Friday, November 30, 2012

The Song of Sweet Vanity

There is a nation declining, and the people entrusted with the task of letting it rise are busy telling women at public rallies to either sit down, sing a bit, or reduce the dancing tempo.
Lost in that act, they forget that their land of Four Lakes is sliding to positions- be it social, economic, and otherwise- unknown.
They watch, as other nations get the Land of the Four Lakes' static waters. They get them, and call them their own.
Too flabbergasted. Too sleepy and tactless, they watch helplessly. Issuing this one vain threat, and, when it fails, another.
But these are not threats. They are waves of vanity.
That is why so many things have become part of the vanity.
The economy: Vanity.
Policy direction: Vanity.
Social status: Vanity.
Culture: Vanity.
Principles: So non-existent they are vanity.
Political inclination: Not clear.
This state of vanity makes the people on top of the window tell the women to sit down.
They tell them to stand up.
Or, walk a bit.
And, then, run.
The rulers and the ruled have become vanity.

Bob Marley Foundation Indicates Desire to Perform at 50th Anniversary of the OAU

The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Erastus Mwencha met with Mrs. Rita Marley, the Chairwoman of Bob Marley Foundation  and Dr. Desta Meghoo, Africa’s International Media Summit 2009 (AIMS2009) Coordinator and liaison to the African Union for the Diaspora African Forum, and members of Diaspora Africa Forum on November 29.

Mrs. Marley briefed Mr. Mwencha about the request of the Foundation for a performance during the 50th Anniversary of the OAU, which is supposed to take place in May 2013. She stressed the importance of the performance for the youth in Africa.

Dr. Desta Meghoo said that the Diaspora African Forum invites and encourages the full participation of Africans in the Diaspora in the building of the African Union, in its capacity as an important region of the continent

Mr. Mwencha said that the Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC) Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will be very excited with Mrs. Marley’s visit.

He highlighted, in the meeting that the AUC wants to use the 50th Anniversary as a platform to deliberate on key issues such as “where we are [as Africans] and where we should be”. He also said that music is a common platform that brings people together.

Mr. Mwencha praised the late Bob Marley for his contribution towards uplifting the consciousness of Africans on the continent as well as those in the Diaspora. “It will be better to bring Africans in Diaspora to see their roots” added the AUC Deputy Chairperson. 

The meeting was attended by some members of Diaspora African Forum.

Note for Editors:
The Bob Marley Foundation Ltd. USA is a not for profit 501 (C) (3) charitable organization founded by the Mrs. Rita Marley O.D. and the Marley family in honor of Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley,  to fulfill his comprehensive vision of social development through advocacy for social change

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Germany supports African Union with additional € 30 Million

Addis Ababa, 29 November 2012: After a week of constructive engagement and negotiations between the African Union (AU) Commission and the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Government has today pledged an additional amount of Euro 30 million in support of different programmes of the AU Commission.

This pledge comes against the backdrop of the German Government’s New Africa Strategy, which seeks to foster coordination and cooperation with regional actors in Africa. The cooperation with the AU is an integral part of this new Strategy. Focus areas of cooperation are peace and security, infrastructure, agriculture, education and capacity building.

During the negotiations, KfW Development Bank, on behalf of the German Government, signed a financial agreement with the AU Commission to support the full operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Part of the funding will be used to scale up the pilot phase of the Trading for Peace Project of COMESA, which seeks to support small-scale trade in the Great Lakes Region and to foster peace-building. The Agreement constitutes an important milestone in the implementation of the AU Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) adopted in Banjul, in June 2006, which, among others, calls for the mobilization of resources for post-conflict reconstruction and development, as well as coordination and complementarity between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The Agreement comes at a time when the Commission is stepping up its efforts to mobilize support from Africa and beyond to assist countries emerging from conflict within the context of the recently-launched African Solidarity Initiative (ASI).

Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, expressed appreciation to Germany for its continued support to the AU Commission. “The funding will also create an opportunity for enhanced inter-departmental synergy on cross-cutting issues like infrastructure development in the post-conflict context, as well as deepen coordination between the RECs and the AU”, he noted.

Further assistance will be given to establish the Pan-African University (PAU). With the establishment of the PAU, Germany’s support intends to link up the fields of higher education, knowledge exchange and cooperation with the private sector, based on German expertise, especially in the areas of climate, water and energy.

With regard to agriculture, Germany supports NEPAD in its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), providing incentives to increase the agrarian-economic development up to 6 % growth in selected countries through systemic economic reforms and targeted investments. With additional technical support for CAADP, technical vocational education and training systems for the food and agriculture sector will be strengthened.

The AU Commission views the current support as a further demonstration of Germany’s confidence in Africa’s determination to carry forward its integration agenda. Germany being an important player in European integration, there is a lot that the two parties can share.

The AU Commission notes with satisfaction that, in spite of tough economic and political challenges in Europe, Germany support to Africa has been unwavering.

Several changes are currently on going within the AU Commission, which the new leadership intends to take forward and deepen. In this respect, the Commission will scale-up its efforts towards strengthening its internal systems and operations, to ensure that the support received from partners, such as Germany, is utilized in an effective, efficient, transparent and accountable manner.

Mrs Ulrike Haupt, Head of the German Delegation from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), stated: “Our interest is to assist Africa strengthen its capacity to address its security and developmental challenges in a more effective and sustainable way. The German contribution thereby aims to foster substantive progress of the AU in achieving political and economic integration, particularly by creating the required environment of peace and stability, including in the Horn of Africa. In this regard, the AU as actor on the highest political level in regional and continental politics has a key role to play”.

Ambassador Lieselore Cyrus of Germany acknowledged the achievements of the AU Commission in recent years, and lauded the new impetus under its newly-elected Chairperson, Dr Dlamini-Zuma: “The AU has demonstrated its political relevance in the region and its capacities to act in crisis through its conflict management efforts in Sudan – South Sudan, as well as the stabilization of Somalia, through AMISOM deployment. This deserves our highest recognition. However, political and security challenges on the continent persist for the AU – as just shown by the current crisis in Mali”.

Cooperation between Germany and the AU Commission dates back to 2006. Since then, and adding the new commitment of today, around Euro 172 million have been provided for bilateral development programs in the focus areas of peace and security, good governance and infrastructure (especially in water and energy sectors). This includes further projects, such as the German African Border Project, the Police Component of the African Standby Force, and the construction of the AU Peace and Security Building, amounting to Euro 42 million since 2009.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

12,000 households to receive food aid from Presidential Initiative

For Immediate Release

The Presidential Initiative Fundraising Committee has  (by November 24, 2012) so far distributed 3,000 of the 12,000 bags of maize it raised recently scheduled to be distributed to hunger affected households across the country.

