There is an electoral alliance comprising sixparties—People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), New Labour Party (NLP), Assemblyfor Democracy and Development (ADD), Republican Party (RP), Malawi DemocraticParty (MDP) and Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde)—under thebanner Tikonze People’s Movement (TPM). It seeks to field one presidentialcandidate in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections. Our reporter BRENDA TWEAengages interim leader of the alliance, former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha:Chilumpha: We need unity
: Why this alliance? What does it promise to for Malawians? How is it different from other parties?
: The problem has something to do with the composition of leadership. When you have one political party that is running, what happens is that the leader of that party is the one who calls the shots. Now, here we have six political parties, and what we have agreed in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is that these leaders will have to work together as a team although there will be a chairperson for the party. But these political leaders will for all purposes be there and will form the highest policy-making body for the movement and they will work as a team and as equals, which has never happened in the history of Malawi where you have a team leading the country like that. We have always entrusted the governance of the country to one person who is elected as president and it is his or her say that matters.
: What is the structure of this new movement?
: The structure of this movement is that the leaders of the political
parties that are coming together will form the highest policy-making body. It will not just be one person although one of them will be the chairperson. But in terms of making policies, they will work together as a team according to the MoU. And that changes everything. Instead of leaving things to one person to dictate and everybody else to follow, it is that team that will have to debate issues and on the basis of whatever they agree then they can implement the policies. That is the change that we are bringing in and we hope that is going to be the safeguard against the individualistic approach that has characterised Malawi’s governance since 1964.
: How do you plan on choosing the torchbearer that everyone in the movement will support?
: There will be people from the party, running for positions both at parliamentary and ward levels. Already, as I am talking, there is an arrangement in place to identify candidates in those wards and constituencies where we intend to field candidates. The idea is to let people at that level identify who is going to be their candidate as opposed to parties taking a top-down approach. We will have a convention very shortly; we should be announcing the date soon. The purpose of that is to ensure that all the leadership and membership come together and elect a presidential candidate and his vice. We do not follow the system that is being used in Malawi currently where you give the president the power to choose a running mate. Our delegates at the convention will choose both. We are using a different system to the one many parties follow in the country.This is the change which we think might solve some of the problems we are facing so far. So, we are calling on Malawians to support this kind of change.
: Any final remarks you may have?
: The biggest difference about this movement is that instead of having one man leadership at the top, the leaders of the six political parties that form the alliance will form the highest policy making body for this movement. That will ensure that decisions are made after proper discussions and consultations, rather than imposed by one person simply because he is the president of the republic. These are the changes that Malawians really need to support. And these political parties have given up the political ambitions of their leadership. They are not seeking government for their own political ambitions; they have accepted that the interest of Malawians must come first and their personal ambitions should come second. This is again something that we appeal Malawians should support. A lot of the other leaders who were in this alliance have refused to work together because they believe that their leaders have the right to rule this country and therefore they will not play second fiddle. Malawi at this point needs unity for change to happen and we are setting the example, that that change must start with leaders giving up their ambitions in order to advance the interests of Malawians.
The second edition of the Globe Sing a Carol competition has set an early Christmas festive tone following its launch in Blantyre on Monday evening.
The singing competition,organised by Globe Internet Limited, will see 14 musical groups and choirsbattling it out in singing the perfect Christmas carol between December 10 and23.
Globe Internet head of sales Chifundo Kandani said they came up with the initiative to bring families together during the festive season to stimulate the spirit of giving, love and sharing.
“We thought we should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with Malawians. So, we took an initiative to start the Christmas Carol competition. “Last year we had an overwhelming response. That is what encouraged us to come again with a similar competition this year,” he said.
In 2017, eight groups participated, but this year, the number has risen to 14 and includes choirs doing acapella and bands using electrical instruments. Two top groups from the two categories are expected to take home K100 000 each.
Kandani said: “More choirs and music groups expressed interest to join, but we can only accommodate the 14.”
He stressed that the competition is not just for their customers but everyone interested is free to come and participate.
On the opening day for this year’s contest, Limbe Cathedral English 1 Choir had the chance to make the first impression. Its choir master Andrea Nedi believes they did their utmost best during their performance.
