Wednesday, February 25, 2015



1.0 Introduction
The Youth Act Alliance is a network that has a membership of over 35 youth led organizations across the country. The Alliance’s secretariat is Child Rights Information Documentation (CRIDOC) which is responsible for coordination and day-to-day operations. The network is composed of the National Advocacy Platform, Regional and District Advocacy Platforms.
2.0 Vision Statement
Safeguarding children and young people in maternal, newborn, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and HIV health care programs in Malawi through advocacy.
2.1 Mission Statement
A platform of youth led organizations that advocate for improved service delivery, quality and equitable access to youth and child friendly health services in the circles of maternal, newborn, sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV and AIDS, and youth and child rights at local and national levels in Malawi.
3.0 Objectives
3.1 To build capacity of the Alliance’s membership and mobilize resources in support for its membership.
3.2 To advocate for quality, equity and improved service delivery in the areas of sexual and reproductive health rights for young people at local and national levels in youth and child friendly health services manner.
3.3 To foster networking, collaboration and information sharing among its membership
3.4 To advocate for youth social, economic justice and youth inclusion in decision making positions in order to realize youth demographic dividend.
4.0 Situation Analysis
In Malawi, 60% of the population are young people below the age of 24. Young people aged 25-35 years account for 17%; meaning that 77% of the population of Malawi are young people. The majority of these young people face various social and economic challenges such as early marriages and teen pregnancy, unsafe abortions, high school dropouts, unemployment, exclusion, poor youth friendly services provision and accessibility, low access to comprehensive sexuality education, low investment in youth programming, socio-economic injustice and inequality, high rates of HIV infections and Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs), just to mention a few.
However, while the Government has on several occasions promised and developed ambitious policies on youth programmes, there still remains a yawning gap in terms of translating the programmes into practice. The youth sector is marred by underfunding whenever resources are made available in executing the programmes, politicization come into play.
We, the youth from all the three regions of Malawi strongly disapprove the decision of Parliament and Executive arms of the Government in trimming the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development budget allocation from MK 1.1 Billion Kwacha to 600 Million Kwacha.
We register our concern to the August House and the Executive to rescind the decision and increase the budget allocation to the Ministry as 1.1Billion Kwacha as this was not enough already.
The 2014/2015 financial year budget allocation to the Ministry of Youth with 1.1Billion Kwacha budget beak down (analysis) was as follows;
ORT     K 120,605,905
Personal Emoluments  K 259,822,126
Development Part II  K 690,000,000
TOTAL     K 1,070,428,031
Distribution of ORT within the Ministry Departments
Total ORT    K 120,605,905
Administration   K 57 Million
Department of Youth  K 36 Million
Department of Sports  K 26 Million
Total budget for the ministry represented 1% of the national budget
In 2013, a budget of 120 million kwacha was presented by NYCOM to Ministry of Finance; however only 50 million kwacha was given. Yet the annual wage bill for NYCOM was 45 million kwacha. The remaining 5 million was not even adequate for rentals, utilities, vehicles etc. It was just another dead year for NYCOM and all the youthSimilarly, the 2014/15 budget for NYCOM is around 160 million kwacha, but only 55 million kwacha has been earmarked.

Again 2014/2015 also seems to be a dead year as the Mid-Year Budget Review has trimmed the budget to 600 Million Kwacha. This, essentially, means that the 600 Million Kwacha is earmarked for salaries and administrative operations only.
The reduced budget allocation means that there is zero budget to the Youth Reproductive Health Rights and HIV services, Youth Leadership and Participation, Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), National Youth Service, Youth Centre and Recreational facilities, Complimentary Education, Youth Economic Empowerment, Formal and Informal Vocational Training and the construction of a Multi-Purpose Youth Centre in Mzuzu is now a white elephant. This is automatically deterring national youth development as the industrious, energetic, innovative population is being sidelined.

As a significant demographic dividend of the county’s population, the youth strongly oppose the decision made by Parliament and the Executive because the government is not bigger than the entities that voted it into power, in this case we – young people. It is the obligation of the Government to ensure that young people benefit equitably from the tax payers money. We believe that the priority of trimming the budget should have, instead, gone to the Malata subsidy.
It is our constitutional right for the state to provide basic social amenities through the national budget. The current position has propelled us to demand for the rescinding the decision by Parliament and the Executive in trimming the budget allocation to the youth sector before the Parliament rises. We, the youth pay taxes too and we deserve to be a priority within priorities in as far as realization of demographic dividend is to be achieved across the country.

According to the provision under Chapter I of the Republican Constitution of Malawi, “the authority to govern derives from the people of Malawi as expressed through universal and equal suffrage in elections held in accordance with this Constitution in a manner prescribed by an ACT of Parliament”. In this context; we demand our power to govern by calling the Parliament and the Executive arms to reverse the decision made.


ChimwemweKaonga     Edward Phiri
Chairperson       National Coordinator



The organisers of the annual Music Malawi (MUMA) Awards, MediaCorp Limited and
Trocadero Consulting in partnership with the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) are
pleased to unveil Television personality Geoffrey ‘Mr Splash’ Kapusa as the host of the
Second Edition of the Awards. The awards ceremony will be held at the Bingu
International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Kapusa is the senior producer at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Television and show
host of the popular musical show Music Splash which for years has become the main
television outlet of Malawi’s popular local music.
The organisers believe that with Mr Splash hosting this magnificent event, it would bring
the glamour and dynamism that the awards deserve. This is also to recognise the efforts
Kapusa has put in promoting and developing Malawi music through the years that he has
been hosting Music Splash.
This edition of the Awards has fifteen (15) categories which are open for voting covering
different genre and artists/groups that have made an impact on the local music scene in
the 2014 season and also has a special Life Time Achiever accolade that would be
bestowed on Michael Fredrick Paul Sauka, the composer of the country’s National
Anthem. Sauka will be awarded posthumously and it is expected that his widow Beatrice
Sauka will receive the award on behalf of this son of Malawi.
The voting started at 06.00 hours on Thursday February 12, 2015. Note: This is for Airtel
subscribers only.
A full list of nominees and the voting codes can also be accessed on the MUM Facebook
page or follow us on twitter @MUMA_awards,
and the website:

Saturday, February 21, 2015



21st February, 2015
For immediate release

Blantyre City Council will on Tuesday, 24th February 2015 hold Participatory Budget Meeting in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Civic Centre, Blantyre from 9:00 am. The Council is in the process of formulating its budget for the 2015/16 financial year.
To ensure that the budgeting is participatory, the Council has scheduled this meeting where members of the public are expected to give their input into the budget. The contributions from the public are very valuable to the Council as together we can do more in developing our City.
Members of the media are invited to participate in the meeting and also provide coverage of the same.
Anthony Kasunda

Friday, February 20, 2015

Early Marriages: A Thorn in Education for All Goals

As education officials work day and night to find lasting solutions to school drop-out rates that show no signs of scaling down, another monster, namely early marriages- threatens to reverse the gains in Mulanje District, as RICHARD CHIROMBO found out recently.
Caroline Mikwamba looked almost celebratory as she waited for the next popcorn customer at Namphungo Trading Centre in Mulanje this particular Sunday.
It was clear, however, that, deep down, her ceiling of self-esteem had dropped so low that she only wanted to hide.
“The thing is, I am only 14 years old but I have gone through a lot in my short stint on Earth. For example, I dropped out of Chisawani Primary School (in Mulanje) when I was 12 years old and married,” she confesses.
Caroline, who comes from Namphungo Village in the area of Traditional Authority Juma, says marriage was not an experience filled with roses and flowers.
“I immediately became the target of abuse and was often subjected to beatings and other forms of abuse. It’s an experience I would rather forget,” she says, excusing herself momentarily to attend to a female customer.
But the soft-spoken and shy Caroline hastens to say she was forced into marriage due to resource constraints. Faced with challenges such as lack of clothes, body lotion, and school shoes, she felt that the bright future education officials promise comes with so many sacrifices.
  “So, when the next man I met proposed love to me, I accepted. I was not forced into marriage by my parents; I merely informed them that I had found a husband and they did not object,” she says.
Unfortunately, she is not the only one to have fallen into the pit of early marriage at the expense of education in Mulanje. She says she knows two girls of her age who are married in her village.
For 14-year-old Gloria Phiri, swapping school for marriage is the “worst decision I have ever made”. Experiences she encountered after dropping out of Chisawani Primary School in 2012 while in Standard 7 will forever remain etched in her memory.
“I thought life would be easy in marriage,” says Phiri. “Instead, I faced a number of unanticipated challenges.”
She urges girls to remain in school, saying resource constraints should not weigh down their hopes for a brighter future.
This story of girls swapping education for marriage repeats itself in the case of Mercy Wyson, who thought that education suited boys and not girls and became a family girl.
Frustrated by lack of resourced and wooed by the open arms of a matrimonial home, Mercy could not do otherwise but opt for the role of a house wife at the tender age of 12.
She only rescinded her decision when her mum, Estere Muliwa, encouraged her not to give up on her hopes of sitting Malawi School Certificate of Education examinations one day.
“I encouraged Mercy to take another go at education and, as a mother, I try to provide what I can because I realise that school is very good for her,” she says.

Poverty hampers school retention
At the top of girls’ grounds for dumping school is the issue of resource constraints.
One of the girls who dropped out of school to found a matrimonial home, Estere Muliwa, says the availability of resources such as school bags, shoes and uniform could go a long way in retaining girls in school.
Her sentiments are echoed by Mikwamba, who says lack of learning materials was one of the factors that influenced her decision to drop out of school.
“Well-wishers, the government and other organisations should ensure that resources are available for the girl-learner to do well in school and during national examinations,” says Mikwamba.
A local education official agrees. Namphungo Primary Education Advisor (PEA), Jimmy Villiera, says the sight of girls of school-going age busy carrying out domestic errands remains a cause for concern for local authorities.
  “Some girls drop out of school after being lured by boys who into cultivate tomatoes, tomato cultivation being an income spinner in these areas. So, lured by prospects of money, some girls drop out of school and marry at a tender age,” says Villiera.
He, however, observes that some community initiatives have led to a decrease in school drop out rates.
“Although we are yet to come with the exact figures, there is a notable change as a number of girls have gone back to school,” says Villiera, adding:
“For example, we have Mother Groups. These are women who act as role models and encourage girls to remain in school. The girls also have models in form of primary and secondary school teachers as well as the Member of Parliament for Mulanje West, Hon. Patricia Kaliati.”
He says education officials are hopeful that these initiatives could help keep the girl-child in school.
Villiera looks after 12 primary schools, of which eight are full primary schools while four are junior primary schools.