The maize has already been distributed to affected areas in Golomoti, TA Kaphuka, and TA Kachindamoto’s area; Benga in Nkhotakota, and in TA Mwansambo; in Balaka, TA Sawali, STA Kachenga and TA Msamala.

Next week distribution will be done in Kasungu, Mangochi (TA Kalembo and Nankumba); Machinga (TA Chikwewu); Zomba (Chingale and Chisi,) Thyolo (TA Changata, Sandama and Madziabango); Phalombe; and Blantyre (TA Kunthembwe) and Chiradzulu (Namitambo).

The relief assistance is targeting affected households that do not appear on the government list for distribution but do not have food.

Commenting on the Committee’s maize distribution programme, Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane said:
“The Committee is touched with the number of households who have no food and no money and yet are not on the official lists for food distribution by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs. The Committee is thus grateful to all those who donated maize for this noble cause.”

Mrs. Flora Kaluwile, National Coordinator for the Presidential Initiative for Poverty and Hunger Reduction said:

“There is very good collaboration with our colleagues [Department of Disaster Management Affairs] as they provide the technical backstopping during the food distribution exercise. We plan together and move together.”

Fast Points

  • The areas affected are identified by Department of Disaster Management Affairs who work through District Commissioners and Disaster Management Committees at Village level.

  • Names are provided by Village Headmen; but vulnerability assessment is done by the Disaster Management Committee.

  • There are 2 million food insecure households across the country, up from 1.6 million people who were originally thought to need food aid.

  • Government through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs is distributing food to 1.6 million people.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

President Joyce Ntila Banda: Ruling By Confusion!

Joyce Ntila Banda, before April this year a disgruntled politician who, if the truth be told, was in that capacity as a mere lame-duck Vice-President,  has, since her accidental ascendancy to the position of Malawi's Chief Executive Officer on April 7, proven just how clue less she is as President.
In deed, ever since that tragic morning of April 5, 2012- the first day independent Malawi had a dead president at the New State House (now renamed Kamuzu Palace) in Lilongwe- Mrs. Banda has steered Malawi to destinations unknown and, from the look of things, Malawians are yet to see the worst.
To start with, Mrs. Banda steered Malawi to a destination unknown when she, without second thoughts, declared to South African media that she would devalue the local currency, the Malawi Kwacha. That, to say the least, was a headless decision because Presidents in their right frame do not go about blubbing about intentions to plunge the national currency a little down the ditch.
Devaluation, due to its, mostly, negative connotations, is always bad news to a people long-used to back-water salaries, demotivational workplace policies, hidden unemployment rates, among others. People long-used to civilisation-in-reverse (for that is the proper term for these negative elements) deserve better treatment than devaluation.
Not that devaluation is always bad. Nay. But, as former president Bingu wa Mutharika- that giant son of Malawi Pride Magazine says, in its latest edition, was murdered at the New State House) used to say, it is headlessness and immature (both politically and economically) to devalue your national currency in the absense of clear-cut cushioning measures. It is for the reason that the Second Ngwazi vehemently refused to bulge on the issue of devaluing the Kwacha.
And, surely, unshaken did Bingu stand against those twin murderers-of-world economies- the World Bank and International Monetary Fund-   that, in their desperate bid to paint a negative picture of him, they begun to systematically squeeze him where it hurt the most. They withheld their financial support, they said Malawi's economic programme had gone off rail, and they talked bucketfuls of more nonsense, all of it sickening to the ear.
But Bingu stood still, to the happiness of the nation.
And Bingu was a visionary man.
Because Bingu was a visionary man.
He died a visionary man.
And would be sad to see his successor become a follower- of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank- instead of being the leader Malawians wanted her to be. Mrs. Banda lost her leadership and political clout the moment she became President.
Some say she was surprised by the sudden tide of power.
Some say she was ill-prepared.
Some say she was taken unawares, and did not have time to formulate policies.
But some say what she is doing is the way she is; the way she has always been.
Well. what she used to be is none of our business. It will only become our business if that's what she is today.
And what she is today is a Lady-President without a clear-cut policy.
Look at how she devalued the Kwacha by a record 49 percent soon after taking over the country's leadership position. And she did so at a time Malawians desperately needed  good news. And she did so without any concrete cushioning measures either from her People's Party of her leaders- the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank!
Today, Malawians are still waiting for the much-needed financial inflows.
This hour, Malawi is still gasping for economic breath. But Mrs. Banda's leaders- the International Monetary Fund and World Bank- have done nothing. All they do is visit the country, and promise to send one more tam before they can start injecting Malawi's economy with the foreign currency Mrs. Banda and Malawi's business community so dies to have.
So far, it has been more promises, little action.
But this was preventable. If only Mrs. Banda had been foresighted.
She has proved she is not.
The other sign that things are not going as planned for Mrs. Banda is this thing called fuel queues. Mrs. Banda made the mistake of telling Malawians two months ago that, ever since she became Malawi's first female president, sub-Saharan Africa's first, and Africa's second (female president), the fuel queues have long disappeared.
That, as the queues at filling stations all over the country testify, was a Presidential lie! Whether this falls under presidential immunity nobody -except, perhaps, Attorney General and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Ralph Kasambara- knows!
And there seems to be no short-term solution in sight. Former president, the slain (if we have to believe Pride Magazine Bingu wa Mutharika, often talked of constructing strategic fuel reservoirs that would keep Malawi's vehicles going for, at least, a month. But Mrs. Banda has been quiet as usual, may be another stark reminder about how blank she is or, rather, how blank she has become.
Surely, Malawi needs some long-term solution, and the fuel reserves provide just that.
Another sad reminder that Mrs. Banda and her administration are as blank as the first man to be created, Adam (the first time he saw the world around him, and saw that he was alone among the many animals and plants).
Take, for instance, the issue of the Nsanje World In-land Port. That port was on top of Mutharika's agenda, and made this nation believe in his 'colour dreams'. And, from the look of things and progress on the ground, things were going as planned, and work started in earnest.
But, just last month, the equally clueless and policy-ignorant Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said the In-Land Port was no longer a policy issue for Malawi, and that it is no longer a priority.
That is a sign of administration sickness. How can the port not be a policy issue when it features in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 3? Is this nation in the hands of people who know what is good for this country, or we have these accidental ministers and governmental officials out to ruin this beautiful land of the lake?
Malawians seem to be lost because even Mrs. Joyce Banda has been blank on this issues, telling Malawians that her administration will come up with a final stand "soon". Final stand on what? Something which is in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy? Give Malawians a break from this nauseating today-you-say-this, tomorrow-you-say-that political strategy. It is no strategy because it stinks!
Want more examples of malaise in the way of running things? The issue of minority rights comes to mind.
The other day, at the United Nations General Assembly this year, Mrs. Banda was at it, promising the world that Malawi would soften her stance on the issue. She followed it in Parliament, telling the country's legislators that her administrations planned to repeal all anti-minority rights laws, and that, meanwhile, pending such an outcome, her administration would play a not-so-hard, not-so-soft approach.
Her sentiments were followed by yet another declaration by Attorney General and Constitutional Affairs Minister (two positions as if he is the only level-headed mind in this country! No, give the other position to your friends Mr. Kasambara. Hey, Mrs. President, have you run out of ideas? Can't you see that these are two portfolios that, somewhere, come to contradict and put the man in charge of both of them in a fix? Give than man a break from one of these positions. Asaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!) Ralph Kasambara, who said last month that Malawi had placed a moratorium on laws to do with unnatural sex.
A week later, he was- as has become the norm with this experimental administration- at it again: denying he never said that. Now, now, now- give Malawians a break from your undecidedness. Give them rest from this visible uncertainty.   Why can't you just make heads or tails?
Well, today, the President has ventured on food distribution exercises, a task well-suited for District Commissioners. Mrs. Banda maintains that she has always been a loving, charitable lady all her life.
But there is half a lie in such a statement. Why, if she is a charitable lady, can't she declare that she doesn't want to receive any allowances for any such trips?
She can't do that, for the simple reason that she is fundraising for her campaign in 2014. She is draining tax-payers money, in the name of performing charity works, while folking her right hand in the kitty- getting the last of our banknotes.
Was charity, if I may ask, ever this expensive?
What is the point, here, when you donate items worth K2 million while drawing allowances in the region of K20 million? They call it theft.
But Mrs. Banda has gone on an all-out campaign defending herself. She says she will not stop to go out of the countryside to donate items- even if she knows that's the task for District Commissioners. The President has also 'said' she will continue to draw allowances for such petty trips (yes, she has 'said' so because she hasn't denounced the allowances).
Of course, there is hunger in the nation. Check these facts out: In August 2012, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) issued a request, asking a number of agencies to launch a humanitarian programme to address Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee findings that indicated that up to 1.6 million Malawians faced hunger. The efforts started with three districts, with plans to scale up the efforts in a phased manner in a drive to reach up to 1.6 million people in 15 affected districts between January and March 2013. 
So far, DoDMA statistics indicate, the operation has reached close to 700,000 beneficiaries in Machinga, Chikhwawa, Nsanje, Balaka, Blantyre, Neno, Ntcheu, Phalombe, and Zomba. Thanks to the 25,000 metric tonnes of maize released by the government from the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) for the start of the response, things seem to be moving in the right direction. What with, in Phalombe district alone, the relief efforts targeting 3018 households in T/A Jenala, 7854 in T/A Chiwalo, 1888 in T/A Nkhulambe, totaling 12,760 households!
However, there is a shortfall which, according to the World Food Programme, stands at US$26 million (about K8 billion). Without these funds, these efforts will be compromised.The situation doesn't look promising because the July Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report estimated that 1.6 million people- 1 percent of the rural population- will be food insecure between January and March 2013.
However, preliminary results from the second 2012 MVAC update assessment, which took place between 1 October and 4 October 2012, indicate an increased number of food insecure people in need of assistance.  
Now, looking at these statistics, is it normal for a 'whole' State President to be going around distributing 100 bags of maize (50 Kg), instead of contributing resources that will fill the  US$26 million (about K8 billion) gap?
That is why rational thinking Malawians this that the nation is in a state of confusion.  
And, surely, contradictory pronouncements made by government officials fit so well into this theory of confusion- this frame of confusion. Now, when confusion befalls the President, her party officials, and the greedy opposition politicians who have abandoned their own ships, and gone to feed in the monger of this accidental administration, they call it a crisis!
Whether it is any longer a silent crisis is a your own decision!   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

