Category Archives: Mali


from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

About 500 bishops from around the continent are set to converge in Harare on November 28 for a two-day annual bishop’s conference meant to tackle women and child abuse cases in Africa. Last year it was reported that a young girl from Malawi by the name Grace went under horrible sexual ritual.

She learned she’d be going to a camp with her friends, she was thrilled. Every girl around her age in her southern Malawi village would attend the rite of passage. When she got she was told she is to sleep with a man and get rid of child ‘dust.’ If you don’t do it, your body will get diseased”, she was warned.

A demonstration involved one girl lying down, with one of the older women on top. “You should be dancing and have a man on top of you, making him happy,” she was told. At age 10, Grace was being taught how to have sex.

Like the other girls in the village, Grace had been sent to camp with her family’s blessings. This is because everyone makes sure their child goes to initiation ceremony because you will not be accepted in the community.

The Education Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malawi has released figures indicating that more than 27,000 girls dropped out of primary school in the country between 2010 and 2013 due to early marriages.

The Commission warned that unless the trend is reversed, Malawi would not achieve the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education by the end of 2015. It went further to say that child marriage remains one of the main obstacles to education for young girls in Malawi where many girls are married before they are 18 years old.

The country’s official minimum marriage age is 15 years. The Education Commission has called upon faith-based communities and traditional leaders to join it in its campaign to have the minimum age raised to 18 years.

The conference which will be mainly made up of apostolic bishops will be held at Belvedere Teacher’s College and is also set to tackle child marriage problems in the region. Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Johannes Ndanga, who is co-ordinating the conference, said the gathering will educate and conscientise the bishops on human rights abuses.

The conference that ends on November 29 will be attended by a number of both apostolic and non-apostolic bishops from Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, among other countries. Zimbabwe is adjudged one of the 41 countries in the world with an unacceptable rate of child marriages.

According to a 2012 report based on data collected by UNFPA during the years 2000 to 2011, the country’s prevalence of child marriage, was at 31percent, and was among 41 nations with the highest rates of child marriages.

Zimbabwe sits at number 39. This comes amid fears that if child marriages were not curbed through legislative measures, the figures could escalate with girls continuing to be deprived of their childhood.

Another 2012 United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) report states that if child marriage was not outlawed by countries practising it by 2030, the number of child brides would grow from 14,2 million girls in 2010 to 15,1 million girls in 2030.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: Charles Banda

A well known trained journalist Denis Chirwa who is the son of Former Army Brigadier and Currently Malawi’s Ambassador to Kenya has died. It is believed that Denis met his fate at a night out in Nairobi Kenya were he was stabbed to death by unknown thugs.

Denis who nicknamed himself after Former President as Chair was well known in social media circus for his love of Former President Bakili Muluzi,he was also an on and off online journalist who used to show case his skills in writing about Malawi Politics.

Denis Chirwa was currently studying at Kenya’s Catholic University.



From: Charles Banda

By John Kathumba

I read an Editorial two days ago here on Malawian Watchdog where the Editorial Team was calling for the firing of National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) top spy Nicolas Dausi accusing him of incompetency. I criticized them and accused them of being jealousy of Dausi but now, I agree with them that Dausi is a total embarrassment to the Malawi nation as he has indeed literally failed to successfully lead (NIB) to discharge its duties in complementing the efforts of the Malawi Police to tighten security in the country.

Here is my argument, the total collapse of security in this country, where thieves even dared to launch a robbery at Malawi Vice President’s resident in Blantyre, has forced President Peter Mutharika to secretly declare a state of emergency where Soldiers from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) are conducting what they have dubbed as Operation Mchotsa Mbava, raiding our cities, Market centers, drinking joints, holding people hostage, and in the process bundling some of them into police Custody.

For starters, it is not the duty of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to be meddling in the internal Affairs for this job, according to the Constitution of Malawi, is required to be done by the Malawi Police.

According to our Constitution, MDF’s job is to protect the territorial integrity of our country and NOT getting involved in the Police’s job.

Now, If you are of the view that Muntharika has not secretly declared a State of Emergency, then, what is this we are witnessing where Soldiers from MDF are harassing, beating, arresting people from drinking joints and our markets in the name of Operation Mchotsa-Mbava? Is Mutharika trying to tell us that the Malawi Police has failed to do its constitutional job?

I personally was at Chilinde in Lilongwe yesterday—they found me in a pub when I was having hard drinks after a hard day—they accused all of us who were in the pub as thieves, some escaped out of fear but some of us failed. We were rounded up and bundled into their Vehicle for Police Custody. If it was not for my friend who went to the Police Station in Kawale to pay K5, 000 for my release, I would have spent a night in that stinking Police Cell.

The unfortunate part of it was that they simply collected the money and have me released without any documentation whatsoever, Is this not day light robbery by our security organs?

