Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bingu wa Mutharika Has Lost Direction- Joyce Banda

Vice-President Joyce Banda says events of July 20, 2011 show that President Bingu wa Mutharika has lost touch with the ground and has, therefore, lost direction.
Banda told Zachimalawi that she is sad and 'dismayed' at the death of the 18 people, adding that this could be the beginning of a sad chapter "in the history of Malawi".
"Every one is living in fear of the President these days, which is against democratic principles. But Malawian people are strong, and stand up to dictatorial tendencies. I do not see the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winning in 2014," said Banda.
But ruling DPP Spokesperson, Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, said Banda is building castles in the air.
"The DPP is the only national party in Malawi, and is poised to win overwhelmingly in 2014. Within just six years, the President has done a lot for this country," said Ntaba.

At the High Court in Blantyre

Busy following court proceedings in the contempt of court case between the University of Malawi Council and the Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (Ccasu).
The main actors are Professor James Seyani, University Council chairperson, and Dr. Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula, Ccasu acting president.
With the likes of UNIMA Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano and Chancellor College and Malawi Polytechnic lecturers in the shaddows of this giant fight called Academic Freedom, Malawi's education system has never had a greater test.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Millennium Challenge Corporation Places Operational Hold on Malawi Compact

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. Government agency that provides development assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance. At the core of an MCC partnership is the expectation that countries maintain a demonstrated commitment to political pluralism, human rights, and the rule of law throughout the life of the program. MCC is deeply concerned by recent events in Malawi and is placing an immediate hold on all program operations in order to review its partnership with Malawi, including whether to recommend to its Board of Directors to suspend or terminate its assistance.

MCC signed a five-year, $350 million Compact with the Government of Malawi on April 7, 2011. The Compact is focused on Malawi’s power sector and is expected to benefit nearly 6 million Malawians. By reducing power outages and technical losses, enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of hydropower generation, and improving service to electricity consumers, the Compact is designed to reduce energy costs to enterprises and households; improve productivity in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors; and support the preservation and creation of employment opportunities in the economy.

MCC’s operational hold will bring to a halt all ongoing Compact activities during the review.

Mayeso Chirwa

Information Specialist

Public Affairs Section

Embassy of the United States of America


NEWS RELEASE – Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Trust (SAHRDT)



Johannesburg, July 26: In the wake of last week’s bloody demonstrations in Malawi, the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Trust (SAHRDT) calls on President Bingu wa Mutharika to engage in an open, national debate about the country’s future – rather than resorting to more inflammatory attacks on civil society leaders and pro-democracy activists. Any intention of charging the organisers of the protests – who were merely exercising their constitutional rights – with treason should also be abandoned since the allegations are clearly unfounded and absurd.

Many of the coordinators of the ‘For a better Malawi’ demonstrations and their families have received death threats and some of them are now in hiding – genuinely fearing for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Those in hiding include Undule Mwakasungula, Gift Trapence, Rafiq Hajat and Luther Mambala. These threats can be linked to the President’s public remarks about dealing with leaders of the demonstration – that he would ‘smoke them out’ and charge them for treason for trying to overthrow his government.

We call upon President wa Mutharika to immediately refrain from using inflammatory language when referring to civic leaders, as this can be interpreted as orders to ruling party members, sympathisers and government officials to target those linked to the marches and indeed anyone critical of his government’s policies. We further appeal to President wa Mutharika to desist from any political or legal harassment of civic leaders – and instead to involve them in meaningful debate about the best way forward for the country.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Out of the village now.


It is quiet where they used to swim.

And dream.


The air beats,

It may be them,

The 18 sacrifices of freedom.


You say Willie Mwaluka calls them criminals?

Perhaps Willie was waking up from a deep slumber.

He was at a party, Willie:



The trees shake,

And tremble.

It's them,


The 18.


The Big One says Eleven!

He was away, perhaps:

Touring his fish pond.


The clenched fists:

He has vowed revenge;
To walk in the streets.
No bodyguard!


He is day-dreaming;
He bathes with shoes on in the bath tab.
A coward: He fears the soil!

He carries a carpet in his former school bag.

To roll it down when planting maize.
And rice.

When harvesting figs in his dreams.


Salute the 18,
And not the gun sounds.

The eye-less bullet.


He is counting the damage;
With his swollen eyes.

He is assessing losses,
With his fingers.

A wave in the air,
It's not the fresh air,
Or part of the fun fare.

It's the 18:
Chasing them away in the winds,
At the stroke of his hands.


It is everywhere:

The silence.





Just tears.


Monday, July 25, 2011

A Look at Big Brother Amplified: The Great Moments, the Gaffes

...Voting has not yet started
...To start this evening
...remember, the title for this week's project is 'Lomwe Throughout'!

In deed, it is 'Lomwe Throughout'!

But Karen, too, has rocked.

She sent me into guggles on Sunday, after Millicent's eviction, when she said, pointing at one of the Big Brother Amplified bouncers: "The bouncer, I told you- go!"

Karen also made me smile when she stripped naked in the Jacuzzi. Of course, you and I saw nothing of her 'meat', but that was great. Crazy too.

To say the truth, Karen is better than those two flukes: Kelvin and Uti.

Kelvin and Uti's victory is a typical example of cheating at the highest level, and that remains the shameful moments in Big Brother Africa history.
As I said last time, Kelvin and Uti's victory confirmed (at that time) that Nigerians were the official thieves of the world!

Not with Karen. she has been awesome. She has entertained Africa. She has enchanted us. And she will win come Sunday, not because Nigerians have shown during the past two Big Brother Africa seasons that they remain the world's 'Official Thieves', but because Karen deserves it.

Well, after Karen, there is only Lomwe to beat. Lomwe has been cool, and I am happy that my votes have not dissolved in the waters of eviction: they have kept Lomwe in the House and, possibly, on the waiting list for the US$200,000 grand prize.

Go, boy Lomwe go!

In conclusion, let me say that IK, too, seems to be gaining confidence every season. He is presenting it well, actually, save for the couple of times his two lips stuck onto each other and he stumbled and stammered.

IK's only shame came on Sunday, during the Eviction Show, when, upon asking Nigerian co-representative Vina to tell her fellow Housemates whom she swarped for whom, he advised her not to panick since "everyone" knew it was a tough decision she made.

That is unnecessary interference into the game. Where did IK get the powers to speak on our behalf like that. His tune was that of bias, and Endemol Africa will do well to advise against such irresponsible utterances.

After all, we all know that every 'Swap and Replace session' is tough, and fuels confusion and mistrust in the house. That is part of the excitement, and makes the game likeable competitive.

It is sweet, too.

And IK went against this grain of fun to console Vina, and say that everyone knew she had to make a tough decision. That was clueless, IK, giving the game away unnecessarily.

Perhaps, as a Nigeria, he knows something we do not.

Then, there is the time Big Brother (himself) made that gaffe- telling co-Malawian representative Felicia Ngoma(Now at home, but planning to travel to South Africa for the final show this week) that "Felicia, you have 60 seconds to live the house" instead of saying Felicia had ten minutes to pack her bags.

That gaffe was a form of modern nonsense for sure!

By the way, what is wrong with Big Brother Amplified? Adverts are jamming.

Sometimes, IK cannot communicate with the housemates (technical problems).

Sometimes, like yesterday, IK speaks on behalf of the Head of House (especially when she is Nigerian). I am talking about such sentiments as "Vina, don't be hard on yourself, everyone knows it was a tough decision".

Which everyone?

Do not spoil our show.

Otherwise, it has a been a 12-week exciting journey. I have always loved Big Brother Africa, starting from the first season of Zein Dudha and friends.

I love Big Brother Africa.

And will continue to love (not like) the show.

Every year, when the minute comes to take the show off air, I gaze at the TV screen waiting for the darkness that is to come, and then watch in disdain as one more season dissolves into the blue (when you lose the picture on the screen) colour on the TV screen.

I must admit that a tear, or two, dribbles from the eye sockets. It is always painful for me, as a viewer, but wondeful to the soul that carts the Grand Prize home.

Form then, it is another wait- long, long wait- for the other Africans that will come, to turn our lips into folders of smiles that always come.

