Monday, October 19, 2009

A Sunday in Muloza

It is a market day in Muloza, a small trading centre in Mulanje District. Scores of people have defied the weather to come to the market to sell and buy various things. Traders from as far as Mozambique , Phalombe and Thyolo, they have come to be part of this weekly activity.

Muloza is one of the many border points that takes one to and from the vast country of Mozambique. Situated over 120Km away from the commercial city of Blantyre, Muloza is one of the closest borders to town.

Various things are sold on this day but it is the number of people that captured my interest. A good number of them comes from Milange area (popularly known as Villa) in Mozambique. An arrangement between the Malawi Immigration Department and the Mozambican Immigracao gave room to the inflow of people into both countries without problems.

Nothing can stand on the way for this day. It is still as busy as every Sunday regardless of which time of the month it falls. Even churches that congregate on this day knows better. They restrict their services to the three morning hours of 6 to 9. From then everyone gets ready for the market day.

From the border post to the market place, called Limbuli, one has to use bicycle taxis which are readily available at a wave of the hand. Specifically designed to give comfort to the customer, the bicycles cruise past scores of people who have opted to walk on foot. A 2.5 Km trip is done in less than twenty minutes on a bicycle taxi costing as low as K50.

At the marketplace, there are people everywhere and you are slowed down by them. Various goods are displayed in stalls, on the ground, in hawkers, while some are carried by people moving from one place to another.

Ranging from clothes, shoes, farm produce, and bicycle spares you can get almost everything you need for the home at Limbuli on Sunday. It matters less whether you are using Malawian Kwacha or Mozambican Meticals, money changes hands very fast.

Those coming from Blantyre are dropped right at the thick of things. On the stage there are various goods being sold to the passengers disembarking from the minibuses. A vendor clings to you trying to convince you to buy a thing you have not planned to buy. He follows you lowering the prices for you even before you utter a word.

A walk through the stalls gives you chance to sample out the goods. But you can also see through the people what this means to them. To some this is the only way to find basic needs in life. They are waiting for a few they will make from these sales to buy their necessities.

One thing i observed on this Sunday is that almost everyone benefits. From the bicycle taxis operators, the traders, the minibus operators to the porters, they all have something to take home. Whether it is enough or not they seem not to care but go home when darkness creeps in to prepare for the next Sunday.

Tread carefully on Quota System

For some reasons i have chosen not to take sides in the ongoing debate on Equitable Access to Education or quota system as some quarters are referring to it. There are plans to use this system to select students to all the public universities and colleges. It is reported that each district will be sending 10 students while the rest of the positions will be divided on merit.

But some quarters have gone flat out to challenge this arrangement claiming that it is targeting one region, the north. From the views expressed one can feel that emotions are running high and if the situation is not controlled, it will do more harm than good to the country. Regionalism is one sensitive subject that has the potential to disturb the peace we are enjoying in Malawi. We have a vivid example of how many lives were lost in Rwanda because tribalism or in Kenya when the post-election violence took the tribalism path.

Like many others I thought that Malawians have finally started to deal with regionalism. The results of the general elections we had on May 19 showed that we voted above regional lines. Many commentators were amazed how people voted running away from the usual patterns. This I thought was a way towards a national reconciliation, but this quota debate is proving otherwise.

I am tempted to believe that they are some groups of people who consider themselves as northerners or southerners first before they regard themselves as Malawians. From the debates that i have managed to hear, this is a serious issue that needs to be resolved in a very amicable manner. Some people have gone to the extent of tearing apart the whole cabinet, Presidential appointments, civil service based on regions they are coming from. This will not take us anywhere.

One thing that will be left after all this is hatred. A solution to equitable distribution of development, positions or education will be found but the seed of hatred that we are sowing in other people's lives will haunt us forever. We might not trigger a civil war today or tomorrow, but we will have people full of hatred. These people will be a walking time bomb which will explode at an opportune time.

I urge all the people who are better positioned to deal with these things to rise above their regional boundaries and think like Malawians. Think of a solution that will not affect the way we work, live or go to any region of the country. I pray that this debate should not divide us. We are Malawians and we are known to be peaceful and warm hearted. Together we should move forward in sharing the agricultural and economic developments that we have achieved in the past six years and think of many ways to sustain them. The young generation is watching us closely so lets tread careful and watch our words, steps and comments. God bless Malawi. Malawi Woyeeeee!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


She is the best thing that ever happened to me. I thank God that I have one of the finest mothers one can ask for. As we celebrate Mother’s day on 15th October , I salute her for the care, inspiration, guidance, support, direction and everything she has done and still doing for me.

I come from a very complicated family, but mum has managed to raise me, my brothers and a sister to this position. There have been trying and difficult times. Lots of challenges came her way but she managed to sail through . There are moments in life that I felt sorry for her when she had to face situations alone. She had came through all these moments a strong woman ever.

I still remember when she had to sell ‘mandasi’ to help us to go to school. Our father’s income was not enough to take care of us all. My case was the most unique because I had to use transport everyday of my secondary education. Doing my school at Zingwangwa Secondary and travelling from Machinjiri township was no easy task. There are times when I had to wait for the money made from the morning sales to use for the days transport. Mum was always there to make sure that I went to school daily.

She had not done well with school herself but insisted on having us work hard. No wonder her last born will sit for the Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) next year while some of us have finished. She used to encourage us that she should be the last person in our family to be poor. Following her word we are all working hard to be in better positions.

As she retires in Chifira Village in Nkhatabay, she deserves all the thanks we, her children, can give. God who rewards hardworking, patience, and faithfullness, has a suitable candidate in my mum. I ask Him to give her long life.

It was not simple to raise a team of six boys and one girl. We played football when she needed us to cook, we made toys when she needed an escort to the maize mill. We could not have known anything about farming if she din’t insist on taking us to the garden in Ndirande. After farming she fetched firewood, vegetables and did other important chores while we rested. I salute my mum, Enna Kumwenda (nee Nduna). Happy Mothers Day!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vote for Bamboo Lota !!! – For a better Malawi..

I recently met a group of friends on Twitter who are very passionate about an idea that will help in dealing with deforestation in Malawi. Joanna, Kyson and Stephanie are having an idea of using bamboo to make charcoal instead o the traditional wood charcoal.

Reckless cutting down of trees for charcoal is a big problem in Malawi and statistics indicate that 90% of Malawian households use charcoal everyday. At this time when every one seems to be concerned with climate change, this idea of using bamboo is a welcome development.

Joanna and friends have come up with a business proposal which they have submitted to the Peace Corps' Africa Rural Connect Contest and they need all the support to win seed money to help taking off the project.

All one needs is to click here, sign up and endorse this idea. Three reasons why you should vote for this idea:

1. Bamboo only needs 2 to 3 years to be matured unlike trees which takes a lot more years to be matured and used for charcoal. In this case people can plant bamboo on their land and use it for charcoal afterwards.

2. This project will provide employment for several Malawians who will be part of the team to start it. According to Bamboo Lota, locals will be trained to make charcoal while some will be trained to educate their fellows.