“Special mention to the organisers. These gatherings are perfect for us as groups more especially during this festive season,” he said.
Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa says Malawi needs dictatorial leadership to win the battle against corruption.
The chief expressed the sentiments in Karonga on Sunday during International Anti-Corruption Day commemorations.Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa
He said despite several efforts to curb the vice, corruption remains high in the country.
Said Kyungu: “There is decentralisation in place, but still the rate of corruption is too high in councils, especially in Masaf [Malawi Social Action Fund] projects under Local Development Fund.
“Communities still nurse corruption instead of reporting the malpractice. I think Malawi needs dictatorship type of leadership to address this malpractice once and for all.”
He said the commemoration should serve as a reminder for people to reflect on their attitude towards corruption.
Kyungu urged the youth to be the soldiers of change in curbing corrupt practices in the country.
In his remarks, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba conceded that fighting corruption is a challenge.
He said: “Let me accept that as ACB, we are facing huge challenges to fight corruption in the country. We move one step forward and two steps backward.”
Matemba further said he believes that the youth have potential to change the future because they are still young and that is why they involve them in the fight.
The day was commemorated under the theme Youth Involvement in Corruption Fight: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.
During the event, ACB launched Client and Service Charter and Corruption and Fraud Prevention Policy booklets to help deal with corruption issues in the country.
Zambia’s Afro jazz artist James Sakala’s name is fairly new on the Malawi music scene.
So, when some music fansheard of his performance in Malawi, there must have been some doubtingThomases.Impressed with his artistic prowess: Sakala
Even some that turned up on December 8 at Crossroads Hotel in Blantyre where Sakala performed with award-winning Faith Mussa, confessed to have only found the time because of the local talent.
However, at the end of the night, the merrymakers understood why for two consecutive years, Stanbic Bank in Zambia is stuck with Sakala for its annual music festival.
During the three years, the Zambian artist has shared the stage with global stars; UB40, Boyz II Men, Joe Thomas and Brian McKnight.
So on Saturday night, already, the odds were not in favour of the Zambian. The Carlsberg beer fest, just a kilometre away was surely another cause for worry.
But when he stepped onto the stage, he made such an impression on the fans that filled to capacity Crossroads Hotel’s auditorium.
He is a fresh sound both in and out of Zambia, but his talent promises to be out there, for long.
Boasting of Kalindula music, popular in Zambia, the artist’s prowess lies in the originality of his compositions and rhythm. That was enough motivation for Sakala to strike a chord with his fans.
His playing of guitar and percussions particularly the bongos, kongas and shakers attested to his artistry on music instruments.
He performed a number of songs from his debut album, Insale, a Bemba word for strings.
“This is a faith-inspired project as what I have experienced in life has moved me to do positive music,” he commented about the album for which he wrote all the songs.
Armed with vocal capability, rich sound and energy, Sakala sung effortlessly while his fingers did the guitar magic.
The highlight of the performance was arguably when he took the audience down the memory lane with Paul Ngozi’s Bauze (Awuze), sending some fans to the dance floor.
Earlier, Mussa once again showed what he is known for, a testament of why months in and out, he gets to perform outside Malawi.
While many fans have watched him perform, there is something peculiar with the artist such that every performance turns out to be fresh and mellow.
But it was the hit, Selophoni which fans enjoyed more. The song talks of Christians of today worshiping their phones instead of God.
“Anthu akupeza mabanja pa cell phone, Mbalume yabanja anthu akupanga pa phone, Mabanja akutha nkhani yake selophoni.” It enticed almost the whole room to dancing while singing along.
Sakala might have left home for Zambia but the manner he left will live forever. “Thank you Malawi, I will come again, for this is home,” he said.
Two State energy players have given contradictory details on the current electricity generation output through hydro-electricity, dampening hopes of relief for consumers enduring long hours of power rationing.
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) yesterday contradicted an earlier statement by Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) that the onset of the rains has boosted hydro-electricity generation capacity to between 200 and 210 megawatts (MW).A Blantyre resident uses a candle during a blackout
In a written response to a questionnaire on what the boost in generation capacity and the 20MW power tapped through the interconnection with Zambia switched on this week will mean to consumers facing at least nine hours of load shedding, Escom public relations manager Innocent Chitosi said the power utility has been getting 188MW from Egenco.