Wishing Boy Lomwe well.

To Miss Big Brother Amplified (because it will never coe again, 'Amplified')

Long Live Big Brother Africa.

How I miss K.B.

Police Officers Stop UDF Rally in Blantyre

...Atupele Muluzi Obtains Court Injunction
...Rally takes place

The United Democratic Front (UDF) had its meeting stopped by Nyambadwe Police officers in Blantyre on Sunday, but the mass rally still went ahead, thanks to Malawi's judicial independence.
Save for the late commencement, the rally was well-attended.
Hordes of women and youths were seen clad in UDF's traditional yellow-and-blue attire at Nyambadwe Ground, venue of the meeting, and located just some 40 metres from Nyambadwe Police Station.
The meeting was organised by former State President, Bakili Muluzi's, son Atupele.
And, in a new twist to UDF's continued confusion, all legislators belonging to the former ruling party attended the meeting. They included UDF Leader in Parliament Ibrahim Matola, who led the gathering into the song..."Oyendetsa boma, samwa mowa!".
However, party followers had to brace two more hours in the biting cold as Police officers tussled with party officials over 'national security' issues.
The law enforcers were of the opinion that the rally wasill-timed, coming at a time when Malawi was just recovering from mass demonstrations- probably the worst since Malawi embraced multiparty politics of governance in 1994.
At least 18 people died in the demonstrations, and Police officers were keen to prevent the meeting on the basis that it would as a continuation of the July 20 events. However, government is trying to downplay he figures by pegging the number of victims at 11.
This campaign to downplay the figures is being spearheaded by President Bingu wa Mutharika. The President started mentioning the figure 11 in Zomba, barely two days after the death of 18 people as confirmed by Ministry of Health officials.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Henry Chimbali, told to BBC and Zachimalawi on Thursday 18 people had died.
But it is not clear why the head of the Executive Branch of government is trying to downplay the numbers of the dead.
However, lawyers such as former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara have indicated on their Facebook pages that the development could be part of a government ploy to 'run away' from the Hague.
This means that, in the opinion of some key public figures, Mutharika and is cohorts are afraid of accounting for their deeds to the International Criminal Court (ICC) one day.
But Mutharika has never hidden his disdain for the ICC. When he was African Union Chairperson, he often criticised the ICC for interfering in African affairs, and his argument was always that Africa has equally-competent courts that, once given the jurisdiction, would do a good job.
He described ICC's work as nothing short of interference in a sovereign state's affairs and, thus, a violation of the United Nations instrument of sovereignty.
Atupele Muluzi did not bulge but, instead, sought the help of his lawyers who successfully obtained a court injunction paving way for the rally.
And the rally went ahead.
However, while Atupele enchanted the public by imitating his father's voice, he failed to become clear on whether he would stand for the UDF's presidency.
He also fell short of portlaying the image of an independent person as he kept on mimmicking his father's voice and mannerisms, raising fears that what other UDF factons are saying that his (Atupele's) candidature would, in effect, be Bakili's Third Term by default.
"I will announce my stance (on whether he will compete for the UDF presidency) in September," said Atupele.
The signs that he will stand are clear, however, looking at the top UDF figures, including MPs, who attended the meeting.

Bingu's Many Faces

...When shall all this come to an end?
On Thursday, a day after the July 20 demonstrations, President Bingu wa Mutharika wore a long face- the mark of a scornfulman nolonger poisoners.
It was around one O'clock when he bulleted his sad counternance through people's television screens.
Mutharika was an actor, then, playing a game called 'National Address'.
He expressed sadness at the events of the previous day, and appealed for dialogue.
Hardly 48 hours later, Mutharika was a changed man. The wrinkles had left his long face, and the face was twisted- the dot of a scornful man.
He was, in his short-faced rants, outright outrageous.
He mentioned names of people- including Leader of Opposition in Parliament John Zenus Ungapake Tembo, Human Rights Consultative Committee's chairperson Undule Mwakasungula (and his national cordinator, Rev. MacDonald Sembereka), Vice-President Joyce Banda, among others- and promised to deal with them.
Mutharika even threatened that, should these folks organise one more demonstration, "we will meet in the streets".
He added that "I will deal with you", and proceeded to say how peaceful Malawi was, and just how he was not ready to let this peace disappear in the flames of anarchy.
Many people and organisations have spoken out against these sentiments, and these include the Public Affairs Committee, United Democratic Front, and civil society organisation leaders.
But Zachimalawi is not surprised with Mutharika's behaviour; he has always been thus.
He has so many contradictory faces.
But, going back to Zachimalawi's Theme for July, we ask: When Shall All This Come to an End?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poem: Tripple-Coloured Graveyard

By Richard Chirombo
Malawi is a colourful graveyard:
It was all red, black, and green at first;
Before the white dust blew from the East-
Beyond the blurred green leaves of Tea,
Resting below the swollen berries of macadamia forests,
Yonder the sweet, spotted bananas of Thekerani-
And stuck to the heart of the red, black, and green colours.

Now the white dust shines,
Blinding our tearful eyes,
With its insolvent rays.

Save for the remoteful baby-children cries
You will find no mosquitoes,
Even flies.

The stars shine no more across the skies.
The lake no more dances against the dark skies
Because the waves now carry tears,
Harvests from the fishermen's cries.

Malawi is a graveyard now:
Below this grave yard 18 bodies rest;
Above this graveyard,
Eighteen ghosts wonder about,
Sometimes they fly in the wind-
Often, they go with the wind,
So powerless to wrestle the mighty Southerly winds.

Stripped of whatever red, green and black clothing they had
They wobble against the sun's rays,
And wither against faint stars' light,
Only to fall by the tails of the winds.

Unattended to.

These forgotten citizens are the winds,
And the rays,
And our wishes.
The unfulfilled hopes,
Waiting in the wings.


The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has
leant with shock that the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority
(MACRA) has issued a ban stopping all private radio stations from
broadcasting live the demonstrations taking place in the country.

We also express our dismay over the cavalier and brutal manner the police
has handled the demonstrations and journalists covering these

Reports indicate that MACRA has written all private radio stations
stopping them from airing the proceedings of the demonstrations in the
interest of national security.

Above: Journalists Amos Gumulira and Isaac Kambwiri (facing camera) are Malawi's latest media victims. Their crime was to cover public demonstrations in Malawi's capital city, Lilongwe

We, however, believe that the ban on coverage of the demonstrations is
superfluous, unconstitutional and retrogressive as it takes away the right
of people to access information.

Sections 36 and 37 of the Republican Constitution are clear. Section 36

‘The press shall have the right to report and publish freely, within
Malawi and abroad, and to be accorded the fullest possible facilities for
access to public information ‘and Section 37 says:

‘… every person shall have the right of access to all information held by
the state or any of its organs at any level of government in so far as
such information is required for the exercise of his rights.’

These two sections recognize the relevance of access to information for
people to make informed decisions. The ban on coverage of the
demonstrations clearly violates these provisions and is unwarranted and

We, therefore, call upon MACRA to advise broadcasters to exercise
professionalism and sensitivity in broadcasting the demonstrations as
provided under the Communications Act, and not issue a ban.

We also call upon the Communications Regulatory body to respect the
public’s right to know and the media’s duty to provide the public with
relevant, accurate and important information to make informed decisions by
immediately lifting the ban.

In the same vein, we would like to appeal to Malawi Police Service to
respect journalists in their line of duty. Journalists have a key
responsibility to objectively report on proceedings of the demonstrations
without fear or intimidation from any quarter.

We have gathered that the police have brutally beaten one Journalist,
Rebecca Chimjeka of Joy Radio, who had to receive treatment at the

Apart from Chimjeka, several other journalists were among the people who
were detained and whipped by Police in Lilongwe. Among the journalists is
Nation Publications Limited News Analyst Kondwani Munthali. The other
journalists are Leonard Sharra and Jacob Nankhonya of Blantyre Newspapers
Limited; and Yvonne Sundu, Isaac Kambwiri and Nathan Majawa.

MISA Malawi condemns this action and appeals to the police to protect both
civilians and journalists who are exercising their constitutional right to
express themselves through peaceful demonstrations.

