Saturday, April 26, 2014




We, members of the CSOs Grand Coalition under the leadership of CONGOMA are making this public statement to express our serious worries, anxiety and concerns over some emerging trends and challenges in some processes related to the electoral events on the road towards the 2014 tripartite elections.

As Malawian CSOs, we seek to inform Malawian citizens and raise awareness to various stakeholders and the general citizenry in the governance processes of the elections to our noted concerns so as to generate debate and honest dialogue that will ensure credible, free, fair, transparent and peaceful electoral processes before, during and after May 2014.

We make this statement realizing our enormous responsibility on the governance of the elections and on the general governance of this country. Further, we cannot and shall not remain silent when injustices, acts of intolerance, acts of imbalances, actions of omissions and commissions, among many other issues are crippling the electoral processes leading to seemingly shrinking prospects of having free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. We, also confirm our understanding about the significance of the 2014 tripartite elections in relation to the socio-economic and political development of this country.

Ours is a continued commitment to giving a platform to the voiceless since we continue to note that Malawians especially those in the rural areas cannot speak out their concerns on the way elections preparations are being handled just like their voices are not well organized to be heard by those in leadership positions.


Unsettled voters’ registration figures/ statistics. MEC has received complaints in numerous NECOF meetings to harmonize figures and provide justification to the total of 7, 500,000 registered voters. Many stakeholders feel this figure is on the higher side and may imply deliberate bloating of the figures to the advantage of someone or some political party. Furthermore, recent media reports still show that this is remaining a contentious issue; if unresolved, it leaves a lot to speculation as to what the real figures are , and if bloated, what the intention is. This may translate into some electoral stakeholders failing to accept results. We therefore propose that there is time for MEC to conduct voters roll audit to authenticate this unsettled figure.

Unconvincing voter verification exercise: Malawians deserve more quality work and approach to the voters roll verification exercise. With minimal and limited publicity of the process coupled with the postponement of the process and its subsequent resumption without concrete reasons given to the public; poor organization and poorly managed verification exercise will affect the acceptability of anticipated polling results. Missing details of many people will further disfranchise the voters. This we, note, is critical for more reflection by MEC to sustain trust and confidence in the electoral preparatory processes.

Unequal playing field through the abuse of the public broadcasters favoring PP; Use of public resources conducting political rallies under the banner of development rallies whilst we observe that public resources which are supposed to serve government assignments are being used in political rallies across the nation.

Government motor vehicles and human resource have been spotted in political rallies some of which have their number plates replaced with ordinary number plates for the public not to recognize them. The abuse of public resources and power is not only uncalled for but also gives an added advantage to the ruling party while other political parties do not have similar privileges.

MEC’s statement that all people that have voters ID will vote is our concern especially when fake voter IDs have been produced as evidenced by numerous cases reported in the media. Similarly, the MEC’s mobilization message that those that need help in casting their ballot on the polling day shall be assisted by MEC officials is out rightly false and must be stopped right away. Such voters in need of help shall be assisted by people of their choice as the laws indicate.

It’s also worrisome that there is an emergence of government oriented NGOs (GONGOs) like Forum for National Development that is accorded lump sum of airtime on TV and radio to castigate other accredited CSOs, other political players including MEC itself. This shows that such a grouping is financed by government to deal with its perceived enemies or political competitors. It is proper that CSOs or NGOs should not be abused by being enticed to abandon their own code of conduct for the sake of providing political mileage to any given political party.

We further note that there is deliberate propaganda to undermine the leadership of the Malawi Electoral Commission through fake bank deposit slips stories. We assume those writing these stories and sources of such stories would want to discredit the enormous work being done by MEC, regardless of its challenges here and there. Those behind such incidents should be ashamed and allow for independence of MEC to run the elections freely.

We are also worried that MEC has opted to adopt additional but peripheral roles to the electoral processes like organizing national prayers when it has essential core functions (like cleaning up the voters roll) that they can concentrate their resources and energies on. Despite that we all know that Malawi is God fearing nation, in many people, this is creating the perception that MEC within its over-stretched personnel and resources would have left this task to Faith institutions and that it would have concentrated its energies in sorting out challenges dogging the voters roll verification exercise not overlooking other contemporary burning electoral issues.