3. Climate change is heavily affecting people all the world, especially in Africa, and projects like Bamboo lota will go a long way in bringing change to the affected areas. They have a gentle impact on the environment unlike the usual way of cutting down trees for charcoal.

You can read more about Bamboo Lota on Joanna’s blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2009



When several websites published the controversial report by Plan International on Child Labour in Malawi’s tobbacco estates, a hornet’s nest was stirred. The Malawi government was up in arms against it to the extent that the Labour Minister and a Plan Malawi official held a press conference to counter some of the points raised in the report titled “ Hard Work, Little Pay, Long Hours” But the report had reached out to a lot of people through the internet and was picked up by various influential news sites all over the world.

A few years back a reknowned journalist and blogger, Victor Kaonga, predicted on his blog that the Malawi 2009 Elections will be fought on the internet. His predictions came true in the run up to the May 19 General elections when several candidates including independent, James Nyondo, MCP’s John Tembo and Petra’s Kamuzu Chibambo developed websites to explain their manifestos. But it was a move by Zodiak Radio to start broadcasting via the internet that captured the hearts of many Malawians especially those living in the diaspora. For the first time people had a chance to listen to a live announcement of the results and this was spiced up by the recognition of Zodiak by the Electoral Commission as the official results broadcaster of the 2009 Elections. Zodiak continues to broadcast their live programs online.

Those that follow Malawi politics are familiar with the hatred that the Malawi Government or the ruling DPP has with the award winning online news site, Nyasa Times. In a battle that recently turned to be Nyasa Times vs Dr. Ntaba, DPP and the government accusses the website of publishing false stories about it and claimes that it gets its funding from the former president and Dr. Mutharika’s nemesis, Dr. Muluzi. The fact is Nyasa Times is widely read and every published story, true or false, reaches out to a lot of people and qouted by several other news sites.

These three examples and many others shows how popular the internet is becoming to Malawians and the potential it has to shape the media.


Apart from the award winning Nyasa Times and Zodiak Radio, there are several other websites that reports various issues concerning Malawi. The two traditional diaries, The Nation and The Daily Times have gone a step further to have websites where they publish some stories carried out in their papers. The Blantyre Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Daily Times also have websites for The Sunday Times and Malawi News.

These are media houses that give us balanced information and are well respected in the media circles but they fail to live to their expectations when it comes to online reporting. They are not updated in time for the hungry audience that eagerly wait for breaking news from Malawi. The Malawi News was last updated on 30th November 2008 and the Sunday Times on March 18 2009. Their counterparts in the neighbouring countries are doing fine in online reporting like New Vision and Daily Monitor in Uganda, The Zimbabwean in Zimbabwe and Lusaka Times in Zambia.

There are also some websites that dedicate their time to reporting news about Malawi like; Malawi Digest, Best of Malawi, Stories on Malawi, Malawi Financial Mirror , Timve Magazine and several blogs by Malawians listed on the Mablog (blogging Malawi) website. The two dailies are better placed to be leaders in reporting and being trusted online news sources because of their well trained reporters across the country, their vast experience and professionalism. Several radio stations also have websites most of which have no current news and are not regularly updated. Another website worthy mentioning is Capital FM which rebroadcasts their Day Break Malawi programme on their website. Kwacha FM and Radio Yako are also good Malawian owned online radios but are rarely on the ground to report issues in Malawi and put much emphasis on music. Recently Radio Yako agreed to be broadcasting the popular Channel Africa’s programme, Zochitika mu Africa on their website.

It is a known fact that the internet is shaping the flow of news reporting all over the world. The coming in of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed; video sharing like You Tube and Hulu; social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Reddit and Mixx has not spared the traditional way of news reporting. In the recent elections in Iran, Facebook and Twitter played a very important role in informing the world of what was happening where the main stream media had no access. Lots of videos were uploaded on You Tube, pictures on Flickr and Facebook depicting the ugly scenes of the violence in Iran dring the elections. It was also used in the Gabon Elections, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton’s visits to Africa. The popular BBC Africa Have Your say also uses Twitter and a Facebook group to get views from people all over the world.


Internet technology is moving at a faster pace and this generation is moving with it. Media houses in Malawi needs to move with technology to enhance the image of the country to the world. They need to look for ways to earn money on their websites in form of adverts. Advertisers look for websites which generate a lot of traffic and traffic follows several things on a website including content, design and simplicity. Developers are now turning to the mobile internet which has a great potential to be the next big thing.

Days of static websites are fast fading and being replaced by regularly updated websites and mobile phone compatible websites.With the coming in of RSS and feeds technology, readers just subscribe to the websites and read the news as they happen on their feed readers like Google Reader. Apart from the Nyasa Times which has recently upgraded their website so that one can subscribe to their feeds, the dailies are yet to embrace the technology while the personal blogs rely on Atom.

Thousands of Malawians are now on Facebook and few others on Twitter but they are yet to see a real impact of the local media on these sites. One can follow news from CNN, BBC, New York Times, The Guardian on twitter but fail to read their own local news from Malawi save for a few passionate Malawians who follow where Malawian news is and bring it on Twitter and Facebook.

A lot of celebrities are now on Twitter and Facebook. Our development partners are tweeting, Obama tweets and many other popular politicians. The White House maintains a blog where it breaks out important announcements, transcripts of various speeches daily briefings and weekly addresses. This is the way news is being shared all over the world and Malawian media needs to be fully involved.

I wait for the day when my favourite paper, The Sunday Times will form a group to interact with readers on Facebook, submit news on Delicious, Digg or Reddit and be on Twitter to alert us on latest news. I long for the time I will be able to browse Malawi News, Weekend Nation or the recently established evening news, Weekend Times on my Nokia 6070. Only then will the world know the real Malawi not the image Madonna built, or the western media shapes, but the warm heart of Africa that we all know. Dr. Ntaba will be the happiest person on earth for he will no longer grace our televisions to refute a false story published on Nyasa Times.

Friday, September 11, 2009


On the morning of Saturday the 5th of September, the nation learnt with shock the death of 22 people in Rumphi District near Mchenga coal mine when the bus they were travelling in from Mzuzu to Karonga was involved in an accident. Several others were wounded and were rushed to Mzuzu Central Hospital while others were admitted at Rumphi District Hospital.

It is a fact that road accidents have become one of the major killers in the country apart from AIDS and Malaria. Road safety experts claim that road accidents in the country claim four lives daily. It is also reported that Malawi has the worst record of road accidents in the Sub-Saharan region.

It is painful and shocking to loose people who could have helped in the development of the country in these road accidents. Many others have been crippled and incapacitated by these accidents some of which are preventable. Much as I applaud the efforts being made to deal with these accidents, i think there is need to also concentrate on those that are affected by these accidents.

Every time an accidents occurs, their is much publicity in our press but very little is done afterwards. Apart from a few condolences that the affected families are given and the prosecution of those behind the accidents, nothing is done. But it should be understood that any life that is lost brings problems to the affected families. Bread winners, guardians, parents, wives, husbands and various important relations are lost leaving the bereaved families incapacitated.

