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Malawi songbird Lilia promises unusual sound in 2016

12 February 2016 00:12:56 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

Songstress Carol “Lilia” Mataya, has promised different and unusual sound this year after taking a small break from the music scene. Lilia The Lilongwe based singer told this publication that she is currently on a break for personal reasons. “Well I am on a small break due to some personal reasons. But I'll be back later this year with something different and unusual,” Lilia said in an interview with Nyasa Times . She added, “My last musical project was "crossover". However, it was not released due to some financial reasons.” Although she doesn’t have an album to her credit, Lilia is not a new face in urban music and show business. She has also been on Television presenting for Luso TV. Despite being Gwamba’s backing vocalist on stage for a while, Lilia has worked with several artists including Young Kay, Third Eye, DJ Africa, A.K, Trix, Dominant 1, K2B Block, Dizzo, Harry B and Cash. “I have been produced by Sonye as well as Pro Pee, BFB, DJ Sley, DJ Africa again shared a stage with Kwaito/House legend Oskido, recorded with South Africa’s Hip Hop legend HHP and Blasto, the list is long but these are the highlights of my music,” she explained.

Vice All News Time12 February 2016 00:12:56


Soul Raiders Band aim for international platform

08 January 2016 06:09:35 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

One of Malawi's top reggae outfits the Soul Raiders Band has outlined a new challenge as they are now aiming to break through the international platform both in their music production and performances. Lilongwe based reggae group Soul Raiders entertaining people at Mibawa Café in Blantyre Soul Raiders Band lead vocalist Prince Martin disclosed this in an interview with Nyasa Times. According to Martin, this comes after the band had shared stage with various international artist in 2015. The band backed some artists Fantan Mojah show at Lilongwe Golf Club and performed at Luciano as well as at Morgan Heritage shows both at Silver Stadium in December. "Through these performances, the band has gained enough confidence in an itself. We have reached a stage where our production is supposed to be mature. "We are contemplating to produce our forth coming album with the best producers in South Africa," said Martin The band started in 2001 at University of Malawi - Chancellor College, revived in January 2011 it now consists of three original members and four other talented young musicians with super-blessed with reggae music command.

Vice null Time08 January 2016 06:09:35

Malawi: Nyasa Times names Top Prosecutor 2015 'Person of the Year'

01 January 2016 11:40:02 AllAfrica News: Latest

Malawi flagship online news source, Nyasa Times has named Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mrs Mary Dominica Kachale as its 2015 Person of the Year.