Political parties’ campaign manifestos have been launched by many political parties. This consolidates the intended issue-based campaign and issue-based civic education processes. However, not all political parties contesting have made their manifestos public; we also doubt that some development success stories proclaimed by some party manifestos like the PP are indeed belonging to their regime achievements. Issues like Karonga road, BICC, and many others are being politicized for cheap propaganda; we further note that some pockets of political violence are due to not aligning the campaign massages to the political parties’ manifestos, a sad development that takes away our trust in believing that these leaders, once elected, will ever live the lives of their manifestos.

Declaration of presidential candidates indicating that they will surely win elections and insinuating that a ruling party never loses is a worrisome trend. PP through its Secretary General, in the last NECOF meeting assured all electoral stakeholders that PP will never use this slogan, but Alas! Many PP party leaders are daily using this slogan. PP’s spokesperson defended this slogan; and the 23rd April Nation Newspaper article by Mavuto Banda quotes the president of PP in an overconfident mood of winning the May 20 elections seemingly to corrupt the mindset of Malawians. This is further anchored by false and fake opinion polls conducted on social media links showing PP winning notwithstanding MBC using this anonymous poll to the public. Please let us desist from corrupting the citizens’ minds so that they vote with a clean conscience for their leaders of next five years.

Violence going unpunished as perpetrated in Karonga central and other places. The role of MEC and police in this takes away the confidence in decisively dealing with electoral related violence. Specifically in Karonga, we have heard starting from when primary elections were conducted, violence scenes till now during the official campaigning period. Michael Usi’s disrupted public lecture and many other politically oriented abductions and public threats going on are worrisome.

Endorsement of presidential candidates especially the ruling PP candidate by Chiefs during the so called development rallies is a worrisome situation considering that chiefs are supposed to be apolitical.

The recent report from MACRA that almost 83% of print and electronic private and public media houses are covering PP is worrying considering the existence of other political players. If true, this may imply that there is a heinous plan between PP and media houses to eclipse the other political parties. This further deepens the wider speculation about possible collusion between different media house, CSOs and PP on infecting the nation with only PP propaganda and news. A level playing field is needed and this can be achieved, in part, through balanced media coverage to all political parties contesting in these elections.


What we are seeing on this road to 20th May tripartite elections is a clumsy picture with the following pointers:

There are serious doubts about the authenticity of the 7,500,000 registered figures, yet a poor voters’ roll verification exercise notwithstanding, nothing by authorities is happening to authenticate this. Are the registered figures not a launch-pad for rigging? There is no responsibility being taken to address this. As already said, this has an implication on the acceptability of electoral results.

There is a questionable capacity of MEC in handling tripartite elections processes as from registration process, equipment and data capturing have been faulty till the voter verification process. If not deliberate to aid a rigging process, we have serious doubts to the efficacy and effectiveness to deliver credible electoral results.

Cases of buying and selling or photocopying of voters ID cards on the increase in Chikwawa, Mangochi, Kasungu, Lilongwe-Kawale, Lilongwe- Kiboko hotel (According to media reports)- these have not been dealt with completely. If police and MEC cannot conclude these cases, then people are very worried such occurrences may be consolidating the fears of rigging which is a recipe for unacceptability of electoral results.

If MEC is failing to deal with registration data that they captured sometime back without pressure, how do they manage polling data that is needed to make a decision within limited time of 8 days.


In view of the above picture, we believe MEC and other key stakeholders need to know that:

Credibility of elections is not a one off thing but it must be seen in all the preparatory processes ending up in announcing the results.

With shrinking confidence in the elections management body, it could be a recipe for voter apathy or for post electoral violence.

Loss of confidence and trust in the elections management body means acceptability of results will be a challenge and can sometime be a source of civil unrest.

Key electoral stakeholders like opposition parties can demand MEC to account for certain actions before their participation in the polling processes in so doing delaying what would have been a smooth and time bound process.


We members of the Civil Society Grand Coalition strongly demand that drastic and punitive measures should be put in place in order to wake up from the lethargy those responsible leaders that appear to be sleeping. As such, we call for immediate updated information on the voters roll verification exercise, the cleaning of the voters roll and its subsequent publication and dissemination to the public, MEC to conduct the audit of the voters roll to regain credibility. We also call upon MEC to ask the police and judiciary to expedite the investigations of rumours of voter ID purchases or photocopying and conclude them so that the nation knows what actually was happening before polling. We further call upon political parties, if need be, to seek legal mitigation measures to reinforce MEC to comply with best practices in ensuring a leveled playing field and stop the abuse of state resources; among many other possible avenues.