At a workshop aimed at finding solutions to these accidents, it was suggested that a fund be setup to compensate familes who loose their loved ones and those who are injured in road accidents. Participants went further to suggest that a certain amount be added to the bus fares to cater for this fund. This is a welcome development and it will help lots of people who are affected by this accidents. But just like many other policies, this will take time to be implemented whereas road accidents will continue to take people's lives.

I know people whose lives have completely changed after being involved in road accidents. Some are completely crippled that they can no longer do their normal work. It is sad to learn that they have not received anything from the owners of the cars that were involved in accidents.

Recently families of two women who were killed in a road accident in Bangwe cried foul after the court ruled that they be paid a meagre amount in compesation. these are familes who lost bread winners in an accident caused by reckless driving.

I urge all the concern parties from the government to the passengers to do all they can to prevent these road accidents. Otherwise the ugly scenes of accidents we see in our televisions and newspapers are will continue to be part of us.

Friday, August 21, 2009


To them that’s how life is like. There is nothing they can do to change their present situation. Life to them means struggling to find basic needs. They just came to accept this fact. Every five years they vote for people who they hope will bring change, but nothing changes. Who cares?

Every morning they wake up from their sleeping mats to be greeted by the sight of their poorly dressed and hunger stricken children. At times one meal per day strategically prepared to cover all the three meals does the trick. Not that they are too busy to eat but availability of food to be prepared thrice.

Farming, yes, the God given talent is all there is to give them the much needed food. But with the prices of fertilizer that they cannot afford, they harvest very little from a large piece of land. Subsidies are there but they target a few people who have connections.

Who cares what they dress? As long as they cover their nakedness, fashion to them means nothing. There is no money to buy the latest Pierre Cardin suit. Freely they walk in tatters and some second hand clothes sold cheaply at various trading centres.

Education, yes their kids need to be educated. Thank God primary school is free, but that’s where it ends. Secondary schools have become very expensive for them. To buy uniform, pay fees, and buy other needed resources for learning is a big burden to them. Even those that are lucky to have finished their secondary school are still expecting to be fed by them. Who is going to give them a job? Forget about college. It’s a luxury very few can afford.

This is what life means to them. Days turn to months and months to years with little changes. Only governments change but sufferring remains. Young men turn to fathers at a tender age catching the virus in the process. Girls as young as 15 become wives and mothers. Children suffer from malnutrition and other related diseases.

On paper, policies, strategies and goals are made but very little impacts the poor masses. They continue suffering every day of their lives. There is no better explanation to this kind of life. Who is wrong or what should be done to change this? Poverty is here to stay if nobody cares for these fellow country men.

Pictures taken by Caitriona Rogerson and Natasha Fitzpatrick in Blantyre, Malawi

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I could have written of the by-elections that the ruling party in Malawi lost. Yes I could have said of how a seat previously held by the Veep of the country was lost to an independent candidate. I mean if I came close to this blog, I could not have resisted the temptation of informing you how a party which won the elections with an overwhelming majority a few months ago failed to convince people from two important constituencies.

Only that I was busy doing some other things. This also prevented me of telling the end of the ‘resurrected man’ saga. I wanted to write of how the Police ended up arresting the witch doctor and the ‘resurrected man’s mother. People of a village in Nsanje identified Moses Levison as a madman from their village and not the ‘resurrected person” as we were made to believe. Since I was busy,I failed to tell you that he has since been sent to the Mental hospital in Zomba.


I could have written of an incident in Bangwe which prompted residents to turn violent for the second time in less than a month. I could have said of the Mozambican who made a mistake of performing a ritual at the same place another person was beaten by angry residents. His car and that of a sympathiser were smashed to pieces by these people believing that he is behind the various road accidents.

I really wanted to write of the recent bill that the Malawi Parliament passed and has prompted debate and accusations from various quarters. The Marriage bill which was passed in two hours has ‘improved’ the recommended age for girls to be married from 15 yrs to 16 yrs and with consent from parents. Of the over 190 Parliamentarians only one had the guts to vote against the bill.

I was very busy in the past week that I failed to write of the reactions from the civil society organisations, chiefs and many other NGO’s on this bill dubbed, Chidyamakanda bill. The last time we had this kind of reaction was when Madonna wanted to adopt Mercy James. Every NGO, registered or not, active or passive, issued a press release, statement or wrote a petition against Madonna.

Time prevented me from telling you of the Chiefs who are granted interviews by various radio stations and newspapers to speak against the marriage bill when they have lots of girls in their villages who are married and are as young as 15 years.


I could have informed you that there is still no progress in cotton prices saga. It seems farmers should forget of selling their cotton at the government set price. Time is running out and buyers are not relenting and some are buying cotton at a very cheap price. And nobody seems to care whether the farmers are benefitting or not.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


After I had wrote my secondary school examinations I worked on part time basis with several cotton buying companies. In Bangula Ginnery I worked with Great Lakes Company as a Tally Clerk and later with Iponga Cotton Company at Zalewa and Salima Ginneries.

I happen to have lots of friends who are still working in the cotton sector, from buying supervisors to the cotton farmers themselves. The fact that this year’s cotton buying season is faced with a lot of problems due to the disagreements between the Malawi government and the Cotton buyers over price means that a lot of people are suffering. This includes my best friends in all the places I worked no wonder am taking it personal.

The season was supposed to officially start the end of March but up to now it is yet to start. Already reports indicate that one of the buyers, Cargill Malawi has issued a press release that it will not buy cotton this year unless government allows it to buy at MK42 instead of the MK75 that the government set. This means that a lot of people who worked for Cargill Malawi will be left in the cold including farmers who were given loans.

In Balaka, angry farmers petitioned the District Commissioner to intervene in the situation that some companies are buying cotton at night and at very cheap prices. This just shows how serious the issue of this cotton season is. Farmers all over the country are frustrated at the turn of events when they expected to benefit from their hard work.

A friend in Bangula told me how they are fairing without Great Lakes and Cargill buying cotton. Every one in the Lower Shire relies on cotton to some extent and this has left them in an awkward position. Most of the people grow cotton instead of maize and buys the staple food after selling their cotton. Young people were supposed to be in the field buying cotton while some were supposed to be at the ginnery tallying some figures. Others work as machine operators, ginners and mechanics in the ginnery and got used to life in this way.

Cotton is one of the major foreign earners in Malawi apart from tobacco and tea. But unlike tobacco, cotton is very delicate and cannot stay for a long time without losing quality and weight. Therefore even if they start buying now at whatever price they will agree a lot has already been lost and the spirit of the farmers has been bruised no wonder very few will grow cotton next season. I feel sorry for my friends in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zalewa, Balaka and Salima.


Over the weekend I had time to visit a local hospital, Muloza Health Centre, not that I was sick or knew someone who was sick, but just thought of visiting the place. I was shocked to see the conditions of some patients who have been admitted at the hospital.

I nearly shed tears to see how people are fairing in this part of the country while we are busy living our day to day lives unconcerned with what is happening to them. They were some who are very sick and have no guardians to take care of them, some have guardians but have no food and rely on the hospital ration which is very small and of poor quality.