He said Escom is buying all the power available on the market.
Chitosi was non-committal on the impact on load shedding hours, but said the 20MW from Zambia would contribute to easing supply challenges.Chitosi: We are getting 188MW
He said: “The impact [of the Zambian power interconnection] is that the power that was being supplied to Mchinji, parts of Kasungu and Lilongwe will now be available for supply to other areas of the country. This will lessen the burden on the national grid.
“The average power that we have been getting from Egenco for this month [December] has been 188MW and we are buying all the power that is readily available.”
Escom’s assertion that it is getting 188MW contradicts what Egenco spokesperson Moses Gwaza told The Nation in yesterday’s edition that the rains, especially in the Southern Region, have boosted generation capacity to between 200MW and 210MW.
Gwaza last evening reiterated that their generation capacity has increased.
He said: “As we said, the onset of the rains have indeed improved power generation from around 180 to an average of 200 to 210 MW.
“As I am writing to you now, the power update is showing that we are selling Escom 197.65MW from hydropower stations and 6.96MW from the diesel generators. If you combine the two, that should give about 205MW.”
But Gwaza said the figures keep changing depending on the water levels and the demand on the system.
“On power losses, Escom is better placed to explain since they are the ones managing the transmission and distribution where losses exist,” he said.
Malawi’s installed electricity demand is pegged at 350MW.
In August this year, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi led a delegation to Zambia to sign the 20 MW power supply agreement through Zambia Electricity Company (Zesco), which is earmarked to ease power challenges that the country has been experiencing.
The five-year power supply agreement was supposed to start in September, the minister was quoted as having said on Escom’s official website.
But in a follow-up statement on October 24 this year, Escom said the power supply project would be commissioned on November 2 this year as their counterparts from Zesco were working on final touches on technical aspects on the 33 kilovolt connection line.
However, the commissioning of the deal took place at Mwami border in Mchinji on Monday this week.
Earlier last month, Escom painted a gloomy picture for the country’s power situation, leading to the extension of load shedding schedule from six hours to at least nine hours per day, with some areas experiencing even longer hours.
Escom chief executive officer Allexon Chiwaya is on record as having said Malawi is facing acute power supply challenges due to the reduction in water levels in Lake Malawi, a situation which affected the country’s main electricity generation.
He said subsequently, power generation capacity had reduced to around 216 megawatts (MW), including input from diesel-powered generators installed in the country’s three cities.
Chiwaya said Egenco, Escom’s main supplier, was producing 177MW through its hydro source while 38.4MW was from diesel generators which run for six hours a day.
He said: “We are buying all the power generated in the country. Unfortunately, all that power is from hydro generation through Egenco and because Shire River flow is getting reduced due to reduced water levels, the country is unable to produce the power.”
This means that with additional power from Agrekko generators and 20MW from Zesco, Malawi has over 250 MW of power in its power grid leaving it with a deficit of only 100MW.
During the launch of a 60MW solar energy plant by an independent power producer (IPP) in Salima, President Peter Mutharika pleaded for more patience from Malawians hard hit by unreliable power supply that has slowed economic growth and negatively affected service delivery in various sectors, including health.
He said his administration was working on several long-term projects to improve power supply. The initiatives include diversification from reliance on hydro-electricity to other sources such as solar and Kam’mwamba coal-fired plant.
When the Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, lost to Comoros 2-1 in their penultimate 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Moroni on November 17, calls for the team’s coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) to step down intensified.
The coach has come under fire from soccer pundits and fans for the slump in the team’s performance while on the other hand, the Belgian tactician has been receiving passionate support from Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu.
The ‘RVG Must Go’ calls were evident when the Malawi Under-23 national team played Botswana in a return leg of the African Youth Championship-cum-2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier.
Disgruntled fans were heard chanting achoke! achoke! when the senior Flames coach and his assistant Peter Mponda joined the Meke Mwase led Under-23 technical panel to oversee the junior Flames’ match against the Young Zebras.
Calls for RVG to step down as Flames coach or for FAM to fire him may be justifiable basing on results the Flames have had under his tutelage.