Whilst the nation is gripped with elections fever, we members of the CSO Grand Coalition further note that processes for ensuring transparency and accountability by various stakeholders are being buried in the ground. But we would like to remind the nation and the general citizenry that despite the elections, as a nation, the challenges below keep on dogging our nation’s economic development and political sovereignty. We reiterate that these issues remain worrisome concerns not to be forgotten, no matter what.

There are still challenges on principles of Transparency and accountability e.g. In cashgate, jetgate where details are scanty, contradictory, hidden and no tangible progress seems to be made. These two issues involve our public money and we must continue to get concerned.

The role of parliament in ensuring accountability and transparency got diminished by choosing to dissolve parliament without discussing these two issues and other issues concerning the nation. If the role of parliament is compromised, then the essence of representative democracy is taken away.

The role of the judiciary in promoting transparency, accountability and justice for all in case of cashgate is noted to be not clear and ambiguous in part. Whilst courts cannot be pushed to conclude cases in the context of non interference, we rather are seeing a scenario in which court cases like cash-gate ones, are handled with intentions to take ages before they are concluded. We need responsiveness in the justice and judiciary sector as justice delayed is justice denied.

Constitutional provisions and the failure to respect them i.e. Section 65, Section 64, poor weak legislative levels of parliament leading into few laws those sponsored by government continuing to see the light in parliament whilst many other bills are gathering dust because the executive is not committed. There is still more work to be done here.

The role of the executive in muzzling spaces for effective and meaningful engagement towards transparency and accountability as it is co-opting CSO leaders into its systems and structures that subsequently become silent, the recruitment of members of parliament into the same especially those from the opposition so that government has majority voice on all issues is a continuing sad development of our country.

Lack of responsible and active citizenry. We sadly continue to see citizens that still await CSO leaders, Faith leaders and few Opinion leaders to champion their cause for fighting injustices. If only few leaders are left to do the work, it will not be possible to champion the cause for justice; therefore, all citizens must take up their mantle and get involved and engaged in the work on justice and better governance for mother Malawi.

Impact of cash-gate scandal on institutions of service delivery is all there for all to see. Drug shortages, dysfunctional health facilities, and almost a grounded government operating structure. We cannot sit idle while manmade poverty is taking peoples’ lives yet some few Malawians are getting richer at our expense. So Malawians must wake up to challenge this practice and behavior.

Constitutional reforms are needed to revise the following Acts so that they resonate with the current political discourse: MBC act, Political Party funding Act, MACRA Act, the Chiefs Act, the extractives legal framework among many others.

Careless selling of land to foreign companies and individuals is taking away our land forever. It is critical to put mechanism on how Malawian land can be sold to other people to avoid regretting in the nearest future.

Over-reliance on donors and multilateral financial institutions still remains a menace in our politics and needs to be considered as an old model of running national governments. We need to push for the radical change of perception and change of direction.


Due to these issues above, we note the following picture starring at us: Resigned to fate citizens with little activism, government becoming insincere and non responsive to the demands of citizens and CSOs, opposition parties seem to get satisfied with peoples support without doing serious home work on alternatives to current processes; economic and livelihoods of people are getting worse and eroded away. It seems instead of building the systems and structures of governance that ought to anchor self realization and reliance, we are consolidating politics of the belly and of handouts to continuously trap the poor in abject poverty.


Malawians must collectively take up their rightful role as citizens of this nation to engage leaders in different institutions to ensure responsiveness and activism on the main challenges facing this country; similarly, the elections issues must be ardently tackled to restore confidence levels and credibility of the anticipated electoral results. We have one Malawi and as our only nation, we must come together and work together to build one nation where peace, justice, truthfulness and responsiveness reign.


The Grand Coalition of CSOs in Malawi under the banner of CONGOMA we, would like to support the initiative by Malawi Electoral Support Network on its efforts to observe Tripartite elections through the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT), the long term and short term observer observation and the Malawi Election Information Centre (MEIEC) Projects. We call upon all election stakeholders especially MEC and Political parties to support these efforts as well.

Finally we, categorically raises these issues to demand dialogue, debate and action on these issues. Better governance is a recipe for a socio-economically developed nation just like better management of elections processes, is a recipe for a legitimate government for all. Long live Malawi, long live peace!

