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

Archive for April, 2013

PRESIDENT BANDA DECLINES TO COMMIT TO REPEAL ‘INSULT’ LAWS

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter would like to
regrettably inform the general public that President Mrs Joyce Banda has
formally declined to sign the Declaration of Table Mountain as part of the
2013 celebrations to mark World Press Freedom Day.
As you are aware, MISA Malawi held an audience with President Banda at
Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on 22nd April 2013. The main purpose of the
talks with the President was to request her to consider signing the
Declaration of Table Mountain on 3rd May, 2013 as part of the celebrations
to mark World Press Freedom Day.
We have, unfortunately, received an official communication from State
House that the President has declined to sign the Declaration. No reasons
have been given.

MISA Malawi Chapter believes strongly in the fundamental role that the
media plays in building and sustaining democracy, but we are mindful that
this can only be achieved in tolerant and democratic societies that
cherish and respect local and international protocols that uphold the
freedom, independence and safety of the media and media practitioners
When media leaders across the globe gathered in Cape Town, South Africa in
June 2007 under the auspices of the World Association of Newspapers and
News Publishers and the World Editors Forum, they made an urgent call to
African leaders to consider press freedom as a key to sustainable
economic, political, social and cultural development, prosperity and peace
in Africa by repealing colonial laws that restrict press freedom. This
call is what has come to be known as the Declaration of Table Mountain.
As an organisation and the media in the country, we take the refusal by
President Joyce Banda as a lost opportunity on her part because she could
have registered her name on the world map as a President who is committed
to promoting and defending democracy in the country.
We are disappointed that the President has declined to make that
commitment by refusing to sign.

However, President Joyce Banda has in the past demonstrated that she is a
true defender of media freedom and that she is committed to seeing
democracy flourish in Malawi by impressing on Parliament to repeal Section
46 of the Penal Code and also removal of VAT on news print and newspapers.
We still have hope that she will find it necessary to sign the
declaration.
MISA Malawi Chapter would also want to take this opportunity to thank the
President for granting us an opportunity to engage with her. We look
forward to continued engagement for the good of our country.
ANTHONY KASUNDA
MISA MALAWI CHAPTER CHAIRPERSON

Peter Mutharika, others yet to take plea on perjury case

Defense lawyers in the perjury case involving DDP president Peter
Mutharika, Bright Msaka Sc, Dr Jean kalilani and former minister of
economic and planning Goodall Gondwe insist that there is a grave
misinterpretation and misleading by the state.
The lawyers said this when they were counter-arguing on submission by
the state on whether the perjury case should proceed at the magistrate
court or to the high court.
Defense lawyer representing the four Kalekeni Kaphale told the court
that the state has seriously misdirected the court by separating the
perjury case with other cases that were committed to the high court.
He accused the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for committing
the accused to the high court and going back to magistrate court
without taking proper procedures.
Kaphale insisted that the perjury case could not be separated from the
other counts his clients are being accused of, hence there was a need
for court to make a decision on whether the matters should be heard
at magistrate court or high court.
However, in their submissions lawyers representing government have
said that it was wrong for the defense lawyers to question DPP powers
to commence or discontinue proceedings because the procedure was
correct. Fifteenth of May is the date set aside for ruling whether the perjury case should proceed at the magistrate court or the high court based on the prosecuting and defense lawyers arguments. This means that the Peter Mutharika and others are yet to enter their plea on the perjury case. Meanwhile police at area 3 have tear gassed DPP supporters together with their leader.The incident happened when the supporters were escorting their leader to sign his bail and police were trying to disperse the crowd that was all over the police premises.

MCP Presidential candidates to pay 3 million Kwacha each

MCP NEC has resolved that all presidential aspirants to contest at the convention that has been shifted to June should contribute 3 million Kwacha each.
The NEC meeting that took place at John Tembo’s house has also agreed that no body shall be given chance to contest on the hot seat if no contribution is made.
The Nec meeting that saw the party’s secretary general Chris Daza attending for the first time after being accused of forming parallel structures has agreed that there should be total screening of people who want to take up positions in the party.
But some members in the party have expressed concern over the introduction of fees on hot seat saying what the party is doing is to bar some people who want to contest.
The decision by the committee comes after aspirants have already spent a lot of money in the preparation of the just postponed convention.

Breaking news: MCP convention postponed

An MCP NEC meeting has just ended and the MCP convention has  finally been postponed to June, 2013. In the an earlier post, I reported that the party was failing to raise enough money for the convention. This is the reason why the convention has been postponed.