It is obvious that some people might get diseases in the hospital other than the ones that they came to be treated for. Its really a very sorry situation that these fellow human beings are going through.

In view of these I have decided to adopt several patients, one at a time ( not the Madonna type of adoption). I will be taking care of a patient who has no guardian until he is discharged from the hospital. I will be bringing basic needs to them and will go to another one once they are discharged. I hope this way will help some of these patients who need help from us more than an ever.

God help me to utilise the little resources I get to help these fellow countrymen who will help develop the nation once they get back to the normal way of living. A sick person cannot work therefore he cannot help his family.


He visited Malawi and thought of climbing Mulanje Mountain where he got lost on 17th July 2009 and was found dead on 5th August.

Gabriel Buchmann was on a mission to Asia and Africa.He traveled to 28 countries and Malawi was his last country to visit before going back to Brazil on 28th July. He was an Economist/ Humanitarian studying effects of poverty around the world. He had a BA in International Relations and Economics, he pursued an MA in Economics at PUC University in Rio de Janeiro. He had been awarded with a Fulbright scholarship and was to start a PHD in Public Policy at UCLA in September.

Here is how his best friend Pedro Hemsley described him at the start of a rescue mission:

A quick comment on the guy. Gabriel is an economist who studies poverty. He traveled many times to get to know people who live under adverse conditions – unlike most economists, who stick to the figures. He worked with public policy for poverty (you may guess how ineffective it is in most of the world) and will start his PhD in September at the University of California to go on researching and working on poverty. He decided to take a one-year trip in Asia and Africa to live with people, to see actual people in real situations, before going back into the books. He wasn’t a typical tourist at all. He didn’t sleep in hotels, but found accommodation with locals.

He hunted and fished with them.

He took part in their rituals.

This is who we are looking for.

Before coming to Malawi Gabriel had been to Kenya and Uganda. Here is one of the last emails he sent to his relatives on 1st June 2009:

“Dearest mom, girlfriend and João, my top partners in this backpacking trip, my dearest little sister, After more than a week of a full-on experience into the heart of Africa . I’ve found this cybercafe in Jinha, countryside of Uganda, just in front of river Nile…to I write you to say that I am truly overwhelmed and life is wonderfully good! My days in Africa have been absolutely fantastic!!! After spending a few days in the house of a refugee from Congo in Nairobi, don’t ask me how I ended up in the remote village of the masais in Kenya, where I spent days running after giraffes, zebras, and antelopes carrying on a spade and arrow. I was having a truly tribal experience, sleeping in these people houses and all that….oh, and among many adventures in Kenya, I ended in style. I did a bike safari with my masai friend in a stunning national park… So I’m pretty roots here, walking for a week wrapped up in one of those colorful pieces of fabric, carrying on a stick of wood and steal spade…all I know is that since I’ve arrived in Africa I haven’t seen ANY muzumgo (white man), besides myself…

Oh, by the way, in the middle of all that today I sent a child to school!!! It’s a long story, but to keep it simple, after spending a whole day walking around a small village in Uganda with a boy that, among other things, introduced me to his family, which lives in totally misery, and then for coincidence I went visiting this public school and was talking to the director, so I decided I would pay the enrollment fee and all the expenses so that this boy could go to school until the end of the year…

The best about being in Africa is that only here I can travel the way I’ve always dreamt. Today for the second time I stayed at a hostel since I arrived in this continent, all other days I stayed and had meals with the locals, spending less than 3 dollars a day, which allowed me to distribute the rest of my daily allowance among those who helped me along the way by feeding me or by receiving me in their homes. I am overwhelmed to live such adventure …making a real journey into the heart of Africa, a totally non-touristy one, in a sustainable way, being able to help a few Africans on the way…here with almost nothing you can make a huge difference in people’s lives…for instance with only 12 dollars I paid my friend’s rent in Congo for the whole month. With only 40 dollars I paid for one year of such a cool school for this other boy……”

Gabriel's body returned to Brazil in Rio where it will be cremated at Mortuary Pax River after a wake in the chapel of Memorial of Caramel in Caju starting from Monday 10th August to Tuesday 11th August.

May his soul rest in peace!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The past three weeks have seen lots of stories about witchcraft making it to the front pages of the local dairies. From here in Mulanje where Agness Musolo delivered a 'stone' to Blantyre where a dead man 'resurrected' through Chileka where a man 'locked' his wife's private parts.

Various commentators have voiced out their views on all these strange happenings which have even prompted reputable geologists, psychologists,and specialist doctors in various fields to conduct experiments.

We all know that witchcraft exists and it is widely practiced in Malawi and many parts of the world (don't ask me how i came to this conclusion). But to find that all of a sudden these news are making headlines and are receiving positive comments keeps one wondering as to whether Malawians are becoming more superstitious.

A lot of property was damaged and people were injured in Bangwe because of chicken believed to be behind the road accidents (superstition). This is no simple matter and is likely to happen another day at another place where lots of accidents happen. A few days later a girl was thrown out on a witchcraft plane in the same area, Bangwe. In Mulanje everyone believes that the spirits in the mountain are behind the disappearance of Gabriel Bushman. From the village headman to those who organised the rescue operation all believe that the spirits are behind this. (More superstition).

The man who 'resurrected' in Blantyre is happily coming back to terms with his family after spending 6 months in the 'grave'. Instead of the authorities who are responsible for our health, safety and welfare, the 'resurrected man', Moses Levison is in the protection of a witch doctor (so these doctors are witches!!) More superstition.

When the scientists concluded that Agness Musolo did not give birth to the 'stone' but rather inserted it to the birth passage, more voices were against these finding choosing to believe the work of magic. (Superstition) I thought these are respected, learned professionals who are supposed to guide us in issues they know better than us.

Some thing ought to be done fast before we are all brainwashed to believe in witchcraft. I don't know what has to be done to deal with this (is it to adopt the witchcraft law or invest more time in prayer).


In the past i used to like my portable shortwave and FM radio or used to be on TV simply because i wanted to follow current events. I shifted my attention to the PC until i recently fell in love with Nokia 6070.

When am not reading a Clive Cussler or Tom Clancy novel, then am on a PC browsing some stuff or reading an e-book if not, my Nokia 6070 fills the gap. It has everything i need to satisfy me 24 hours. (My friends are already complaining that am no longer a good company!!)

I set my home page to the iGoogle with my gmail inbox on the top of BBC News, Top Stories (from New York Times, Chicago Tribune,etc), Quotes and Jokes of the day. I don't have to go along way to check my mail which i do every hour. I also have bookmarked over 20 sites which am supposed to check every now and then including, Anannova, Goal, Timve Mag, Malawi World Cup blog, News24, Blue Pulse, Nyasa Times and CNN

My applications folder is full of downloaded stuff that also require my undivided attention. There is a pocket bible which am supposed to read daily, Wattpad (i use it to read books online or offline), Snaptu, words of wisdom, Queep, and Operamini. I don't have space to keep latest music or videos i download them to the PC.