He has a poor record compared to previous Flames mentors and he compounded his poor record with a loss to lowly ranked Comoros.
But is he the problem to Malawi’s football?
Putting the blame solely on RVG and his backroom staff, the FAM president or the current crop of players will be like treating one of the symptoms of an illness that has paralysed our football for ages.
While RVG might be incompetent, inexperienced or having an undecorated curriculum vitae (CV) or whatever you may like to think of, the problem with Malawi football is not RVG alone.
Government through the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, the Malawi National Council of Sports and FAM are the three entities that have let our football dive into the doldrums.
The lack of a clear sports (or football) development plan, visionary thinking and poor administration of funds has left us admiring countries like Zambia and Uganda who are achieving feats which we have been dreaming of for a long time.
Zambia might have failed to qualify for the 2019 Afcon but be assured that is a crisis in their country and they will bounce back and qualify for the next tournament. The reason is because they have changed their way of doing things and have a clear plan and strategy on how they want their football to pan out in the next 10 or so years while here at home, we keep jumping from one idea to another without having a clear and sustainable plan of how we want our football to progress. The poor administration and lack of proper planning by the governing institutions translates into poor performances of our national football teams.
Before joining the bandwagon calling for RVG’s sacking, we should analyse how much our government invests in football, what is the Sports Council’s and Fam’s strategic plan for this country’s football.
When the English Football Association (FA) saw that they were behind in terms of player and coaching development, they came up with a strategic plan that aimed at revamping their player management and development system and the fruits have been evident with their Under-17 and 20 national teams winning Fifa tournaments which was unheard of in the past.
Their senior national team also reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The FA set strict rules for their football clubs in terms of youth player development, set up an academy where players in all age groups are taught a similar football philosophy at St George’s park.
Here in Malawi, for example, if we sack RVG and get another coach, be it Pep Guardiola or Zinedine Zidane, the performances of our beloved Flames won’t change overnight. There is no such a thing as metamorphic results in football.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has announced increased voter registration figures for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections from 6 856 295 to 6 859 375, representing a 3 080 overall rise.
She made the announcement at a press briefing yesterday in Lilongwe where MEC gave an update on cleaning and inspection of the voters’ register, an exercise the commission conducted to document the actual and final number of people eligible to cast the ballot in the elections next year.Ansah: There are no double registrants
Said Ansah: “The majority of the variations were due to operators capturing registrants using the wrong centre and these were subsequently corrected in the database, thereby moving voters to the correct centre and increasing the count for that district while reducing the count for the erroneous district.
“Today, be assured that of the 6.8 million voters registered by MEC, there are no double registrants because of the biometric system and that we have brought all the data in one central place.”
She said during the exercise, the commission removed 13 244 multiple registrations, and that for all multiple registrants, MEC has maintained the first registration.
According to the final voter count, Dedza has registered the highest increase in voters,from 302 623 to 310 034, a difference of 7 411.
“Dedza was a special case. Upon close of phase one of voter registration and after the upload of the data, it was noted that five centres did not reflect any data, while one centre [Mgawi 1] did not upload fully,” said Ansah.
The exercise, which according to MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika did not involve political party monitors, has also seen a decrease in registered voters in some districts such as Mzimba, Chitipa, Karonga, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre.
“At the end of Phase 8 of voter registration, when all the kits were in the central warehouse, a second sweep was done on all the kits to ensure that all the data had indeed been collected from the kits.
“This revealed that 653 records had not been captured from various districts in the initial upload and these were brought on board. With the additions of the above voters, the final preliminary figure should, therefore, have been 6 864 756. This is derived from 6 856 295
as reported plus the 7 808 and the 653 records.”
After adding the new figures and removing the multiple registrants, other councils, besides Dedza, which registered an increase in number of registrants include Salima which has registered a rise in figures from 170 427 to 171 929 while Mchinji has also seen a rise from 241 490 to 241 923.
In the Southern Region, Mangochi figures rose from 402 163 to 402 719, Balaka from 155 754 to 156 127 while Mulanje now has 281 873 from 281 167.
MEC said all centre counts can be verified with the manual books where the registrants signed on registration.
Asked to comment on the matter, Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) chairperson Steve Duwa asked for more time to analyse the new figures.