President Joyce Ntila Banda Saddened by Deaths

State House
Press Statement
For immediate Relase
20th November 2012
President Joyce Banda regrets deaths of 2 MBC staff and one PP official
Her Excellency  Mrs Joyce Banda is deeply saddened by the death of Mr Diet Mkwara District People’s  Party  Organising Secretary in Chitipa and two MBC staff, Mr Vindevu Banda, driver and Mr Davie Mkuwu an engineer who died yesterday in separate road accidents.
The President prays for the Almighty God to comfort and strengthen the bereaved families during this difficult time.
Her Excellency also wishes the seven people who have been injured in the two accidents and hospitalized in Chitipa, Karonga and Mzuzu Central hospital a quick recovery.
Following the deaths both Presidential functions that were scheduled for today in Rumphi and Chitipa have been cancelled.
Commenting on the cancellation of the presidential functions, Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane said:
“Her Excellency has called off the functions because she has compassion for the people and is mourning with the bereaved.”

"The responsibility to invest in children, discussed at the African Union in favor of the Third Pan-African Forum on Children"

Description: The Third Pan African Forum For Children Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 19- 20 November 2012(1)The African Union Commission (AUC) has been hosting the Third Pan-African Forum on Children. The two day Forum, which opened on the 19th of November, 2012 under the theme: "The Responsibility to Invest in Children", brought together continental experts and us stakeholders to assess progress in implementation of the Plan of Action for an Africa Fit for Children.
Addressing the Opening Ceremony, Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, said the overall objective of the Forum was to review the implementation of the Call for Accelerated Action on the Plan of Action Towards Africa Fit for Children by AU Member States and other stakeholders as well as to strengthen accountability, and advocate for stronger synergies for investing in children. 
Dr. Kaloko added that the Forum also aimed at promoting the mainstreaming of child rights issues into other sectors at regional and national levels, thereby contributing to the promotion and protection of the rights and well-being of children in the context of the family..

Description: The Third Pan African Forum For Children Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 19- 20 November 2012_2(1)Mekdim Zerubabel, a 15 year old girl, told the gathering  that was a  need to address challenges faced by children in conflict situations. She said children’s rights were being trampled upon in many parts of Africa such as Eastern DRC, Northern Mali, Somalia and other parts of Africa.
Another child of 13 years told the same gathering that the majority of African children were exposed to sexual violence, prostitution, ill treatment and illicit drugs. Some children were also being drafted into  armed forces while others were led into , early marriages, child labor or became street children. They were also exposed to diseases such as malaria, cholera, HIV/AIDS, polio, non-access to safe water, non-vaccination and non-essential care.
Some of the recommendations by the children:
1.      Demobilization of child soldiers;
2.      Punishment of those who are responsible for the rape of women and girls;
3.      Rehabilitation and integration of street children to their families;
4.      Setting up of a mechanism to prevent armed conflicts affecting children in the different countries;
5.      Building school for African children, and providing them with quality education until they complete their studies;
6.      Provision of sufficient recreational facilities for children;
7.      Permitting African children to express themselves about any question or issue that concerns them, through structures as the Children’s Parliament;
8.      Creation of an African Penal Court (APC);
9.      Ensuring proper medical care for children and investment in the health care sector for children;
10.    Keeping the environment safe and sound for the next generations;
11.    Governments should be accountable for their actions to children, especially that they agreed to implement the First and Second Pan African Forum on Children recommendations. On this, governments promised to submit their Monitoring and Evaluation Reports, but out of 54 African countries only 15 submitted their Monitoring and Evaluation Reports.
12.    On ratification of AU and international legal instruments, African countries were called upon to domesticate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) for the effective implementation of the child rights in their respective constitution. All African countries, except Somalia and South Sudan, have ratified the CRC. A call was made to African governments to ratify the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. However, it was acknowledged that some African countries were signatories to the MDGs, and that this was an encouraging move in the right direction to achieving the MDGs.
The particularity of this Forum is its goal to bring together children and adults to discuss issues of children in Africa. The Third Forum brings together experts from Member States of the AU in the area of welfare of the child, representatives of UN agencies, NGO networks, organizations of women and children involved in issues related to children and development partners.- AU