In opera Mini where i spend most of the time, i bookmarked Zain Malawi Web2SMS (for 10 free texts everyday since i have two Sim cards), Facebook Mobile, Flickr (for uploading photos taken by my 6070) Twitpic ( for sharing latest pictures on Twitter), Blogger dashboard (for editing my blog posts, Twitter (for real time updates), Malawi Daily Times and Google Reader.

For the latest current affairs all over the world i subscribed to many RSS Feeds which i read in Google Reader. I get to know events in real time because of these RSS Feeds which include, Reuters, CNN, Stories on Malawi, Clement Nyirenda's blog world , Mashable and Killer Start Ups (for the latest technology news). I also follow most of the media companies on Twitter where they update latest news in real time(pity there is no Malawian media to follow).

The only time i spend on PC is when am updating my blog, checking out some big stuff or pictures of friends on Facebook ( i update my status using Selective Twitter or on Snaptu or even through the Faceebook bookmark on Opera Mini), When i want to download some files or subscribe to RSS Feeds of some websites. I also have time to check news about Malawi from Mablog Blogging Malawi but mainly rely on the many blogs that i subscribed to. I also created a Google alert for Malawi news which sends me an email everytime news about Malawi is written.

Talk of Blackberry, iphone, smartphone or what, my Nokia 6070 is giving me a 24 hour access to global issues. And to access all these i use a reasonable amount of airtime from both Zain Malawi and TNM. Long live Nokia 6070 !!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009


They are out there yet we hardly see them
they choose not to complain......
They struggle with life yet continue to live
stoically accepting their situations.....
Every morning they wake up to face the same things
no food, no clothes, no fees, no friends, no money, no hope....
In silence they watch their kids dressed in tatters
scrambling for the little food they have
Yet we choose to ignore them
They silently pray we come to their rescue.....

We have them here, you have them there yet we don't know them....
everyday we pass them, riding buses with them even chatting
If only we knew their situations....
they try to laugh with us yet tears of pain are secretly flowing
We have them in offices, schools, stadiums, car parks....
yet nobody seems to care
Somebody somewhere needs you......

There are many in our church, i believe yours too.....
zealous with church work, running up and down
They dance, confess, recite, worship and sing.....
yet nothing changes their situations
They praise God for our testimonies, new job, new car, house,business
clapping hands, shouting on top of their voices amen!! amen!!
The state of their shoes, suits, bibles or hymns reminds them everything....
spiritually satisfied yet on empty stomachs they go
If only you could discern.....
that someone somewhere needs you

In our neighborhood we have them, hope yours too
happy when rain comes for their crops.......
Yet their houses dangerously leak
yes !! they have dreams, plans and hopes.....
Good futures, educated children, beautiful houses, cars
yet they fail to find a starting point......
next month's salary, next years farm produce, next time
whilst days are turning to weeks, months and years.....
Yet we are there prosperous and rich than ever
all along they are there, next door, next bench, next desk, next pew.....
Check out your neighbor, friend, relative...
because he needs you.........

(dedicated to those who lack basic needs in life)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Despite that June and July are the coldest months of the year in Malawi, 28 year old, Jimmy Masangwi is spending all the nights of these months outside. Not that he doesn't have a home but it is what his work demands him to do. He works as a security guard for a certain security company in Blantyre.

Operating security firms is one of the blossoming businesses in the country that has attracted alot of people's interest. Walk in the streets of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu and see how many rapid response cars and uniformed security guards you will meet. Many business people including high profile politicians are operating security companies which are creating the much needed employment.

An interview with Masangwi and several other guards working with different security firms revealed the problems that these guards are going through in their companies. Chief among a list of problems is the salary that they are getting after spending 30 sleepless nights.Some get as little as K4,000 (US$28) per month. As if this is not enough, they get their money as late as the 7th of the following month.

This is a very sad development considering the fact that life has become expensive and people cannot survive on US$28 the whole month. These are people who have families that depend on them, they have to pay house rents, buy food and other necessities, pay for the children's school fees.

Masangwi also said that when companies or individuals hire guards from the security firm, they pay alot of money which in most cases is charged on daily basis, but the guards themselves get very little at the end of the month.

Recently a high profile politician who runs a security firm was locked in his office by his employees because of misunderstandings over salaries. Unfortunately these guards have no means of communicating their grievances to the relevant authorities because only a few of the security firms have labour unions.

As Malawi continues to enjoy the international recognition as one country whose economy is growing faster, these security guards are still a long way from benefiting the gains of this economic growth. They rarely get salary increments and their conditions of service are very poor despite being a sector which employs alot of people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It has been reported in the media that residents of Zomba City took to task the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM)over the frequent electricity blackouts the city is experiencing. I totally agree with the idea of meeting the electricity providers but how the meeting in Zomba ended does not impress me.

Instead of giving the Zomba residents what they are demanding, power all day - everyday, ESCOM officials fed them with their everyday excuses that they publish in the media. They even had to seek the intervention of their Corporate Spokesperson, Kitty Chinseu to explain to the angry residents why they were not having power throughout.

It is a known fact that the frequent blackouts are affecting our day to day lives, alot of companies are losing money, and in some cases lives are being lost in hospitals because of these. In some cases foreign companies are afraid of investing in the country because of these frequent blackouts.

Much as i applaud people from Zomba for raising their concerns, I believe this is a national disaster that needs to be addressed very soon. Energy is one priority area that the President outlined in his State of the Nation address but very little is being done on the ground. One can argue that more time is needed to deal with this issue but alot of time and money have already been wasted.

Maybe its time now that the general public joined together and addressed our concerns to ESCOM. Last year we saw a rare public unity in demanding Parliament to pass the budget. People had to camp at the Parliament Building for several days to force honorable members to pass the budget. I think if we take the same way in forcing ESCOM to give us power all day and everyday, things will change.

We are always told of load shedding, machine breakdowns, silt and many excuses which have been there for many years. Should we say that we have no long term solutions to the problems we face? This is a serious matter and needs to be addressed very urgently. If we are serious of developing our country, turning it from an importing nation to an exporting nation, we need power all day - everyday.

I urge the Consumer Association of Malawi and other civil society organisations to strongly condemn ESCOM and mobilise people against this power utility company. We can even march to present a ultimatum demanding power throughout. This is a problem that is affecting every Malawian from the city to the village and needs urgent attention.

Monday, July 6, 2009


When i switched on my radio this morning, one local radio station was playing a track by Thomas Chibade, Sitilora. The musician urges the leaders to maintain peace that Malawi is experiencing. He goes on to sing about how wars in several african countries is affecting people. He concludes with the title of the song sitilora.

I totally agree with Chibade that as Malawians we will not allow that this country should be involved in any war. We cannot support leaders who preach about or encourage war in our peaceful country. We have seen how our friends have been affected by wars in the different countries in Africa and beyond. I had time to talk to a few people who had been directly affected by the Mozambican war both Malawians and Mozambicans. They are some who are still being affected by the what happened even after the war ended a few years back. Thats why Chibade sings that the leaders will reconcile afterwards even though our relatives have died and our property destroyed.