If you ask me, I will tell you that I am blaming Nicolas Dausi for my harassment. What kind of intelligence is this where you arrest citizens found in drinking joints, markets e.t.c. How do you tell this person is a thief?

I have a strong opinion that Mutharika has indeed lost confidence in Dausi’s headed NIB and in a desperate attempt, he just ordered the Army to launch an Assault and Harassment on the citizens of this country. This should not be accepted by ALL civilized people.

NATIONAL INTELLEGENCE BUREAUE is an important security organ in the country. For starters, It is top level intelligence that led to the killing of top terrorist Osama Bin Laden by the US. It is top level intelligence that helps countries to be safe.

You don’t just pick every jim and jack to head such an important department. The end result is what we are witnessing today, where fire is the order of the day in our Markets, National Ware-Houses including armed robberies in our banks and other places not forgetting robbery in high protected areas like the Vice President’s resident.

For the good of this country, President Mutharika must FIRE Nicolas Dausi. Achoke, Achoke, Achoke!


From: Charles Banda

The Newly Controversial Elected Government of Democratic Progressive Party under the Leadership of Peter Muthalika is continuing harassing former Malawi Head Of State Dr. Joyce Banda.

The Former Head Of State Dr Joyce Banda has until to date not been given Her Constitutional Presidential Benefit and Previledges Act rights.

Dr Joyce Banda under the Act is supposed to be given A Fully Furnished House, Cars, Security and Salary but it has been noted with sadness that none of the Said Previledges have been given or been fulfilled. The public are wondering as whether this DPP Government has the welfare of The Former Head Of State taking into account of what President Peter Muthalika said during his inaugural Speech recently in Blantyre.

In another Sudden event, The DPP Government met Public Affairs Committee where some over zealous DPP members suggested that DPP is ready to arrest Dr Joyce Banda for flimsy charges so as just to harass Her, but PAC has strongly warned DPP never and never to harass Dr Joyce Banda as many Malawians are still very angry with the way Elections were held in the country.

Public Affairs Committee is a Powerful Civil Society Organisation and when they say something about the Country issues they mean business, on the day they reminded DPP as to how Dr Joyce Banda treated them when their Leader Bingu died, She borrowed Fuels all over Africa to assist Bingu Family, Her Government gave State Funeral to the late and Her Government also accepted 90 days Mourning Period which was regarded as a good gesture.

The Public is asking the DPP Government to fulfill the Constitutional Previledges to the Former President Dr Joyce Banda and should stop harassing her.

Joyce Banda faces arrest: Political will to have Malawi ex-leader indicted

From: Juma Mzuri

Joyce Banda faces arrest: Political will to have Malawi ex-leader indicted

After former Malawian President Joyce Banda has indicated that she will not quit politics as she will be leading People’s Party (PP) in rebuilding process for 2019 elections, the government is rolling its wheels that she should face an arrest for alleged offenses signalled by the new President Peter Mutharika.

Malawi’s 2014 Elections: Amid Concerns About Fairness, Outcome is Too Close to Call

From: Yona Maro

An analysis of responses to an Afrobarometer poll conducted among adult Malawians six to eight weeks ahead of the country’s May 20 elections.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Africa: Violence in Northern Mali

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 18, 2014

In recent days, the outbreak of violence in Kidal, Mali, has killed at least one government security official, injured civilians and UN peacekeepers, and resulted in the seizure of government buildings and the taking of hostages. We condemn these acts, which undermine the fragile peace in northern Mali and efforts to bring peace, security, and development to all of its citizens.

We call for the immediate release of all hostages, and urge all parties to refrain from violence and from any acts that place civilians at risk. The way to resolve these issues is through an inclusive and credible negotiation process, not through violence and intimidation.

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Behind the Headlines: The Deeper Roots of Malawi’s Cashgate Scandal

From: Yona Maro

For a country heavily reliant on foreign aid since independence, the recent Cashgate scandal has come at a substantial cost, as an estimated $150 million in aid committed to Malawi is now not being disbursed. Following Malawi’s multiparty reforms in 1994, donors have shown greater willingness to withdraw aid if certain conditions for economic and democratic governance are not met. The decision of numerous donors to delay assistance to Malawi in response to the Cashgate scandal is case in point. Beyond the sensational headlines, closer analysis of the scandal reveals political challenges that Malawi faces in its management of public finances, complicated by the effects of foreign aid provision and withdrawal.

Cashgate refers to a corruption scandal in Malawi where government funds have been siphoned through fraudulent payments and loopholes via the country’s Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) platform. Malawians dubbed the scandal “Cashgate” because the first arrests made were of low-level bureaucrats found with stockpiles of cash in their homes and vehicles. To date, 81 people have been arrested and 35 bank accounts have been frozen. Estimates of funds siphoned during Cashgate range from $20 million to $100 million.