From Bill Warner: Bulletin of the Oppression of Women October 15 - November 19, 2012

October 15 - November 19, 2012

For more information and articles, go to our web site, Bulletin of the Oppression of Women

October 15, 2012
A teenaged girl received 60 lashes in Timbuktu after Islamist extremists convicted her of speaking to men on the street.
October 16, 2012
UK (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
A British Muslim, who married his second wife in a secret sharia ceremony, has been sentenced to life in jail for stabbing her to death in a 'merciless' attack. Siraj Arif, 31, knifed Saiba Khatoon - who was 19-weeks pregnant - with such ferocity that two of the three kitchen knives he used snapped under the force of the blows in the row over their unborn baby.
October 17, 2012

A teacher in southern Egypt punished two 12-year-old schoolgirls for not wearing the Muslim headscarf by cutting their hair, the father of one girl said Wednesday, in an incident that stokes concerns over personal rights following the rise of Islamist political movements.


Afghan police have arrested four people who allegedly tried to force a woman into prostitution and beheaded her when she refused.
An FGM study from the British International Journal of Obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG reports that women who were forced to undergo genital cutting as young girls have a poorer sex life years later.
October 20, 2012
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek agreed today with a Wanita MCA leader's view that PAS condones the raping of non-Muslim women, pointing out that the party's spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat had made the opinion clear in a speech four years ago. Nik Aziz had said that women who do not "tutup aurat" (protect their modesty) "deserved to be raped".
October 22, 2012
Afghanistan (h/t to JihadWatch)
A man in a western Afghan city has confessed to stabbing his wife to death to prevent her from taking a job outside the home.
Sudan (h/t to JihadWatch)
The head of Sudan's main clerical authority, the Religious Scholars Committee (RSC), has publicly advocated girl child marriage, drawing the ire of women activists rights who called for an immediate ban against the practice.
October 23, 2012
Afghanistan (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
A second teenage girl has been threatened with assassination in Pakistan following the Taliban's failed attempt to murder Malala Yousafzai, an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism, earlier this month.
October 24, 2012
Britain (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
9 men have been charged in Manchester for sexual abuse of an underage girl. This case is different from the one early this year which dealt with child trafficking.
Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Wednesday said that it recorded 550 cases of violence against women in the last month, including beating, forced marriages, murder and rape, showing a remarkable increase from previous months.
November 1, 2012
A mother and father killed their 15-year-old daughter by dousing her with acid after seeing her talking to a young man, police said Thursday.
November 3, 2012
Muslim World
Nonie Darwish explains the role of the woman in the Islamic ideology and the laws that control her.
Pakistan (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
The Pakistani Taliban's battle to stop girls and women from getting an education includes acid thrown in their faces to scar them for life and deter others from following in their footsteps. They have distributed threatening pamphlets around the city warning local girls against going to school. "We will never allow the girls of this area to go and get a Western education," said Qari Muhavia, the local Pakistani Taliban leader, when contacted by CNN by telephone.
November 4, 2012
The city's Muslim marriage courses are under fire for teaching that male students are to beat wives who refuse to submit to sex, while female students are taught that if they refuse sex with their husbands angels of Allah would curse them.
November 5, 2012
Three brothers reportedly murdered their married sister to cleanse their family's honor. She was stabbed 17 times.
Yemen (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
A 10-year old Yemeni child claims her family forced her to marry a 30-year old man when she was nine. She escaped from her home with the help of an aunt and went to the courthouse where she waited for the judge to come out and told him her story. He sympathised with her case and issued a divorce judgment.
November 6, 2012
Mumbai's historic Haji Ali mausoleum inner tomb is banned to women.
November 7, 2012
An Iraqi mother was sentenced to two years' probation after she was accused of beating her teenage daughter and burning her on her face and chest with a hot spoon because the girl refused to go along with an arranged marriage and was spotted talking a male student at her high school.
November 8, 2012
Saudi Arabia (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
There have been 5,622 marriages where the bride is under the age of 14 in Saudi Arabia, said Ali Abdul Rahman Al Roumi, a social services academic at Imam Mohammad Bin Saud Islamic University, adding that specifying a legal age would not solve the problem, and may lead to "even bigger problems".
November 11, 2012
Saudi Arabia (h/t JihadWatch)
An prominent Saudi religious scholar tortured his five year old daughter to death with whips and electrical shocks.
November 13, 2012
Iraqi man pleaded not guilty to the honor killing of his wife, Shaima Alawadi.
November 15, 2012
A man and his brother were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly setting the former's wife and three daughters on fire.
November 16, 2012
Iran (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
Lawmakers consider legislation that may drastically alter an adult woman's ability to obtain a passport and travel outside the country.
November 17, 2012
A Western woman gives her eye-witness account of over 200 young girls having their genitals cut so they "can control their sexual urges."
November 19, 2012
Dubai (h/t to thereligionofpeace)
Three rapists who demanded money from their Vietnamese victim, are sentenced to three years in jail.