Journalists are citizens with full rights and they are free to cover the
demonstrations as well as participate as the media is also aggrieved with
the amendment of Section 46 of the Penal Code and the enactment of the
infamous Injunctions Act.

We extend our support to journalists and fellow Malawians that have been
victimized by the authorities, and further appeal to them to exercise
caution and responsibility during these difficult times.

We would like to assure the media fraternity that NAMISA is taking up the
issues with authorities at MACRA and the Malawi Police Service as we
cannot condone what has happened today.



Post-July20 Malawi in Pictures

Zachimalawi weeps for Malawi.The two individuals with visible blood are Malawian journalists. They are Amos Gumulira and Isaac Kambwiri. They committed a 'sin' by doing their job. And, so, the Police saw no other option but 'make' them pay with their own blood. Isaac Kambwiri and Amos Gumulira did not organise the protests: they were there, at the scene of the events, merely to relay the message 'home'. This home, this invisible home, represents Malawians. Like all world citizens, Malawians deserve to know.
What has gone wrong with our nation? For our leaders to stop listening? Add this to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority's directive that all private radio stations stop airing events live, and the temporary closure by Police agents of private radio stations, and we have a problem in our hands. This problem has a name, it is called impunity.

For a while on Thursday, Capital 102.5 FM, MIJ 90.3 FM, among other radio stations went off air- interrupted by the big hand of government agents.

Malawi is in a loud crisis!

It all brings us back to Zachimalawi's theme this month of July: When Shall All This Come to an End?

Statement by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, On Violent Disruption of Protests and Destruction of Property in Malawi

Brussels, 22 July 2011

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“I strongly condemn the use of force and live ammunition by Malawian authorities on 20 and 21 July and to prevent their own citizens from exercising their constitutional right to demonstratepeacefully, as well as the ban imposed on media reporting of the confrontations. Denying the rightof people to protest peacefully is unacceptable, and I am disturbed by reports of unwarranted violence targeted at certain individuals on July 20 because of their political or social affiliations. Iam further disturbed by the announcement from the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority(MACRA) banning all private radio stations from broadcasting the demonstrations. At the same time I am also critical of and condemn the violence and looting perpetrated by a limitednumber of individuals during the protests. The Malawian people are guaranteed the right to peaceful association and freedom of expression in their constitution. The attempts by state security to prohibit its citizens from marching in thecapital city and other locations, and the regulator’s ban on independent media coverage underminedemocracy and the rule of law that Malawians cherish and are fighting to protect and strengthen. I call on the people and the Government of Malawi to remain committed to the principles ofdemocracy and to express and resolve disagreements through peaceful means. I note that in hisaddress to the nation on 21 July the President, while criticising the violence has recognised theneed for dialogue with all stakeholders I strongly encourage this dialogue to start as soon aspossible.”____________________

The Quest for Real Freedom: Counting the Dead in Malawi

Malawi is busy counting the dead.
After two days of protests against government impunity, sanity has returned to Malawi’s cities of Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and Blantyre.
Most of the people who took part in the protests have gone back home, too; save for at least 18 people confirmed dead, and the 100 who are admitted in Malawi’s hospitals.
Many people sustained injuries, and, according to Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali, of the 180 who reported to public hospitals with various degrees of injuries, 80 returned home after receiving treatment.
The dead sustained head injuries and fractures, Chimbali said.
But all this damage to life, and property, could not have happened had government listened to the voice of reason, and allowed the peaceful demonstrations to go unhindered, says Human Rights Consultative Committee chairperson, Undule Mwakasungula- one of the organizers of the demonstrations.
All was set for the demonstrations by Tuesday evening, and this was affirmed by a Police Statement paving room for the demonstrations. The Police only urged for peaceful demonstrations.
However, just an hour before Mid-night, a government agent obtained an injunction that stopped the peaceful demonstrations but allowed President Bingu wa Mutharika’s Public Lecture to go unabated.
This, Mwakasungula said, made it too late for organizers to communicate with marchers in time. He blamed it on government.
Government had tried hard to stop the demonstrations by, among other things, mounting a media propaganda that targeted chiefs to speak against the demonstrations.
State-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation also announced repeatedly in its news bulletins that, contrary to public views, the demos were planned to advocate for gay rights.
Some people believed this, though many still turned up for the demonstrations.
Government spokesperson, Information and Civic Education Minister Symon Vuwa-Kaunda, had ganged up with Mutharika’s spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba a day before the demos, and warned that all costs for damaged property would be forwarded to Leader of the Opposition in Parliament John Zenus Ungapake Tembo.
Tembo’s sin had been to express his intentions to be part of the demonstrations.
However, as lawyers battled to vacate the injunction refraining demonstrators from going on with the protests, Tembo was at his home in Nyambadwe Residential Area, Blantyre.
Tembo said: “I am waiting for the injunction to be vacated. But I think you have also heard Vuwa-Kaunda saying I will be responsible for any damage. What wrong have I committed?”
But other opposition leaders turned up for the demonstrations. These included Former Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha, People’s Progressive Movement president Mark Katsonga Phiri, United Democratic Front factional president George Nga Ntafu, and presidential aspirant Atupele Muluzi, People’s Transformation Party president Kamuzu Chibambo, among others.
Musicians also turned up, including the ‘Linda’ star Marco Sadiki.
Human rights activist, and Human Rights Consultative Committee Board Member Kenwilliams Mhango, Malawi Human Rights Watch’s Billy Banda, Rafiq Hajat of the Institute for Policy Interaction, Unandi Banda, Malawi Law Society President John Gift Mwakhwawa, and influential lawyer Ralph Kasambara were all there at Victoria Old Town Hall in Blantyre as lawyers and judges tussled in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe to have the injunction vacated.
In Lilongwe, Police officers started it all by beating civil society leaders and journalists, forcing people onto the streets.
These people went on rampage, literary, and broke into shops. They set tyres ablaze on the roads, they smashed cars.
In Blantyre, things got loose only when the injunction got vacated and people started marching peacefully. The Police, for no apparent reason, started firing tear gas, and things went asunder.
Others said Police officers received such orders because the protesters took the road that also houses the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s Southern Region headquarters.
But these fears were not entirely unfounded. Some protesters were heard whispering that they go and set the DPP office ablaze.
Among other places, protesters broke into a Bata Shoe Company shop in Blantyre, and stole assorted items.
The police were, however, alert and managed to arrest two people found with shoes on the spot.
In Blantyre’s most populous township of Ndirande, things went asunder as people started stoning the People’s Trading Centre shop there, and set grass-thatched business stalls ablaze.
But the Police were quick in their response, and no damage was inflicted on the PTC building.
However, at least two people died in Ndirande, and these are the people this Blogger saw with his two eyes.
But that is Ndirande for you, people always go on rampage at dusk fall, and Nyambadwe Police officers know this pretty well, and are always at hand to quell the situation.
President Bingu wa Mutharika took his time roughly after 1 O’clock to address Malawians.
He regretted the mayhem, but blamed it on the opposition despite the protests being organized by civil society leaders.
In the end, he appealed for dialogue and said he was ready to meet civil society leaders and opposition party Czars.
But Mwakasungula was dismissive of the President, saying such meetings brings no fruitful results.
“We have met the President before; but, all the time, nothing fruitful comes out of such meetings. Dialogue is a song to him (President Bingu wa Mutharika),” said Mwakasungula.
Government played dirty tricks before, during and after the demonstrations. It all started with sentiments from officials like Ntaba and Vuwa-Kaunda, propaganda by MBC Radios and Television, pronouncements by buy-out traditional leaders, and the late-night injunction.
Government agents also interrupted internet services with the technical assistance of Mainland China officials. Two Chinese ICT experts jetted into Malawi on Saturday last week, and left on Thursday.
This made it difficult to access such websites as Nyasatimes using computers. Some Blogs were also inaccessible.
What’s more? It was even difficult to upload stories on some sites, thanks to government’s subversion.
What has come out clearly is the fact that President Bingu wa Mutharika did not know Malawians well.
Malawians can die, so long as their voice is heard.
They did the same when freedoms never existed in 1992 and 1993.
At the height of former President Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, people defied the odds, and even their chances of life, and marched in the country’s biggest protests ever.
They succeeded. And the one party regime is a song now, history.
The freedoms that came in 1994, which freedoms are being infringed upon by President Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime, did not come on a silver platter.
People paid with the cost of their own blood.
And souls.
On Wednesday, through to Thursday this week, some 18 people have also paid for whatever freedom may come with their own blood: blood shed in day light.
Blood shed for Dear Malawi.
All in the hope that one day, light will shine again.
This light will shine and its rays reflect against the great red Katondo soils.
This light, one day, will shine on people lips, too.
This light.
Paid for by glittering blood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is
disturbed with the recent events where Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS)
has twice been attacked by unknown masked thugs in the Capital, Lilongwe.