Vice All News Time01 January 2016 11:40:02

10 Malawi heroes in 2015 shortlisted by Nyasa Times

31 December 2015 10:04:55 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

Nyasa Times has shortlisted 10 influential Malawians who were nominated by its readers for the prestigious ‘Person of the Year’ Award to be recognised as top heroes in 2015. Rex Bwanausi The list. Rex Bwanausi: He is an ophthalmologist at Chikwawa district hospital. He has served the position for years, working hard to get many people affected by eye problems to doctors and personally operating people with trachoma. His video done by Sight Savers has hit 5 million. Why? Rex works with almost nonexistent resources. He has a motor cycle. He lives 15km away from the hospital. He returns to his family every night late. But this amazing health worker goes 60km away at Nkumaniza or 47km away at Chapananga, sometimes using his fuel or sometimes borrowing money to go and find patients with eye challenges. Chikwawa has highest trachoma and cataract cases in Malawi. Rex's passion is on children as he says, for adults they may have few years of productivity, but for children is a life time of blindness. The man everyone calls adotolo amaso, represents hard working Malawian spirit, patience and love. Each year he wishes to go to school and upgrade, but he postpones it to next year to treat more people first. Thousands of people in Chikwawa had regained sight, some after 6 years of losing it. He is an angel among those very poor and in need. Rachel Sibande: Sibande: Mhub CEO Rachel Sibande represents a new generation of young Malawian women. She is a 29 year old tech genius who is pioneering technological solutions to Malawian problems. She gave a talk at TEDxLilongwe in 2013 in which she showed how women in rural areas of Malawi are harnessing technology to transform their livelihoods through optimisation of agricultural market information. Rachel is highly trained in very rare computer science fields of information theory, coding and cryptography. She is a fellow of the Young Africans Leadership Initiative (YALI), introduced by US president Barack Obama, and is the brains behind mHub. MHub is a new technology incubator space where Malawian technopreneurs are nurtured and supported to develop technology start-ups. She was the lead technology expert in an elections monitoring project for the May 2014 elections that brought together 18 civil society organisations under the Malawi Electoral Support Network. This technology enabled 300,000 Malawians to verify their voter identities through their phones, and handled 88,000 messages from 4,500 polling stations across the country. Rachel is taking this rare knowledge of 21st century technology to girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, training them to learn how to code and do lots of other very useful thing. James Mitengo: Teacher James Mitengo The teaching profession is going through its worst period, in Malawi and in many countries around the world, including wealthy, developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Morale is at its lowest and many teachers are leaving. Not with Malawian teacher James Mitengo. This Standard 4 teacher at Mpeni Primary School in Thyolo district is doing what very few teachers are capable of: searching for solutions to problems in Malawian education. “He is always on the lookout for new opportunities, and has used them to connect his school with schools in other parts of the world,” said education expert and academic Dr Steve Sharra one of the people who nominated Mitengo. Mitengo has sourced computers and Internet connectivity for his rural school in Thyolo, and has established computer lessons for his Standard 4 pupils. Mlombw: From a beggar to a billionaire He has attracted the attention of other teachers in the UK and the US, and has visited Scotland and England a number of times now where he has introduced the idea of Teaching and Learning Using Locally Available Resources (TALULAR) to teachers there. This is an idea that he popularised in Thyolo and surrounding districts. He is promoting international education both for his students and students in other parts of the world. Mike Mlombwa: The Malawian who has built his business on back of hard work. Mike is a very unique model of Malawi businesses; he has not lost voice on speaking for indigenous businesses. He has passion and wish to see his fellow countrymen grow. Trading as Countrywide, Mike has survived hostile political, business and social environments. He has seen business in all Malawian season. It makes him businessman of the year, as his perseverance reflects the ability of Malawians to run business and that with determination we can succeed. He continues to inspire a new generation of business people. His continued representation as alternative voice to local business's that includes taking on powerful banks and politicians. Reporter Chimjeka: Told of a criminal gang which has drawn up a list of people targetted Mlombwa is a reality of what needs to be done in Malawi for many to come out of poverty. Rebecca Chimjeka: It has become inconceivable to think of Malawi’s democracy without thinking of the Malawian media. Malawi’s political class has never appreciated the fundamental aspects of democracy, but thanks to the Malawian media, some of their chicanery and shenanigans are laid bare by the Malawian media. The one face that represents that canny ability to reveal to Malawians the mischief that the political class are up to is Rebecca Chimjeka. The Nation Publications Limited news analyst and former Nyasa Times investigative reporter has exposed some of the innards of how cashgate happened, and how it is still going on today. She has penetrated high-placed corruption in the timber business implicating top government officials, and has opened up the underbelly of the politics that is holding back construction of the cancer centre. Mwai Kumwenda: Malawi netball export Rebecca Chimjeka is the paragon of investigative journalism in Malawi today. NASFAM: Th

