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

Archive for October, 2012

2012/3 fertilizer subsidy scandal: Senior Minister hired people to beat me up

A prominent cabinet minister in the Joyce Banda administration last week mistakenly  called me thinking that he was calling a woman, whom he had hired to get even with me, for the 2012/3 Fertilizer subsidy story.

The phone call came at exactly 14:39hrs Malawi time (or 12:39hrs GMT) on October 11 2012. Fortunately, I had my recorder handy and I have the minister’s call on record.  I will release it an appropriate time.

Without the usual phone call greetings, the minister (name withheld) went straight to the topic of the call; asking conspirator if she had beaten me.  “Mwamumenya, mtsikana uja (have you beaten the lady)?” fumed the minister who has been in the news several times for all the wrong moral reasons. I pretended to be the conspirator and went on with the flow of the honorable minister’s fury.

When I responded calmly, “no”, the infuriated public servant went on. “Ndiye kuti zikukusangalatsani zomwe akulemba eti (so you are happy with whatever she is blogging)?”

At this point, the blogger was disturbed. This was equally noted by that the minister, who also served in the same portfolio in late Bingu wa Mutharika’s first tem. He then asked if he was talking to the woman (name withheld), who happens to be one of the self-acclaimed ‘divas’ of Malawi

This was a third call from different government officials, threatening me, since I had blogged a story on how senior government and Peoples Party officials with and/or connected to briefcase companies had shared contracts to supply and/or deliver the 2012/3 fertilizer under the FISP program.

Malawi supports institutionalization of SADC Parliament

Malawi government says it supports fully the institutionalization of the SADC Parliament.

Veep Kachali greets Moyo as Chimunthu Banda looks on

This call was made by State Vice President Khumbo Kachali when he officially opened the 32nd plenary assembly of the SADC Parliamentary Forum in the lakeshore district, of Mangochi.

The SADC parliament is the only one that has not been transformed from being a consultative to a legislative one. If it becomes a legislative parliament then it shall operate along the lines of ECOWAS, East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

According to the Kachali, the absence of the SADC regional legislative body was a missing link to the regional integration efforts. “A SADC Parliament, once established, will not only add to the number of SADC institutions but will also ensure the inclusion of the voice of the people in the affairs of SADC through their elected representatives,” he pointed out.

“The plenary assembly whose theme is ‘Enhancing the role of parliaments in budget oversight and economic governance in the SADC Countries,’ is timely and relevant as the SADC region is faced with a multiplicity of challenges hampering the socio-economic development of the region and therefore inhibiting our overall objective of deeper regional integration,” observed the Kachali.

According to the vice president, the region’s average economic growth is only about 5% with many countries falling way below this average while on the other hand; the region’s population growth is at a high rate of 2.7% per annum. This, he bemoaned, does not reflect well on SADC which is regarded as the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with new infections reportedly to be on the rise. Besides these, he said, SADC is faced with extreme poverty and hunger which, together with many other challenges makes it impossible for a number of SADC not achieving the first Millennium Goal. He therefore urged the delegates to deliberate on these during the meeting.

In his remarks, Chairperson of the SADC Parliamentary Forum who is also Zimbabwe’s Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, said since the establishment of SADC parliamentary forum in 1996 it has demonstrated to be the best forum in as far as strengthening of parliamentary democratic values in the region are concerned.

Moyo: SADC PF Chair delivering his speech

‘Gender-sensitive budgets; a catalyst to human development, poverty eradication’

Nyamupinga: gender-sensitive budgets a catalyst to human development

Chairperson of Women caucus of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Beatrice Nyamupinga said there is a need for the region to have gender sensitive budgets as one way of promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming; saying such initiatives can also promote overall human development, effective use of scarce resources hence helping eradicate poverty.

She said this at the opening of 32nd plenary assembly of the SADC PF in the lakeshore district, of Mangochi.

“For budget oriented debate in parliament, MPs have to ensure that gender considerations are injected as one way of making gender analysis an integral process in budgeting.” said Nyamupinga.

According to the SADC PF Women Caucus chair, giving a gender focus on the budget could be a concept that unpacks the presumption about how resources are being spent on women issues including children. She said in terms of budget impact analysis, the use of gender implies a breakdown of government expenditure according to their impact to women, men, boys and girls.

The theme of the plenary which is ‘Enhancing the role of parliaments in budget oversight and economic governance in the SADC countries cleary falls within the  SADC PF’s mandate  and efforts aimed at strengthening the regional block to ensure that gender perspectives amongst others is integrated into the overall budgetary process.

She, however, said that the new development in Africa where two women assumed powerful leadership positions is a good development in as far as women participation in positions of power and decision making is concerned.

Nyamupinga concurred with the SADC PF Chair Lovemore Moyo in congratulating Malawi for being the first country to have a woman president since the gender protocol established and adopted in 2008. Coincidentally, the protocol was adopted and signed in Malawi during the 24th plenary assembly of the SADC PF. The protocol calls on member states to ensure gender sensitive and responsive budgeting at both micro and macro levels.

BREAKING: Police Arrest Ombudsman Chizumila

News just coming in indicates that Ombudsman Tujilane Chizumila has been arrested by police. HE was taken to the Police headquarters in Area 30 Lilongwe for question. Details of charges are not yet known.

We will bring you more details as and when we get them

BREAKING: Wakuda Kamanga joins PP

News just coming in indicates that Secretary General of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Wakuda Kamanga has joined the ruling Peoples Party of President Mrs Joyce Banda.