Signed on behalf of the CSO Grand Coalition by:

Mr. Voice Pearson Mhone

CONGOMA Chairperson 25/04/14

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Press Release NÂș075 /2014

Juba, South Sudan, 22nd April 2014: The African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan to undertake its first field mission to South Sudan from April 21st April to 1st May 2014 . This mission comes as part of AU efforts to end the conflict that broke out in South Sudan in mid-December 2013, and ensure the emergence of an environment of sustainable peace that would enable a sustainable democratic culture to emerge in the country.

Headed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the mission will include the Commission members namely; Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Ms. Bineta Diop, Professor Pacifique Manirakiza and Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo and AUC technical support team.

In its first mission, Commission intends to meet with President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, and other officials of the government including; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Defense Minister, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Security, Interior, Gender, Child & Social Welfare, and Commander of Presidential Guard and Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS.

The Commission will also meet with former Vice President Riek Machar and the opposition group. It will conduct wide-ranging meetings with stakeholders including: Chairman of South Sudan Human Rights Commission, Chairman of National Assembly Human Rights Committee, Chairman of South Sudan Committee for National Healing, Peace & Reconciliation, Civil Society Alliance, Church leaders, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization among others.

The Commission was established by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AUC Chairperson on 6th March 2014, in pursuant to decision of the 411th Meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government held in Banjul, The Gambia. On 30 December 2013, the Commission was tasked with accountability investigation of the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan with the aim of guarantee healing for sustainable peace and security in South Sudan.

The Commission will submit its report within a maximum period of three (3) months to the AU Peace and Security Council.

It held its first and second meetings in Addis Ababa on 6th March and 2nd April 2014 respectively.

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Web Site: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mobile, Web Voter Verification Up and Running

BLANTYRE – 21 April, 2014

In a historical and electoral first for Malawi, prospective voters in the country are now able to verify their voter registration status using mobile phones. A web platform has also been created for the same purpose.

Registered voters in the upcoming Tripartite elections scheduled for 20 May, 2014 can now send a FREE short-message-service (SMS) to a designated short-code and instantly receive details of where they are registered to vote.

The MalawiElectoral Commission (MEC) in conjunction with the Malawi Election InformationCentre (MEIC) is rolling out this service, with technical assistance coming from SMAG Media UK, Ltd. and Code For Africa.

Registered voters in Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Salima and all districts in the Northern Region of Malawi will be the first to have access to the mobile verification platform when the second phase of voter verification commences today.

To verify your voter registration status, one must send an SMS with their voter identification number 5VOTE (58683). This SMS is FREE of charge on both Airtel and TNM networks.

To receive voter registration details in ChiChewa, for example, a registered voter will have to type CHE123456789 (CHE for ChiChewa + the voter’s nine digit ID Number) and send an SMS to 58683.

To receive voter registration details in ChiTumbuka, for example, a registered voter will have to type TUM123456789 (TUM for ChiTumbuka + the voter’s nine digit ID Number) and send an SMS to 58683.

To receive voter registration details in English, for example, a registered voter will have to type only their voter ID (example: 123456789) and send an SMS to 58683.

To verify your voter registration status online, one has to go to and follow the instructions outlined.

Registered voters are able to verify their details up to three times. Those who find inconsistencies against their voter records are advised to contact their nearest MEC office for assistance as no corrections or queries regarding voter information will be accepted by the system.

Mobile and web verification is only available to registered voters belonging to constituencies where MEC will be conducting voter verification exercises ahead of the polls.

About MEC:

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is an independent, constitutionally-mandated and impartial institution, that works to professionally deliver credible, transparent, inclusive, efficient and cost-effective elections in order to promote and entrench democratic values and peace in Malawi.

About MEIC:

MEIC is a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) led by the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) with common interests to collaborate on activities related to the 2014 Malawi Tripartite Elections, namely:

1) To support the Malawi Electoral Commission to manage the elections process to ensure its credibility and that the process is free, fair, and reflects the will of Malawians.

2) Provide the voter population with credible evidence-based information gathered by Observers on a real-time basis and send via a dedicated SMS service as events unfold on Election Day that will be used by experts to analyse existing situations at Polling Streams to keep the people informed and prevent rumour mongering that may result in violent behaviour – pre and post-election day.