Vice null Time31 December 2015 10:04:55

Mary Kachale is Nyasa Times 2015 ‘Person of the Year’: Malawi top prosecutor

31 December 2015 10:04:53 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

Malawi flagship online news source, Nyasa Times has named Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mrs Mary Dominica Kachale as its 2015 Person of the Year. DPP Mary Kachale: 2015 person of the year in Malawi named by Nyasa Times Kachale has been given the prestigious title for notching 15 convictions in the ongoing Cashgate Scandal, and for remaining unintimidated by potential convicts who may probably be trying all they can to avoid jail. “She is a woman of steel, and I wish Malawi had more of her kind,” commented one of the social commentators Stanley Onjezani Kenani who was amongst readers that Nyasa Times asked to nominate ‘Person of the Year’. The Nyasa Times which clocks 10 years in 2016 introduced the ‘Person of the Year’ accolade in 2010. The title is awarded to an individual who has influenced the year’s news for either positive or negative reasons and is decided by the editors of the online publication after nomination from its contributors, readers and other stakeholders. Last year the title went to ‘Malawi Media’ and late journalist Ralph Tenthani for work in informing the masses during the year of elections, playing rightful role as public watchdog and also keeping the nation updated on cashgate scandal. And the year before that, Nyasa Times named Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito as person of the year because he consistently spoke against bad social, economic and political policies that impact negatively on consumer. Announcing the 2014 ‘person of the year’, Nyasa Times editorial management said the publication sought nomination from various reputable commentators and analysts to nominate and give reasons. “Based on the nominations from dozens of analysts, Nyasa Times selected Malawi's Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Mary Kachale as title holder of the Persons of the Year accolade,” the online publication said. Kachale told Nyasa Times after being told of the recognition on Wednesday December 30, 2015 that she was “humbled”. Said Kachale: “I am so humbled, I am lost for words.” Malawi’s top prosecutor added: “To be honest, and I am not being religious here, it is true, it is really the Lord’s doing not mine and truly all honour should go to God our father." Kachale continued: “It would be an honour and a priviledge for me to accept the recognition that Nyasa Times have chosen to bestow on me. This is truly humbling.” The ‘Person of the Year’ Kachale has served as Senior Assistant Chief State Advocate in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and holds a B.A. degree (Honours) from the University of Malawi and a Diploma in International Protection of Human Rights from the Institute for Human Rights, Finland. In 2009, she was awarded an LL.M. in Public International Law at the University College, London; in 2010 she commenced her PhD in law at the same university. “I was recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue a PhD in Nuclear Energy Law (2010-2012) which was discontinued for personal reasons,” said Kachale. In April 2013 when Kachale was promoted to become Chief Legal Advocate in charge of the Legal Aid Department, she was charged with making preparations for the transition of the Legal Aid Department into an autonomous Legal Aid Bureau, which has since taken place. Kachale, a wife to High Court judge Chifundo Kachale and mother of three children, is determined in her job as Director of Public Prosecutions. “The mandate of the DPP is to conduct all criminal prosecutions in the country; one has also got the authority to take over any prosecutions commenced by any agency or authority or even to discontinue the same. “The DPP works through State Advocates as well as Police Prosecutors (especially in magistrates’ courts across the country); constitutionally the DPP also operates under the general direction of the Attorney General and is answerable to the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament for the performance of her tasks and responsibilities,” she explains. Kachale told Nyasa Times that the overall in charge of prosecutions in the whole country would be challenging at any given time. However, she pointed out, Cashgate fraud has made her job “more challenging.” She said: “Criminology studies have shown that one of the main reasons why white collar crime continues to grow is because the criminals know that the inordinately high cost of investigating and prosecuting them prevents many law enforcement agencies from doing so, even in very rich countries.” Added Kachale: “The fact that in Malawi, for various reasons, cases of public servants involved in the 2010 fraud were never prosecuted to completion might have reinforced the impression locally that our law enforcement agencies lack the wherewithal to competently prosecute Public Servants who meticulously plan, complexly execute and intelligently conceal their embezzlement of public funds. “Consequently, the toughest part of my current work has been to ensure that in spite of human and financial resource challenges, we nevertheless efficiently and effectively prosecute Cashgate cases so as to demonstrate that our Government has the will and the means to tackle the malady- if not in financial resources, then through the sheer determination of its prosecutors to pursue the matters tenaciously; I must hasten to admit that God has been very gracious in the whole exercise thus far.” Kachale recalls that in 1999, as a third year law student from Chancellor College University of Malawi, she did three months internship at the Ministry of Justice headquarters in Lilongwe and that experience opened her eyes to what she consider to be one main reason behind Malawi’s lack of development . “I was shocked by the huge number of cases of theft by public servants. I remember thinking to myself- No wonder Malawi is so poor! How can a country develop if public servants steal public money with such impunity?” However, Kachale pointed out that due to factors such as low salaries for lawyers in public service, and inadequate financial and technical resources, “the Ministry of Justice has always lacked the capacity to prosecute such cases comprehensively; hence most cases remain uncompleted.” She said she resolved during her internship to join the Ministry of Justice upon her graduation from Chancellor College. “My principal objective was that one day, by God’s grace; I might become an instrument for bringing an end to the impunity I observed in the unscrupulous public servants. It was in pursuit of that objective that I joined the Ministry of Justice on 9th April 2001, and have continued to serve in that Ministry to date,” said Kachale.