The financial system through which the funds were stolen, IFMIS, has been heralded as an anti-corruption solution. Though there has not yet been a systematic assessment of IFMIS’s impact on corruption, it was expected to have a deterrence effect by increasing risks of detection. But the problem with government spending and budgeting in Malawi is not merely technical – it is also political.


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Tanzania, Come Now, Let Us Reason Together Over Lake Malawi Dispute!

From: shedrack maximilian

Thank you Pastor , Well written

From: Charles Banda
Sent: Monday, 29 July 2013, 19:15
Subject: Tanzania, Come Now, Let Us Reason Together Over Lake Malawi Dispute!

Since the Lake Malawi dispute egressed some 50 years ago, a lot has been said but less has been done to completely put it to rest. Malawi has for many times challenged that not even an inch of this lake will go to Tanzania citing 1890 treaty between German and Britain while on the other hand Tanzania challenges, “we will make sure that we own half of Lake Nyasa/Malawi, we have to correct mistakes made by our colonial masters”, citing international water body law.

When you look at these statements, you’ll note that each side has effectual argument. I see that neither Malawi nor Tanzania should underestimate the other’s argument.

What I would wish the two countries is to come and reason together just as God called Israelites to come to Him and reason together (Isaiah 1:18). We can’t fight now, please. I know that either national reading this is anxious as to what am I trying to say.

I see that Malawi is right that Lake Malawi belongs to it according to 1890 treaty and Tanzania is right to suggest rectifying colonial errors and follow international water body law. Colonial masters decided on how the borders should go, against the will of the locals since we had no authority to decide on our lands if we did maybe we could not face these wrangles today. This applies to all African countries since all were on one time under colonialism. These border demarcations are still the ones used in all African countries today. Through them, other countries are savouring enough space while others such as Malawi have no space to breathe, so rectifying colonial errors would be a good idea.

What is needed in this dispute is clear and conscience reasoning without competition, selfish ambition or thinking about war. In every dispute, it is unwise to talk about war because there can always be a civilized solution. Like I said in my other article, in real sense, no country wins war because even if it goes in one’s favour, both countries loose lives of their citizens, resources, peace, development is retarded, friends from the two countries get separated. During war, there is serious hunger, diseases, rape, loss of property, education and worship get interrupted and almost all government resources go to war etc., so please, consider these before you mention war. It is easy to merely talk about war but when it starts you wish it was never there. It is unfortunate that even ordinary citizens are mentioning about war forgetting that when it starts, politicians will be the very last ones to face a bullet if at all, any. Tell me, how many frontline politicians died in Rwanda, Congo, Libya, Iran, Iraqi, Mali and other war-tone countries? Tell me, how many ordinary citizens died? They died in millions. When politicians say, “we are ready to shed blood for our land”, they actually mean ordinary citizens’ blood, not theirs. Tell me, which politician died during July 20, 2011 anti-government demonstrations in Malawi? None of them, but they were the ones who instigated it.

There have been war threats from Tanzanian side for some time but of late, it has stopped and adopted civilized way of solving the dispute. When Tanzania kept on issuing war threats to Malawi, one time Joyce Banda said, “I am ready to die for my land” without mentioning Lake Malawi dispute, something that Tanzanian government trashed interpreting it directly to the Lake Malawi dispute. When Tanzania’s President mentioned about Tanzanian Defence Force being ready to defend their land, some Malawian citizens interpreted it as if he made reference to Lake Malawi dispute. In his speech, Kikwete did not mention Malawi for Tanzania is also exchanging words with Rwanda. Recently Paul Kagame publicly threatened to hit Jakaya Kikwete, perhaps he referred to him, who knows. This link will take you to what Kagame said All this shows that no country
wishes to loose part of its land or resources, but let’s be patient. It is good to get things with clear mind before provoking war. It is good that Malawi has not officially responded to it and I wish it doesn’t so that peace may prevail. Let the peaceful negotiations take course.

Right now we are enjoying cordial relationship with Tanzania apart from exaggerated dispute which some sectors want to magnify. As we are talking, Tanzanians are freely passing through Malawi and Malawians are freely passing through Tanzania going to other countries or even settle in either country.

Malawians are trading with Tanzanians getting cars and other goods through Tanzania’s port. Diplomatic ties are still intact. As I am writing, Tanzanians and Malawians are using Lake Malawi/Nyasa. Isn’t that good? So why talk about war?