Is President Bingu wa Mutharika Malawi's new-found dictator?

MISA Malawi learnt with shock the smashing of ZBS vehicle on Sunday
morning and setting ablaze of another vehicle on Monday night at its

On the second attack, reports indicate that around midnight Monday, masked
men in a dark salon car attacked ZBS staff and set ablaze the vehicle the
media crew were driving in. The Police and well wishers rushed to the
scene in time to put out the fire.

It is disheartening that some people would want to instil fear in media
houses and media practitioners who are doing their job professionally in
the country. These are very unfortunate developments because an attack on
the media instils fear and anxiety and leads to self censorship which is
dangerous and retrogressive for our nascent democracy.

MISA Malawi strongly condemns the attacks by these unknown masked thugs.
We do not want to believe that these unwanted developments are strategic
and serving the interests of some people of influence.

In our view, the media in the country is fulfilling its rightful role as
watchdog of society and taking a proactive role in alerting responsible
authorities to put in place necessary measures to curb any impending

In Blantyre today (Tuesday), ruling Democratic Progressive Party youths have been threatening people with Panga knives ahead of demonstrations on July 20, 2011

Section 35 and 36 of the Malawi Constitution guarantee freedom of
expression and the press, respectively. Malawians do not want to be taken
back to the era when journalists were not free to publish news

We expect authorities and indeed any other persons who have problems
against journalists in the country, to channel their complaints through
media bodies such as MISA Malawi or the Media Council of Malawi which are
mandated to guard against violations against media freedom and
professional ethics, respectively.

We appeal to government to step up security for the media houses and media
practitioners in the country and trust that Malawi Police Service will
track these thugs down and bring them to book.

We sympathise with ZBS on the loss of property and we would like to assure
the management of ZBS and all the staff that we are with them during these
difficult times they are going through.

To all media houses and media practitioners, these are signs of times and
we should all tread carefully without losing our professionalism. This is
a clear sign that the media is under siege but let us all remain calm as
we discharge our duties as watchdogs of the society.


Anthony Kasunda


Things fall apart for President Bingu wa Mutharika


...fear mass demonstrations' day draws nearer

Things are falling apart:Ruling Democratic Progressive Party youths who are causing terror in Blantyre

Things are getting out of hand as July 20, 2011- dubbed the day of reckoning by civil society organizations planning to march against fuel and forex crises- draws closer.
In Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fear has gripped residents. Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youths, officially called ‘Youth Cadets’ by President Bingu wa Mutharika, have for the past three hours been traveling in DPP-marked vehicles brandishing Panga knives.
Just 50 minutes ago, as I passed Clock Tower Petroda Filling Station in Blantyre, the DPP Youths disembarked from two Nissan ½ ton Pick ups and rubbed their Panga knives against tarred road and concrete.
There was a stampede as people scampered in all directions. Women vendors three bananas packed in winnowers down, so did vendors selling airtime- most of them left their Airtel, TNM, and MTL units and run for dear life.
Apparently, the DPP Youth Cadets’ intention was not to grab things from people, or take their property away; their main task, it seems, is to instill fear in people, so that tomorrow, the 20th of July, they do not turn up for the planned march.
But their behaviour contradicts what Mutharika said publicly yesterday, that he does not want any DPP followers to stage a counter-march as has been planned.
As of now, the DPP Cadets are in Limbe, spreading fear and terror against the just demands of Malawian citizens.
Malawians, the majority of them, want a return to normal life; life full of fuel and forex and food and peace.
Not a life full of threats and disturbed minds.
The wishes of demonstrators seem to meet with unprecedented support, however, as the Malawi Law Society and Malawi Human Rights Commission have both backed the intentions of the marchers.
However, the two bodies have urged for calm and peaceful demonstrations.
With DPP cadres in the forefront spreading fear and violence, and reminding Malawians of the long days of gloom and terror now gone by, it remains to be seen how the rest of today ends, and whether people will go back home with their limbs intact after tomorrow’s march.
What is clear, however, is that President Bingu wa Mutharika is a coward and dictator- rubbing his over-sized ego against the wishes of the powerless majority.
The term resignation does not exist in his mind as he positions himself towards consolidating power and exercise tyranny.
After all, when ruling parties start brandishing Panda knives and machetes, it is a sign that their time is nigh; time to pack their bags of shame and go hide behind History’s eternal concretes.
So many things will go into that bag of history:the smashing of Zodiak Broadcasting Station's vehicle on Saturday; the burning of the Zodiak Broadcasting Station radio's vehicle on Monday, and many more.
Malawi is in nothing short of a crisis. First, the crisis was centred on fuel and forex; now, a silent crisis is ravaging through citizens' hopes.
Of all crises in the world, the most dangerous is that of hope. When citizens run out of patience, it is not worse. But, once hope runs out, it is hold-your-own-son for everybody!
That is Malawi now, under the confused leadership of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
How, one asks, can one chase a traditional donor and former colonial master Britain through that brain-less decision to get British High Commissioner to Malawi, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet going?
How, one wonders, can a 'whole' President say he "will never apologise to Britain" over Cochrane-Dyet's unceremonial 'booting'?
How, one tries to figure out, can a leader worth his salt allow a 'small' problem to get out of hand and evolve into a crisis, and the crisis merges with another crisis to become crises, and the crises grow further to make records?
'When shall all these problems come to an end' is Zachimalawi's theme for the month of July.

Friday, July 15, 2011

All Set For July 20 Mass Demonstrations: Cry Our Beloved Nation

Dzikoli ndilathu
Dzikoli ndilathu
Koma Lisitoni waononga!!!



The Centre For Social Concern (CFSC) has expressed concern over prevailing poor household and housing conditions in the cities, especially Lilongwe and Blantyre. The National Statistics Office 2008 Population and Housing Census has shown that 36 dwelling units out of 100 dwelling units you can see in Lilongwe are permanent (built using modern and durable materials) while almost more than half of the dwelling units are semi permanent (built with modern and partial lasting materials). The trend is similar in the other cities for instance, in Blantyre (35.9% permanent and 59.7 semi-permanent). Zomba city with 59.7% permanent dwelling units and 29% semi-permanent dwelling units seems to have the most improved dwelling unit structures followed by Mzuzu city (48.7% permanent and 31.1% semi-permanent).
According to the CFSC, this situation is making decent housing unaffordable to the majority of Malawians, forcing the low and medium Income earners to reside in poorly constructed houses with inadequate space to decently accommodate all family members. “While it is irrefutable that housing is a basic need” says CFSC, “there is need for a joint effort from indigenous business community to take lead to complement the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) efforts in providing affordable housing.” The Malawi government housing policy has been implemented within the context of Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy I (2006-2011) where Land and Housing is embodied under the theme of sustainable development specifically at sub-theme six, Land and Housing. The CFSC through its Satellite Homes Research, a qualitative survey of living conditions in high and medium density areas of Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu has over time revealed that this right is ignored. Currently, private housing rental rates in the high and medium density locations in all the cities ranges from K8, 750 to K25, 000 for a two bed roomed house on average. On the other hand, the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) has fair housing rental rates. For instance, in Blantyre a MHC two bed-roomed house is pegged at K8, 800 and K6, 600 in Lilongwe. The situation is different in Mzuzu where MHC housing rental rates vary depending also on the time when the house was built. Thus, an MHC two bed roomed house rental rate goes up to K18, 150 if it was built in 2009, K10, 780 if built in 1990s and can go lower up to K6, 600 if built in the 1960s.
As such CFSC welcomes the low cost housing project plans for middle class as announced recently by the Lilongwe city council. However, there is need to put in place a deliberate Housing and Transit Policy updated in line with the 21st century to avoid time lags as it has happened over the past years. Affordable housing if well designed creates jobs and also supports economic recovery in the following ways: Mantains and retains skill workforce. The growing concern on shortage of affordable housing makes it difficult for large investors to retain blue-collar job workers. Secondly, it creates an entrepreneurial opportunity for job creation and support for local investment. Finally, it generates local government revenue and increases its property values. Housing generates revenue for local government through rentals and taxes. Thus, building new houses creates jobs in construction thereby boosting and attracting other business such as retail and healthcare industries. Renters spend money on goods and services. The CFSC through its Urban Basic Needs Basket (BNB) advocates for a three bed room house in high and medium density areas to promote a decent standard of living and also adequate for an average household size of six. The urban poor are increasingly pushed to the periphery looking at the current demand for affordable housing. As a consequence, the cost of decent affordable housing exacerbates inequalities among the rich and the poor. Certainly, there is an urgent need to improve poor urban resident’s housing needs. It is the CFSC’s hope that the indigenous business community will accelerate their efforts in addressing decent housing concerns.