As we celebrate the 45 years of independence, lets put this in mind. We don't want any war in Malawi. We have been a peaceful nation save for a few acts of violence that claimed lives of fellow Malawians. We have just been rated the second peaceful country in the world. Let us maintain it.

The announcer at the local radio station seemed to know that the source of conflicts in many of the waring countries are leaders because the next song he played was Tigonjerane by Billy Kaunda. In Tigonjerane, Billy urges all Malawians to accept other people's views. He says tolerance should start in the family, churches and in political parties. There is no better time to play this song than now when we are celebrating independence a few months after we had elections. Though fair and peaceful other quarters are failing to digest the results.

We have a choice to remain a peaceful nation and continue being called the "warm heart of Africa" or follow the path of other nations. It all goes back to our day to day living, our leaders decisions and tolerance of other people's views. That's why i totally agree with Billy Kaunda and Thomas Chibade that Tiyeni tigonjerane and Sitilora kuti muyambitse nkhondo muno.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


When am not busy with my paid job, I take time to coordinate for various organisations who send volunteers in Malawi including Volunteering Solutions and Advance Africa . Like I have done several times before, this month I had an opportunity of coordinating Caitriona Rogerson and Natasha Fitzpatrick's stay in Malawi.

They are from Ireland and volunteered for two weeks at Zingwangwa Primary school in Blantyre. They taught English, Music, Drama and several other things. Below are some of the pictures they took during their time of volunteering:

Thursday, June 18, 2009


A day after the cabinet was announced several commentators have continued to express their views on the composition of the cabinet. Most of them are surprised with the relocation of Hon. Goodall Gondwe who has been moved to Local Government and Rural Development. It is believed that the recent economic gains that Malawi has experienced in last five years are a result of Gondwe's efforts. He has since been replaced with Hon. Ken Kandodo a relative to Malawi's first President the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

While others are taking time to comment on The Finance Ministry, many others are condemning the President for choosing a big cabinet. Public Affairs Committee (PAC) Chairman, Fr. Boniface Tamani could not hide his surprise at the number of elected ministers. He claims that the number is too big for Malawi's economy.

The cabinet has 11 women including the Vice President, 4 Professors, 4 Doctors including Dr Mutharika himself and it has members of parliament from all the four regions of Malawi. Here are all the members of cabinet based on the region and constituency they are representing;


Hon. Prof. Moses Chirambo - Rumphi Central
Hon. Ephraim Chiume - Nkhatabay North
Hon. Prof. Eta Elizabeth Banda - Nkhatabay South
Hon. Prof. Peter Nelson Mwanza - Mzuzu City
Hon. Dr. Goodall Edward Gondwe - Mzimba North
Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara - Mzimba North East
Hon. Billy Kaunda - Mzimba West
Hon. Abbie Marambika Shaba - Mzimba East


Hon. McJones Mzondi Mandala Shaba - Kasungu North
Hon. Otria Moyo-Jere - Kasungu West
Hon. Grenenger K. Msulira Banda - Kasungu East
Hon. Ken Edward Kandodo - Kasungu Central
Hon. Augustine Mtendere - Kasungu North East
Hon. Daniel Liwimbi - Nkhotakota North East
Hon. Victor Bandala Sanjeni Sangazaudzu - Ntchisi East
Hon. Leckford Mwanza Thotho - Dowa North East
Hon. Theresa Gloria Mwale - Mchinji West
Hon. Shadreck Jonasi - Lilongwe City Centre


Hon. Steven Stafford Kamwendo - Ntcheu Bwanje North
Hon. Dr. Lucius Grandson Kanyumba - Ntcheu Bwanje South
Hon. Joyce Banda - Zomba Malosa (But will no longer be MP)
Hon. Annie Lemani Singani Anambewe - Zomba Thondwe
Hon. Yunus Mussa - Zomba Central


Hon. Eunice Kazembe - Chiradzulu South
Hon. Magret Roka-Mauwa - Chiradzulu North
Hon. Aaron Mpupsya Sangala - Blantyre Malabada
Hon. John Francis Bande - Blantyre City East
Hon. Tarsiziu Thomie Gowelo - Blantyre City West
Hon. Kingsley Sostines Namakhwa - Thyolo Central
Hon. Prof. Peter Aurthur Mutharika - Thyolo South West
Hon. Felton Mulli - Phalombe Central
Hon. Anna Andrew Namathanga Kachikho - Phalombe North
Hon. Ritchie Bizwick Muheya - Mulanje South
Hon. Frazer Nihorya Nkhoma - Mulanje Limbuli
Hon. Dr. George Thapatula Chaponda - Mulanje South West
Hon. Patricia Annie Kaliati - Mulanje West
Hon. Mohammed Sidik Mia - Chikwawa Nkombedzi
Hon. Grain Wyson Phillip Malunga - Chikwawa North
Hon. Francis Lazalo Kasaira - Nsanje Central
Hon. Reen Bessie Kachere - Neno South

The Ministers were expected to be sworn in at 9am at the New State house in lilogwe while the Deputies will be sworn in from 3pm at the same state house.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Almost a month after being reelected to the office of the President of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika has named his first cabinet. There has been alot of expectations from the general public as to who will be chosen in the cabinet. Just as the President said a few weeks ago, the cabinet is full of surprises. Here is a list of Ministers and Deputies who will be sworn in on Thursday (18th June) at the New State House in Lilongwe;

President : Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
Vice President : Hon. Joyce Banda

Agriculture and Food Security : Hon.Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
Deputy : Hon. Margret Mauwa

Foreign Affairs : Hon. Prof. Etta Banda
Deputy : Hon. Augustine Mtendere

Finance : Hon. Ken Kandodo Banda
Deputy : Hon. Frazer Nihorya Nkhoma

Development Planning and Cooperation : Hon. Abbie Marambika Shaba
Deputy : Hon. Daniel Liwimbi

Transport and Works : Hon. Khumbo Kachali
Deputy : Hon. Lazaro Kasaira

Lands, Housing and Urban Development : Hon. Prof Peter Mwanza
Deputy : Hon. Tarsiziu Tony Gowelo

Irrigation : Hon. Ritchie Bizwick Muyewa
Deputy: Gringer Musolira Banda

Justice : Hon. Prof Peter Authur Mutharika

Tourism and Wildlife : Hon. Anna Kachikho
Deputy : Hon. Shadreck Jonasi

Labour : Hon. Yunus Mussa
Deputy: Hon. John Bande

Education : Hon. Dr. George Chaponda
Deputy (Higher Education, Science and Technology) : Hon. Otilia Moyo-Jere
(Primary Education) : Hon. Victor Sajeni

Disabilities and Aged : Hon. Reen Kachere
Deputy : Hon. Felton Mulli

Information and Civic Education : Hon. Lenford Mwanza
Deputy : Hon. Kingsley Namakhwa

Industry and Trade : Hon. Eunice Kazembe
Deputy : Hon. Steven Stanford Kamwendo

Gender, Children and Community Development : Hon. Patricia Kaliati
Deputy : Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara

Sports and Youth Dev : Hon. Dr. Lucius Kanyumba
Deputy : Hon. Billy Kaunda

Health : Hon. Prof. Moses Chirambo
Deputy: Hon. Gloria Mwale

National Defense : Hon. Sidik Mia

Home Affairs : Hon. Aaron Sangala
Deputy : Hon. Annie Lemani

Natural Resources Energy : Hon. Glen Wyson Malunga
Deputy : Hon. Ephraim Chiume

Local Government : Hon. Goodall Gondwe
Deputy : Hon. Mc Jones Mandala Shaba

Some notable names missing out in the cabinet include Dr. Ken Lipenga, Roy Comsy,Henry Chimunthu Banda, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Henry Phoya and Davis Katsonga.It remains to be seen as to how the general public will react to the new cabinet as there has been calls for a leaner cabinet and chosen on merit.

