Namisa Blogger of the year 2013,Stimulating the much needed debate

Archive for June, 2012

SPEAKER’S JUDGMENT ON SECTION 65 NOW!

as minutes left for the speaker to pass his judgement on section 65, government has assured all members that everything is in control. During a meeting with the president last night that was requested by the agrieved MPs, the president assured them that section 65 will not apply to them. Analysts say it will be interesting to see the speaker passing the verdict now.
Government seem to have failed to use other remedies like obtaining injunction..

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SPEAKER’S JUDGMENT ON SECTION 65 NOW!

as minutes left for the speaker to pass his judgement on section 65, government has assured all members that everything is in control. During a meeting with the president last night that was requested by the agrieved MPs, the president assured them that section 65 will not apply to them. Analysts say it will be interesting to see the speaker passing the verdict now.
Government seem to have failed to use other remedies like obtaining injunction.

SPEAKER’S JUDGMENT ON SECTION 65 NOW!

as minutes left for the speaker to pass his judgement on section 65, government has assured all members that everything is in control. During a meeting with the president last night that was requested by the agrieved MPs, the president assured them that section 65 will not apply to them. Analysts say it will be interesting to see the speaker passing the verdict now.
Government seem to have failed to use other remedies like obtaining injunction.

Speaker invokes s65; writes errant MPs

Just after the budget presentation by Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, 110 Members of Parliament who have defected to the People’s Party (PP) were in  shock to receive letters from Speaker of the National Assembly Rt. Hon Henry Chimunthu Banda informing them of the Speaker’s stand on s.65.

According to one of the letters signed by the Speaker dated 7th of June 2012, which I have copy, with the headline “RE: Invoke s.65 of the constitution”;  the head of the legislature has asked all the members who have received the letter to respond to the issue of their crossing the floor within seven (7) days from today.

“In accordance with Standing Orders 46(1) you are required to respond to the Office of the Speaker on allegations herein within 7 days; upon expiring of which a ruling shall be given in the chamber on the date to be appointed by the Speaker”, reads the letter in part.

Further, the letter says that the Speaker’s office received a petition from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on 6th June through Dr. George Chaponda and the party’s secretary general Mr. Wakuda Kamanga requesting the Speaker to declare vacant seats of the its errant members in line with s.65(ii) as read with Standing Order 46 of the National Assembly.

The letter has since created panic in the honourable members so much that immediately after the budget presentation all affected members converged in the Ministers waiting room for a caucus to discuss the matter. The members were however, assured by an official from the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General that the matter is in control.

Reports show that government has already gone to court for an  injunction on the matter. It is yet to be seen if there will be a repeat of the 2005/6 battle both inside and outside the chamber when the DPP government was a minority after breaking away from the United Democratic Front (UDF) the party that sponsored it into power.

Budget Receives Mixed Reactions

Speaking for a quick response on the budget presented in the National Assembly this afternoon, Africa Development Bank (ADB) representative to Malawi who is also current chair for the Common Approach to Budget Support (CABS) which is a grouping of donors providing direct budget support to Malawi Mr Andrew Mwamba described the budget as difficult; saying it’s not easy for the current government to start bringing the economy back on track

On the minister’s call for the donors to disburse its funds to Malawi, the CABS chair said it will depend on how quick individual donor countries will respond to economic reforms that the Banda government would put in place.

According to Mwamba individual countries were just waiting for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) node to start working on the assistance.

CABS is donor group that comprises of the ADB, the European Union,  Norway, the UK amongst others.
EU country representative Alexander Baum said he was happy that the
minister has outlined some tax measures that will help to ease the burden of devaluation that has hit hard on poor Malawians. He cited examples of  ertilizer that has remained at K500 which he said will still help poor farmers to access fertilizer at a reasonable cost.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Hon. John Tembo has described the budget as a difficult budget but he was quick to point out that it has brought relief to business people and if business will be stable then this will ease the
challenges the ordinary people are facing due to devaluation.
Tembo said it’s good that government has abandoned the zero deficit budgets which the DPP had introduced.

