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

Archive for December, 2013

2013: The Year of Solutions!

As the year is coming to an end in a few hours time, let me thank you all my followers, my sources and my friends for being with me through out the year.

Without you I could not be recognized as the Blogger of the Year 2013 by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

DSC_0141

Let me thank the team of judges and my fellow journalists in Malawi who voted for me to be the best blogger. I felt honoured because it was the first time in the history of Malawi for a woman journalist to be awarded this lifetime achievement.

There are excellent bloggers whom I felt deserved the award, but I was humbled to receive the award.

To the American Embassy especially the Public Affairs Department, thank you for supporting the media in Malawi.

Let me also thank management and staff of Joy Radio FM for their understanding and support at times when the radio station had been targeted by Government and some institutions because of my blog.

It could not be easy for me if nobody was giving me advice and assistance.

To Benjamin Essau, Mkono, Alick Nyasulu, Daniel Grant Phiri, Innocent Mawaya, Coaster Manet Phiri, Vitima Mteka Mkandawire, Allan Ntata, Patseni Mauka, Billy Mayaya, Timothy Nundwe, Mercy Chaluma, Sylvester Namiwa, Nathan Majawa, Masamba Antony, Fazila Tembo, Suzgo Chitete, Mike Charles Banda, Patric Manja, Kondwani Noel Mtoza, Habiba Osman, Eunice Chipangula, Foster Fundi, Don Ray, Clement Magombo and Mr Facebook, President JOSHUA CHISA MBELE. Thank you for your support

Samuel Mwale, Barwani Msiska, Elick Msikiti, Linda Kachale, Naomi Banda, Mac Tembo, Priscilla Maere, my bro Ken Mtsuko, Flora Thomasi, Brenda Hara, Lisa Vintura, Justice Wazili, Levison Masamba, Russel Golden, Deejay Krano, Felix Kapalo, Patricia Kapulura, Eneless Nyale, Pato Phoya, Greyson Chapita, Dora Banda, Thoko Chikondi. Popanda inu bwezi ndili ndani.

Gilly Koroma, Hana Mtaza, Elizaberth Kwelepeta, Mr Gadabu, Jessy Chiuye you remain part of great family. Thank you for your understanding.

Pempho Andrew Kwizombe one of few men I have ever met who understand a woman to be a journalist, am always humbled by your encouragement. Thank you for standing by me.

To all my friends on Facebook who don’t care about what I post on my wall, to all friends who don’t want to associate with me on my wall but only inbox, Happy New Year. Looking forward to more interaction in the New Year.

To my Twitter followers, you have been great.

Malawi Voice, Nyasa times, Malawi Democrat and some news outlets, if you find some interesting news on my blog learn to attribute. Inenso ndimunthu. Maravi Post I like your attributions.

For pages and people that have been denting my reputation, my work, I could not have been here if not for your criticism. Looking forward to more criticisms in this election year, sindingasangalatse aliyense.

Looking forward to another award in 2014. Kukhala mzimayi sichifukwa he he he he

The award

Advertisements

Clement Stambuli, Edwin Banda have lost primaries to a nobody

Reports reaching this blogger in the ongoing party primaries that are taking place in various constituencies in the country indicates that Clement Stambuli one of the founders of peoples party (PP) and Edwin Banda who recently dumped the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for peoples party, (PP) will not represent the party in the 2014 elections

while Penimulungu is trailing badly in her constituency .

Inmates die of starvation at Maula Prison

Four inmates at Maula prison in Lilongwe have died of starvation following an acute food shortage that has entered a third month now, a visit by this blogger on Monday has established. Malawi prison spokesperson Evans Phiri, could neither confirm or deny  the hunger situation.

The situation at the prison can best be described as pathetic according to one inmate who wished to remain anonymous. He confided with this blogger that the  prison started experiencing shortage of food since October this year.  He however said situation got worse from Tuesday last week . He said inmates have been surviving on food that well-wishers are bringing to then prison. He said  since Thursday inmates scrambled for some beans as a main source of food before they run-out.

 The situation is life threatening for sick inmates mostly on ART. Speaking in a separate interview with the prison warder who spoke on condition anonymity warned that the death toll could increase should the situation remain the same.

 On Sunday churches sounded an  SOS to their faithful to rescue the situation at Maula Prison.  This comes barely a few days after President Joyce Banda pardoned 288 inmates  as part of Christmas celebrations.

  There are a total of about 2000 inmates at Maula prison.

No Bail for Manondo

The high court in Lilongwe denies Pika Manondo bail.

 It has since given state 50 days to complete its investigations and bring the case to trial.

 Manondo together with former Justice and Constitutional Affair Minister Ralph Kasambala are answering charges of attempted murder of the former budget director.

Passing her judgment today, Justice Ivy Kamanga said the state has so far proved beyond reasonable doubt that Manondo is indeed a flight risk and that he may not avail himself when the court requires him to do so.

Kamanga said the state also proved that Manondo did not hand himself over to Malawi authorities as earlier stipulated by defense’s submission but rather he was escorted from Kenya and was handed over to Malawi police at Songwe boarder.
She also quashed defense’s argument that the court should consider giving to Manondo as his co-accused Ralph Kasambala and others are already on bail saying each and every case is treated separately and on merit.

The judge therefore ruled that Manondo stays in jail for an additional 50 days within which the state should finalize all investigations and take the case to trial.

It is expected that if state fails to try the case within the 50 day period, the court may start considering bail.

 

In its submission, defense said it is not in order for the state to declare Manondo a flight risk when he handed himself over to authorities upon hearing that a warrant of his arrest had been issued.