3) To provide rapid response in elections emergency situations (i.e. informing MEC and the Police) that might affect the credibility of the electoral process.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Forged Bank Deposit Slip by Malawi Electoral Commission Staff


(for Immediate release 18/04/2014)

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) would like to express its utter disappointment with the act by unscrupulous individuals or bodies
that are peddling bank deposit slips with forged information about the Commission’s staff.

The Commission has been availed with bank deposit slip that has been provided to the media indicating details that it was made by a MEC staff member into a bank account for a political party.

This matter has been referred to the Fiscal Police who are investigating and treating the issue as a criminal matter. The
Commission is confident that the Police will do a professional job to bring the culprits to book.

The Commission finds this act not only defamatory but also malicious and being orchestrated by individuals or groups that are bent towards denting the image of the Commission as we prepare for the Tripartite Elections on May 20, 2014.

All electoral stakeholders are being assured of the highest commitment by the Commission to hold credible elections to the
satisfaction of all stakeholders.

Willie Kalonga,
Chief Elections Officer



In pursuance of Section 39 of the Local Government Elections Act no. 24 of 1996 the Malawi Electoral Commission is informing all
stakeholders that Local Government Elections in the following wards have been stopped because of death of candidates:

. Kandeu Ward in Ntcheu North East where a United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate died;

. Lisanjala Ward in Machinga Likwenu in where a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate died.

The Commission will conduct by-elections in the two wards after the May 20, 2014 elections.

Candidates who were duly nominated for the cancelled polls will need to notify the Commission in writing of their intention to contest again when the Commission issues a notice to hold by-elections.

Dated at Blantyre this 19th day of April, 2014.

Willie Kalonga
Chief Elections Officer

Friday, April 18, 2014

Atupele Muluzi's Links To Blood Money From General Omar Al Bashir: A Threat To Democracy And Peace In Malawi And The Region

For Immediate Release

The Forum for National Development (FND) has been compelled as peace loving and national development conscious to come out in the open to question the purported alliance that has been cemented between the United Democratic Front (UDF) Presidential candidate, Mr. Atupele Muluzi, and the Sudanese Head of State General Omar Al Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland as discussed in the media.

This alliance is creating fear since General Al Bashir does not harbour noble's intentions and his interest by funding and bankrolling Muluzi may be aimed at spreading elements of terrorism as the USA noted in Sudan.

We are concerned that General Al Bashir is trying to create a base in Malawi. He is an international pariah after his involvement in the massacre of innocent people in Darfur and he is wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity.

We are calling on the public and the world at large that Malawi's peace and hard won freedom is at stake with millions of blood money being pumped in through Omar Al Bashir's cousin brother in South Africa.

Furthermore, we are appealing on Malawians to maintain the peaceful coexistence that has existed from time immemorial and we are fearful of the potential the alliance is risking the country's dignity for the sake of personal glory and vanity.

We are appealing on other notables players like the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Human Right Consultative Committee (HRCC), Public Affairs Committee and Faith Based Organizations to join the hands and fight General Omar Al Bashir's direct involvement in internal affairs of our country and elsewhere.

General Omar Al Bashir is a Persona non grata. Malawi as a nation is playing a meaningful role in the global village and should resist his infiltration of money, political and terrorism influence.

We call upon political parties and individuals aspiring leadership positions to desist from getting financing from sources that are linked to terrorism and
criminals against humanity that brings disrepute to Malawi as we are aware that every funding agency or individuals has special interest in doing so and we can only question the motive of such funding to a country like Malawi as it will do much harm in long run than doing good


Bright Kampaundi, CHAIRPERSON


Fr. Benito Kamoto Dies

18 April 2014

Death Announcement: FR BENITO KAMOTO

The Catholic Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi regrets to announce the death of FR BENITO KAMOTO , a priest of the ARCHDIOCESE OF BLANTYRE. He died during the night of the 17of April 2014.

While waiting for announcement of the arrangements for the burial, indications
are that he will be laid to rest on Easter Monday, 21 of April 2014, preceded by a
requiem Mass on the same day at Limbe Cathedral.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tereza Mirovicova Continues Artistic Mission

Czech-born artist, Tereza Mirovicova, is an irony: The world to which she has acquainted herself since 2005- the small locality of Chadzunda on the outskirts of Blantyre City- remains smaller and static, but there has never been any lack of motion in her artistic world.