“We should give the pp government time to correct the mess DPP had left especially on economy”, said Tembo adding that it’s not easy for the government to perform any miracle on the economy.

But DPP presidential candidate Professor Arthur Peter Muthalika has described the budget as not meant for p00r people. He said there is no immediate intervention to help them due to the devaluation that has hit hard in the people poor of Malawi.

He however said the budget is mainly depending on donor funding which
the DPP government was trying to move away from.

Read the statement here:BUDGET STATEMENT FOR FY 2012-13 FINAL 8 JUNE 2012

Breaking News: MEC has new PRO; as Mwenye is recalled

In what seems to be a week for journalists; the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has a new spokesperson. He is Sangwani Mwafulirwa formely of Blantyre Newspapers Limited and MISA Malawi. He replaces Aubrey Sumbuleta whose contract has not been renewed.

In a related development, Ian Mwenye who once was Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the Malawi Parliament until mid 2010 has been re-instated. He was also one of the editors of the Hansard at the national assembly

Stop Press: Press Officer for Print & Electronic Media is appointed

In what is believed to be yet another executive appointment stunt, President Mrs Joyce Banda has appointed Brian Banda, of Capital Radio Malawi Limited, as Press Officer responsible for print and electronic media. This is a new dimension in the press team that the Malawian presidency has had.

Brian Banda, popular for his Capital StraightTalk and Sunday Roundtable programs on the privately owned FM radio station will join Steven Nhlane in the presidential press team. Nhlane, formerly of Blantyre Newspapers Limited is Press Secretary. The appointment of the two pushes off Ruth Govati who has worked for Madam Banda since 2009 when she became Vice President

In the recent past, the president has had Presidential Spokesperson and Statehouse press officer without specifying which dimension of the media the two position holders were dealing with.

With Brian Banda handling print and electronic media, which includes radio, television, newspapers and magazines; it is not clear if President Banda will task someone to be responsible for the new media, also known as social media like Facebook, twitter, blogs, Google+, etc.

Callista, Duwa share late Mutharika’s loot

About 13 Rolex wrist watches were found in late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s bags on Saturday June 2 2012. The expensive watches together with five hundred thousand US Dollars (US$500,000) or approximately MwK136.35millon if converted at today’s middle rate of $1/MwK272.70 were found in late Bingu’s bag which were reported stolen from the New State House soon after his sudden death on April 5 2012.

The least expensive Rolex watch costs $5,050 or approximately MwK1.4million at the middle rate of $1/MwK272.70. Knowing late Mutharika’s extravagance, it is doubtful the 13 watches could be of this ‘low value’.

According to a family source, former First Lady Callista Mutharika and Bingus daughter, Duwa Mubaira shared the spoils in the bag.

The ceremony which took place at the late president’s private mansion, Ndata in Thyolo, revealed the true characters of the widow Callista and Duwa, said the source.  According to the source, the two women spoke on top of their voices without regard and respect to the [family] elders who amongst them were brother to the late president, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Mr. Namondwe, Dr. Charles Matabwa. The former Safe Motherhood Goodwill Ambassador had told the gathering that she was taking the money and the valuable watches; saying if anything she was sharing them with Duwa. Nobody argued with the two women over the deceased’s loot.

The family source also told me that the late wa Mutharika’s will is out but not yet ready for the curious public. As soon I lay my hands on it and/or its contents, this page will be updated accordingly. Keep visiting this blog.

House to debate July 20 demonstrations report

Members of Parliament are on Tuesday June 5 expected to debate on report findings of the 20 July demonstration. This was agreed on Friday by the house after a motion by Justice Minister and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara.

The report is going to be debated in line with section 129 of the country supreme laws alongside other sections of Human Rights Commission Act. The report is based on the fact finding exercise that the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) conducted on the demonstrations and related violence surrounding the events of July 20-21 2011.

The report has disclosed information gathered directly from victims of human rights violation, eye witnesses, and from different organizations including the media; amongst others.  A hot debate is expected on the report in the house.

This blog will give you details of the debate as and when it happens.