Local problems, local solutions
While the spectacle of school-age girls washing plates continues to be part of life in Mulanje, local communities are generating ideas that would lead to a reversal of the situation. Among the lieutenants fighting for position change is Group Village Headman Mwawihe, who is the chairperson of the Chiefs Council, a network of traditional leaders who have the welfare of their subjects at heart, in the area.
The council, which has eight like-minded chiefs, has enacted by-laws applicable in areas that fall under the chiefs’ jurisdiction.
“For example, we have banned marriages of youths who have not yet clocked 20 years. Anyone who married at the age of 15 pays the fine of a goat,” says Mwawihe.
He says, apart from this, chiefs no longer allow children to attend dances that span all night long, imposing a curfew that becomes effective from 3 P.M.
“We want our children to remain in school,” he says. “As I am speaking, some of the children who dropped out of school are now back in class. Indeed, four girls who got pregnant while in school have gone back to school after taking care of the babies,” says the chief.
Apart from chiefs’ efforts, some community members have also adopted the role of peer educators. One of the educators, Loveness Kaipa, says she was inspired to take a leading role after observing that culture and negative stereotypes continue to conspire against the aspirations of women in the village, leading to a large number of girls dropping out of school or getting pregnant.
Kaipa, who comes from Chafikana Village, Traditional Authority Juma in Mulanje, is now using her experiences to motivate girls who have dropped out of school or become victims of early marriage.
“I faced my own challenges in terms of getting education opportunities. I used to do things out of ignorance and I think I also married while young. This is not strange here because there seems to be competition among girls to marry fast. There are lots of young people who married while at a tender age. In most cases, most girls marry after getting to Standard 8.”
While both chiefs and peer educators are doing a commendable job, it is not an overstatement to say that no one understands the development needs of Namphungo Trading Centre and surrounding villages better than Tikhiwa Pazala.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that he currently holds two influential positions: Area Development Committee (ADC) chairperson and Community Mobilisation Team (CMT) chairperson.
Pazala says: “We have established that most girls marry at an early age, while those still in school face the challenge of unprepared for pregnancies, and these cases prompted us to engage guardians and parents who force their children to marry at an early age.
“We have also created by-laws and, through the by-laws, we mete out punishment to parents who force their children to marry at an early age. The parents pay a fine of K5, 000, while the bride and bride groom each pay one goat in fines.”
However, Pazala observes that challenges remain.
“One of the challenges is that of lack of resources (in terms of fees) after the girls do well in Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations. It is common knowledge that poverty is rampant in Malawi, a problem exacerbated by orphan hood. In the end, girl-children believe that marriage is the solution to their problems,” says Pazala.
This notwithstanding, police officers are appreciating the efforts of community members, with Child Protection Officer at Namphungo Police Unit, Sergeant Getson Ching’amba, acknowledging that things are changing for the better.
“In the past, lack of knowledge negatively affected the synergy between community members and officers.
“In the past, community members did not know the right procedures for reporting, say, cases of those of marriage by individuals who are below the Constitutionally-recognised age for marriage,” says Ching’amba, adding:
  “On our part, we have been conducting outreach programmes in schools, churches, apart from running a Victim Support Unit,” he says.

National picture
Not that early marriages are a concern in Mulanje only. At the national level, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology putting in place mechanisms that would stem the rate of early marriages.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Rebecca Phwitiko, says, among other measures, the ministry has been encouraging girls who dropped out of school to go back to school after delivery.
“We have also been creating an environment that is conducive to learning for the girl-child,” says Phwitiko.
Civil Society Education Coalition executive director, Benedicto Kondowe, says the nation needs to put in place deliberate mechanism aimed at creating a level play ground for the girl learner.
“This includes good sanitary facilities in schools, removing barriers that hamper access to education such as long distance to schools, and providing the resources that would enable girls and boys to excel in their education,” says Kondowe.
May be it’s due to initiatives such as these that girls like Caroline have gone back to school. The challenge, however, is to keep them there.
More so when it is clear that the gulf between bringing the girl child back to school and retaining them stays unabridged.

Education: The Malawian Girl-Child's Struggle to Remain in School

Her maiden goal was to go a step further than her ancestors’ education levels and, like a squirrel, catch some glimpse of the heaven that education promises.
But, as has become the norm among school-going girls from the area of Traditional Authority Juma in Mulanje, her present situation is a canvass of failed dreams, a development attributed to the day 15-year-old Juliet Kalima decided to desert the place where joy resides- the classroom- and venture into the world on uncertainties far beyond.
Today, those wishing to appreciate her predicament just have to visit Namphongo Market on a market day (Thursday) and they will be hit by the full force of illiteracy levels among girls. The market, located a stone-throw away from Juma’s courts, is congested with girl-vendors, mostly aged between 10 and 18.
Kalima revealed in mid-April that she was forced to drop out of school after getting pregnant in Standard 7.
“That is two years ago. I used to school at Chambe Primary School but was forced out because, they said, they wanted me to deliver and take care of the baby first, yet they left the boy who impregnated me in school,” Kalima said.
That was 13 months ago. Today, having successfully delivered, Kalima said she has no intention of going back to school.
“I am married now, but not to the boy who impregnated me. He told me he wanted to finish school first and I thought that I could not wait for that. I married a business man who, thankfully, happens to be an understanding,” Kalima said, before adding:
“He is the one who gave me K20, 000 to venture into my small scale business of selling pieces of clothes here.”
But, while dropping out of school may, to many, mark the beginning of the loss of all the future promises, that is not the case with Kalima, as she professes to be happy.
It is, therefore, another school drop-out, 17-year-old Agnes Mbulaje who, in tandem with the saying that it is the “the dead who, under the world’s rough pelt, sink into the blindness of despair”, has a sad tale to tell.
“I fell pregnant while in Standard 8, but the man who impregnated meabandoned me a year later on the pretext that I was too young,” Mbulaje said.
However, all may not be lost because the youth themselves, through Tiyamike Youth Alliance for Social Development (Tiyasode), are trying to reverse the situation in Namphongo.
Tiyasode Executive Director, Simon Walima, said the organisation has, since its establishment in 2005, tried to reach out to the girls through clubs such as Luwangwa Girls Club, Malire Girls Club, Timvane Girls Club, Langizo Youth Club, Tayamba Youth Club, Tithandizane Youth Club, Ayin, and Lonjezo Girls Club.
“We have tried, through livelihhod and disaster risk management programmes to reverse the situation. We have tried to run a resource centre for youth, provide vocational training and promote girls education, as well as reafforestation and advocacy programmes on the elimination of harmful cultural practices. Little by little, we are seeing changes, but that is not happening quick enough,” Walima said.
So pathetic is the situation that Mulanje District Youth Officer, Daud Chikwanje, has expressed concern that, if not checked, the situation could go out of hand.
“Namphungo is known for all the bad things in the district. We have issues of high school drop-out rates, early marriages, defilement. We even have parents who offer Standard 6 pupils as wives to teachers,” Chikwanje said.
This year alone, revealed Chikwanje, six girls had dropped out of school at Namphungo Community Day Secondary School, while 23 pupils from Standard 4 to 8 had dropped out of school in the past year alone.
The Ministry of Education has, meanwhile, decried the trend.
“We have noted that many girls are dropping out (of school) on different grounds such as pregnancy, lack of school fees, especially at secondary level, early marriages in other areas of the country, and other factors,” said ministry spokesperson Lindiwe Chide. 
She said the ministry was pinning on the bursary scheme, which has a cash transfer component that caters for out-of-school needs; the re-admission policy, which encourages girls to go back to school after delivery, and; role modeling programmes that use female professionals within the vicinity of target girls to promote the retention of girls in school.
“You may wish to note that some of the girls drop out (of school) just because they do not have models who can inspire them in their areas,” Chide said, adding that mother groups, which are established in schools and are managed by school management committees, were also assisting the ministry’s cause.