But he wondered why the figure has increased instead of dropping , considering that there were double registrants in some centres.
He said: “If the figure which has been presented comes after the clean-up exercise, then I wonder why it should be rising instead of dropping. I have not yet seen the figures, so I need to see them first.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Nicholas Dausi cut the phone after our reporter introduced himself to get party’s reaction on the matter.
United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Ken Ndanga and interim UTM publicity secretary Joseph Chidanti Malunga did not pick calls for his reaction on the development, while People’s Party (PP) spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda could not be reached on his phone.
But Malawi Congress Party (MCP) publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali said in an interview that the party expected some change in figures.
“As a party, we expected figures to change because there are always anomalies in the process . However, we did not expect figures to be alarming. Even if it is a small figure, that must be justified.”
According to Ansah, some centres such as Mphonde, Mgawi 1, Chilanga, Kanjeza, Mtiwe and Dowela in Dedza had an initial accumulation of 49 voters registered.
This, she said, was an anomaly because some data was not fully retrieved.
But after going through a clean-up exercise of the equipment, it was discovered that the final cumulative figure of voters was 7 808.
She clarified: “At the end of Phase 8 of voter registration, when all the kits were in the central warehouse, a second sweep was done on all the kits to ensure that all the data had indeed been collected from the kits.”
She added that the removal of multiple registrations also contributed to the final count of registered voters which has been finally pegged at 6 859 375.
MEC opened the registration exercise in June this year and it ended on November 9.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, I would accept and acknowledge that it is a fact that Saulos Chilima is the country’s Vice-President and that Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera is the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Thus, if I were the minister, I would have risen above petty partisan politics at the funeral ceremony of Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembe in Rumphi on December 4 and acknowledge the two’s presence.
Oh yes, if I were bwana Nankhumwa, I would have earned more respect and mileage as a tolerant politician by merely acknowledging the presence of the two public figures at the ceremony.
If I were him, I would also realise that a funeral ceremony is not a place for political posturing, but rather consoling the bereaved families and celebrating the life of the deceased.
For someone delegated to speak on behalf of the President, I would realise that the ceremony provided me an opportunity to rise above petty politics. Through such a gesture, I would have demonstrated maturity and tolerance.
That is if I were Kondwani Nankhumwa. But I am not the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the South.
Thirteen-year-old Janet Njoka should have been in either Standard Eight or Form One at any school, but she is a sex worker in Mchinji District.
Usually clad in miniskirts, she wriggles her behind suggestively as shemoves from one drinking joint to another in search of men and uses all tacticsto attract their attention.
Janet says like many other girls in the border district, she is in sex work for money to meet her needs.
“I have parents but they are too poor to provide all my needs. I was admiring other girls who made lots of money within a short period through sex work and enjoyed life,” she says.
Janet adds that since she started the trade last year, she has been making between K5 000 and K7 000 per day.
“This is enough money for me to meet the current fashion trends that cannot be met with money from my parents,” she says.
She lives in a small room behind one of the drinking joints.
Despite boasting of being able to make a lot of money in a day, Jennet is aware of the dangers of the oldest trade in the world.
Janet says she is exposed to various forms of exploitation and abuse like non-payment by clients, refusal to use condoms, rape and threats.
“Some clients beat me up, refuse to pay after having sex and threaten to kill me,” she says.
Janet’s story is not different from Salome Banda’s (not real name).
Salome, 16, is usually found in pubs at Mchinji Boma, drinking and smoking with both young and old men.
Judging from the scars on her face and a peculiar haircut, one is tempted to conclude that Salome is a violent girl. She must have survived a number of fights.
Surprisingly, she seemingly enjoys her lifestyle.
However, just like Jennet, Salome laments similar challenges in the trade.
“Life is not simple. I’m in sex work just to help myself meet my daily needs,” Salome says.
Child prostitution in Mchinji is high. The district is bordered by Zambia and taxi and truck drivers plying their trade between the two countries coax the young girls into commercial sex.
Recently, child protection worker in Traditional Authority (T/A) Zulu, Shaibu Ulanda, intercepted two young girls aged 13 and 15 from the area of Senior Chief Mlonyeni.
