Friday, December 30, 2011

Glad 2011 is going

This might be my last post of 2011. The year that is very difficult to analyse and come up with one conclusion. Generally its been a very hard year for Malawians. I wrote a lot of bad news on this blog than any other year since i started blogging in 2007. Even though it was hard, i have some success stories i personally celebrate in the year 2011.

It would be better to summarise the year in 3 areas; personal, country and world. Here is how i summarise 2011.


On 15 February 2011 i got transferred from Mulanje to a new and challenging post in Blantyre after working outside town for over two years. I was glad to come back and as any promotion comes with good perks and more challenging responsibilities, i gladly accepted the offer. I have spent most of the year establishing myself on the new position. Being a fast leaner and a person who is passionate about learning new things, it did not take long to settle. Am now fully in control of my work.

In this year i got my first officially recognised New Malawi Passport and the New SADC Driver's licence (with a new flag of course) completing my identifications as a bonafide Malawian. I look back to 2011 and say i have achieved something.

I got involved in relationships seriously for the first time in this year. (You might wonder why a 27 year old can be involved in relationships for the first time. Am a loner and have never been serious in these things.) A i enter the new year am still uncertain as to what my relationship status is.

I have travelled a lot in this year, albeit locally. i have been to every district of the southern region of Malawi countless times courtesy of the work am doing. At times i could go be on the road 5 days of the week to different districts. At some point i found time to visit my relations in Rumphi.

On another note i have faced alot of personal challenges this year most of them to do with coping up with my new responsibilities. Much as i managed to do my work responsibilities, i could not do the same with my duties at home or in the family. Alot was expected of me but i did little to match. I caught up with this reality late in the year and managed to change. I go into 2012 a changed and more responsible person in the family.

I also prayed an important role at my church as a youth leader in fundraising, organising and motivating youths. My spiritual stand faced alot of challenges i tried and will continue to address in 2012.

Country - Malawi

I personally took part in the much famous 20 July demonstrations for one reason, I wanted to be heard!!! The highlight of this year in Malawi is the 20 July demos which saw thousands of Malawians taking to the streets to show their dissatisfaction with the ruling government. 20 people lost their lives on that day and its a very sad chapter in the history of the Malawi nation.

Malawi started the year as a hero to the other African nations but will come out zero because of the various serious problems that have rocked us over the months. The biggest problem has been the shortage of various important things chief among them is forex. Forex shortage has affected everything in Malawi leading to fuel and drug shortage, prices of goods rising up, the cost of living going up and almost everything going up.

Very bad decisions were made in the year like the expulsion of the British Ambassador, the bad laws which were passed by our honourable members of parliament. Malawi could have done better without these decisions and our governance and socio economic problems could have been averted.

I think Malawians did not give much attention to other issues affecting us like the AIDS pandemic, Climate Change, other diseases and natural disasters because of the governance crisis we are facing. Alot of time, airtime and newspaper space has been spent discussing the fuel and forex shortage, drug crisis. In terms of progress, Malawi took many steps backwards in the year 2011.

There was too much personal politics in the year than development. At times i wonder if these party leaders, spokespersons and propagandists think of how people are suffering in the villages. An average Malawian enter 2011 very poor and will enter 2012 even more poorer than before. As i write i doubt how many families will manage a decent meal on the eve of the new year. So sad!


World issues were dominated by the famous Middle East Uprisings, toppling of most wanted dictators in the name of Egypt's Mubarak, Algeria's Ben Ali, Libya's Ghadaffi and the killing of the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden. The Middle East Uprising has kept us glued to our TV screens from the time a Tunisian graduate set himself on fire to this date. Am sure most of us have got our lessons from these happenings in the middle east. It is also what partly motivated Malawians to come out in large numbers and take part in the 20 July demos. Most countries have made history in their Tahir squares and will live to remember them. Many lives have also been lost in this year mostly through these uprisings.