Chide hoped that these programmes, along with the school meals programme, would help make the classroom attractive to the girl child.
A 2010 report compiled by Advancing Girls Education in Africa (Age Africa) and titled ‘The State of Girl’s Education in Malawi’ quotes a 2010 World Bank  report which indicates that, of the 27 percent of girls that enroll in secondary schools in Malawi, only 13 percent end up attending secondary education.
It adds that only 13 percent of the girls finish the 4 years of secondary school, while only 5 percent of women nationally have passed their Malawi School Certificate of Education examinations.
“In Malawi, gender inequity in educational enrolment is evidenced by the relative under-enrollment of girls in secondary education. In rural areas alone, girls are outnumbered 10:1 by their male counterparts. Girls also consistently perform worse in national examinations and face dropout at a much higher rate,” reads part of the Age Africa report.
The report blames the situation on gender-based violence, inability to pay school fees, poor quality education, lack of knowledge and resources around sexual and reproductive health issues, lack of female role models, long distance to school, among others.
Observing that high school education was not free in Malawi, the report says a girls’ likelihood of attending and staying in school depends in large part on her ability to pay both fees and associated costs (uniforms, examination fees, supplies), ability to get to school, and the girl’s ability to avoid pregnancy and access to accurate information about her own sexual and reproductive.
Another research, released in August 2009 and conducted by G. Holkamp of Hogeschool Windesheim and titled “Reasons for Girl Drop-Out in Malawi’ indicates that there’s a high drop-out rate in Malawi, especially among girls.
“In 2008, 360, 771 learners were enrolled in primary schools of Malawi in total. Of those learners, 37 percent dropped out,” says the report.
The report also cites early marriages and pregnancies, poverty (orphans), lack of parental care, bad school condition and health problems as some of the reasons fueling the trend.
On the surface, these statistics ma appear as if they were dark shadows on a long, winding road to victory but, on the ground, Chide says things are ticking.

Saturday, February 14, 2015



“Ndinali ngati maso kwa anthu osapenya
Ndinali ngati mapazi kwa anthu opunduka”
(Yobu 29:15)

Abale mwa Khristu,

Pa tsiku ili la 11 February 2015 lokumbukira ndi kuganizira odwala pa dziko lonse lapansi, lidakhazikitsidwa ndi Papa Yohane Paulo Wachiwiri Woyera, ndikuyang’ana kwa inu nonse olemedwa ndi matenda ndipo muli olumikizidwa mwa njira zosiyanasiyana ku thupi la Yesu Khristu ozunzidwa. Komanso ndikuyang’ana kwa inu nonse madokotala ndi anthu ena onse ogwira ntchito zaumoyo modzipereka chabe.

Mfundo ya chaka chino ikutipempha kuti tisinkhesinkhe pa mau a m’Buku la Yobu onena kuti, “Ndinali ngati maso kwa anthu osapenya, ndinali ngati mapazi kwa anthu opunduka” (Yobu29:15). Ndidakakonda kusinkhasinkha mau amenewa potsamira pa mau awa “sapientia cordis” kutanthauza nzeru zamumtima.

  1. “Nzeru izi” simaganizo chabe kapena chinthu chosaoneka chochokera m’mutu chabe. Koma ndi chinthu chomwe monga adanenera Yakobe Woyera m’kalata yake, “Koma nzeru zochokera kumwamba, poyamba nzangwiro, kuwonjezera apo nzamtendere, zofatsa ndi zomvera bwino. Ndi zachifundo chambiri, ndipo zipatso zake zabwino nzochuluka. Nzeruzo sizikondera kapena kuchita chiphamaso.” (Yakobe 3:17). Ndi njira yoonera zinthu zoikidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera m’maganizo ndi m’mitima ya amene amakhudzidwa ndi mavuto a abale ndi alongo ao ndiponso amene angaone mwa abalewo chithunzi cha Mulungu. Pa chifukwa ichi, tiyeni titenge pemphero la mlakatuli wa Masalimo; “Tsono tiphunzitseni kuwerenga masiku athu, kuti tikhale ndi mtima wanzeru.” (Salimo 90:12). “Nzeru izi zamumtima,” zomwe ndi mphatso yochokera kwa Mulungu ndi zipatso za Tsiku Lokumbukira ndi Kuganizira Odwala.