Center for Social Concern, P.O. Box 40049, Lilongwe, Malawi
Tel: 265-1-715-632 Fax: 260-1-716-136 E-mail: or / ; Location: Next to St. Francis Catholic Parish, Area 25C, Kanengo Website:

Uniting for Peaceful Resistance against Bad Economic and Democratic Governance

Outline, Notes on Planned Demonstrations

Theme: Uniting for Peaceful Resistance against Bad Economic and Democratic Governance

“A Better Malawi is Possible! “

Task to be done:-
• Establishment of a core organising team, comprising of leaders from stakeholder organisations
• Letters to City Assemblies (North, Centre and South) for notification on the demonstration
• Write the police to provide security and guard against thugs, unruly elements seeking to disrupt the March;
• Mobilise urban and rural stakeholders to generate a massive response;
• Coordination ensuring that we all move together, handling internal communications, establishing chain of command;
• Drafting of themes for flyers/ posters/banners, use of red cards. Flyers should be distributed 2/3 days before the demo date. 20,000 flyers to be printed. 500-1000 whistles. Flyers will include issues in relation to economic hardships and bad governance. (key fuel ,forex shortage and undemocratic laws)
• Use of an open truck and one or two musicians on it during match or pre-match into key townships.
• Publicity – to organise & handle media coverage to achieve maximum effect through i.e. Zodiak, Joy, Mij, nation and daily times. We need use of public address a day before for publicity and on the actual day.
• Radio announcements to emphases DISCIPLINE during demonstrations.
• Creating publicity through social networking i.e. FB/twitter/SMs etc.
• Liaise with Vendors Association, Minibus Association and Taxis Association.
• Linking up with Nurses Ass. Congoma, MCTU, CCJP, Nkhoma Synod and Students.
• Linking up with Cosatu and other SADC regional NGOs for solidarity.
• Press conferences; 2 days before the march and immediately after the march
• Invite international media to cover
• Assign a communication officer from one participating organisation to coordinate recording of the events in all regions (through videocam and still camera’s)
• Assign someone to manage demo facebook page and update the demo page constantly, especially with pictures

Tentative date: - 20th July 2011/ Regional demonstration/down tools.

Message: 'If you can't join and you're a all CEO, MD, Police, Army, and Civil Servant' please release your house servant/garden boy etc on that day.

Aftermath: - Continued voice and maintaining the pressure on the Government until they address the issues and improve their performance/ use creative media to mobilise involvement e.g. facebook, blogs, twitter;

Colours to be used: - Red Colour (dress/wear anything RED (T/Shirts/Red Card/ placards/ banners, Red whistles)

Route to Use:-

Southern Region:- Blantyre District Office through Kamuzu Highway to Kamuzu Stadium to Civic Offices

Central region: from Community ground through old town/ Kasungu highway to City Centre

Northern Region: From Katoto Ground to City Assembly.



Malawi Watsopani Ngotheka!

Inu nonse a Malawi mukudziwa kuti mu zaka zisanu zoyamba za ulamuliro wa pulezidenti Bingu wa Mutharika anthu tinatangwanika ndikuona ngati tiona zeni zeni ngati dziko. Ife ngati anthu amene timatsatira mwandondomeko zakayendetsedwe ka boma la dimokilase komanso potsatira zimene inu a Malawi eni munasankha m’mene tinkasintha kuchoka ku ulamuliro wa chipani chimodzi mzaka za 1992 mpakana 1994.
Malawi tsopano wabwerera mbuyo ndipo wasanduka choseketsa cha anthu zifukwa za zinthu izi:
1. Kusowa ndalama za kunja zomwe timatha kugulira zinthu monga mankhwala, mafuta ndi zina zofunika.
2. Kupereka bizinesi kwa anthu omwe ali pa ubale ndi pulezidenti ndi amtundu wake.
3. Kusamvera malangizo ngakhale ochokera kwa atsogoleri a mipingo ndi zipembedzo.
4. Kudzichemerera ndikusamvera kwake kwa mtsogoleri wadziko lino
5. Kufuna kusandutsa u pulezidenti ngati ufumu pofuna kusiira mng’ono wake mpando wa pulezidenti mopanda kutsatira ndondomeko zoyenera za dimokalase ndi ulamuliro wabwino.
6. Kuchitira nkhanza ndi kusawalemekeza a Malawi ena omwe agwira ntchito yokonza dziko la Malawi mbuyomu komanso ngakhale omwe iye wagwira nawo ntchito chifukwa chomulangiza.
7. Kuthamangitsa anthu othandiza dziko lino komanso otigula malonda athu ngati fodya.
8. Kuopyedza ufulu wachibadwidwe wa a Malawi poopsyeza atsogoleri a mabungwe omwe si a boma komanso manyuzipepala ndi mawailesi omwe si a boma.
9. Posintha malamulo mosaganizira zomwe a Malawi anawakhazikira
10. Kusowa kwa mafuta a galimoto ndi zina zotero kwa nthawi yayitali.
11. Kuletsa kugula mafuta m’zigubu ngakhale galimoto litakuthera mafutawo panjira kapena kunyumba kwanu.
12. Kunyozera zigamulo za ma khoti komanso kuopyeza ogwira ntchito m’makhotimo ndikuwamana malipilo awo motsutsana ndi malamulo.
13. Kukondera popatsa maudindo a boma ndi mabungwe a boma komanso bizinesi kwa anthu a mtundu wake wokha.
14. Kuzunza atsogoleri akale ndi ena monga a pulezidenti opuma powakaniza kupita kuchipatala komanso a Cassim Chilumpha.
15. Kuzunza wachiwiri wa pulezidenti wa dziko a Joyce Banda powachepetsera ndalama za mu ofesi yawo mu bajeti ya chaka chino
16. Kuzikundikira chuma pogula ndi kumanga nyumba 15 kunja ndi kuno komwe pogwiritsa ntchito ndalama zomwe zikanatukula dziko lino.
17. Kupatsa mkaza wake malipiro (salary) pogwira ntchito yothandiza yomwe ena amagwira wosalipidwa.
18. Kumangiridwa nyumba ndi zina ndi kontalakitala (contractor) yemwe akupatsidwa ma kontilakiti a boma mosatsatira ndondomeko.
19. Kusamutsa sukulu ya ukachenjede (University) yoti imangidwe ku Lilongwe kupititsa ku mudzi ndi munda wake ku Ndata ngati ndi yake
20. Kumpatsa galimoto zomwe ziyenera kuyenda ndi anthu ngati pulezidenti ndi wachiwiri wake (convoy) kwa Peter Mutharika atalanda kwa Veep ndi a pulezidenti opuma pamene mchimwene wakeyo ali nduna wamba.
21. Kupereka chimanga mwaulere ku Zimbabwe mopanda chilolezo chochokera kunyumba ya malamulo.
22. Kunamiza a Malawi kuti iye ndiwa nzeru pamene akulephera kuyendetsa dziko.
23. Kutseka sukulu zaukachenjede pamene analumbira kuti muulamuliro wake sukulu zimenezi sizizatsekedwanso.
24. Kunyoza mavenda ndi anthu amalonda.
25. Kuononga ndalama za boma pomanga damu (doko) ku Nsanje popanda kuwafunsa a ku Mozambique omwe akukhudzidwa ndi mbali ina yantchitoyi.
26. Kuwabera anthu omwe akupereka zinthu m’boma ponama ndi nkhani ya funding.
27. Kukhometsa misonkho mosaona kuvutika kwa anthu.
28. Kuopseza atsogoleri a zipani zotsutsa ndi amabungwe amene si a boma
29. Kugwiritsa ndi kuphangira nyumba zoulutsila mau za MBC potukwana amalawi.