Vice null Time31 December 2015 10:04:53

Dru Hill concert in Malawi cancelled at the eleventh hour

11 December 2015 12:46:42 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

Multi-platinum selling American music group, Dru Hill, together with lead singer Sisqó, will not perform in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on December 12 as was publicised as the show has been cancelled. Dru Hill: No show The group was expected in Malawi on Friday but Dru Hill has not turned up and Nyasa Times understands there will be no show. They were coming courtesy of Peermont Hotels, the managers of Umodzi Park. Umodzi Park sales and marketing manager, Temwa Kanjadza, who confirmed Dru Hill has failed to arrive in Malawi , said the concert has been cancelled. Details to follow...

Vice null Time11 December 2015 12:46:42

Mutharika tells BBC ‘be very careful with Nyasa Times’

07 December 2015 23:31:17 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

President Peter Mutharika on Monday appeared on the British Broadcasting Corporation’s HARDtalk programme where he was interviewed by anchor, Zeinab Badawi in which among other things he commented on Malawi’s online leading news site Nyasa Times. Malawian President Mutharika appeared on BBC Hardtalk indepth interview program Pillars of Progress BBC’s journalist asked Mutharika why Malawi is struggling to make progress while it is relative peaceful society and has stability and if it all goes down to governance. President Mutharika picked corruption as one of the major issues derailing Malawi’s progress. “Cashgate was a good example of corruption. We are fighting corruption,” said Mutharika. Mutharika said he is touting “patriotism, integrity and hard work”, saying they are three pillars of his government plans to utilize and ensure progress of the country’s development. He stressed that his administration wants to promote these three pillars of progress that support reforms and national development. Mutharika said Malawians must be a highly principled and honest in whatever they do, saying there wouldn’t have been cashgate if Malawians were a people of integrity. But asked that 35 percent of government funds have been “stolen in the past decade” which includes the reign of the President’s late brother , Bingu wa Mutharika’s rule, Prof Peter Mutharika said “Corruption has been there for decades. There will always be corruption in a society.” But he stressed: “We are taking measures to stop corruption.” Presidential jet Asked that he served as advisor and later minister in his brother’s government which was criticised among others for the purchase of a presidential jet, the Malawi leader said the plane was not private but a state asset. On the presidential jet, Mutharika said: “Joyce Banda (former president) sold it. You have to ask her. She sold it; we don’t know who she told to and where the proceeds went. That is something we are investigating, that's part of the whole cashgate.” The jet was bought during administration of late former president Bingu wa Mutharika but the move attracted widespread criticism from the donor community and other quarters of the society. His successor Banda later sold the plane to Virgin Islands-registered firm Bohnox Enterprise Ltd for around US$15 million but the use of the proceeds has remained a mystery, with Banda initially saying the funds were used to purchase grain. Other officials said the jet was battered in an arms deal and that the cash-strapped Malawian government never realized any financial proceeds from the sale. Corruption Mutharika spoke about adequately funding governance institutions in Malawi including the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB). BBC’s journalist asked Mutharika citing University of Malawi political professor Blessing Chinsinga saying efforts to root out corruption in Malawi do not stick because the existing institutions makes it most impossible to introduce changes that can effectively stamp out corruption. She asked how serious Mutharika is about reforms and if it is not just “window dressing.” Mutharika maintained his zero tolerance stance to corruption. “It’s very difficult, its endemic, it’s deeply rooted. But we are fighting it,” said Mutharika on corruption. Mutharika said: “Cashgate is at the