  1. Kukhala ndi nzeru zamumtima kutanthauza kutumikira abale ndi alongo athu. Mau a Yobu oti, “Ndinali ngati maso kwa osapenya, ndinali ngati mapazi kwa opunduka,” akunena za munthu wolungama amene adasangalala chifukwa cha udindo kapena mphamvu zaulamuliro umene anali nawo pakati pa akuluakulu amumzinda umene umaperekedwa kwa amene anali osowa. Chimwemwe chake chinali kutsamira pakupereka thandizo kwa osauka amene ankasowa thandizo lake ndiponso pakusamalira ana ndi akazi amasiye (Yobu 29:12-13).
Masiku ano, ndi Akhristu angati amene amaonetsa, osati ndi mau ao chabe, koma ndi moyo ndiponso ndi ntchito zao zotsamira pa chikhulupiriro, kuti iwo ndi “Maso kwa osapenya” ndiponso “Mapazi kwa opunduka?” Iwo amakhala pafupi ndi odwala amene amasowa chisamaliro pafupipafupi ndipo amasowa thandizo loti nkuwachapira, kuwaveka ndiponso kuwadyetsa. Utumiki umenewu, makamaka pamene ukhala wotenga nthawi yaitali umatopetsa ndi kulemetsa. Ndi chapafupi kuthandiza munthu masiku ochepa, koma chimakhala chovuta kusamalira wodwala kwa miyezi kapena kwa zaka zingapo, ndipo chimakhala chokhumudwitsa pa zomwe akuchita. Komatu njira iyi ndi yopambana chifukwa imachititsa munthu kukhala woyera. Mu nthawi ya masautso ndi imene mwapadera, tiyenera kukhala pafupi ndi kudalira Ambuye Yesu, potero, timathandizira pa utumiki wa Mpingo.

  1. Nzeru zamumtima zitanthauza kukhala limodzi ndi abale ndi alongo athu. Nthawi yokhala ndi odwala ndi nthawi yoyera. Ndi njira yotamandira Mulungu amene amatichititsa kuti tikhale ndi nkhope/chithunzi cha Mwana wake, amene “adabwera osati kuti ena adzamtumikire ai, koma kuti Iyeyo adzatumikire anthu ndi kupereka moyo wake kuti aombole anthu ochuluka. Yesu yemwe adati, “Koma Ine ndili pakati panu ngati wotumikira.” (Luka 22:27).

Ndi chikhulupiriro cholimba tiyeni tipemphe Mzimu Woyera kuti atipatse chaulere chotithandiza kuti tizipeza nthawi yokhala pafupi ndi abale ndi alongo odwala. Kukhala nawo pafupi chifukwa chokhudzidwa ndi matenda awo, odwala amalandira chikondi ndipo amathuzitsidwa mtima. Ku mbali inayi zimakhala zodabwitsa kuti anthu ena amalankhula za kufunika kokhala ndi “Moyo wabwino” ngati kuti kukhala ndi moyo wodwaladwala kwambiri sichinthu chomuyenera munthu.

  1. Nzeru zamumtima zitanthauza kudzipereka ndi kudziiwala pofuna kutumikira abale ndi alongo athu odwala. Nthawi zina dziko lapansi limaiwala kufunikira kokhala pafupi ndi bedi la wodwala chifukwa timaoneka kuti tili ofulumira nthawi zonse, pamene tikutanganidwa ndi zathu zokha nkumaiwala zoti nthawi zina tizipeza nthawi yokhala pafupi ndi odwala nkumawathuzitsa mtima. Mchitidwe osalabadira odwala umalimbikitsidwa ndi chikhulupiriro chochepa chomwe chimatiiwalitsa mau a Ambuye athu Yesu Khristu oti, “Munkachitira Ine amene” (Mateo 25:40).

Chifukwa cha ichi, ndikubwerezanso kutsindika pa mfundo yakuti pa zonse, “Tizitsogoza mtima wakudziiwala ndi wodzipereka chifukwa chofuna kutumikira abale ndi alongo athu odwala ngati njira yokwaniritsa lamulo lalikulu lachikondi ndiponso ngati njira ya moyo wathu wauzimu pothokoza chifukwa cha mphatso yaulere imene Mulungu adatipatsa. (Evangelii Gandium, 179). Utumiki wa Mpingo ndiye kasupe wa mtima wopereka mwaulere ndiponso wa mtima womvetsa, wothandiza ndi kupititsa patsogolo ntchito zachifundo”.

  1. Nzeru zamumtima zitanthauza kukhala ndi mtima wokhala amodzi ndi anzathu odwala kwinaku tisakuwaweruza. Chifundo chimatenga nthawi yaitali. Monga adachitira abwenzi a Yobu: Adakhala ndi Yobuyo masiku asanu ndi awiri, usana ndi usiku womwe. Koma panalibe ndi mmodzi yemwe amene ankalankhula naye. Chifukwa chozindikira kuti Yobuyo akuvutika kwambiri. Ngakhale zinali choncho, abwenzi a Yobuyo anali kumuweruza m’mitima mwao: ankaganiza kuti mazunzo a Yobu anali chilango chochokera kwa Mulungu chifukwa cha machimo ake. Chikondi ndiponso chifundo chenicheni ndi chimene chimalola kugawana popanda kuweruza kapena chiphamaso. Chikondi chotere chimangoyamika ndi kukhutira pa zabwinozo.