And, because of no lack of motion in her artistic world, it can as well be said that, through her music compositions, film acting, and philanthropic work, the artistic motions she has made as she passes through the static locality of Chadzunda everyday have changed not only herself and the lives of community members, but Malawi’s arts scene, too.

Yet, this is not what Mirovicova anticipated in 2002, when, while working as a secretary for a company based in Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague, she came across a newspaper advert in one of the newspapers, DNES (Today) inviting those interested to work as Development Aid from People to People (Dapp) Volunteers in 2002.

“I immediately applied because I wanted to experience something different,” she reminisces.

However, this does not mean she found herself into music and film acting on the local scene by accident. She says she fell in love with music while aged eight, a time that coincided with the peak of communism in her native land- a development that meant citizens were not allowed to listen to Western music.

“However, I found an old Western music tape with songs from the 50s and 60s. I so liked the music that I started dancing to it. In fact, songs of the 60s remain my main weakness, “she says.

She is also thrilled by the music of Czech musicians Raduza and Karel Gott.


As happens with all things in life, her tenure as a Dapp volunteer had to come to an end, and this happened in 2003. But Mirovicova vowed to come back, and did just that in 2005. Since then, she has made it a point to spend the bulk of her time in Malawi and spend some three months in her native land.

Indeed, from a philanthropist to musician known for her Chichewa lyrics, she has evolved into so many things.

“I am a film producer, costume designer. I like to cook. I am a poet and likes writing poetry about dogs. I am the director of the Malawian Non-Governmental Organisation boNGO Worldwide, which specialises in creative designing of educational models for primary schools under the The Happy Classroom Project,” Mirovicova says.

And, considering the way she has been hopping between creating poetic sounds out of shapeless words, acting, designing costumes, and creative live creatures on, otherwise, lifeless classroom walls, it is clear that the lanky artist has turned the corner, and cut her teeth in the local arts industry.

It is a personal revolution that started when she featured in the local film, Zione, an HIV and Aids film revolving around a girl who ventures into commercial sex work in what may best be described as a case of fatal love because her intents are selfless: To support her poverty-stricken family.

“The second (film) I featured in is ‘The Last Fishing Boat’ and the third one is ‘B’ella’, which comes out this month. I acted in B’ella and also produced it,” Mirovicova says.

She is yet to act in a supporting role.

Learning curve

Playing these roles has helped the multi-talented artist understand the country’s arts sector. And, from her view as a participant in the goings-on, she observes thus:

“There are many talented and readily-available actors in Malawi, and Malawians seem to love acting and theatre. There are beautiful locations in the country and, additionally, the world hasn’t seen Malawian films and, so, is curious to see them,” she says.

Mirovicova is also wise to acknowledge that the playground is replete with challenges, too.

Observes Mirovicova: “Some of the challenges include unprofessionalism among some of the professionals I have worked with (and) the cinematic story telling is challenged by a lack of tech-equipment.”

Despite these challenges, Mirovicova sees opportunities for film makers.

“We, filmmakers, don’t always have to get funds from donors. There are corporate companies that we can, with proper marketing, partner with. Film might be a good investment. Look at Nolywood!”

She says, for instance, that B’ella was shot on a shoe-string budget, thanks to Agrofert Foundation and Karel Janecek from her native Czech Republic.

Mirovicova says success of the film industry also depends on good working relations between filmmakers and regulatory bodies such as the Censorship Board.

“(After all) they are a regulatory body for film and entertainment. It’s prudent to have a good working relationship between the board and filmmakers. It helps filmmakers het a rating (classification) for their films,” Mirovicova says.

This is an observation Chief Censoring Officer at the Censorship Board, Humphrey Mpondaminga, agrees with.

“As Censorship Board, we value such initiatives (as film previewing) because, apart from doing our official job of classifying movies, the previews offer us the opportunity to make suggestions to local film-makers so that they come up with movies with a Malawian traditional touch. When you watch a movie from South Africa you don’t even need to be told that it is from South Africa because film-makers from there know their country’s signature,” Mpondaminga observes, adding:

“Actually, we can add value to their productions in terms of coming up with high quality pictures that will sell Malawi’s culture and tourism to the international community. A movie does not only tell the story but also tells the scenery of a particular country through the pictures.”

He says the board encourages filmmakers to involve it from script writing to shooting of the movie “because, when they bring to us an already finished product and we tell them to remove some scenes or words, they always complain that they spent a lot of money on production”.