The girls were found loitering around Kamwendo Trading Centre and claimed they were picked by a taxi driver from the border post.
Apparently, the driver told them that he would give them money and food but later dumped them.
Ulanda says the girls were later referred to a One-Stop Centre facility at Mchinji District Hospital for medical examination and that investigations are underway to arrest the taxi driver.
“Child prostitution in T/A Zulu is rampant because the area shares the border with Zambia,” he says.
The child sex work is particularly rampant at Kanyama, Masautso, Kamwendo and at the boma.
Ulanda says the reasons that are driving young girls into sex work which is, in most cases, trans-generational are poorly understood with most people attributing it to poverty.
“Parents should not use poverty as an excuse for failing to tame their daughters,” he says.
True to Ulanda’s sentiments, the Child Care and Protection Act stipulates that parents have a responsibility to protect the child from neglect, discrimination, violence, abuse, exploitation, oppression and exposure to physical, mental, social and moral hazards.
But in Salome’s case, she attributes her situation to death of her parents. She recalls a time when she used to lead a decent morally upright life.
“My parents were well-to-do and offered me everything. After their death, I started leading a miserable life such that I was forced to go into sex work to make easy money,” she says.
Ironically, Salome says she is scared of contracting HIV, a virus that causes Aids. She says most of her clients are older men who pay handsomely but demand sex without protection.
In the wake of the plight of young girls, Youth Net and Counselling Organisation (Yoneco) is already in Mchinji to respond to the needs and challenges affecting girls like Jennet and Salome.
Yoneco’s project officer for Marriage: No Child’s Play Project, Tionge Banda, says it is sad that some girls find sex work as a solution to their poverty.
“Our organisation is training young girls in entrepreneurship, especially agribusiness, for them to lead productive lives and not engage in immoral practices that can negatively affect their health,” Banda says.
She adds that with funding from Simavi in Netherlands, Yoneco has trained child community protection committees, traditional leaders, youth clubs and girls’ clubs, among others.
“Youth and girls’ clubs have been trained in financial education and youth village savings and loans schemes. Some were given start-up capital in agriculture and small-scale businesses,” Banda says.
District social welfare officer Rodwell Chunga challenges religious and traditional leaders to be champions of child protection if Malawi is to make strides in ending child prostitution.
“Traditional and religious leaders play a big role in shaping societal attitudes towards culture, therefore, they should take a leading role to curb child prostitution in their areas,” he says.
He adds that the Department of Social Welfare in the district recently established and trained five child protection committees around the boma to be monitoring the behaviour of young girls.
“We have also sensitised Kabaza [bicycle taxi] operators because they are the ones that pick the young girls to various places for sex,” he says.
Chunga says through his office, together with other stakeholders like the police, they have been conducting sweeping exercises in places where young sex workers are found.
“However, we will continue with our routine inspection and sweeping exercises because if left unchecked many young girls risk contracting HIV,” Chunga says.
Malawian athlete Abigail Soko won a gold medal in judo after defeating a South African opponent Faith Sookane in women’s 44-kilogramme (kg) contest at African Union Sports Council Region Five Games in Botswana.
She also combined with aMozambican to win bronze in a mixed team event.
Judo Association of Malawi (JAM) general secretary Osbourne Banda applauded the golden girl for doing Malawi proud.
“We are happy that one of our athletes has won gold,” he said.
“This is no mean achievement considering that South Africa has better facilities and resources than Malawi.”
In an interview, the gold medallist said she is delighted with the triumph.
“I am excited, it shows that our standards in Malawi are good enough,” she said.
In 44kg men’s category, Austin Chikwapula failed to win a medal, but won two out of four fights.
He beat Mozambican Notico Amanjio and Sigwetso of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) before losing to Lesole Thembe and Thamae Khanya both from Botswana to miss a podium position.
In 60kg contest, Taufiki Kiwala won one and lost two bouts while Yasinta Mthulo lost both her two fights in the 63kg category.
The Office of the Ombudsman has faulted the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, accusing it of flouting the law on procedures when dealing with reports submitted to it.