Gates of Vienna has an informative short video explaining why honor killings are Islamic doctrine. Please take a few minutes and educate yourself on this travesty of gender rights.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Joker That Is Atupele Muluzi

Atupele Muluzi, until 6 o'clock this morning the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, has finally announced what sensible Malawians wanted him to do yesterday: Resigning from the People's Party on grounds that the party's senior politburo attacked him at a political rally held in the Lake shore district of Mangochi.
The decision, coming barely a week after Atupele maintained that he would not quit Mrs. Banda's cabinet despite being appointed party chairperson for the former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), shows how unsettled the young man is. This is so because that appointment, normal Malawians deduced, meant that Atupele had become the UDF's default presidential candidate in the 2014 Presidential elections.
But Atupele, being the political novice- and, probably, Daddy's boy- he is, saw no sense in calls for him to resign and concentrate on building his wishful (Head of State and Government) presidential ambitions.
 In his less-than-convincing argument, Atupele said he wanted to be part of the solution to Malawi's economic problems, and that he could only do so from within. He said he was so committed to contributing towards the attainment of an economically-viable Malawi that he could not abandon ship.
Normal Malawians, to say the truth, doubted that explanation. They knew Atupele was just playing greedy politics. They knew Atupele was beginning to take the government as a cash cow- one he would use, and abuse, to fund his presidential hopes.
The boy, to say the truth, is a political novice- too immature to make bold decisions; too childish to read and tame the muscles of the mythical political snake.
So many examples of his novice attitude in politics abound. For example, Atupele was elected party chairperson at UDF's staged convention held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre despite the UDF constitution clearly stipulating that he was not eligible by virtue of his age (he is under-aged).
But, using money and deceit of the highest order, Atupele forced his way into the party's chairmanship position. Of course, some people  suspected the machinations of former president, Bakili Muluzi, in all this.
They said, from the time Bakili realised that his third term ambitions would not materialise and imposed Bingu wa Mutharika, then a rank outsider, on the UDF, it was clear Bakili would try to play politics-of-behind, or, put in his own words, 'carrier politics' (in which the governed want to pull the brakes from the backwaters of politics).
That, exactly, is what Bakili has done. Of course, as a rank outsider, Mutharika dumped the UDF on 5 February 2005, a day that will forever remain unforgettable to the UDF. That day, the UDF moved from a ruling to opposition party- just like what happened to Mutharika's DPP on April 5, 2012.
Muluzi has been behind UDF politics ever since he announced his retirement from active politics. That is why he hand-picked Friday Jumbe to be the UDF president, a position, apparently, that does not exist in the UDF constitution and, therefore, the party.
Now Jumbe is out of the UDF, and has announced plans to form the New Labour Party (his earlier plans to establish the Labour Party having been thwarted because another name answering to the same party was registered at the Registrar of Political Parties office in 1997.
And, to add more salt to Jumbe's self-inflicted injury, it has transpired that he cannot use the name New Labour Party also- the reason being that- like the Labour Party- the New Labour Party is a registered name already!
Kennedy Makwangwala, the UDF Secretary General who tried his best to lick Bakili's political wounds by helping to organise the staged convention that took place in late October this year- at which Makwangwala was shown the red card as Kandi Padambo, former Electricty Supply Corporation of Malawi Chief Executive Officer, took over the position of General Secretary.
Like Jumbe, Makwangwala has been left in the cold.  
But this is not strange. Jumbe and Makwangwala invited this mess on themselves by playing in the hands of Atcheya, as Bakili is fondly called by UDF supporters.
Fast-forward to 12 November 2012. Atupele, Bakili's front boy, has announced his resignation from the Cabinet of Mrs. Joyce Banda- where he was serving as Minister of Economic Planning and Development.
It changes nothing, really.
If anything, there is nothing Atupele brought to the Malawi way of doing things. Like other ministers, he spent much of his time touring institutions under his ministry in the name of familiarisation.
Atupele is part of the mess created by Mrs. Joyce Banda, who, from the way she governs, has shown to be a mere 'follower' other than leader.
And Atupele was appointed minister by this follower! 
Meaning that Atupele is another follower.
The politics of like-follower-like-follower, may be!
Is Malawi ready for another follower? Especially a 'follower' of his father?
At least Mrs. Joyce Banda is a follower of the nation-less International Monetary Fund and World Bank- institutions that preach and want more poverty for impoverished nations such as Malawi through their disruptive policies. They told Mrs. Joyce Banda to devalue the Kwacha, which she did by a whopping 49 percent. To date, the funds the IMF promised are no where to be seen.
Even the hope on Mrs. Joyce Banda's face has started disappearing. She is, more and more, taking the shape of a woman in distress. A woman whose comfort zones have been cut out for her. 
But, unlike Mrs. Joyce Banda, Atupele follows his father. And wants his father to run for a third term through him.
Malawi is, surely, not akin to family property. This is a country of 14 million people.
But this does not mean Mrs. Joyce Banda has done any better. She has shown, by delaying to fire Atupele- and, instead, concentrating on bashing the immature Atupele from the political podium- to be a 'follower' many people have, all along, feared she was.
Mrs. Joyce Banda is not a bold leader. She does not make the bold decisions. She showed it by failing to fire the lying Finance Minister Ken Lipenga. Lipenga cheated the nation, through the Honourable House of Parliament, that the government of Bingu wa Mutharika did not borrow money from commercial banks in order to hoodwink the nation into believing that the Malawi Revenue Authority did not doctor tax collection figures.
When the scandal broke out, Mrs. Joyce Banda backed Lipenga from the beginning, and appointed a committee that  would investigate the issue and come out with findings about the role of Lipenga in peddling those lies.
The chairperson of this dubious committee was the political mis-fit, Vice-President Khumbo Kachali himself- a morally bankrupt Kachali who grabbed beds from an impoverished hospital at Mponela in Dowa, and transferred them to his Mzimba South West constituency during the By-elections.
As expected, Lipenga was found to be a clean- and pious and righteous-  man!
And he has kept his position ever since, despite reports that former Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe was being groomed for the position. Now, Gondwe may as well get Atupele's vacant position!
All these cases just show that, in Joyce Banda, Malawi is in trouble. Here is a leader who doesn't know what she is doing. A leader who came into power by accident, and is ruling by try-and-error.
Trying and erring with the Malawi nation.
She tried and erred with Ken Lipenga.
She tried and erred with Atupele.
Everyday, she tries and errs with the lives of Malawians. Commodity prices go up every month, on the back of increasing fuel prices every month.
She spends much of her time complaining about negative media publicity instead of ruling.
The media, to say the truth, are just doing their job.
It just shows how ill-advised she is.
In conclusion, Atupele has goofed because he is a novice in politics and, by clinging to his ministerial position despite being elected UDF chairperson and, therefore, UDF's torch-bearer in 2014, he has shown to be undecided and greedy.
Enriching his pocket in the name of solving Malawi's problems!
Mrs. Joyce Banda, too, has come out a loser. By her indecision, she has played into the hands of Atupele, who will now go to town claiming he was being victimised and has, therefore, resigned because Mrs. Joyce Banda is intolerant!
The bad thing is that Mrs. Joyce Banda does not learn.
Just like Bakili and, it seems, Atupele.
As the Public Affairs Committee communique rightly observed after the quasi-religious organisation's meeting in Blantyre, Malawi is short on leaders!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The real GDP growth is expected to remain subdued during 2012 at 4.3% according to the IMF and 4.0% according to EIU.