Defense argued Manondo demonstrated his character as a law abiding citizen by handing himself over to authorities though he was outside the country on a business trip.

The defense also brought to the courts attention the fact that state has since his arrest pressured Manondo to implicate former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambala in turn of unspecified favors to which the accused denied.

This, defense said,  demonstrated good will on Manondo’s part as someone who would rather see justice taking its course than be blackmailed.

It therefore felt it is only right for Manondo to be granted bail as he remains a holder of the country’s passport and has both family and business interests in the country.

But in its submission, the prosection   felt Manondo remains a flight risk as he went out of the country upon hearing he was wanted.

The state argued  it has proof that Manondo travelled around the country’s neighboring countries not as a business person but as a fugitive who was caught after appearing on Interpol’s red list.

State argued  there is overwhelming evidence to the effect that Manondo indeed shot the budget director hence the need for him to remain in custody as trial will commence soon.

Led by Director of Public Prosecutions Bruno Kalemba, state submitted that Manondo’s release on bail may make it possible for him to make contact with other state witnesses thereby jeopardizing investigations currently at an advanced stage.

Making her ruling, Justice Ivy Kamanga noted that defense, led by John Gift Mwakhwawa failed to demonstrate that the state at one time pressured Manondo to implicate one of the accused, Ralph Kasambala.
She said the fact that Manondo was moved to Kasungu prison does not justify the allegation that he was being forced to implicate others.
Kamanga therefore ruled that Manondo stay in prison for the next 50 days until investigations are complete.

Earlier last month, Police in Lilongwe found over 180 thousand us dollars in Pika Manondo’s custody.

Authorities have since directly connected the money to the shooting of Paul Mphwiyo.

Dzonzi to retire as Police IG next month, Bophani to be new IG

Police Inspector General Dzonzi retires in januray and Bophani is likely to take over
 
 Rumours  of his retirement started soon after cash gate revelations.It is believed that  he wrote a resignation letter   which up to now has not been acted upon. According to sources within Malawi police  ,Dzonzi is no longer active ,since  the coming in of Bophani as  Deputy Inspector General  responsible for operations.

JB speech at Mandela’s funeral

Mphwiyo tipped as PS at OPC

Former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo is tipped as a Principal Secretary   in the
office of president and  cabinet. This blogger   understands  Mphwiyo
has already  be informed about his new post. The ,appointment comes  barely  
two days after appearing  before the public accounts committee where  he refused
any involved of president joyce banda in then cash gate scandle

Mphwiyo Weeps, to live with two bullets for life

Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo will have to live with two bullets  in his body for the rest of his life. Mphwiyo told PAC that  doctorts could not remove  them bullets because  they  were in position where any slight mistake , puts his life  in danger . He  told PAC his right  jaw  has been reconstructed  with a metal. He said he is in pain and that  he had to take alot of pain  killers when he was preparing to meet them.

 While not disclosing names  of his life possible shooting culprits,  Mphwiyo said
image

on the fateful night,  he was coming  from a drinking joint popularly called  Africana.  He saw 5 people standing outside his gate and one of them was holding  gun and shot him five times in different places . As he was narreting his story Mphwiyo had to  shed tears while telling  the committee that he couldnt say anything further

Mphwiyo however urged Malawians to wait when he tells the court as a statewitnes .

While saying he has nothing to hide ,Mphwiyo said Malawians will know everything surrounding his shooting at the court.
Commenting on the rooting of public money,while desscribing it as a national tragedy, the budget director said government should take responsibility of the incident.

Capital Hill Theft is Organised Crime-IFMIS Contractor

Tanzania based ICT company, Soft -Tech  that was contracted to install the integrated  financial management system (IFMIS)says  the rooting  of public  money by some government officials was a well coordinated arrangement to steal the money in an organised way.
The companies director   Mernard Rwabutaza has told the public accounts committee of parliament  that there  is nothing wrong with the system that is working perfectly in more than four  countries  in the  SADC region.

He said it  is strange  to note that government officials were able  to share password  to the system which  he said can not happen anywhere as it can attract  criminal offence. He said it is only in malawi  where the system has been abused in such away .
According to the company’s observations on the cashgate  scam ,there was a compromise of strict controls  in the system  that led to the system  abuse. Senior staff  delegating  transaction authorization to juniors  and  payments  made to suppliers before  recieving of goods and services are among the observation the company  has come across

Rwabutaza has however suggested that in order to avoid reoccurence of the rooting ,government through the accountant general should appoint  a core team  to manage ,administer and support  IFMS  system with emphasis  on integrity  and professionalism .
He has however suggested that government government should institute , and enforce disciplinaly actions    for the system abuse and non compliance  to the financial procedures.

ACB profiling Cash-gate wealth

ACB Director Resin Mzikamanda  has disclosed  that his organisation  has started profiling  properties and freezing  bank accounts  of  60  ccompanies  involved  in theft and fraud at   capital hill.

According to ACB director  this is part of assert recovery drive that the bureau is undertaken .  Over 81 companies  have so far been  involved  in the cash gate scam and that  investigations to almost  60 out  of  81 companies have been completed

Meanwhile  public accounts commetee has made a U-turn on its earlier decison  that it  would meet the budget director in camera.  The bureau decision by the committee could have meant  that the media could have not been allowed to attend  to the proceedings  and could have contradicted the parliamentary standing  orders which clearly  stipulets that all committee meetings of parliamentary are public events

It is expected that the the budget diredtor who is at the center of cashgate scam is expected to appear before the committee any any  day.

However the committee  has since suggested that ACB should recommend that all principal officers that their ministries are involved directly in the cash-gate should suspended according to the public finance  management act.