Meanwhile, Malawi Parliament is expected to start meeting on Monday the 22 June 2009 where they will elect a new Speaker and Deputies.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It is confirmed! For the next coming year I will be operating from Mulanje District some 120Km away from Blantyre. I have just received a letter informing me of this decision from my employers. Being a person who loves working outside town, it will not be difficult to cope up with life in this area.
Mulanje is a district which borders with Mozambique, and i will be working right at the border called Muloza. We interact with different kinds of people from various nationalities who pass through this border.
It is not a busy border town per se but alot of activities takes place and the fact that i will be meeting people of different nationalities makes me happy. I love chatting with people from different countries and share experiences. Hope we meet the next time you use Muloza Border.
I will continue updating this blog with more interesting news, pictures and updates from my new base. Mulanje is where the biggest mountain in Central Africa is located and it can be seen from our offices!! I will be posting pictures soon....

Friday, May 15, 2009


another part of Lilongwe City

another party of Lilongwe City

The calm waters of Lake Malawi


It is sad that some people have started fighting and stoning each other as the campaign for the General Elections draw to a close. The recent developments in Thyolo, Lilongwe and Mangochi will have a bad effect on the outcome of the elections.

I believe that our lives are more important than everything else so why should we put them at risk for the mere fact that we are supporting different candidates. There is no Presidential or Parliamentary candidate who is worthy dying or even getting scratched for. Its all useless to be fighting for these politicians who are busy enriching themselves.

In fact we will have another vote in five years time. Those who will lose this time can try the next time. I also understand that they are laid down procedures to complain if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the results. Please stop this unruly behavior lets just concentrate on campaign the rest of the days without violence.

We cannot afford to be losing lives every time we have General Elections. In 2004 several lives were lost because of the violence that erupted a few days after the elections. Please spare us this time around we all want to be part of the next government.

I urge all the leaders to condemn this behavior before it gets off hand. We should not see what happened in Kenya or Zimbabwe. Malawi have always been a peaceful nation and lets maintain that image. Please my fellow Malawians lets love our country and stop this violence immediately. GOD BLESS MALAWI AND KEEP IT A LAND OF PEACE !!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The recent news about Madonna's failed adoption of Mercy Chifundo James is a wake up call to all the people who are responsible for making our laws. Why is it that we are still using a law which was passed or reviewed in 1958?

It is really embarrassing to note the we fail to change the laws that govern our country. Our very constitution has a lot of loopholes that needs to be reviewed and changed. Since 1964 we have had several Constitutional reviews but i wonder why these archaic laws were not changed. Our National Parliament meets several times every year and draws alot of allowances in the name of making laws.

As the world is changing we really need to move with the times and the Constitution and the various laws need to be changed inline with the changing times. No wonder some greedy politicians have taken advantage of the loopholes in our constitution to advance their personal agendas.

The past five years our supreme law has passed through various tests that proved its inefficiency in dealing with other areas. Something must be done pretty fast to review and change our laws. Whatever happened to the recommendations that we submitted to the Constitutional Review we had a few years back needs to be explained.

Time has come that we should live like we are in the 21st Century and our laws should reflect real issues that we are facing. Because of these archaic laws, Malawi has been criticized worldwide for denying Mercy Chifundo James a chance to be adopted by the world's most successful female recording artist, Madonna.

While she was trying to follow the law, Judge Esmie Chombo has ended up being criticized by people around the world including her fellow countrymen. The learned judge could not twist the law just to favour one person. Regardless of the public outcry, the media coverage, the status of the child to be adopted, the law requies a person who has stayed in the country for over a year.

Whilst Madonna might be thinking of relocating to Chinsapo, Chilinde or Chilobwe to be eligible to adopt another child, let us think of reviewing the law to suit with the changed world. A lot of orphans will be denied good opportunities because of these colonial laws we are still using. Wake up Malawians.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


American Elections have come and gone but have left around a legacy that will haunt the African democracies and the rest of the world forever, the rise and election of President Barack Obama. Coming from a minority race in the American populace, equipped with eloquent speeches, cross cutting issues and a powerful voice that reached out to all people around the world, Obama has ushered in a new era of politics.

With keen interest Malawians have watched the whole process learning one or two things from it. Now they wait, hoping another Obama will rise in the country as we draw close to the elections. Nomination papers have been presented to the Electoral Commission and the same old politicians are leading the race with nothing new to offer.

Silently we wait, ready to follow at the sign of his emergence. A leader who will rise to unite the nation regardless of the regions people are coming from, their denominations or political affiliations. A person who will address issues and not personalities, will inspire hope in them and remind them that they can make a difference. A person who will practice real democracy, respect the rule of law, put his emphasis on development, resurrect the dying education system, define a proper health care system and bring justice to the masses.

In the north people are waiting anxiously for this Obama who will develop the region as he will do in the south and centre. A wise person who will not be involved in the politics of kuthana, kunyenyananyenyana ndi kuchekanachekana or kusolola. He will have the welfare of people at heart. He will not use swearing words in rallies, respect opposing views and reach out to other parties.

People of Nsanje are tired of the same old politicians who have been around since independence claiming to own the Lower Shire yet they don't develop it. Now they wait for an Obama, who has no tainted past, corruption background or a chain of political parties he has joined or disbanded. A person who will bring together people from all races and mulhakhos, his rallies will attract all people and with one voice they will speak change, bring change and embrace change.

Young people have been silent for too long hoping this this Obama will come with clear employment creation plans. Bringing in policies that favour the youth all over the country. Not the very same people we read in the history books who are now either bald or gray haired. In the capital people are on their knees ready to join the others when he comes. Not to be left out in the rewriting of the country's history when a new leader springs out.

Unfortunately it seems we have to wait a little longer, because the current crop offers no hope. The same recycled politicians are gracing the podiums in new party colours. Running away from the real issues that affect Malawians and targeting personalities. Twisting and raping the constitution at will to favour them. Masquerading as biblical prophets and messias while they plunder economies in our full view.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that we will be there when he comes. He will surely come no matter what or how long it takes. Americans had to wait for many decades, enduring the suffering that costed some lives. When he came he needed no introduction to the masses who were anxiously waiting for him. Yes We Can !! was enough to bring them together.