Government of Malawi has reduced its real GDP growth forecast for Malawi to
1.4% on account of significant contractions recorded in major sectors (Agriculture and manufacturing)of the economy.

In 2013-2016, growth is expected to recover gradually as the economy stabilizes.
In 2015-16 growth is expected to rise but not to levels achieved during late Mutharika’s first term as president unless major new foreign direct investment deals are secured.

Downside risk to the outlook is high owing to the possibility of severe drought, a worsening of the euro zone crisis or a sharp slump in prices of Malawi’s main export
commodity—Tobacco (Source: EIU Quarterly Investment Report).

POSSIBLE IMPACT: Businesses to continue to struggle with a high operating cost environment and more volatile economic conditions.

Structural problems like insufficient power supply is likely to remain a major challenge to economic activity.-N I C O A S S E T M A N A G E R S E C O N O M I C R E P O R T O C T O B E R 2 0 1 2

Little Thoughts Over Reports of Malawi's Suspension of Anti-gay Laws

Link to Kasambara's (voice) message: There have, as expected, been some questions regarding the moratorium imposed on Malawi's anti-gay laws. Zachimalawi thanks you for your questions. Here are the fast facts: (1) President Joyce Banda has not hidden her wish to let Malawians decide on the issue of homosexually, though the Constitution of Malawi does not explicitly mention the term homosexuality. That is where the ambiguity starts. If anything, it is the term 'unnatural' sex that exists. It is for this reason that some legal experts have argued that homosexuality is not prohibited in Malawi and that there can, therefore,not be such a thing is decriminalising homosexuality because the law is silent on that. But other legal heads say homosexuality falls under the armpit of the unnatural' sex laws. Sections 153 and 156 of Malawi's penal code criminalise sexual conduct between men and anyone convicted faces up to 14 years' imprisonment with hard labour, with or without corporal punishment. Section 137A of the penal code criminalises "indecent practices between females", with anyone found guilty liable to five years in prison.People are thus waiting to see what Parliament will do to 'settle' the matter.As of now, the issue remains a matter because it matters! (2) It is also true that the step taken by the Joyce Banda administration has been 'hugged' by the Amnesty International as "a historic step forward".""Amnesty International welcomes Minister Kasambara's statement and hopes it serves as the first step towards ending discrimination and persecution based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in Malawi.We urge the government not to lose momentum on this basic human rights issue and to ensure the full repeal of these discriminatory and hate-filled laws." Ever since Constituional Affairs Minister and Attorney General, Ralph Kasambara, disclosed that @There is a moratorium on all such laws, meaning that police will not arrest or prosecute anyone based on these laws", many people want to know whether it is true that once "the laws will be found to be unconstitutional", it will really be "... an embarrassment to the government, but if they are found to be valid, police will be able to act. It is better to let one criminal get away with it rather than throw a lot of innocent people in jail." In the words of the devout Catholic, Kasambara. (3) When all is said and done, it must be remembered that suspending something and repealing it are two different things. They are not even like twins born of one weather. Which means that Malawi's sodomy laws are still intact. The other thing is that the moratorium does not stand on the strong feet of any legal document and, therefore, backing. The declarartion is, therefore,water prone, banking, as it does, on political goodwill that could change as well change with a single stroke. The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet has a recommendation in its files to the effect that decriminalisation same-sex marriages could aid outreach efforts targeting groups that stand exposed to pangs of the pandemic due to systematic restrictions. Kasambara's Voice:

Economic growth for Malawi: Outlook for November and Beyond

The real GDP growth is expected to remain subdued during 2012 at 4.3% according to the IMF and 4.0% according to EIU. Government of Malawi has reduced its real GDP growth forecast for Malawi to 1.4% on account of significant contractions recorded in major sectors (Agriculture and manufacturing)of the economy. In 2013-2016, growth is expected to recover gradually as the economy stabilizes. In 2015-16 growth is expected to rise but not to levels achieved during late Mutharika’s first term as president unless major new foreign direct investment deals are secured. Downside risk to the outlook is high owing to the possibility of severe drought, a worsening of the euro zone crisis or a sharp slump in prices of Malawi’s main export commodity—Tobacco (Source: EIU Quarterly Investment Report). POSSIBLE IMPACT: Businesses to continue to struggle with a high operating cost environment and more volatile economic conditions. Structural problems like insufficient power supply is likely to remain a major challenge to economic activity.-N I C O A S S E T M A N A G E R S E C O N O M I C R E P O R T O C T O B E R 2 0 1 2

The Sayings of Ken E. Kandodo as Finance Minister

Mr. Speaker, Sir, Honourable Members may wish to note that, for many years, a training allowance has been granted to companies as an allowable expense, in addition to the actual expenditure on training. This led to a double subsidy to companies on training expenses, resulting in the depletion of the revenue-base through direct deductions and declaration of tax losses in some cases. Accordingly, training allowance as an allowable expense has been abolished; however, the actual expenditure on training will remain an allowable deduction- 2011/12 Budget Statement, Delivered in the National Assembly of the Republic of Malawi by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Ken E. Kandodo, M.P. at New Parliament Building, Lilongwe.


The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), H.E. Mr Yukiya Amano is scheduled to visit the African Union Commission on 12 November 2012. His visit to the AUC is in support of the agency’s efforts to promote the peaceful use of nuclear techniques in the relevant sectors to reduce poverty and alleviate hunger. Over the years, the AUC has worked in close collaboration with the IAEA in the Agriculture sector and others, a notable example being the establishment of the AU-Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign Office in 2001 which was fully funded by IAEA for four years since inception. To further strengthen this collaboration, the AUC and IAEA have signed an MOU on the implementation of PATTEC. While at AUC, the DG will meet the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture among other high level dignitaries. It is envisaged that at the meeting with Commissioner REA, discussions will focus on the use of nuclear techniques to contribute to food security and poverty reduction. The DG is expected to pledge continued support to the AU-PATTEC as well as the agency’s tsetse and Trypanosomiasis affected countries ad solicit similar support from other international partners. In addition, the DG will hold a press conference where he is expected to elaborate on IAEA’s agenda on the peaceful use of nuclear techniques and how specifically, the PATTEC initiative is benefiting from the Peaceful Use of Nuclear techniques