Kamanga was considered as a bedrock of the former ruling party after the sudden demise of its leader and founder President Bngu wa Mutharika.

More details to follow as and when we get them

Gallery

Court Ruling: Daza’s full MCP membership restored

Police quell Callista, Mutharika’s kids fight over deceased estate

A fight had erupted earlier today at Ndata between Bingu wa Mutharika’s widow, Callista and her step children Tapiwa, Duwa and Madalitso over the rightful occupants of the sprawling mansion.

Callista is said to have been annoyed with the ever-partying step children while she is still ‘mourning’ her departed husband. On the contrary, the children, who lost both their biological parents, were not happy with Callista’s control over their behavior in their “father’s house”

The children demanded Mrs Mutharika, nee Chapola, out of the house; threatening to change locks to the residence that also has the ‘Taj Mahal’ of the late president and his wife Ethel, on the far end.

There were a lot of shouting and insults before the kids went off after police intervention.

Exclusive: Top govt and Peoples Party officials share the 2012/3 Fertilizer subsidy contracts

The ruling Peoples Party (PP) officials including State President Joyce Banda have their companies and associates dominate the suppliers and transporters list of the 2012/13 fertilizer subsidy program, this blog has established.

According to documents in our possession, out of the 27 companies that have been awarded the fertilizer supply contracts, 14 of them have direct and indirect connection to cabinet ministers and PP Members of Parliament (MPs) while 7 of them belongs to party supporters and sympathizers including funders.

On the suppliers list, Astor Chemicals, owned by one Abdul Gaffer Mohamed Sidik Mia, according to company registration documents, is expected to supply 1,000 metric tons of NPK and 500 metric tons of Urea giving a total supply contract of 1500 metric tons.

Coincidentally, Mohamed Sidik Mia is Transport and Public Infrastructures Minister and also doubles as the ruling party’s vice president for the south. If Abdul Gaffer Mohamed Sidik Mia, owner of Astor Chemicals and Sidik Mia, the cabinet minister are different persons, is to say the least, a bad coincidence.

Also on the list is Boss Distributors which is directly linked to Justice Minister and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, SC which has been awarded to supply 500 metric tons of urea. And according to his Facebook profile, Hon. Kasambara is Chairman and Executive Director of Boss Car Hire. It is not immediately known if Boss Distributors is an off-shoot of Boss Car Hire

I investments and Options which also belong to the ruling party functionaries have also been included on the suppliers list. Mzati Investments and Yafuka are some of the companies owned by MPs that defected to the ruling party from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and have been rewarded for belonging to the ruling club. Yafuka belongs to Thyolo Parliamentarian Charles Mchacha while Mzati belongs to Luphale.

Further investigations have revealed that some of these companies are of briefcase nature to the effect that they don’t know where to get the fertilizer. In order to cover up their low capacity to source the donor funded subsided fertilizer, they are getting the commodity from the rejected stone, Mulli Brothers there by defeating the whole purpose of the recent tender cancellation which many believed only aimed at crippling DPP financiers.

On the other hand, out of the 43 transporters hired to ferry the commodity to all the districts in Malawi, almost 28 are politically connected to Joyce Banda government.

Number 21 on the list is KK Properties which belongs to State Vice president Khumbo Kachali which is said to have capacity to ferry the commodity in all the regions. JB Investments with direct links to the highest powers is on number 17. Just like Kachali’s KK Properties, JB Investments is said to have capacity to haul the subsidized fertilizer to all the three regions of the impoverished southern African nation.

Other companies connected to the powers that be are AJ Stationers, Alidere Transport, Chembe Trading, Fatso Investments, UZ Investments just to mention but a few.

Further, the transporters’ list has also been blotted to accommodate more PP funders and functionaries. For instance, the 2011/12 transporters list had 27 companies while the 2012/13 has 43; almost double.

See the below list names of companies mentioned above

You may have to click on the individual pictures to expand the view,

‘We will leave nothing undone….,’ JB warns Chasowa murderers

It’s no longer a secret; Robert Chasowa, a fourth year engineering student at the Malawi’s Polytechnic, was murdered; Commission of Inquiry into his death has established. The commission of inquiry was instituted on April 13 2012 days after Mrs Joyce Banda became president following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika

Meanwhile President Mrs. Joyce Banda has instructed the government’s Chief Secretary Bright Msaka, SC and government officials to take action based on the commission’s findings. She gave the instructions when she officially received the outcome of the inquiry from the commission’s chairperson Justice Andrew Nyirenda today.

“As a mother and indeed as a nation, I felt we needed to establish how our son in whom we had so much hope and prospects died,” said Banda adding that she was glad that the commission has diligently fulfilled its mandate on findings and recommendations.

According to the president, anyone responsible for the death of Chasowa will face the full force of the law. “We will leave nothing undone to ensure that justice is not only done but also seen to be done,” she said

The commission chairperson, Justice Nyirenda said their findings are based on testimonies of witnesses which in some instances were ‘lucid and unmistaken’. “The findings are also based on the analysis of other pieces of evidence obtained by the commission,” said Justice Nyirenda.

According to Nyirenda the inquiry was not without its own challenges; saying some key witnesses were not instantly willing to come and testify. He said the exercise was done in camera as most of witnesses were concerned with security considering the nature of inquiry.

The report is in two parts with an executive summary based on facts, findings and recommendations of the commission and second part is detailed report that contains extremely graphic and depressing photographs.