centre of the situation in Malawi. It’s much more serious than the international community think.” He said “Cashgate was done by the previous government,” saying aid sanctions to his administration will only be punishing wrong people. “In the end people will suffer,” he said. Mutharika also said the country still need donors as the country moves in the painful path to economic sovereignty. ‘Becareful with Nyasa Times’ BBC journalist asked President Mutharika on land rights. The Malawi leader dismissed a report which indicated there is land grab from villagers by multilateral organisations. During the interview, BBC’s Badawi cited Nyasa Times article which indicated for 35 years now, more than 400 subsistence farmers at Chisita in Malawi’s central region have been traversing the country’s courts, nongovernmental organisations and the offices of the Ombudsman in a bid to reclaim 600 hectares of land, which Illovo Malawi occupied in 1979. The farmers claim the company, in collusion with a senior chief, pushed them off their land and illegally converted it into part of its behemoth sugar cane plantation. “Some of these civil society organisations you have to be very careful with the way they analyse situations,” said Mutharika. “No foreigner can acquire a land in Malawi except where they are going to industrialise for certain period of time.” BBC journalist read to President Mutharika a quote from Nyasa Times in August last year by farmer Peter Kaunda: “I lost three hectares which were my livelihood. They pushed us to the hills where the land is infertile. Now I am suffering.” Mutharika asked: “This is Nyasa Times the online publication?” BBC’s Badawi said “yes”. “You have to be very careful, very careful with these publications including Nyasa Times .” He suspected the person quoted by the online publication does not exists. "If he does exists this so called Peter Kaunda, maybe he does, if he does we will investigate. Its first time I am hearing this,” said Mutharika. The Nyasa Times articled referred to was also published in South African based Mail Guardian newspaper. It was authored by Collins Mtika a founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Malawi (CIJM) who also heads the investigations desk at Nyasa Times . Confidence Mutharika talked about his reform agenda, saying he has “confidence” to turn around Malawi economy and that he was lured many investors, stressing he is “very excited about that.” The Malawi leader gave the BBC an interview in London where he was last week on official visit. He left Malawi for Commonwealth summit in Malta on 22 November 2015 from where he proceeded to the Global African Investment Summit in London before he attended the China-Africa summit in South Africa.

Vice All News Time07 December 2015 23:31:17

FAM downplays Drug Fight Malawi on Nyasa sponsorship to Bullets

03 December 2015 18:18:37 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has downplayed calls by Drug Fight Malawi for Nyasa Tobacco Manufacturing Company to move out of Big Bullets sponsorship deal. Suzgo Nyirenda : Come through FAM FAM General Secretary Suzgho Nyirenda told Nyasa Times that the organization made a mistake of rushing to the media without approaching the football body to discuss the sponsorship deal. "They could at first approach us and find out why the tobacco manufacturing company or alcohol companies are involved in football sponsorship. In this kind of sponsorships, there are regulations as a football body we have to follow thats why FIFA gave us a go ahead," he said. Added Nyirenda: "For your own information, we struck the Nyasa Tobacco Manufacturing Company deal in March and started engaging FIFA the same month. We discussed until September when the world football governing body gave us a go ahead." He also hinted that in Malawi, there are a few companies willing to sponsor football teams and it was a mountain tall work to find the sponsorship. Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe Drug Fight Malawi Executive Director Nelson Zakeyo said they consider the tobacco sponsorship of the Peoples Team, as Big Bullets is fondly called as a deliberate and well-orchestrated strategy of the Nyasa Tobacco Manucfacturing Company to market its products and increase tobacco consumption among children.