The bone of contention is the report titled Malawi’s Unhealed Wounds which the Ombudsman submitted to the committee as mandated by the Constitution, but the office alleges that the committee started tampering with it to the extent of crafting new recommendations.Chizuma: Committee is only supposed to enforce
The report emanated from a year-long investigation which alleged maladministration involving the operationalisation and closure of the National Compensation Tribunal (NCT), leaving 24 000 claimants of the atrocities of the one-party State under Malawi Congress Party (MCP) not compensated despite their complaints being declared legitimate.
After the Ombudsman submitted the report to Legal Affairs Committee last year, the Attorney General (AG) did not act on the recommendations that the AG’s office negotiates settlement with the claimants’ representatives in the presence of a mutually agreed upon mediator.
However, it was not the Ombudsman’s order to reconvene the NCT which was repealed in 2004.
But the Ombudsman gave a time-frame for an agreement to be reached between the two parties and that a report on the same be submitted to the office by March 31 this year.
However, according to a letter dated December 7 2018 addressed to Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Maxwell Thyolera, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma said the AG and officers from the Ombudsman’s Office were summoned on September 20 2018 to explain on the recommendation.
She said the committee acted outside its mandate and the approach taken by the committee was illegal.
Said Chizuma: “At a more broader level is that the committee’s failure to frown at the deliberate non-compliance of the law by the Attorney General effectively makes the office of the Ombudsman irrelevant and undignifies the Constitution which is the supreme law of Malawi.”
She said she was reliably informed that instead of inquiring from the AG on his failure to comply with the report, the committee went ahead and started looking at the merits and demerits of the recommendations in the report and even went further to craft own recommendations which was against the law.
Writes the Ombudsman: “It is neither the committee’s nor the respondent’s place to discuss the merits or demerits of the directives or recommendations made as this is the function of the High Court. You are only supposed to enforce.”
The Ombudsman said legally, her office’s directives and recommendations were binding and compelling and could only be reviewed by the High Court if the respondents were not satisfied.
The AG has previously challenged a report of the Ombudsman, Tractorgate Report which had recommended that those who bought tractors for a song when they were procured with a government loan should give them back.
Chizuma said the committee should have found out why government was paying former Malawi Young Pioneers (MYPs), who were allegedly agents of terror, and not the victims in the Malawi’s Unhealed Wounds report as this gave a wrong impression that government cared more for perpetrators than victims.
In an interview yesterday, Thyolera confirmed having received a verbal complaint from the Ombudsman on the conduct of the committee when the Attorney General was summoned.
“I would like to see the letter first before I respond to the request [to recall the Attorney General],” he said.
The returnees and ex-detainees have petitioned the Speaker to compel the AG to act on the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
While the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu could not be reached for comment yesterday, the Ombudsman’s report indicates that a legal opinion was issued, categorically stating that the tribunal could not be reconstituted and those aggrieved by the decisions should seek judicial review.
The Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football League faces a fixture pile-up hitch as the season draws towards the end.
While the other regional leagues have almost completed their fixtures, the South has some teams which have between eight and 13 games to play.
Southern Region FootballAssociation (SRFA) chairperson Raphael Humba attributed the predicament to latekick-off of the season due to immediate past sponsor Masters Security Services’failure to honour prizes for the previous season.
“We could not start the league in time because our previous sponsors had not honoured their obligations.
“We also did not want to find ourselves in a situation where we were not certain about the future. As a result, we started almost two months late and that is now taking its toll on us,” he said.
However, the league’s fixtures secretary Kingsley Simbeye, who is also SRFA vice-general secretary, expressed optimism that the league will wind up during the second week of January so that the champions can have ample time to rest and then switch focus to TNM Super League preparations.
Meanwhile, Premier Division leaders Ntopwa FC suffered a setback in their quest to win the league when they lost 3-2 to Changalume Barracks last weekend.
Despite the loss, Ntopwa still top the 22-team log table with 74 points from 34 games followed by Cobbe Barracks who have 69 points from the same number of games. Hangover are third with 67 points from 32 matches with MDF Marine on fourth position with 66 points from 33 matches.
Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, who are fifth with 63 points, remain one of the strongest contenders as they have played 29 matches and had 13 matches still to play as of yesterday.
However, Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman said his team is not moved that Bullets Reserves have a five-game cushion.