Kuzunzika kwa Yobu kumapeza mayankho enieni pa mtanda wa Yesu, amene ali chizindikiro chakuti Mulungu ali nafe, mwaufulu ndi mwachifundo chodzaza. Chikondi chotere chokonda munthu wozunzika, makamaka kwa amene amazunzika popanda zifukwa, chimakhala pa thupi la Yesu wouka kwa akufa mpaka muyaya; zilonda zake zaulemerero ndi chitsimikizo cha chikhulupiriro (Malaliko a Papa Francis pa otchula Yohane wa XXIII ndi Yohane Paulo WAchiwiri kuti ndi Oyera, pa 27 April, 2014)

Ngakhale kuti matenda kapena zinthu zina zokhoma zimatilepheretsa kufikira abale athu, kuzunzika kungathe kukhala mwai wopereka zaulere ndiponso kungathe kusanduka kasupe wa kupeza ndi kukula m’nzeru. Timafika pomvetsa momwe Yobu, kumapeto kwa moyo wake adanena kuti, “Ndinkangomva za inu ndi makutu koma tsopano ndakuwonani chamaso.” (Yobu 42:5). Anthu amene ali m’mavuto ndi mu ululu, akavomereza mazunzo ao ndi chikhulupiriro, angathe kusanduka mboni zenizeni za chikhulupiriro chotha kulandira mazunzo, ngakhale asamvetse tanthauzo lake.

  1. Ndikupereka tsiku ili Lokumbukira ndi Kuganizira Odwala pa dziko lonse lapansi m’chitetezo cha Amai Maria, amene adatenga pathupi ndi kubereka Nzeru: Yesu Khristu, Ambuye athu.

O! Amai Maria, Mpando wa Nzeru, pemphererani, ngati Mai wathu, odwala onse ndi onse amene akuwasamalira, kudzera mu utumiki wathu kwa abale athu odwala, ndipo kuti kudzera m’kudwala tithe kulandira ndi kukhala ndi mtima wanzeru!

Ndi pemphero ili lopempherera inu nonse, ndikukupatsani Madalitso Aupostoli wanga.

Kuchokera ku Vatikani, 3 December, 2014.

Tsiku lokumbukira Francis Xavier Woyera.


Friday, February 13, 2015

High Court Upholds CFTC Decision Against Airtel Malawi

The telecommunication company, Airtel Malawi Limited has lost its appeal case against the decision of the Competition and Fair Trading Commission regarding its application for authorization of an Exclusive Distribution Arrangement.
In May 2013 Airtel applied to the Commission for authorization of its Exclusive Distribution Arrangement for its recharge vouchers and other products in line with Section 44 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act Cap 48:09 of the Laws of Malawi.
In its determination of 31st July 2013, the Commission approved the Exclusive Distribution Arrangement subject to amendments of some clauses in the Standard Distribution Agreement which were found to likely aggravate the lessening of competition in the distribution of Airtel recharge vouchers and other products.
Specifically, Airtel appealed against the Commission’s order that required the company to remove or amend a clause which imposed restrictions on the use of employees engaged by designated distributors not to be used to distribute products of Airtel competitors.
In his ruling delivered in the High Court Commercial Division in Blantyre on 10th February, 2015 Justice Dr. M.C. Mtambo upheld the decision of the Commission that the clause in question was competition restrictive.
The Court ruled that Airtel was, through the clause in question, attempting to regulate the business affairs and conduct of its distributors which are independent businesspersons by leveraging its dominant market power.


Thursday February 12, 2015
The organisers of the annual Music Malawi (MUMA) Awards, MediaCorp Limited and
Trocadero Consulting in partnership with the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) are
pleased to unveil the list of nominees for the Second Edition of the MUMA Awards. This
edition has fifteen (15) categories covering different genre and artists/groups that have
made an impact on the local music scene in the 2014 season.
The list of nominees follows submissions of best acts by various players in the local music
industry that included journalists, complimented by a dedicated team of seven (7) judges
who were appointed to oversee the process, and MUM
To vote for your favourite artists for 2014, send an SMS with the keyword to 58411. For
example to vote for Adrian Kwelepeta in the Best New Artist category send bn1 to 58411.
Each SMS costs K25 only. The voting starts at 06.00 hours on Thursday February 12, 2015.
Note: This is for Airtel subscribers only.
A full list of nominees and the voting codes can also be accessed on the MUM Facebook
page or follow us on twitter @MUMA_awards,
The Second Edition of the MUMA Awards will be held at the Bingu International
Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Friday February 27, 2015.
The mission for the MUMA Awards is to positively impact on the growth of the local music
industry through recognizing, encouraging, nurturing and supporting overall professional
excellence and the best of Malawi’s local music talent

Radio as a True Medium for Citizen Empowerment

World Radio Day Statement
For immediate release, February 12, 2015

As we will be commemorating World Radio Day on Friday, February 13, the Media Institute of Southern Africa - Malawi Chapter, joins Malawians in celebrating the importance of radio broadcasting and the role it plays in the socio-economic development of the country.
The United Nations set aside February 13 as World Radio Day to raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.
The celebrations in 2015 are being held under the theme “Youth and Innovation in Radio”.
MISA Malawi appreciates the valuable role that radio broadcasters – both national and community, play in promoting innovations among the youth through the airtime they give to various youth-led initiatives in education, science, technology, economics, arts, sports and various other spheres of life.
Radio also plays a critical role in the development of the youth through job creation for those working for radio stations and related industry. The radio is also a key platform for disseminating information on social issues affecting the youth such as HIV/Aids, alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment and gender inequalities.
 In addition to the youth, the radio also does not only inform and entertain people, but also helps in raising their awareness levels through programs on health, agriculture, climate change and education.
MISA-Malawi would like to take this opportunity to call upon broadcasters in Malawi to ensure that ordinary citizens, including the youth and all vulnerable groups, are given an opportunity to be heard by engaging them not just as listeners but also as active producers and creators of content.
We commend the Malawi government – through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), for issuing about 50 broadcasting licenses over the last 4 (four) years.
 We, however, appeal to the authorities to do more for communities in hard to reach areas and for government to consider scraping off tax on broadcasting equipment as high import and domestic taxes make it difficult or impossible for broadcasters, especially those at community level, to sustain their operations.
MISA Malawi believes that radio remains a low-cost medium suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people, the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor and stands out as the only true medium for citizen empowerment.
Radio is an effective medium to broadcast news, features, weather reports and entertainment and is a medium that is available everywhere at home, work or on the move. But we need to do more to ensure that we hear the voices of the poor, the vulnerable, the youth and others.  
Radio in Malawi has evolved from a one way top-down political mouth piece to a participatory two-way medium giving citizens a platform to air their views through phone in programs and text messages among others. Through radios, people in rural areas have been able access news and hold local authorities accountable.
The affordability of radio, its portability and ability to reach people irrespective of creed, status and background has made radio to be a dominant medium of communication in the country which is also helping in the advancement of issues affecting the youth.