Interesting!! The recent findings by the Police inquiry that the Blantyre City South Constituency aspiring MP, Moses Kunkuyu's abduction was staged cannot go without comment. I have been following this news since the day of the said abduction, December 12, 2008. I happen to come from the same constituency that this aspirant is contesting.

The Police have concluded that Mr Kunkuyu 'faked' the abduction and that he slept at Kanjedza Lodge room number 120 on the night of alleged abduction. If these findings are to go by, it confirms the start of a new era of politics in the country. Politics of sympathy. If indeed Mr Kunkuyu faked the abduction, i believe his intention was to draw public sympathy. It is the same public sympathy that the present government has used to survive most of the attacks that the opposition planned against in the Parliament.

Those who follow the Parliamentaly race for Blantyre City South constituency will agree with me that the 'faked' abduction will do more harm than good to the aspirant. Since Kunkuyu expressed his interest to contest as a Member of Parliament for the ruling party, DPP, alot of people from the area supported him. Being a young person who eloquently elaborates his plans for the constituency, he drew attention of alot of people even after he 'lost' the primaries to the incumbent Hon. Jimmy Banda. It was in one of the reruns of these highly contested and controvesial primaries that Moses Kunkuyu 'faked' the abduction. He later withdrew from the ruling party's contest and will go it alone on May 19.

I believe that those people who supported him will be drawn back by these revelations. How can a person who fakes his own abduction be trusted with a big position like that? Will he be capable of delivering to the expectations of the people?. If indeed this is true, and the Police act upon it as reported then Mr Kunkuyu's political future hangs in the balance. His entry into politics has faced a big blow.

A young aspiring politician whose political future looked bright. He joined the race in his own style, donating an ambulance which operates in the constituency, sponsoring a trophy which brings together a lot of young people in the area. He has enriched a few veteran politicians who surrounds him with hard earned money he brought from the UK where he was working. Its a pity to start politics and be involved with those unfortunate situations. Ask Lucius Banda, Maxwell Milanzie.


As we draw close to the General Elections day on May 19, a lot is being said by those who are aspiring to become Members of Parliament in the different constituencies. The media is awash with promises and lies from these aspirants who want to woo as many votes as they can. Some go to the extent of promosing things that they will not deliver or cannot deliver even if they are elected to the position.

In my view there is little or in some cases nothing that Members of Parliaments contribute to the development of the area apart from representing the constituency in the august house. We have a lot of constituencies that remain undeveloped up to this very date despite having MP's who represents them and claims to bring development.

A constituency is a second smallest political divide that a Parliamentarian manages and cannot take a lot of time if one is serious of developing it. For instance a constituency can have a few number of schools, hospitals bridges and roads that a person can facilitate to develop in a short period of time. A development conscious MP will not need over 20 years to develop an area with 5 primary schools, 1 secondary, 3 bridges and 4 markets. But we have MP's who have been representing their respective areas for over 20 years and their constituencies are yet to be developed.

My constituency, Blantyre City South, has had over four MP's since Malawi became independent in 1964 but we are yet to see meaningful development. Instead of developing, the little we had is also going down. Yet every five years we line up in various schools and other public places to vote for people who promise us development. The roads we used to have become impassable every rainy season, bridges are rotten, the schools are in a mess.

In fact we have a school, Naotcha Primary, every MP who comes promises to develop it since 1994 it is still in the same state it was. Already i hear some aspirants are promising to develop it. The road from Chilobwe Trading Centre to Naotcha is one of the shameful reminders of the failure by the Parliamentarians to bring development to the constituency.

It is clearly evident that politics in Malawi and in many parts of Africa has become a get-rich-quick business that everyone need to venture into. A few years in politics will transform one from rags to riches and the simplest entry point is contesting as a Member of Parliament.

This years elections have attracted the interest of every Jim and Jane. Retired civil servants, musicians, business people, religious leaders, comedians have filed their nominations to contest in the 193 constituencies throughout the country. They all have two similar statements, "I want to develop the area" and "people have asked me to contest".

Even as official campaign period starts today (March 17) alot more will be said, coffins will be bought, fake bridges will be built and handouts will be given. Come May 19 people will vote based on these promises and lies hoping that their areas will develop, but five years from now some areas will be the same, others will be worse than before and only a few will be developed.

Friday, March 13, 2009


They say information is powerful and people who are well informed make right decisions in life. Unfortunately a lot of people in Malawi have limited means of getting information and are not in a position to make right decisions.

Three weeks ago, I was sent to work in Muloza Border in Mulanje by the company i work for. Muloza borders with Mozambique and is a just few kilometers from Malawi's commercial city, Blantyre. One can drive less than an hour in the recently constructed Robert Mugabe Highway than using the other route from Limbe via Thyolo.

Being a person who likes to listen to news that is happening around the world, i rememebered to take my FM/MW/SW pocket radio, my Samsung cellphone with GPRS internet facility a few novels and enough money to buy daily newspapers for the period i was to stay. I din't want to miss any bit of what is happening both locally and globally. With a few months to go before the General Elections, the issuing of the warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President and the Zimbabwe Crisis, one needs to be as close to the news as possible.

To my dismay the radio has become useless and can only pick properly two Fm stations, a few MW radios and some short wave transmisions. Zodiak Radio is staion is the only reliable station that can be heard without interruptions while rest are either not heard or are difficult to pick up. The majority of the stations that are heard on Medium Wave are from Mozambique and broadcast in Portuguese which many people in Malawi don't understand. Even though the Short wave transmissions are many, there come in different languages other than English and those that use English are difficult to locate like Radio Russia. The VOA dedicates much of its time to Studio 7 News that concetrates much on Zimbabwe news. This leaves one with very little chance of listening to balanced news.

The print media has also been a biggest disappointment to the information hungry people like me. The daily newspapers reaches the border post around 10am at times up to 11am. There are moments when no newspaper comes up to lunch hour and one has to travel to Limbuli Trading Centre to buy from a Kwiksave. It has really affected me having been used to reading the dailes as early as 6:30am.

The only 'reliable' means of being informed is the internet which unfortunately has little news about Malawi. Even the little news that we find online is not balanced or uptodate. The Nyasa Times and Malawi digest are well updated and have news from many well paced sources but their content leaves a lot to be desired. The only trusted news comes from the two dailies Daily Times and The Nation which unfortunately take time to be updated.

People atleast are able to view pictures from Television Malawi, but i chose to ignore the station completely way back because there is nothing that i gain from it. Almost 80 percent of its news is already heard from some other sources or its about conferences and no real news. Save for a few programs that inteviews different people on various topics though the selection of those interviewed is not balanced.

In view of this I wonder how the masses are expected to make informed choices when there is no better way to be informed. One tends to wonder how people will vote for the right candidates without listening to the important debates and manifesto evaluations that are broadcast on various radios.

The locals seem not to be affected by this development and continue to live their lives unconcerned. But i find it hard to live without being informed in a balanced way. If this is happening in Muloza, a few minutes drive from Blantyre when most media houses are based, how are people in other remote parts of the country accessing information?