter of health. There are two issues which i find very sick on part of Government. I am a member of the Media Task Force on Service Charter for Salima which aims at improving service delivery for five key sectors of Health, Agriculture, Education, Police and Social Welfare. I spent the whole of last week in rur…

Madona and Malawi adoption: Malawians are not fools!! For British Media

We are not a foolish people and niether do we spend time hero worship a human being. Malawi is a God fearinf country, ranked number two in Africa as the most peaceful country and by the Economic Intelligence Unit as the fastest growing economy in Africa and number two in the World. British Media should be told this in clear terms. I have respect for some British newspapers and the BBC- though at times the BBC behaves like we do not have success stories in Africa, but I am tired and sick, very sick of the type of reporting found in the British media related to pop singer Madonnas recent adoption of Chifundo James from my motherland. There is a report in Gurdian by one Jacques Peretti , which mocks Malawi and another in the Mirror which claims Madonna bribed Malawians with US$19 million to get the child. Sick and very sick reports. Mr. Peretti when he comes back to Malawi we will take him back to our schools of Journalism that he can learn to report "facts" and not his own creati…

Expectations, rumours and happy hour

After elections, I have been quite involved in development of a service charter for Salima district. The charter will basically allow people to demand services and complain about poor services from Government departments. This raised the expectations of many. Of course among the critical issues will be, will Government supply enough teachers, nurses and agricultural extension officers among others to meet the raised expectations of the people. This is one of those issues that the Salima District Executive committee will have to look at seriously. Still on the same, there are high expectations from the administration of President Bingu wa Mutharika, from the health sector through to basic empowerment. I personally look forward to the K3 billion Youth Entreprise Fund to be instituted soon. I know Mutharika personally has an interest in it too, this is the basis of engineering small scale businessess with potential to grow into national entreprises. The youth have enthusiasm, the energy a…

Malawians have spoken- The New cabinet, my prediction

I believe in my country and my people. Their choice of leaders is endorsed by God and that hand annointed President Bingu wa Mutharika to continue for the next five years. What does the margin of 2.7 milli0n say. Check my last blog, 1.5 million are new voters and Bingu and his DPP excited them, both in style and content. In big screens. moving coaches, hummer and a riot of blue DPP vehicles. Enough baseball caps, t shirts as Wakuda Kamanga would say, it will be too blue for all to see. But Bingu had issues for the youth: K2 billion youth fund, which young voter would vote for an alliance whose primary agenda was to remove the President. I look forward to his cabinet of merit. He has six professors and a hordes of PHD holders. This was an election of merit. My thoughts today wonder around who could make it into cabinet: looking what Bingu has, I would have restricted my cabinet to around 30 and this would have been my choice. Lets debate this, improve it and those who know those better…

Let the Hand of God be with you all Malawians as we vote!!

Finally the hour has come. Malawi is full of anticipation. The country is about to blast into anxiety. The two long days are ahead of the Nations voting day. May 19, 2009. It is and has always been a Tuesday.
But they are issues in this election that might never equal another elections in years to come. A bruised presidential candidate who has just been denied a return to offices. An opposition leader who still cries of what he calls a rigged election and a President who left a party which sponsored him to form another.
Thats what brings the drama, anxiety, hope and fear in the mind of the electorate.
Then there are young minds that are voting for the first time. I would put them between a million or 1.5 million. They are excited to join the club of voters to decide what section 12 of the republican constitution calls authority of the people.
I am happy to have lived to see another election, another great time for Malawi to prove its peace and democratic credentials.
We are one family and …

Masintha rally, food for thought for the DPP

Apart from Universal subisdy and a bit about food security, MCP/UDF presidential candidate John Tembo was at his best, smiling and working up the crowds with attacks on Bingu. Very unusual for JZU who rarely attacks a personality but prefers issues. But there was a justified reason, you could see it all on the faces of Bakili Muluzi and Tembo, they had made it. I had travelled around Kasungu and Mchinji on Sunday morning to conduct a Nation opinion poll which will be published later in the week, I met hundreds of people until 1pm trying to get into public transport for the rally. DPP during its manifesto launch has the luck of having own transport throughout the day, the opposition supporters went there on their own. The crowd at Masintha would remind Malawians in Lilongwe the time Chakufwa Chihana had just come out of jail after the referendum in 1993, it was as Kamuzu would say "people, people, people." At Masintha the ground was filled to its capacity, boozers found and excus…