“As the saying goes, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’. So, other than worry about Bullets Reserve, we have to focus on our games and try to collect as many points as possible. But I would also urge the league-runners to ensure that they cut the gap of games played by allocating more to those that have played less,” he said.
Mlatho Mponela emerged champions of the Chipiku Stores Central Region Football League Premier Division while Chitipa United did it in the Northern Region Simso League. The two teams have earned automatic promotion to the Super League.
Be Forward Wanderers say they are paying the price in terms of disciplinary cases for their success and stature as a big team.
Nomads general secretary(GS) Mike Butao was yesterday reacting to Super League of Malawi’s (Sulom) moveto charge the club with four counts of indiscipline during their TNM SuperLeague match against Dwangwa United on December 2 at Chitowe Stadium inNkhotakota.Nomads players protesting against officiation after the match
“We are victims of our own success and stature. Alongside Nyasa Big Bullets, we are probably the biggest casualties in disciplinary cases because authorities feel we have the capacity to pay the fines which they impose,” he said.
The Nomads GS cited a Carlsberg Cup final case whereby Masters Security FC’s disciplinary charges were dropped due to lack of proof.
“And yet, we have been charged with similar offences in the past, but they have never caught any of our registered fan. They just jump to conclusions which is unfortunate and unfair,” he said.
According to a statement of offence from Sulom, signed by general secretary Williams Banda, the Nomads are accused of failing to control the actions of their officials, players and supporters contrary to the league’s rules and regulations.
“Your officials, team manager Stevie Madeira and goalkeepers coach Valence Kamzere, plus players led by [jersey number 2] Bongani Kaipa and [ jersey number 11] Alfred Manyozo Jnr charged upon and attempted to beat up referee Godfrey Nkhakananga after the final whistle who was protected by police and stewards. This led to a fracas,” reads part of the statement.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit is also accused of failing to use designated entry points for officials and players. They are further accused of bringing the league into disrepute.
“The action of Be Forward Wanderers players and officials before kick-off and after the match, forced the officiating crew to be detained on the field of play for 30 minutes and left under police escort,” the statement further reads.
The Nomads have been given 72 hours to respond to the charges accordingly.
The Under-20 national netball team will fight for gold against rivals South Africa this afternoon at African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Youth Games in Botswana after beating the hosts 55-40 in their last round-robin match yesterday.
The Junior Queens led15-11 in the first quarter before increasing the tally to 30-20 and 40-31 inthe subsequent segments.Coach Mkwanda-Nsinji (R) having a pep talk with her charges
So far, Malawi have won five of their six matches to complete their round-robin fixtures as runners-up on the seven-nation log-table with 10 points, two behind leaders South Africa, who managed six-straight wins.
According to the Region Five’s netball schedule, the gold medal match is expected to roll into action at noon before the medal award ceremony at 2pm.
Junior Queens coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji yesterday praised her charges for a job well done so far, but said today they have to dig deep to overcome South Africa, who beat them 38-48 in the opener.
“We keep on improving our performance everyday and we dominated in our match against Botswana. However, we still need to pull up our socks as we prepare to play against South Africa tomorrow. We would like to take home a gold medal,” she said.
This is the first time in three years that the Under-20 national netball team has been assembled for an international event and Malawi has no junior netball league in place.
The Junior Queens’ technical panel relied on the recent domestic competitions to identify some talented young players that made the Botswana trip.
Meanwhile, the Under-17 men’s national football team faced the exit door following a one-all draw against Angola yesterday. Both teams tied on four points but Angola secured the semifinal slot as Group A runners-up on better goal difference. Malawi had a zero goal difference while Angola has a plus one. Tanzania progressed as group winners on six points after beating South Africa 2-0.
Similarly, the Under-20 national women football team yesterday went down 0-1 to Zimbabwe in their last Group A match to miss the semi-final slot by a whisker.
Malawi, which drew 1-1 with the hosts before thumping Lesotho 6-1, just needed a draw yesterday to make the last-four grade as they topped the group on goal difference after tying on four points with Botswana, which has eventually qualified as group winners on seven points following a 6-0 thrashing of Lesotho in their last group match. Zimbabwe has made it as the group’s runners-up with six points.