Saturday, February 7, 2015



Delivered in the






Friday, 6th February, 2015

1. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is our tradition in Malawi that before the expiry of the financial year, the Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Government, should provide a mid-year review of the performance of the budget to this honourable house.  The Public Finance Management Act of 2003 in Section 17 requires that as Minister responsible to the President and the house for the economy, I should also publish a report that updates the economic and financial policy for the coming financial year before the year expires.  I intend to carryout both these responsibilities at the same time.  For this reason, in the document that is being circulated to honourable members, we have included a summary relating to the highlights of our economy during 2014 and an outlook for 2015.  What follows in the document is a detailed mid-year review of the fiscal performance for the first half of this financial year and a projection of the financial needs of the budget for the coming second half of the year that will end on 30 June 2015.   This statement therefore, will be short and only give emphasis where this is required in the documentation.
2. The economy, as is well known by all Honourable Members, is still passing through turbulent times in that although there are encouraging signs that we are succeeding to stabilise it, we are yet to reach a sustainable macroeconomic environment.  Mr Speaker, Sir, it is important that we should have a common understanding of what economic normality means.  Economic normality refers to an economy where low inflation and interest rates prevail, exchange rate variability is narrow and predictable foreign exchange availability is permanently assured.  In such an economic environment; confidence is generated and economic activity becomes vibrant.  These are basic conditions for the attainment of high quality economic growth rates.  In rural areas, such an environment enables people to experience a comfortable livelihood, because food is plentiful, farmers stimulated to boost their crop production that generate adequate incomes.  The APM Government is determined to sound macroeconomic conditions as means of achieving high quality growth rates.
3. The house is aware that since the shock devaluation of 2012, when prices shot up, inflation has stubbornly remained high.  Despite reasonable expectations that in 2014 inflation would sufficiently decline for interests rates to fall, the rate has remained high at an average of 23 percent.  In fact in November of 2014, it picked to a high of 23.5 percent.   In the circumstances, interest rates have also remained high, with the policy interest rate at the Reserve Bank of Malawi remaining for a long time at 25 percent and in tandem prime lending interest rates at commercial banks have also remained painfully high. 

4. The exchange rate that was allowed to float freely in May 2012 has not stabilised ever since.  The rate, depreciated massively during the latter part of 2014, reaching at one time K520 per US$.  However, the  policy measures that the Reserve Bank of Malawi took and the “currency swap” that involved the purchasing of government debt denominated in Kwacha by the PTA Bank using dollars, have restored order in the foreign exchange market and the exchange rate has steadily appreciated to just about K450 per dollar (middle rate).  The “Swap” transaction also has helped to increase official foreign exchange reserves to more than US$620 million - the highest ever reached since independence. 

5. Prior to the disaster that has just engulfed the country, our forecast was that, although the rate of inflation has been crawling up during the past three months, it would steadily fall characteristically, as it does seasonally during the harvest season beginning in April/May.  But the after effects of the disaster has shattered all these expectations that would have seen the achievement of normality during the third quarter of 2015. 

6. Without the delude the country has experienced, it is likely that our objective of reaching orderly macroeconomic conditions would have been attained quite soon. What is still true, however, is that without the disaster the economy could have seen light at the end of the tunnel in April/May 2015.  We would then have confirmed the IMF forecast that the growth rate in 2015 will surpass that of 2014 which was 6.5 percent.  It is still true however that with such high reserves, there are still signs that Malawi could resume high economic growth rates soon after the effects of the disaster have cleared.

6. And now Mr. Speaker, Sir, to the main subject of this statement – the Mid-year Review of the budget.  The House will recall that it was indicated in the Budget Statement that there was a possibility that at mid-year some votes could be revised upwards in the context of the mid-year budget review if some budgetary support recommenced.  I would like Mr. Speaker, Sir, to inform the house that regrettably despite many meetings with the donors that are still being held alongside public finance management reforms; so far,  only the ADB has decided to release the sum of K8 billion as budgetary support, during the latter part of this financial year of 2014/15.  However, there are indications that both the World Bank and the EU could release their pledged budget support during the next financial year i.e. in 2015/16.  In the event therefore, it is only possible to provide extra resources to the few votes - about 5 votes that cannot operate up to the end of the financial year i.e. up to June 30, 2015 because they will have exhausted their resources long before that date.  These 5 are out of 53 votes.  As will be obvious later, this is proposed to be done by scaling down the 2014/15 development programme to these votes and transferring resources between votes as appears necessary.