Nkhani zonsezi ndi zina zotero zikuonetsa kuti a Pulezidenti athu boma lawakanika kuyendetsa- akuyesa kuti utsogoleri ndi njira yongolemelera ndikutchukirapo. Tsopano nthawi yakwana kuti a Malawi tonse tidzuke ndikuwonetsa kuti mphamvu zoyika ndi kuchotsa munthu pa mpando wa upulezidenti zili ndi ife. Tiyeni tonse pa 20 July tidzatuluke ndi kuyenda pa nseu mwa bata ndi mtendere pakuonetsa kusakondwa ndi m’mene zinthu zili m’dziko muno ndiponso kusakondwera ndi utsogoleri wa a Bingu wa Mutharika.
Ife a Malawi okhudzidwa

Messages for Malawi's July 20 Mass Demonstrations

1. A better Malawi Is Possible.

2. We need our Freedom Back! Enough is Enough!

3. Malawi is a Constitutional Democracy!

4. Stop bulldozing Undemocratic Bills!

5. We don’t need an Injunction LAW!

6. Injunctions law is unjust law

7. Academic Freedom is a Constitutional Freedom!

8. We don’t need Dictatorship Malawi!

9. Malawi is not a monarchy! NO POWER TO A BROTHER!!!!

10. Nepotism and Corruption are punishable crimes!

11. Where is our FUEL and FOREX

12. Lack of fuel and Forex equals Failure to govern

13. Boma ili Lakukanikani !

14. Running a Government is Serious Business

15. STOP that Corruption please!

16. We are tired of lip service!

17. We want Change now! 2014 is far!

18. Stop Paying the First Lady our Taxes!

19. First Lady Salary at the expense of medicines?

20. First lady salary at the expense of primary school teacher’s salaries?

21. First lady salary at the expense of nurses’ salaries?

22. Heavy Taxes are making us more poorer

23. Is anybody in Charge?

Uthenga kwa a Malawi: Malawi Wabwino Ndiwotheka

Uthenga kwa a Malawi
“Malawi Wabwino Ndiwotheka”
Tafuna tikudziwitseni a Malawi nonse ndi onse okhudzidwa kuti ife ngati nzika zokhudzidwa takonza zionetsero za padera zomwe zidzachitike mwa mtendere pa 20th July 2011 mu zigawo zonse zitatu za dziko lino.
Zionetsero zimezi zakonzedwa motsatira ufulu omwe tili nawo movomerezeka ndi malamulo a dziko lino kuti tidzawonetse kusakondwa ndi m'mene chuma chikuyendera komanso kulira kwa a Malawi pa nkhani ya demokilase. Cholinga cha zonsezi ndikufuna kuthetsa mchitidwe woyika fundo zachabechabe za chuma komanso ulamulirowosakomera anthu ambiri.
Zionetsero zimenezi zikhala zoyamba zomwe zidzatsatiridwe ndi zionetsero zomwe zidzachitike madera onse a dziko lino pa 17th August 2011.
Mutu wa zionetsero zimenezi ndi "Mgwirizano pakulimbana mwa mtendere ndi fundo zoipa za chuma ndi kayendetsedwe ka dziko kosakomera anthu. Malawi wabwino ndiwotheka"
Zionetsero zidzayenda motere:
Chigawo cha kum'mwera (Blantyre)
M'dipiti udzayambira pa Blantyre District Office kudutsa mu Kamuzu Highway mpaka pa Kamuzu Stadium to ndikukathera ku ma ofesi a city council a Civic Offices

Tikuwapempha a Malawi onse okhala ma dera a Ndirande, Chilomoni, Chilobwe, Bangwe, Zingwangwa, Machinjiri, Mbayani, Chileka, Ludzu ndi onse ozungulira Blantyre ndi maboma ena kuti adzafike ndikuyenda nawo pa tsikuli

Chigawo cha pakati (Lilongwe)
Kuyenda kudzayambira pa galaundi la Community kudutsa ku Old Town ndikukalowa Lilongwe/Kasungu Highway ndikukatsirizira ku City Centre.

Tikupempha a Malawi okhala ma dera a Area 25, Kawale, Biwi, Mchesi, Chitsapo, Area 23, 33, 49, 39, Bunda, Likuni,Mugona ndi onse ozungulira Lilongwe ndi maboma ena m'chigawo cha pakati kuti adzafike ndi kuchita nawo zionetserozi pa tsikuli

Chigawo cha pakati (Mzuzu)

Ulendo udzayambira pa Katoto Ground kudutsa mtauni ndikukathera ku ma ofesi a Mzuzu City Council.

Tikupempha anthu okhala ma dera a Zolo Zolo, Katawa, Chiwanja, Mzilawayingwe, Chasefu ndi ma dera onse azungulira mzinda wa Mzuzu ndi ma boma ena kuti adzafike pa 20th July kudzachita nawo zionetserozi.

Tikupempha a Malawi onse kuti pa tsikuli tiyeni tidzavale chovala chafiyira kuli konse kumene tili ngakhale tilibe mwayi wodzayenda nawo pa zifukwa zosiyanasiyana.

Ngati simungakhale nawo pa zionetserozi chifukwa ndinu wamkulu wa kampani, mwini wake wa kampani, kapena ndinu a polisi, msilikali wa nkhondo kapena ogwira ntchito za boma, chonde tumizani a ntchito a m'nyumba mwanu kuti adzakhale nawo pa mwambo wapaderawu.

Pempho: Zionetsero za tsikuli ndi za mtendere ndipo tikupempha a Malawi onse kuti adzasunge ulemu pa nthawi yomwe tidzakhala tikuyenda. Tiyeni tonse tionetse kwa atsogoleri adziko lino kuti ngakhale akutipondereza, ndife anthu a mtendere komanso ofuna kumanga dziko.

Uwu ndi mwayi wathu tonse kuti tibweretse kusintha powonetsetsa kuti mau athu amveka ndiponso agwiritsidwa ntchito potenga nawo gawo pa zochitika za pa 20th July.

Bwerani nonse tidzayendere limodzi

Patsogolo ndi ufulu wa demokilase! Patsogolo ndi kumenyera ufulu!