Midway through elections, Muluzi and Tembo

I want to apologise to those that sent me several emails, Gerlad in Dhaka and many of you who were asking me where the hell am I on my blog. My last entry was the 100th, meaning I have not been really doing a good job. But from May 1, 2009 it will be daily reporting on elections as I will only have to write 17 articles. You see, I have had fun in the last week, predicting the MCP/UDF coalition, predicting again correctly that Gwanda Chakuamba will be the biggest loser to be caught up in his own games of changing parties and finally taking parties on their own promises. Well President Bingu wa Mutharika wants more powers to appoint his own Vice President, according to article one of the DPP manifesto, which would surely delight his critics who believe he wants to be a dictator. Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I think this is followed in many countries so some fears might be unfounded. For JZU Tembo, his manifesto is well written, and his record as a Manager is quite excel…

Third week and no excitement: misery from voters roll

Aleke Kadonaphani Banda has voted in Nkhatabay South at Tukumbo more than once. But come last week, he had his shock of life, his name was missing from the voters roll. The story is the same of thousands of Malawians whose name are not in the official register of the elections. Lucky enough most of them have their voters cards that it will be difficult to accuse them of being cheats. The issue of the missing names on the voters roll has just further lowered the morale in an election which has no fun. There is very little excitement and as I said not even posters in town to indicate the season. I travelled to Chilinde area in the Capital, someone had put an effort and put up flags, while so far the real talk on the campaign has been the K100 million convoy President Bingu wa Mutharika is using. Yes you can add K36 million coach paradiso, K40 million six Hummer H3 and over 20 nissan one tonne pick ups with each costing around K2 million duty free. Apart from the convoy, there are two feeli…

The dullest campaign ever, Free political lecture

There has been some shocks since campaigned opened. The usual suspects were at it about someone being gravely sick or being flown out. I should know after three campaigns the source of such a campaign and rumours. Its called tit for tat, the moment it was announced that Bakili Muluzi is not eligible to return to office, I expected some sort of reaction. The debate changed towards Bingu. Further, I was out during the first week of campaign in Addis, where I met wonderful young people. I thought I would be greeted from the Airport with the campaign phernaphelia but lo there was none. I think the parties have opted for radio and a few newspapers to rely their messages. Interestingly, far from reaching out the masses, I find this campaign as dull. The President is very predictable in what he would say, so too Muluzi. The only one who makes real news and can shock you is John Tembo. I am looking foward to his campaign launch, it will have suprises enough. Looking at the other players, Loveness…

The gone Parliament and missed opportunities

So the chickens have come back home to roost. March 20 means no more Parliament in Malawi and all ex-honourables are being humbled to account for what they did for me and you in five years they accessed my tax money.
Unfortunately, for this Parliament, I can recall useless debates such as impeachments, the said story of Late Rodwell Munyenyembe, the president who was so keen to do away with the house of representatives and an opposition whose muscle felxing left majority of Malawians dumbfounded.
Of course thats what kept me working, as I had to write more. I am looking for an article I did for Nation on Sunday which I titled the HOUSE OF SHAME.
That was a time insults hurling was at peak.
I have so many good Parliamentarians I would want them to come back, at the same time they dont make up even 10 percent of our national assembly. The rest were party zealots I would happily want to see them go.
However, they are people outside Parliament I would want them to win. People who made a differ…

Elections are here, May God Bless my country

The only privilage I can claim to have in the 2009 elections is to be a Journalists, placing me among those at the core centre to process information and add value, should it be so, to the process of informing Malawians. I have a task to analyse manifestos at my office and I have finished just two, the Republican Party and the National Rainbow Coalition. Other parties claim they will release theirs this week. The DPP too already is selling its manifesto though am yet to go through it.
The campaigned opened officially on Tuesday but I am out of the country at the African Union offices where I am working on a programme to benefit the young people. So I missed it. But the Friday before that at New State House, the three main contenders President Bingu wa Mutharika, Former President Bakili Muluzi and MCP leader John Tembo signed a memorandum of understanding to end hostilities.
Bingu and Tembo didnt look very convinced but they signed, Muluzi as usual was in his carefree mood. I felt sorry …

Nyasanet and professional integrity

MNS and a certain man on national web chat nyasanet claims that the story of African Union (AU) mission to Malawi headed by Former President of Ghana John Kufuor and Former President of Mozambique Joachim Chissano is a creative piece of propaganda and that the authors, who includes me have been bribed by State House to write the same. Unfortunately, I only read Nyasanet and dont normally respond to attacks on the media, I respect freedom of opinion and more importantly I believe people who have issues should learn to call others. If in my professional career I am supposed to side with a particular individual then I am sorry to all who believe in that. I have worked for both independent and public broadcasters, there is nobody who has managed to successfully tie me up with a political party. And nobody will ever do that until I join as an individual active politics. I have done stories against by own prospective father-in-law who happens to be in cabinet, he has called me to his office an…