Artistic roots

Come what may, Mirovicova’s increased roles in filmmaking will surely not distract her from the musical journey she started because, just like she felt when she first came across that Western music tape at the age of eight, Malawi music so thrilled her that she decided not just to be part of the audience, but the composer as well.

Some of her songs include Chikondi, which is a celebration of love between two people of different cultures; Chimphongo - a track inspired by Tom Jones’ ‘She’s a lady’, which depicts a young lady’s pride and joy in her new found love; ‘Bwera Apa’; Titsate Mwambo; ‘Simuzasiabe’; Ku Ghetto, among others.

The singer, whose favourite Malawian musician is Ndirande-based singer and guitarist, Muhanya, also likes Malawi’s oldest sounds, ‘Bambo a Tereza’.

“My message to Malawians is that they should value their culture; culture gives people a sense of what they are. Lastly, let me say that we are all one. I just want Malawians to treat me as one of them, not (as) a white lady. We are all equal,” Tereza says.

Indeed, this message resonates with her songs. In them, humanity furnishes the beat while love provides the theme.

Press Statement on Presidential Debates 2014

For Immediate release, 17 April, 2014

The multi-stakeholder Taskforce on Malawi Presidential Debates, chaired by the National Media Institute of Southern Africa (NAMISA), will hold a Presidential Debate for all 12 aspiring presidential candidates on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The debate will take place at the Bingu International Conference Centre, (BICC), from 6:00 to 9:00 pm and broadcast live on radio, television and internet.

Second and third presidential debates are also scheduled for April 29 and May 6 in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively, and will include those political parties fielding parliamentary candidates in 10 percent of constituencies across the country.

The Taskforce has received confirmation from most political parties that their candidates will participate and is finalizing the engagement process in readiness for the April 22 debate to have representation of all candidates.

Among other key decisions, all the debates will combine Chichewa and English and will be restricted to invited guests only and moderated by a well-respected, knowledgeable Malawian with a neutral stand and very conversant with Malawian politics. The Taskforce has been endorsed by the Malawi Electoral Commission.

The debates have been organised to inspire issues based elections and enable candidates to market their ideas and policies to the electorate. In addition, the debates aim to (1) motivate candidates to focus on real policy issues, and articulate their position on matters that are important to Malawians, thereby providing a basis for holding the winning candidate accountable after the elections; (2) provide voters with a rare opportunity to compare presidential contenders side by side; (3) help to promote political tolerance among candidates and (4) provide an opportunity for political rivals to show that despite their differences they can treat each other with mutual respect even when they disagree on issues which would in turn promote political coexistence before and after the elections.

Funding for the debates has been provided by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) with the National Democratic Institute providing technical assistance made possible by support from UKAID.


The debates taskforce was formed in July in response to interests by respective organizations to host presidential debates. Members include Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), National Initiative For Civic Education (NICE), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN), Mtendere Support Network (MESN), Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN), The National Media Institute of Southern Africa (NAMISA) and Young Politicians Union of Malawi (YPU).

Launch of Phase Two of Voters’ Roll Inspection

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is informing all registered voters, political parties, civil society organisations and the general public that the second phase of voter verification will start on Easter Monday, 21 April, 2014 and end on Friday, 25 April, 2014.

This second phase will cover Mulanje, Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka,Salima NKhotakota, and all districts in the Northern Region. Centres will be opening from 8AM to 4PM including lunch hour.

The Commission is encouraging all registered voters in these districts who might be unable verify their details during weekdays to take advantage of the Easter Monday holiday to verify their details.

During the verification period, registered voters who lost their certificates should also go to the centres where they registered to get duplicate certificates which will enable them vote easily on May 20, 2014.

The Commission is also urging the public to report deaths of their relatives so that they should be removed from the voters’ register.

They should bring the voter certificate of the deceased and a death certificate, a letter from a traditional leader or religious leader as evidence.

The Commission will also process transfers for people who have moved away from the centres where they initially registered and they will be unable to go that centre on the polling day. These voters should go with their voter certificate to the centre where they wish to vote at and ask to be transferred to that centre. Without a voter
certificate, a transfer will not be processed.

For more information contact the Commission on email

Signed this 16Th day of April, 2014 at Blantyre.

Willie Kalonga

Chief Elections Officer

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Meeting with MBC Board on campaign broadcasting


The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) met with the board of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on Friday April 4, 2014 at the Commission’s head office in Blantyre.
The meeting was held to discuss various concerns and published reports of unfair coverage of contesting political parties in the 20 May 2014 elections.