Vice null Time03 December 2015 18:18:37

Do not exclude gays in HIV /Aids care, Malawi advised

02 December 2015 20:14:54 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

The World Health Organization (WHO) and local HIV and Aids activist have warned that excluding gay persons from official strategies to combat HIV and Aids pandemic will only expose the nation more to the virus. Kumpalume: No discrimination in HIV treatment and care Malawi is one of the African countries that outlaw homosexuality. According to International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), 38 of the 53 countries in Africa still consider homosexuality as an offence punishable by imprisonment. However, there has been debate on international level on the impact of criminalizing homosexuality with growing fears that the secret existence of gay communities will continue to expose nations to the risk of the pandemic. World Health Organization Representative in Malawi, Eugene Nyarko told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, there was no need to deny homosexuals health care, saying both heterosexuals and gay persons are vulnerable to the pandemic if they don’t practice safe sex. “If they are denied treatment, it means they will be forced to engage in harm sexual activities and continue to transmit the virus. There is no need to separate them as that will expose the population to the pandemic,” said Nyarko. Nyarko added: “There is a need to break the chain of transmission and make treatment accessible to all”. There are concerns that gay persons are failing to openly access health care due to stigma and fear of being arrested and prosecuted by authorities. This has forced majority of them not to be able to obtain what they need to protect themselves from HIV infection such as lubricating gel. HIV and Aids activist, Maziko Matemba said gay persons have a right to access treatment despite the country outlawing homosexuality. “Some of them also have sexual relations with women, or are even married, and denying them treatment it means their sexual partners are exposed to the possibility of being infected with the virus. Therefore, denying them treatment that will be violation of their right to health, and will jeopardize undertaken efforts to combat the pandemic,” said Matemba. And Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume said Malawi does not exclude homosexuals when providing HIV and Aids treatment, saying people are given health care at point of need. “Our policy and health service delivery don’t exclude any person. As ministry we are mandated to give HIV Treatment to anybody who tests positive and we don’t ask how they acquire it,” explained Kumpalume. Malawi registers 42,000 new HIV infections annually, which implies that about 115 people are infected with the virus every single day. The country loses about 33,000 people to Aids related deaths, and up to 275,000 deaths have been prevented between 2004 and 2014 due to successful ART programme. Malawi has also reduced new HIV infections from 68,000 per year in 2009 to 42,000 in 2014. However, the country does not have data of how many gay persons it has, which complicates the situation as to how government will be able to include them in existing health strategies.