Chris Brown to some political comedy down in Malawi

I was out of the country for a whole good eight days, though stressful trip but I managed to have ample time to watch television sample the internet and follow on issues around the World. There was the report of Chris Brown and his alleged fight with Rihanna.
Interestingly, Rihanna is now the victim, according to all versions and Brown, taken as a soft boy after Usher has seen his world crumble. Endorsements have been canceled left, right and centre.
While domestic violence is a crime, perhaps the crowds of judges who have lashed out at Chris needs to give a dude some time and go through the issues properly.
For one there was a fight yes, but what caused it we will know when justice starts its machinery, otherwise I saw it last time when Akon danced with a girl in Trindad, some big phone company rushed to make its cancellations, but seriously nobody wanted to know what the girl was doing underage in a club of 18.
Of course for Brown, hey its time to control the emotions, otherwise with th…

Nothern Region to decide winner.

Registered Voters:
Southern Region: 2,639,783
Central Region: 2,463,703
Northern Region (Minus Rumphi): 827,777

“For the North, it has always found itself on the wrong side of political tide because they fail to unite and understand that you can only claim what you own. They don’t own the Government and I moved in to bring that balance they have rejected Aford,” Chakufwa Tom Chihana told me in an interview soon after 2004 general elections.

Now its seems the battle for 2009 elections will be fought in the Northern Region, with its 700,000 votes probably delivering a verdict on who becomes a President come 19 May, and probably who forms a largest coalition in Parliament.

Northern Region has 31 seats and its voting influence extends to three more constituencies in Kasungu North, North North and North East while in Nkhotakota it managed to influence Nkhotakota North constituency, bringing in a total of 35 seats to bargain with.

Posterity has not favoured the region in terms of its decisions how…

Viva my country's democracy

So in earnest the journey towards our fourth multiparty general elections starts today. Malawi has been blessed as one of the few stable democracies in Africa and the most peaceful on the contienent. Never have we experienced any typre of violence. Of course the political drama already started with real and staged party conventions, staged and real party primaries and more importantly former President Bakili Muluzi's dream to start all over again as a President. I have written my analysis of the many issues that sorroung the three potential candidates names State President Bingu wa Mutharika, Leader of Opposition John Tembo and the former President and UDF candidate Bakili Muluzi. Much of it has come to pass and I am very glad. Yes, I said DPP has no structures to manage itself through primaries, I am glad two Ministers recalled my discussions with them and called me. For UDF how they can managed the situation of Muluzi will be entirely to them. For MCP it seems they have changed ind…

Poverty and US Presidents: Decisions that affect Africa's Public Health

Excerpts from my book: African Health Systems; The local solutions that have long impact, developed as part of my field work during my Nieman Year to be published by the end on 2009:

The problems of accessing World Health Organisation (WHOAFRO) are a reflection of the many systems of Government that have all been characterised with poor leadership and bogged down by very few home grown ideas. A respected Malawian Dr. Habib Somanje is part of the office, though readily accessible during his days as director of preventive health in the Ministry of Health, efforts to locate him within the WHO offices took more than 103 days and thanks to his coming to Malawi in Janaury 2009 I was able to get his email contact for the first time. Decision making is the biggest problem in African health systems that even those that can make life saviong decisions on diseases like cholera have to sometimes wait for a central authority to release some basic treatments.
International decisions have failed Afric…

Obama: From Gaza to Harare: Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!! Most people have written a lot about different issues and at the centre of it all remains simple issues that we did not solve in 2008. Darfur is a scar on International consience the same with Somalia and DR Congo. The shame of conflicts in Sri Lanka, Afghanstan, Iraq, Columbia and even Zimbawe still stares and remains with us all as human beings. Gaza decided to be a new way of changing our focus from Obama's day, Tuesday 20th January, 2009. But today, Malaria, AIDS, TB and even cholera is still a challenge killing thousands of Malawians and Africans. Today is just a greeting to you all and wish you happy Obama day this Tuesday and appeal to Hamas and the Israel's to give peace a chance. I asked a freind of mine from Jordan why did Hamas terminate the six months ceasefire, Hamza thats the name of my freind gave me enough excuses to fill out two pages. To me, when you start talking solutions are found. Guns are never a solution. Nothern Ireland is an example Hama…