It was observed that MBC has been giving prominence to the ruling party while at the same time marginalizing the opposition political parties.

During the meeting, both parties observed and accepted that the performance of the public broadcaster in ensuring equitable coverage has not been up to standard in many aspects.

It was agreed by both parties that MBC has not complied with the provisions of its broadcasting licence, the Communications Act and the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act of ensuring equitable access to the political parties.

The Commission unreservedly condemned the unprofessional conduct of MBC over the two weeks of the campaign and demanded radical changes that would lead to equitable coverage of all contesting political parties.

In response the board committed to undertake IMMEDIATE changes and reforms which shall include but not limited to:

.Giving a right to reply on all stories and campaign messages broadcast on radio and television.

. Stop rebroadcasting presidential rallies where the President was campaigning.

.Give equal airtime for political parties to campaign where the State President has been covered live campaigning.

The MBC board assured the Commission of immediate structural changes in its coverage of political parties and challenged MEC, political parties, civil society organisations, electoral stakeholders and the public to observe its performance for seven days effective Friday, April 4, 2014.

The Commission is, therefore, urging everyone who may have a complaint against MBC in the period up to Friday, April 18, 2014 to immediately lodge it with the Commission through the following address:

The Chief Elections Officer,
Malawi Electoral Commission,
Private Bag 113,

The Commission will also agree with the board on other areas of reform which shall be communicated to the public soon.

Signed this 4th day of April, 2014 at Blantyre.

Willie Kalonga
Chief Elections Officer

Resumption of Inspection of Voters Roll


Resumption of Inspection of Voters Roll

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is informing all registered voters, political parties, civil society organisations and the general public that it has worked on the inconsistencies that were discovered in the voters roll and it is now ready to resume the exercise.

The first phase of the exercise will start from Wednesday, April 9 to Sunday, April 13, 2014 in the following councils:

. Chikhwawa
. Blantyre City
. Blantyre District
. Mwanza
. Neno
; Chiradzulu
. Phalombe
. Thyolo
. Luchenza
. Zomba City and
. Zomba district

During this inspection exercise, all registered voters are urged to go to the centres where they registered to inspect how their registration details are appearing in the voters’ roll.

Registered voters who lost their certificates should also go to the centres where they registered to get duplicate certificates which will enable them vote easily on May 20, 2014.

The Commission is also urging the public to report deaths of their relatives so that they should be removed from the voters’ register.

They should bring the voter certificate of the deceased and a death certificate, a letter from a traditional leader or religious leader as evidence.

The Commission will also process transfers for people who have moved away from the centres where they registered and they will be unable to go that centre on the polling day. These should go with their voter certificate to the centre where they wish to vote at and ask to be transferred to that centre.

The voter inspection exercise will be conducted in phases to enable the Commission to place adequate teams in all wards with photographic equipment to attend to queries and issues that may arise.

Subsequent phases will be announced shortly.

For more information contact the Commission on email .

Signed this 4th day of April, 2014 at Blantyre.

Willie Kalonga
Chief Elections Office

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


The Director of the Forum for Peace and Justice (FPJ) wishes to condemn a development by certain political parties which use words like 'Azimayi a Chisilamu abwere kutsogolo kuno adzavine (Moslem women should come in front and dance) at their rallies. They are reminded that Islam as a religion does not condone or tolerate any form of dancing hence such words are nonstarter and impermissible. However, if
some women or men dressing Islamically or in hijab(for women) opt to dance at these political rallies, they should do so independent of Islam or as individuals. As such, they should be identified by names of their groups not being generalized as Moslem women or Moslem men.

In a related development, the Executive Director of Forum for Peace and Justice is also sending a strong warning to some religious leaders who are moving up and down in mosques and churches telling their members on whom to vote for in the forthcoming general elections. What they should know is that religion is an entity that accommodates members of different political orientations. As such, they should not
be using mosques and churches as venues to campaign for candidates of their choices.

In the same vein, political violence or any form of violence is totally regrettable, primitive and unacceptable in the modern Malawi. As such, there should not be a repeat of what happened at Goliati in Thyolo few weeks ago. We are urging all stakeholders to advocate for violence-free-campaigns as we are fast moving towards the General Elections in May.

Sheikh Ali Makalani
Executive Director