MCP convention cancelled?

With only a few days to go until the much talked MCP convention, there are indications that the convention might be cancelled due to some logistical problems that have locked the party.But some of the party members have suggested that the venue for the convention should be changed to a cheaper place in order to sort out the logistic problems. Party gurus are currently strategizing on the way forward for the convention to take place on the designated dates.
The NEC meeting that is supposed to take place tomorrow is expected to determine whether the convention will still take place this weekend. A highly placed source has confided in this blogger that during last week NEC meeting the President of the party John Tembo told members that he was ready to contribute about 5 million Kwacha from his pocket towards the preparations of the convention.
The source said Tembo also told the members that he had a donor who is willing to fund the convention with about 10 million Kwacha only if he stands. But with the coming of more people who have shown interest to compete for the Presidency things are said to have taken a new twist and that there are fears that the convention may be postponed. Currently some party supporters are lobbying party executive members who are supposed to meet tomorrow to shoot down any proposal of shifting the convention to further dates. The party supporters instead are proposing a way for holding the cheapest convention.
Meanwhile the central region based candidates that have shown interest to contest in the forth coming convention had a meeting yesterday with central regional district governors to strategize for the convention.
Among the main issues that took center stage at the meeting was asking all aspirants to come up with one name within them who should contest. They fear that a southern region candidate may win the presidency because of a split in the central region vote.
Jonh Tembo,Jodder Kanjere, Rev Dr Reverend Chakwera,Chris Daza,Makala Ngozo, Lyston Dzombe, Joseph Njobvuyalema,Felix Jumbe are among central region based aspirants who have shown interest to contest at the convention.

MCP’s Makala Ngozo named best Parliamentarian

MCP Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Mpenu Makala Ngozo has been named as the best member who has contributed to a lot developments in the country
A South African based social research network has announced this in Lilongwe. The network said that the member is most loved by his constituency and the general public.
Khama Chiwere head of research and public relations officer says Makala Ngozo has was one Members of Parliament who gave pressure to government for the introduction of universal distribution of ARVs in the country which has resulted to the free distribution of ARVs in all public hospitals in the country.
“Makala Ngozo is the best parliamentarian whose contribution has helped enhancement of transparency and accountability among the countries authoritarities. Chiwere added that the member has been on a forefront condemning abuse of public funds since he become Member of Parliament.
The research has described him as educated,humble,patient,peaceful,mature and a man of integrity, the qualities of a leader that is wanted by the people and if given a chance the member has the ability to rule the country. In 2002 the member was among the members who rejected open term bill. Makala Ngozo has been a Member of Parliament since 1999.

Carberg Malawi employees on strike

Carberg Malawi employees have downed their tools down. They are demanding a  250% pay rise. According to an inside source who confided with the blogger, all machines have been switched off until the matter is resolved. According to the source the board had approved a pay increase of 250%. However, Carsberg Denmark national financial controller Mr Castern van Besik want it to be reserved saying the increase should compensate fraud and theft the company has experienced.

AFRICOM pumps 2 million US dollars into a joint Malawi Defense Force and USA exercise

US military’s Africa command (AFRICOM) has pumped 2 million US dollars into a
joint Malawi Defense Force and USA exercise called EPIC GUARDIAN 13 expected to take place from May 1 to 17.
The exercise is aimed at strengthening joint crisis response structures and emergency readiness across the MDF and other government departments. Speaking at a joint press briefing by US government and Min of Defence,charge de affaires of the American embassy in Malawi Lisa Vickers said the exercise will see more than 700 military and security personnel from Malawi and the united state in a training that aims at helping Malawi defense force and other departments increase their readiness to respond to an emergency situation including during a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis.
According to Vickers Malawi and US share strong strategic interest in helping regional partner in Africa to enhance their capacity to address threats to regional peace and security. MDF colonel Elias Kapalamula said the exercise is expected to take place in LL air base,Kia, Malawi Armed Force College,Mua forest and Monkeybay.
Observers fro Zambia,Mozambique,Tanzania,South Africa and Zimbabwe are
expected to come in order to share notes on the exercise.

Vendors refusing to move out of the streets

Tension is mounting in the city of Lilongwe especially at the upper markets as
vendors are refusing to stop plying their trade around the streets.Heavy police presence in the streets.

MCP convention update

Rev. Chakwera,Jorda Kanjere, Lyton Dzombe,are the latest to pick nomination forms for the MCP Presidency. More details to come.