Vice All News Time02 December 2015 20:14:54

Wise One: Weeping by the rivers of Nyasaland

22 November 2015 03:37:42 Malawi Nyasa Times – Malawi breaking news in Malawi

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Lucius Banda: Son of a poor man We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Psalm 137:1-4 Lucius Banda MP has expressed disappointment with the Malawian penchant for listening and dancing until dawn, all the while singing along until their voices get hoarse, to his hard-hitting songs; only to fall short of moving even a finger to change their fortunes by demanding more and better from their millionaire leaders. I truly feel for Lucius, the Son of a Poor Man. The psychological torture he is going through, is something I relate to. I too often get the same question from people asking why am not writing or blogging as prolifically as I used to. Thom Chiumia, the inimitable Nyasa Times editor , is one person I cannot chat with without this question arising. Lucius’s response: “What are the people doing with what I have sung before ? Have we not inspired them enough to stand up and act?” more or less nails it. “In the past, the youth would act without looking at one’s party affiliation. And that’s why we had multi-party. But today, people are loyal to their parties even if they know that their leaders are wrong. It’s difficult to speak for such people,” Lucius said. To put it differently, Lucius Banda is responding to the request (for a song) with a question, asking: “How shall I sing a song of freedom, when we are not free?” Lucius, as a politician, a musician and to be fair in any whatever capacity, fits the bill as a voice of reason. As stated in the Malawi Nation, he has earned and lived up to that reputation right from his debut album “Son of a Poor Man”. It therefore makes sense that he is now a disillusioned Soldier because his songs have been in vain. “I am a disappointed soldier. I am talking alone without the support from the people I defend,” he is quoted to have said. Now before Lucius takes it too hard on himself, I have news for him. As someone who reads the Bible, he must be familiar with Luke 7:32 or Mark 11:16-18. When our Lord was perplexed with the generation of His time, He lamented: “ But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’… With respect to firing up Malawians to start demanding better governance, Lucius has done it all. For his trouble, he has slept in gullies, been to prison and back, and he has sung and sung and sung his lungs out. But other than dancing and singing along, or rather, soon after dancing and singing along, Malawians – especially the younger generation – have quickly reverted to their default mode, that of serving, par excellence, as political party call boys who can’t separate ‘fact’ from fiction, ‘entitlement’ from theft, and prudence from corruption; when the party they support is involved. We saw this when the United Democratic Front (UDF) was in power, the same was the case in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Scene 1 Acts 1 and 2. Things did not change much when Pres Joyce Banda took over in the two year-long “commercial break”, and the crap continues to date, unabated. Malawians, make no mistake about it, know that freedom is not granted by the oppressor. They have had to fight for it twice. Malawians therefore ought to know that good governance will never be delivered on a silver platter by their rulers whose primary priority is self-enrichment, by hook or crook, while promising the rest a better tomorrow – which never comes. Look at this; the Cabinet has just sold Malawians a dummy by first, dillydallying on the empowering Access to Information (ATI) Bill before throwing it back to the technocrats. This shameless and nauseating act of Executive sabotage effectively continues the information blackout which only benefits the corrupt leaders. While the DPP might argue that we have become used to ESCOM-sponsored-electricity-blackouts, it has no right to extend the information blackout we have suffered for far too long. One blackout at a time is enough! For those failing to connect this critical bill to development, let me spell it out as simply as I can. Among the key differences between Malawi (plus her fellow poor countries) and most of the developed countries is the fact that in the developed countries, politicians do not steal as easily as they do in the poor countries for fear of exposure by the media and public sanctions. The media, in the developed countries, has teeth because accessing the information they need to expose thieves is an enacted legal right. In Malawi on the other hand, to get information on how our own money, which we contribute through taxes has been used, is next to impossible. The minister of propaganda will “disclose” the “extravagance associated with the opposition while sitting on a mountain of stinking shit, which if the media accessed, could bring down the government. The lack of a public outcry to the diluting and postponing of the draft ATI Bill is therefore an example of how little Malawians care about the things that really matter. This behaviour is like a blind man who cares less where his walking stick is. Observing Malawi social media, one school of Malawians wrongly thinks the bill was for the benefit of media practitioners. The other school is saying, since it is my DiPhiPhi playing this game, this is fine. My assessment of both schools of thought? Irredeemable bunches of idiots. The truth is: this overdue bill is what Malawi has been missing since we adopted plural politics. Because plural politics means nothing if citizens are only fed propaganda by the respective ministry, via state funded institutions and compliant cheque-book journalists, instead of the whole truth. We need the independent media to be able to dig deep into State fiscal affairs, if we are to avoid a recurrence of cash gate. And in this regard, it is of no consequence how many hard-hitting songs Lucius composes. It is of no consequence how frequently these hard-hitting songs composed by Lucius enjoy air time. Because what is needed is for Malawians, the truly patriotic ones that is, to grab the bull by the horn and demand better, or leave heartbroken Lucius Banda in peace. But whatever the case, please stop requesting Lucius to sing about your lamentations and tribulations! I rest.

Vice null Time22 November 2015 03:37:42