The Occupy Movement is also worthy a mention as it also captured our attention in the year. I will live to remember how people can be organised to fight poverty and greed in the whole world. What started simply at Zuccoti park in America managed to capture the world attention and was modelled in several countries across the world. Though the 99% still remains oppressed by the 1%, am sure efforts will still be made to change this.

The Greek Crisis which has upgraded to be called the EuroZone Crisis is also something to note in the year.just ending. It was something worthy watching on TV and commenting in social media circle.

On a positive note, as a social networker, am happy with the role social media played in shaping our world in this year. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other site have played a great role in bringing the world together. Am glad to say that i have used these sites for almost everyday of this year as i could not afford to stay away from them as i could miss important news.

In Africa who can forget to talk about the Boko Haram in Nigeria, alShabaab in Somalia, the new country of South Sudan, elections in DRC and Kenya's attack on alShabaab in Somalia. Zambia also had very successful elections in the year. There was also some grey areas in Ivory Coast 2010 elections which spilled into 2011, Liberia's elections, Guinea Bissau endless coups. There was a great hunger in most African countries that took away many important lives in the year.

Am glad that 2011 is going and i happily accept 2012 but i thank God for allowing me to be part of 2011.


Friday, December 23, 2011

National Bank of Malawi introduces bank queing system.

One of Malawi's leading commercial bank, National Bank has introduced a new queing system to ease congestions in banking halls. The system involves clients to get numbered tickets on a machine installed at the entrance of the new headoffice. Customers will then sit on the provided chairs to wait for their turn. A number will then be displayed on the LCD screen linking the ticket holder to a specific teller.

The queing system which is on trial basis, will be at the new Hendreson Street Service Centre which is situated at the newly built Head Office opposite Reserve Bank building in Hannover Street. The service centre will be opened on Saturday, 24th December, 2011.

It is the first time for a Malawian commercial bank to use this queing system. In neighbouring countries like Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, queing systems like this are used in banks, immigration and road traffic offices.

Where is BINGU when it hurts..

"A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible." Polybius(ca. 200–118 BC) , a famous Greek historian said these words a long time ago. These words have now become relevant to the situation we are passing through as a Malawi nation. It is obvious that victory is impossible with this current leadership.

It is no hidden fact that Malawi is going through very tough times. There is a political and economic crisis going on at the moment. The big question is, where is the President amidst all these problems? A good leader was supposed to be visible and assure his people on what is being done to sort out the problems they are facing.

But nothing is being done on the problems that Malawians are facing except a few statements from Ministers who are either on the defensive mode or have given us a time frame of the problems. Patricia Kaliati, the Information Minister is busy trying to convince people on what their government has done even when problems are their for all to see. The Finance Minister and Energy Minister claims the fuel woes and other problems will end in January 2012. Its like the government has given up trying and are waiting for things to sort out in January. In the meantime Malawians can continue to suffer, die and lose important businesses until a solution is found in January.


Polybius clearly says that a good general not only sees the way to victory, but he also knows when victory is impossible. A good general would resign when he knows that victory is impossible to pave way for a leader who will lead the army to victory. Malawi has reached that point. NO VICTORY IS IN SIGHT!!

On 20 July, about 5 months ago, we took to the streets to demand some reforms but nothing concrete has happened. Even the public lecture which was organised to counter the demonstrations has not brought about any tangible changes. We are still counting days and things are getting worse each passing minute. Government seems not to care.

The only solution, i guess, is to bring in a new leadership which will respond to the needs of the people. My favourite Former American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, once said, "Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Press Statement From Forum for the Defence of Democracy on Occupy Parliament Malawi

Thursday 8th December, 2011

To: The Clerk Parliament
Cc: The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Chimunthu Banda
The Law Commission
Parliament Offices,
Private Bag, B 362
Lilongwe 3


Forum for Defence Democracy (FDD) and other concerned Malawians, (Diasporas included) wish to commend and thank all Malawians for the interest, commitment and inspiration demonstrated towards the OCCUPY PARLIAMENT AGENDA. Sadly and prematurely, it is put on record that the Executive influence over Parliament nullified the opportunity that ordinary citizens intended to pursue to redress the prevailing status quo.