AUC and CTA sign MoU to strengthen agricultural policies in Africa

Addis Ababa, November 9, 2012 - The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen agricultural policies in Africa. The MoU was signed by the AUC’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) Commissioner, Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, on behalf of the AUC and Dr. Michael Hailu, CTA Director. During the signing ceremony, Mrs. Tumusiime welcomed the partnership with CTA as a timely move; as global attention was now focused on Africa’s resolve to shoulder its responsibilities of eradicating hunger and poverty. “This is a partnership that is being formally recognised on the heels of the commemoration of the African Day for Food and Nutrition Security Day, in which the issue of access to safe and nutritious food to all is a significant consideration. It is, therefore, essential that this partnership aims at supporting in concrete terms, the drive towards a hunger-free Africa,’’ she said. Mrs. Tumusiime commended CTA’s role in championing the causes of agricultural development, food and nutrition security and environmental sustainability in Africa. She stressed that DREA and CTA had already forged strong partnerships through collaborative efforts in popularising the AU’s Policy Framework on Pastoralism as well as engagements DREA has had with CTA organised Development Policy Briefings. Mrs. Tumusiime was further pleased to note that CTA’s current strategic plan had identified the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and related Africa-led Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) policy processes as its focus of engagement with Africa. Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Hailu said CTA was committed to supporting agriculture and rural development particularly in Africa because of the various challenges the continent faces. Consequently, to effectively address Africa’s agricultural challenges, he said CTA had realigned its activities with prioritised activities identified by governments through CAADP programmes. Among other collaborative efforts, the MOU focuses on strengthening the cooperation between the two institutions to enhance agricultural policies in Africa for increased productivity, intra-regional trade in agricultural products, promote sustainable natural resource management and to accelerate the implementation of CAADP at national, regional and continental levels.

AUC and GALVmed sign MOU on control and eradication of Trypanosomiasis

Addis Ababa, November 9, 2012- The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance efforts to control and eradicate African animal Trypanosomiasis. The AUC’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) through its Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) Office, has been working in close collaboration with GALVmed in the fight against the scourge of tsetse and trypanosomiasis. Consequently, in an effort to enhance collaboration between AU-PATTEC and GALVmed, the MOU was signed today by DREA Commissioner, Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime and Professor Andrew Peters, Interim Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the Chairman Board of Directors of GALVmed. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mrs. Tumusiime commended GALVmed’s commitment in tackling animal diseases in Africa. She said the MOU was of cardinal importance as it enhanced efforts by the two organisations to control trypanosomiasis. Mrs. Tumusiime stressed that AU-PATTEC was a critical unit in DREA as it was fighting trypanosomiasis, that not only affected animals but human beings as well. “With the support of AU-PATTEC, the GALVmed Trypanosomiasis project has become more visible and is serving its purpose.” She said. “Trypanosomosis is one of Africa’s greatest constraints to rural development and I am very pleased that you have been working to contain this problem in the last 2 years.’’ Also speaking during the signing ceremony, Prof. Peters said the MOU was of critical importance to GALVmed as it would enable intensive collaboration with AU-PATTEC, in the two institution’s efforts to detect trypanosomiasis in animals and develop new products for its treatment and control. The MoU signed today will facilitate collaboration between the Parties in matters of common interest, namely the promotion and improvement of animal health, protection of livestock and saving human life and in particular exploring means for achieving control and eradication of African animal Trypanosomiasis throughout Africa. AU-PATTEC and GALVmed will work together to conceptualise, plan and implement research, develop, validate and deploy animal health products and services related to African animal Trypanosomosis within the Framework of the PATTEC Initiative which, will be of benefit to resource-poor livestock keepers in Africa.

AUC and AMCOW chart way forward on water and sanitation in Africa

Addis Ababa- November 8, 2012- The African Union’s Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Mrs. Rhoda Tumusiime yesterday met with the president of the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW), Dr. Mohammed Bahaa ei-Din Saad to chart the way forward as regards AMCOW’s objectives within the thematic approach of “Water for Growth in Africa.” The meeting also focused on issues affecting the Africa Water Vision (AWV) 2025 and the African Union’s July 2008 Sharm el Sheikh Declaration on Water and Sanitation. In her opening remarks, Mrs. Tumusiime commended the progress achieved in implementing the AWV but noted the challenges Africa was still facing in accessing adequate water and sanitation. Mrs. Tumusiime alluded to the critical importance of enhanced efforts to implement the water agenda in Africa based on the principles of the AWV 2025 and the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration on Water and Sanitation. “Let us better organise ourselves and see how we can enhance water for growth on the continent,” she said. Dr. Saad, who is also the Arab Republic of Eygpt’s Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, noted that a large percentage of the African population does not have adequate sanitation; a situation he said exacerbated challenges in the livelihood of people in Africa. He expressed his commitment to integrate AMCOW’s initiatives with those of the African Union to effectively address the challenges in the water and sanitation sector. Some of the resolutions of the meeting included: Consolidating the working methodology between the AUC and AMCOW; developing a Pan African water agenda and compacts to implement the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments; and devising strategic ways to raise the profile of water and sanitation. The one-day meeting was also attended by AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Bai-Mass Taal and AMCOW TAC Chairperson, Dr. Nehal Adel.

Remembering Ken E. Kandodo as Finance Minister

Mr. Speaker, Sir, Honourable Members may wish to note that, for many years, a training allowance has been granted to companies as an allowable expense, in addition to the actual expenditure on training. This led to a double subsidy to companies on training expenses, resulting in the depletion of the revenue-base through direct deductions and declaration of tax losses in some cases. Accordingly, training allowance as an allowable expense has been abolished; however, the actual expenditure on training will remain an allowable deduction- 2011/12 Budget Statement, Delivered in the National Assembly of the Republic of Malawi by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Ken E. Kandodo, M.P. at New Parliament Building, Lilongwe.

Friday, November 9, 2012

'President Bingu wa Mutharika was Killed!!!'