7. There will be a number of people who will consider the continued drought of budgetary aid as a failure. However, equally there will still be others that will see the fact that we seem to be surviving the drought as a good sign that augurs well for the times when as an independent country we are bound to be left alone except for foreign loans which every economy – advanced or developing – universally needs to either develop or in the management of an economy. It is true that we need the support of our donors.  Our budget has been designed with the expectation that ten percent of it, at least should be covered by budgetary support.  The lack of it is, therefore, painful because it requires everybody to accept sacrifices in different forms.  I hope, therefore, as it has been indicated, that the multilaterals will resume budgetary support as they have indicated.  In this context, on behalf of the Government I wish to express to the ADB our thanks for having decided to resume budgetary support.

8. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the House will recall that it approved revenue and grants estimated at K641.0 billion for the financial 2014/15.  Of this amount K530 billion were domestic revenue while total grants were set at K110.0 billion.  For the mid-year, total revenue and grants were targeted at K313 billion comprising K244 billion as domestic revenue and K68.8 billion as grants.  The house will wish to note that at the end of December 2014, both domestic revenue and grants underperformed by K36.6 billion.  In fact the total actual inflow of budgetary resources was K276.7 billion during the period in question which is only 88.2 percent of the expected amount.   Of this amount of inflows K243.3 billion was domestic revenue and K36.5 billion were grants. 

9. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to invite the house to review the document that is being circulated to them to see the details of our revenue and grant performance where each category of tax has been fully analysed and each class of grant has been subjected to the same analysis.  There it will be seen that although as a whole domestic Revenue underperformed, tax revenue overperformed somewhat but non-tax domestic revenues fell sharply below the expected target.  It will also be seen that all categories of grants underperformed considerably.  Thus although formally we did not expect any budgetary support, even dedicated grants  that are received for agreed designated activities and project grants that are received for agreed projects also were well below agreed targets.

10. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to invite Honourable Members to view the materials regarding expenditures in the document.  As Members will recall, total expenditure and lending was set at K748 billion of which K549.9 billion was recurrent expenditure and K196.1 billion was development expenditure.   Mid-year recurrent expenditure target was K365.7 billion in total.  Honourable Members should note that for the first time in years the Government slightly underspent this amount by 1.5 percent.  While the recurrent account was overspent by 3.7 percent, the development account was underspent by 23.0 percent.  The document provides a detailed discussion of how major expenditure categories performed such as wages and salaries, interest payment, pension and gratuities, other recurrent expenditures and the development account.  It will be noted Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there was a marked improvement in the use of financial resources by a majority of Ministries this year.

11. Incidentally Mr. Speaker, Sir, it should be noted in nearly all votes the personal emoluments budgetary line is higher than the approved amount in the budget, because an amount of K21 billion that was housed in the Human Resource Management vote has now been distributed to all the votes to take care of the salary increases after announcement of new salary scales.  In studying which votes have been overspent and which have not, personal emoluments should be excluded for the reason I have just given.  There are few notable Ministries whose excess expenditure is particularly notable.  The Malawi Defence Force for example spent (63 percent) of its annual vote by 31 December, 2014.  Others include: the National Assembly (63 percent), Accountant General’s Department (60 percent), Malawi Police Service (156 percent), Malawi Electoral Commission (99 percent), and Immigration (62 percent).  These, therefore, are among the votes that will require supplement resources to allow them to operate to the end of the financial year.  A few subverted public institutions will also require supplementary resources particularly the Malawi National Examination Board with spent (95 percent) of its annual budget allocation.  Public universities will also require slight increases of resources to take care of their intervening problems. 
12. The House will recall that out of the accumulated K157 billion arrears, K10 billion was programmed to be cleared during the 2014/15 financial year.  However, in order not to starve the small scale businesses and statutory bodies, the amount has been increased to K18 billion.   The rest has been paid in “zero coupon bonds”.  The bonds are being issued as the Auditor General audits and clears the outstanding arrears.

13. Returning to the expenditures, it will be seen from the document that painfully the implementation of the development programme has not progressed well as reflected in the amounts that have been spent under the development account of the budget.  The approved total development expenditure was K196.0 billion of which   K48.7 billion was for domestic financing (Part II) and K147.4 billion was for Foreign Financing (Part I).  The mid-year total expenditure projection was K72 billion.  From the document, it will be seen that only K14.5 billion was spent under Part II instead of K17.9 billion and  K41.7 billion was spent under Part I instead of K55.0 billion.   In the event, it is being proposed that some resources from the development account be transferred to some votes that require supplementary funding as it is highly unlikely that new projects that have not yet started will start in the remaining 5 months.  On the other hand, the Part I development programme is being adjusted upwards by K4.9 billion particularly on account of exchange rate depreciation that took place during the latter part of 2014.

14. All in all Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore considering that this was a zero budgetary aid budget that even the grants that were pledged have not been received, it is noteworthy that through rigorous budgetary management, we have been able to pass through this turbulent half year quite well with a domestic borrowing that is less than what was projected.  This amount mirror images the shortfall in total revenue and grants which is K37 billion.

15. The document also provides Honourable Members with the performance of each vote and also the proposals for supplementary expenditures which amount to K32 billion so that the total budget is being revised from K748 billion to K780 billion an increase of K32  billion.  This requested extra expenditure is due to interest bill that increased by K26 billion (see attachment I) and FISP that increased by K10 billion.  Total “Other Recurrent transactions however will be K4 billion lower than expected, demonstrating a good amount of fiscal discipline during the half year.  The House is, therefore, being requested for a supplementary approval of this amount of K32 billion that will entail an equal amount of borrowing.
16. The house is therefore requested to consider and approve supplementary resources of K32 billion.

N.B.: Of this increase in resources:
(a) K13 billion will be pledged additional grants
(b) K8 billion will be excess tax revenue from existing approved taxes
(c) K10 billion will be borrowed locally.
17. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is the end of the review, I hope very much that it could be fairly discussed after the detailed study of the document being circulated  Honourable Members,  I would like to thank you for listening.