FDD believes that “power” in a democracy ultimately resides with the populace (ordinary citizens) in accordance with the supreme law of the land. Furthermore, our history is full of examples of an inspired citizenry involved in social movements that has achieved social and political change from 1994 to this date. It is a fact that social movements are, and have been instrumental in raising concerns and urging governments in good democracies, to change and respect the will of the people.

It is emphasized that the “OCCUPY PARLIAMENT AGENDA” as an expression platform was not meant and intended for Parliamentary invasion, or toppling of the current administration regime, as reports would have it. The objective was to voice out the conduct of business in the August House. Furthermore, this was to remind our honourable legislators their legitimate role of representing their constituents.

FDD as a grouping stands on principles of good governance, respect of rule of law and human rights and is a platform for enabling citizens to challenge the prevailing atmosphere that is unfavourable to the majority of Malawians. This platform is also ultimately there to ensure that the citizenry is active in the decision-making processes that affect them especially in this period when the normal channels of their political participation are deliberately frustrated by Executive influence over Parliament. This is clearly evidenced in the District Commissioners and the Speaker’s refusal to issue permission for active citizens to demonstrate peacefully as a constitutional right, In addition, the deployment of heavy police presence and tracking leaders or organizers of the platform testifies to the fact that we live in a country where human rights are not being respected and promoted.

FDD instituted the OCCUPY PARLIAMENT AGENDA to mobilize the citizens and public opinion to challenge power holders and encourage the society to effectively participate and adhere to national values and responsibilities, to redress social problems that affect all of us now on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the platform’s plans were thwarted by the Executive influence over Parliamentary business which was exhibited in the Speaker’s and the District Commissioners unwillingness in the issuance of a written permission as it is required by law, (Police Act, section 103) failure to provide this permission meant that the grassroots are unable to exert their discontent and demand change in the way their Parliamentarians behave.

The OCCUPY PARLIAMENT AGENDA remains to instil in the minds of ordinary Malawians their constitutional responsibility of expressing through (public opinion) and expressing their will through other legal means. It therefore remains a platform for pressing social change and above all holding legislators accountable to the fundamental principles of democracy.

The following concerns still need redress and will remain the agenda of OCCUPY PARLIAMENT.

The genuine problems experienced amongst other things are:- acute fuel shortages, forex scarcity, unavailability of hospital drugs, high cost of living, job scarcity, high water and electricity tariffs (black outs and scarcity), civil servants salaries that remain meagre, review of wages and packages for hospitality industry, restaurants, bars and other public places which also remain pathetic. Malawians are further vexed that in the midst of this economic woes, their elected servants would even consider raising their own salaries.

The list of concerns continues with the problems of Air Malawi, the only flag carrier and pride of Malawi and Macra’s insistence on buying and installing “the popular spying machine” are amongst the top priorities for Parliamentarians to address among the issues affecting this country.

However, despite the refusal by the authority entrusted to provide permission for the OCCUPY PARLIAMENT AGENDA, it is noteworthy that the agenda has made an impact especially on the recent announcement that oppressive laws including Injunction Bill, the infamous Police Act, (s. 46) which have been on the priority of the Government’s political agenda, have now been referred through the President directive, to the Law Commission for review. Such laws were amongst the issues promoting human rights abuses. As we applaud this move by the Head of State. Having noted this, we also call upon the Law Commission to work independently as mandated by s.136 of the Constitution of Malawi. Let us remind our Legislators that when enacting laws they shall reflect in its deliberations the interests of all people of Malawi. Therefore, it is upon this premise that FDD together with church leaders, and all ordinary Malawians will continue keeping an eye on their commitment to the interests and welfare of all Malawians as guaranteed in the Constitution of Malawi.

FDD Co-ordinator – Central Region

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Malawi's First Ethical Hacking Class

You are invited to enrol for Malawi's first Ethical Hacking Class to beheld as depicted on the picture below:  
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