Bingu Should Resign, Says Opposition Leader John Tembo

"President Bingu wa Mutharika has failed Malawians; the best thing he should, and not can, do is resign and leave Malawians in peace. Our people have suffered a lot; we cannot endure this any more," was all John Zenus Ungapake Tembo,
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament;
Member of Parliament for Dedza South;
Former Malawi Congress Party strongman;
Former Reserve Bank Governor;
Former teacher at Dedza Secondary School, and;
Above all, a symbol of so many meanings in Malawi
- could say to Zachimalawi Friday morning.
Tembo says so many things have "gone wrong over the past ten months; and my fear is that some of these things- I mean, the damage- are irreversible. Malawians will have to pay for some of these things for a long time to come", a situation Tembo hoped could be reversed ony through "Mutharika's resignation".
"In fact, I will not be surprised to hear that Mutharika has resigned. I don't expect him to stay on; the situation now is so bad that,if things like fuel shortages and forex shortfalls are allowed to go on because the President is still there, we should be bracing ourselves for tough times ahead. No, let the President resign."
But Mutharika is sure not to resign.
On July 6 this year, which falls for the day Malawi attained independence from Britain 47 years ago, he told a mammoth gathering in Malawi's Northern region city of Mzuzu that "contrary to opposition and civil society claims that this is the worst term ever for me, I say that is not true: this is my best ever term, with more development initiatives than during my first term."
But there were no fuel shortages during Mutharika's first term, a term that spanned from May 2004 to May 2009.
Of course, forex has always been Malawi's other friend, but the situation has never been this precarious also.
So bad is the situation that, until Thursday this week, Malawi commercial city of Blantyre had no drop of fuel.
While calls for him to resign get louder, Malawians know for certain that the term 'resignation' is anathema to Mutharika's way of doing things.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that he was sacked as Secretary General for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on issues bordering on poor governance and stubborness.
A case, it seems, of what Malawi Democratic Party president Kamulepo Kalua describes as 'Hyena-behaviour'.
Kalua never tires to remind Malawians at any best opportunity: "A hyena is a hyena, a change in hunting ground does not make it any human."
Mutharika movedfrom the bush of COMESA to the forest that is Malawi, propelled, as it were, by allegations of poor people management and governance; now, civil society organisations accuse him of being pour at governance.
Thus, the these for the Blantyre/Lilongwe/Mzuzu demonstrations is: 'Uniting for Peaceful Resistance against Bad Economic and Democratic Governance'.
That is what happens when Mutharika changes bushes, forest, and hunting ground: his traits follow him.

Mass Demonstrations On

Organisers of the July 20, 2011 Mass Demonstrations against bad governance say the protests will go on despite government's counter-efforts.
Undule Mwakasungula, Human Rights Consultative Committee's Chairperson, says civil society organisations are not shaken by counter-efforts being orchestrated by purpoted government zealots, describing them (government's counter-efforts) as counter-productive.
"We will go on with the planned demonstrations, and these will take place simultaneously in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe (cities)," says Mwakasungula.
Malawians are currently grappling with an economy-racking forex shortage, a problem compounded by fuel shortages across the Southern African Development Community member state.
This has prompted civil society leaders to organise demonstrations.
On Thursday, Britain announced that it had cut aid to Malawi by K5.3 billion, but assured Malawians that direct assistance to social services would continue.
The United Kingdom's action is the latest twist to the chasing of its High Commissioner to Malawi, Fergus Cochraine-Dyet earlier this year on allegations that he was interfering in the internal matters of Malawi.
The UK retaliated by sending Malawi's envoy back home.
Now, with the latest development, hopes of the country's former colonial master ever appointing another envoy (in place of the 'chased' Cochrane-Dyet) are fast disappearing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun Amid Fuel Crisis

People started fighting yesterday.
But the fuel, Petrol to be precise, they were fighting for came just three hours ago.
News that the Rashid Gaffar tank hired to ferry the fuel 'home' reached consumers yesterday noon, and almost everyone new where the 'home' was: Blantyre Central Business District Caltex Filling Station, close to Kandodo Corner Shop.
Vehicles, a long line of vehicle, spent the whole of last night on the queue- in the hope that the liquid that gives vehicles life would have.
It was an act of faith, too; waiting there in the sunlight, standing still in the biting-winter cold, and then bracing the darkness that was yesterday night.
Today came, and the hopes still did not fade.
This hope was paid around noon, when the Rashid Gaffar Truck came with Petrol. It is Petrol that people want; Diesel is not a problem this week.
But the driver came with his rule: no motorist within 10 metres of his fuel tanker.
Other motorists hestated, fearing they could lose their place.
THe driver, in a blue worksuit, simply threatened to put the ignition key on that little whole that falses vehicles to pay attention to the driver, and go to another station.
No choice, people obliged.
Malawians have been reduced to robbots, obeying people who pump the fuel into their vehicle tanks. People who, just two years ago, were also wiping windshields and mirror glasses!
How things change.
The courtesy is gone.
President Bingu wa Mutharika, too, has lost direction.
The president is a blind man now (no offense intended), he is busy leading the nation astray.
Well, the tanker was done with the fuel-defacation task within 30 minutes.
Refueling started, and went on well.
But two hours later, the fuel attendants announced that fuel had run out.
Motorists, angry and stranded, took tree branches and inserted them into the fuel storage tank, trying to gauge the levels of the fuel remaining, and trying to gauge the trustworthness and honesty of the fuel attendants.
The 'tree' measurements revealed the Petrol was knee-high in the storage tank.
But the attendants said it was finished.
Now, the motorists have put their feet down, saying the fuel is there, and that they will not leave the Caltex Filling Station without full or half tanks.
So have the fuel attentants; they say the fuel is over now, and will not resume refueling vehicles simply because the refueling substants is not there.
That is what people are doing at Kandodo Corner Shop.
They are peddling lies and empty threats.
Which brings us to the theme of Zachimalawi during this winter month of July;the theme is a question: When shall all this come to an end?


Protecting labour rights of journalists
PO Box X261•
Post Dot Net•
Crossroads •
Malawi •
Tel: + (265) 999 4000 61•

JUMA media statement

The Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA) was formed in December 2007 with the core objective ofpromoting and protecting labour rights of journalists.
During the first meeting of the newly electedGoverning Council held at Hippo View Lodge in Liwonde on June 09, 2011, it was resolved that:
I.BEST PRACTICES AWARD (BPA)Effective next year (2012) JUMA will introduce the Best Practices Award to two media institutions (electronic and print).
The awards will recognize institutions which offer goodworking conditions for journalists and live up to such. The award is to encourage employers to do more to promote the welfare of journalists.
The award will be presented on 3rdMay each yearduring the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).
II.WELFARE FUNDJUMA will also from next January set-up a Welfare Fund to financially support its fully-paid upmembers for three months in the event of a professional or labour dispute against an employerthat may lead to suspension or dismissal. The intention is to alleviate the suffering a JUMA member may be subjected to as a direct result to the suspension or dismissal.
III.LEGAL FUNDJUMA is working on mechanisms to create a Legal Fund to benefit members in the event of alabour or professional dispute against an employer.
The JUMA Governing Council and the leaders of the Regional Chapters of the Union have since formed atask force which will develop Terms of Reference (TORs) for the new services being introduced.
The Union will also work with local, regional and international institutions that share similar interests in itspursuit to achieve better working conditions for journalists in the country.

For further information contact the undersigned: e-mail: , cell: 0999 4000 61. Maganizo Fly MazezeJUMA President12thJuly, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harold Williams

To live again,
At the College of Medicine in Blantyre.


The way things are going in Malawi.

Twists, reversals, and more surprises.

These things are taking place in so many areas: politics, education, culture, religion, business and economics, health, sports.

A compacted life, kind of, it is too early to judge anything.

But watching has never improved anything either.

Fuel shortages continue, and there is literally no Petrol in the whole of Blantyre City.

Diesel is not a problem, so much of it there are no queues anywhere.

Quastion: When shall all this come to an end?



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Poly, Chanco Still Closed for Learning

Despite MBC-TV's assertions to the contrary.

Call it a national lie from MBC-TV.

So Much Sadness

Harold Williams.
Chipiliro Matiya.
O'brien Nazombe.
Jika Mkolokosa

...and the sad stories continue.

When shall all this come to an end; this big, touchable sadness?