So declares the main story in the latest edition of 'Pride' Magazine. The magazine, as usual, digs deeper into could, probably, have been the goings-on behind the scenes, as people- intoxicated by the notion that they were out to 'save' Malawians- planned to take an innocent soul away. Of course, innocent a soul it was. But it was not any other soul. It was not an ordinary soul. The soul they clandestinely planned to terminated was the soul of a leader. A leader of 14 million people. A God-chosen leader. Well, for more information, just pick K1,000.00 from your wallet, go to the next Claim Bookshop, BP Filling Station, Peoples Trading Centre outlet (be it Metro, PTC Kwik Save, among others) and you will find- there, standing prominently on the cover page- President Bingu wa Mutharika at the height of his rule! The Death of a Hard-Working Man All those who knew him, and those who worked with him, will tell you that the slain Bingu wa Mutharika was a hard-working man. They will tell you that, not once, did the president ever go to bed before 10 o'clock in the evening. He, kinda, got used to this idea of woorking so hard for himself, and so hard for his country, he became a workaholic. Late in the evening, Bingu could be busy working in his office, busy thinking about how to take Malawi to the next level. No wonder, some people suggested- many a time- that it would have been better had Bingu succeeded the Original Ngwazi, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. This came as no surprise. Both leaders were great.They loved their country. They wanted the best for their country. At Ndata, a Visionary Leader is Buried Somehow,it seems- because Bingu now lies peacefully, but dead anyway- under the concret floors of his magnificent Ndata Mansion. But, it is not in the house he lies, and rests, and stays. It is in the cemetery. In the self-built mausoleum he lies, from from the pains of the world. Free from the machinations of murderous me and women. Free from this great conspiracy that sent him to his untimely grave. But Bingu will not rest. He waits to confront his murderers. The way he confronted 'way-ward' development partners here on earth. The man was brunt honest. Donors, disguised as development partners, he called 'stupid'! Exploitative tobacco bosses he either expelled, or called 'stupid'! One British High Commissioner, Fergus Cochraine-Dyet, he expelled. Yes, opposition parties he lambasted. And, sometimes, his opponents 'chickens' he branded! It is only because he was a visioary leader. He knew where he wanted Malawi to be. Tarred roads, across the country he planted. Through the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme, hunger and food insecurity he defeated. The Kwacha was stable. For calls to devalue it without ready cushioning measures he refused. For that reason, against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's proposalshe stood. At the pinnacle of his reign, African Union Chairperson he became. Oh, not once, but twice the Southern African Development Community bloc he chaired. That man, as tall as Bingu was, had a vision that knew no heigh. And this man, according to Pride, they murdered. Victim of Grand Conspiracy Bingu lies at Ndata as a victim of a great conspiracy. A conspiracy whose means was Bingu. A conspiracy whose end was Bingu. Its end is his absence. In his absence, some people have benefitted from that conspiracy of death. Some people are now presidents. Parties that were not voted into power have become ruling parties. It must be real change. Because ful prices go up everyday. The IMF and World Bank have become Malawi's gods! They dictate, Joyce Banda follows. That, people, is a catastrophe. Malawians have a 'follower' and not leader! Who will lead the country? Definitely not the IMF and World Bank! These Breton Woods institutions have no home village in Malawi. No traditional leader knows them! They know themselves!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nation on the 'Move': Fuel Prices Up. Again!

Malawians better get used to escalating fuel prices every month. Barely a month after the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority rescinded its own decision to up fuel prices last month- ostensibly due to government pressure, considering that Malawians in Mzimba were going to the polls (voting for Members of Parliament in two By-elections, including in Mzimba South West- the price demons have been released and are biting hard. To cut a long story short, effective 09 November 2012, fuel prices will no longer be the same, and Malawians better get used to paying: Petrol: K606. 30 Diesel: K597.40 Parafin: K590. 00 (for industrial use) Parafin: K171. 00 (for domestic use) Remember, these pump prices are effective 09 Nov 2012. Hokoyo!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Addis Ababa, 6 November 2012 – Within the framework of its role and mandate in initiating action and providing technical support in the implementation of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), the AU-PATTEC Coordination Office is working in close collaboration with the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) in the fight against the scourge of tsetse and Trypanosomiasis. GALVmed is a not-for-profit registered charity which promotes the effective use of resources for charitable purposes through the identification, management, funding and coordination of research into livestock vaccines, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products and services. In an effort to enhance collaboration between AU-PATTEC and GALVmed, a Memorandum of Understanding between the African Union Commission and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines will be signed at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 9 November, 2012. The purpose of this memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to facilitate collaboration between the Parties in matters of common interest, namely the promotion and improvement of animal health, protection of livestock and saving human life and in particular exploring means for achieving control and eradication of African animal Trypanosomiasis throughout Africa.

The 5th African Private Sector Forum gets underway under the theme “The Role of Private Sector in Promoting Investment and Agro-Industry in Africa”

Description: IMG_8894 copy 2Abidjan 5 November 2012 - The 3 day 5th African Private Sector Forum was launched today in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire with strategic aims to promote investment and trade through partnerships and joint ventures between the African Union Commission’s (AUC) Member States, the Middle East and the world at large in key sectors such as infrastructure development, transportation, telecommunication amongst others. Held under the theme “The Role of Private Sector in Promoting Investment and Agro-Industry in Africa”, the annual Forum will bring the African and Arab business communities on one platform to explore business opportunities, focusing primarily on how the private sector actors from both regions can forge sustainable partnerships with a view to enhancing mutually beneficial trade and investment relations. Welcoming the participants and underscoring the fact that the “the Forum has attracted private sector actors from the Middle East and India, H.E. Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs highlighted that “Given the nature of the African economy, the future of Africa is inextricably linked to its performance and success in the agricultural sector; Small wonder, the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was endorsed by African Heads of State and Government in 2003.” Description: IMG_8663 copyThe Forum will also focus on engaging the private sector in the new African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) which provides an opportunity to mobilize, from within the continent, support for African countries emerging from conflicts, consolidate and expand intra-African co-operation and mutual self-help, in line with the AU Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development. Other key items on the agenda include Africa’s Private Sector and Agro-Industry Situation and Perspectives; Capital Markets Development and Productive Investment in Africa; Post 2015 MDGs Development Agenda; On-going Initiatives in Africa with Partners and Emerging Economies to Strengthen the African Private Sector; Initiatives for Youth Entrepreneurship; The Role of Women in Agri-Business Development. To pursue the ultimate goal of creating and enabling an environment for business activity, he mentioned the “need to work together in ensuring macro-economic stability in our economies; investing in infrastructure and reforming regulations to lower the cost of doing business; increasing the access to education for would-be entrepreneurs to help foster the emergence of a broad-based business class across Africa; promoting the emergence of effective judiciary systems; and promoting good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights” Concluding his remarks, the AUC Commissioner informed the Forum on the 50th Anniversary of the AU to be held in May 2013 and invited the African Private Sector to participate and popularize the event. In his statement, Mr. Lom Aboubacry, regional Director of the United Nations Commission for Economic Affairs (UNECA), acknowledged the important role the private sector played the past ten years in promoting economic growth within Africa and highlighted the need for integrated and supportive policy reforms that take into consideration the fundamental element of Global Value Chains and their assessment through comparative advantages. He also reemphasized the need for social and economic accountability within the sector. H.E.M. Daniel Kabian Duncan, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cote d’Ivoire on his part wished participants fruitful deliberations and officially declared the Forum open. The Forum will be a suitable opportunity to meet key actors from global industries and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities in various sectors as well as provide a platform for engagement with policy makers, including the AUC, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States. It will also feature some national and regional project portfolios with regional investment and export trade opportunities that require international cooperation and partnerships. Present among others: the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED); the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI); and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Description: IMG_8988 copy For further information, please visit Interview requests can be addressed to Mr. Michael Fikre, or 00225 06 45 65 31 MFM Sehenemariam Hailu Secretary Information & Communication Directorate African Union Commission Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 Mobile: Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44 Email: Web: Roosvelt Street(Old Airport Area)W21K19 3243 Addis Ababa Ethiopia