Friday, July 8, 2011 Kamuzu Upper Stadium Today

Man of the moment, for bad or worse- and self-proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri- is at Kamuzu Upper Stadium this afternoon.
The meeting has now started.
Many people have now gathered, in sharp contrast to the situation some twenty minutes ago.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri: Malawi will witness one year of hunger before 2015

The Enlightened Christian Ministry's founder will be taking to the stage one-and-a-half hours from now.
The ground is set for the Prophet, as the faithful prepare their minds and hearts to receive the words of salvation.
Bushiri told Zachimalawi today (Friday) morning he was geared to "sharing the word of God".
"Time is ripe, and is now, to share the gospel. So many things are about to happen. In fact, I foresee one year of hunger coming before 2015. We must pray harder that, perhaps, God will save us from peril," said Prophet Bushiri

Bingu Cannot Resign, Enjoying Himself

As pressure piles on President Bingu wa Mutharika, and calls grow ever more loud for him to resign, the truth remains that the 'guy' cannot resign- he simply does not have the word 'resignation' in his vocabulary.
Need examples? His July 6, 2011 Indepencence-Day Speech in Malawi's Northern Region City of Mzuzu, where he claimed that contrary to criticism that his second term is the 'worst', things are all rosy in Malawi.
"My second term is the best ever," he said.
This he said knowing fully well that the country has never been in so painful a fuel crisis, so deep a forex shortage hole, and so grav-deep low citizens molare this passes for Malawi's saddest moment.
The wrangle between University of Malawi lecturers and the University Council continues, with no solution in sight.
The Democratic Progressive Party remains stuck in the attitudes of autocracy as, on the other hand, Mutharika attempts to influence the judiciary to toe the Executive's line of thinking.
That is why Mutharika lamented the proliferation of court injunctions during the swearing in of two High Court Judges and Justice Dr. Jane Ansah less than a week ago.
This is, at best, sad and regretable.
Surely, Bingu is enjoying himself and finds no sense in resigning from enjoyment!

Support women demanding an equal voice in shaping Egypt’s future

Egyptians will vote for a new parliament in September 2011, please urge the Egyptian Prime Minster not to sideline women ahead of the elections.

Women played an equal part alongside men in Egypt’s recent uprising. Today, women have an equal right to participate in shaping their country’s future. Call on the Prime Minister to make sure that women’s rights are respected and that women are not shut out of the process of reform.

Egypt’s '25 January Revolution' held great promise. Women and men stood together as equals and demanded respect for their rights. But less than a month later, women were excluded from a new committee set up to revise the constitution. The new Prime Minster’s cabinet, announced in March, included just one woman. The following day, International Women’s Day, women demonstrating peacefully were attacked by groups of men.

Women protestors, Cairo, 28 January 2011.© Sarah Carr

Real change will not materialize if women are discriminated against and left out. Equality and non-discrimination must be at the heart of the country’s reform process.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Sees Femine Before 2015 Kamuzu Upper Stadium Today

Man of the moment, for bad or worse- and self-proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri- is at Kamuzu Upper Stadium today from 01:30p.m.
A few people can be seen seated now, waiting for the Enlightened Christian Ministry's founder to share and square the 'Living' words.
Bushiri told Zachimalawi Friday morning he was geared to "sharing the word of God".

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri: Malawi will witness one year of hunger before 2015

"Time is ripe, and is now, to share the gospel. So many things are about to happen. In fact, I foresee one year of hunger coming before 2015. We must pray harder that, perhaps, God will save us from peril," said Prophet Bushiri.

That Lulu-boy is a Pure Genious

Ever seen Musician Lulu play the guitar as if he were born holding one?
And sing with a voice sweet, you forget the heat that is life as you jam to he beat!
And now, that boy-wonder Lulu- forget about Mathumela Band- can play the Malawi National Anthem solo, if the guitar be not considered human.
He did it during the Chibuku-sponsored show in Ndirande last Saturday, where multi-talented Lucius Banda also made a debut appearance of the open grounds of Ndirande Chibuku Upper Tarven.
And people, most of whom see the good-natured Lulu on the screen- or get the never-mistaken golden voice of Lulu through their make-shift and, to some, expensive speakers- got the opportunity to see him on stage.
From the smiles on people's faces, Lulu really had the best in him out.
But the best is yet to come.
"I am just starting," Lulu told Zachimalawi.

Peter Tatchell: Commonwealth must put gay rights on law agenda

...Call to reconsider proposal for decriminalisation of homosexuality

London - 8 July 2011

"Commonwealth law ministers should reconsider and approve recommendations for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in all Commonwealth member states when they meet in Sydney from 11 to 14 July," urged human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

"Last October, senior law officials from Commonwealth countries refused to endorse a paper from the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) which set out the case for the decriminalisation of same-sex relations throughout the Commonwealth - an association of 54 nations, nearly all of them former British colonies.

"The CLA argued that the prohibitions on homosexuality had been mostly imposed by Britain during the period of colonial rule and that they are a violation of international law and human rights.

See the CLA's presentation: document SOLM(10)26:

"This document and the case for decriminalisation will not be discussed at the Commonwealth Law Minister's meeting. Nor will it be on the agenda of the Commonwealth leaders when they meet in October. It has, in effect, been shelved.

"There is an urgent need for LGBT activists and human rights defenders in Commonwealth countries to lobby their law ministers and the Commonwealth Law Ministers meeting in Sydney. We want the law ministers to reconsider the document and to recommend the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships in all Commonwealth member states.

"Decriminalisation is consistent with the Commonwealth's professed commitment to human rights, equality and non-discrimination - and with international humanitarian law.

"Nearly all Commonwealth countries penalise male homosexuality with lengthy jail terms. In Bangladesh, Guyana, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Uganda, Barbados and Tanzania the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

"More than 40 Commonwealth nations criminalise same-sex relationships. They comprise over half of the world's countries that continue to outlaw homosexuality.

"The law minister's meeting is a precursor to the Commonwealth Heads Of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Perth, Australia, from 28 to 30 October this year, which brings together presidents and prime ministers from the member states.

"The aim is to eventually get lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights on the agenda of CHOGM. Right now, too many member states are resistant and the Commonwealth Secretariat is failing to give a lead.

"For many years, I have been campaigning with other activists over the silence and inaction of successive Commonwealth Secretary-Generals concerning the severe homophobia in most Commonwealth member states.

"The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, has declined to meet LGBT campaigners and has often failed to speak out against the severe levels of homophobia that exist in much of the Commonwealth.

See my Guardian article about these failings here:

"In recent years, three basic LGBT demands to the Commonwealth have emerged: decriminalisation of homosexuality; broad-based anti-discrimination laws, including protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and comprehensive hate crime laws to protect LGBT people and all other vulnerable social groups, with immediate priority on the effective enforcement of existing laws against violence and incitements to violence.

"The Commonwealth is dragging its feet. It has never issued a formal declaration in support of LGBT human rights, let alone embarked on a programme of action to challenge the rampant homophobia and transphobia in its member states. Perhaps this is not surprising, since the Commonwealth has a long history of feeble responses to all human rights abuses, including President Mugabe's terror campaign in Zimbabwe and the violent suppression of protests in Uganda by President Museveni.

"The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, stands accused of a systematic, persistent and wilful failure to condemn homophobic discrimination and violence. He offered no strong condemnation of Malawi's arrest and jailing of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga on charges of homosexuality last year. Likewise, his criticism of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which proposed the death penalty for same-sex acts, was muted. Although he did say discrimination is wrong, he also said this about the proposed legislation: 'The bill is now in the Ugandan parliament - in any Commonwealth country, that is exactly where such a national issue should be debated. Let us see what the people of Uganda decide.' This quasi neutral stance is hardly what we expect when a Commonwealth member state is proposing to execute its own citizens for consenting, victimless behaviour.

"Whatever excuses the Commonwealth may offer in its defence, one fact is indisputable: in the six decades of its existence it has never debated LGBT human rights. Its leaders have never issued any policy document specifically dedicated to combating persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. They have never produced a formal statement calling on member states to decriminalise same-sex acts and provide legal protection to LGBT people against discrimination and hate crimes. This silence shows the true face of the Commonwealth: a bastion of homophobic persecution, collusion and appeasement," said Mr Tatchell.

Background briefing:

From 11-14 July, Commonwealth law ministers meet at the InterContinental Hotel, 117
Macquarie Street, Sydney. The host will be Australia's Attorney General, Robert McClelland MP.

See the Law Ministers website:

At a meeting in London in October 2010, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association presented senior officials of the Commonwealth law ministries with a document - SOLM(10)26 - which argued that the criminalisation of same-sex relations was unacceptable. It set out the case for the decriminalisation of homosexuality throughout the Commonwealth.

This document is here:

Owing to opposition from so many law officials and governments, this document was not agreed. It was merely noted - which is tantamount to rejection.

Read the post-meeting communique:

See the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative's (CHRI) website page on LGBT human rights:

The CHRI is an independent body, separate from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Secretary General. It has long been supportive of LGBT rights, unlike the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Secretary General.