My reasoning is as follows; since time in memorial, Malawi and Tanzania have both peacefully used Lake Malawi/Nyasa up until Malawi issued Sure-stream oil drilling license. Probably Tanzania is thinking about its citizens that they will suffer if oil drilling starts on Lake Malawi. That can be good reasoning, isn’t it? On the same note, an ordinary Malawian who benefits from fishing will also suffer. When oil drilling starts, it is only the political elites who may benefit. Tell me, what have we really benefited from Kayerekela millennium mine since it begun? Have we experienced any economic growth through it? Almost none and we are just like before or even worse! We only bank on farming. Apart from oil drilling, we can increase on manufacturing industry which for many years we have not put much effort. I suggest, Malawi government haut oil drilling for the sake of an ordinary citizen. I think Tanzania will also be happy, isn’t it Tanzanians?

Coming to Tanzania’s point of correcting border colonial errors, if they so wish, though not affecting other African countries, I suggest we do. One Malawian national called Pef, on his response to my earlier article on Lake Malawi dispute rebuked me saying, “Musanditukwanitse mwanva! Intelligent people are busy solving problems but only the wise avoids problems. Kodi iwe ukudzitcha pastor Masikmau iwe, ukati negotiations should end without war, ukuganiza zingatheke popanda wina kugonja?….” (Give me a break, you who call yourself pastor Masikamu, do you think the dispute can end without one country giving up?…”. He thinks I call myself a pastor while I am not one, so interesting. However, don’t you think what he said has some sense? Probably yes. He suggested that for the sake of peace, Malawi should give up. I believe he was a Malawian because he wrote in efficient Chichewa language. Pastor Salanje had a similar idea also. While agreeing with them, I believe we can do it in a better way by implementing a win-win game, or what do you think my fellow Malawian citizens? Malawi has a very small land size than our good neighbour, Tanzania. Since Nyasaland lost some land to Tanganyika under British-Germany treaty, we can reason together with our neighbours to give us part of their land while we hand over part of Lake Malawi. In this way, correcting colonial border errors will go in favour of both of us because the errors made by colonial masters did not only affect Tanganyika on Lake Nyasa but also Nyasaland on the land size. I think if any of the two countries deny this equal lion’s share, that country is provocative and aggressive.

In my conclusion I would like to say that, let both Malawi and Tanzania pray that no country looses on the resolution taking place through SADC former heads of states but that we will have a win-win type of conflict resolution. I suggest that we do not in any way mention war for such an idea is truly not from God but the evil one to disrupt our peace because the devil hates peace but delights in deaths. Thank God, Jesus brought life through his death on the cross so that we can live beyond death. We are brothers and sisters from way back before colonialism of which colonialism separated our families into these two countries. If either of the countries is not satisfied with the results of these negotiations, we can still seek help from International Court of Justice (ICJ), and if its resolution will go in favour of one of the two countries or both, we shall keep peace.

God bless Tanzania and Malawi!
Pastor Robert Masikamu (Public Advisor).

Powerful Tanzania is threatening the tiny neighboring Malai with military action over the disputed oil and gas exploration in Lake Nyasa which is shared by the two nations

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo

Reports emerging from both Dar E Salaam and Lilongwe says Malawi which is currently locked up in serious dispute with the neighboring Tanzania over the oil and gas exploration in Lake Nyansa has now withdrawn aero planes that were making aerial mapping of Lake Nyasa which is also known as lake Malawi, after Tanzania warned the exercise was in a violation of its territorial waters.

Tension has been building up in recent weeks over Malawian oil exploration in the lake, which is shared by the two countries as well as ferries and tourist boats ”intruding into Tanzanian waters.”

Malawi claims the entire lake as its own, but Tanzania insists the border between the two countries runs through the middle of the lake.

The matter has remained unresolved since the two neighboring nations gained political independence in early 1950s.

Local but impeccable sources from KASUMBU IN Kyela district – a bust dusty town which is located on the border has revealed in a telephone interview that the planes are no longer flying in the area.

‘Life here continues to be normal; all the talks about tension with Malawi emanates from Dar Es Salaam”, said one villager who is a resident in Lusungo who requested for his anonymity.

However, villagers’ of the Malawi side of the border are reported to have fled and abandoned their homes, fearing that war could break out at any time.

MeanwhileTanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Benard Membe recently told hushed parliamentary session in the Central Tanzanian City of Dodoma that Malawi must cease oil and gas exploration on the disputed lake. All diplomatic channels could be exhausted in order to resolve the simmering border conflict, he said.

However, the former Tanzania’s Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who is now the chairman of his country’s Parliamentary committee on defense, security and foreign affairs was last week quoted by he local media as saying that Tanzania was ready to go to war if need be.

“We know the cost of war, because of our experience in Uganda. We urge the government, a the Foreign Affairs Minister said in parliament, that let’s exhaust all the diplomatic channels, but we are ready to defend our sovereignty at any cost”, said Lowassa.

Lowassa as speaking to newsmen after a briefing by senior Tanzania People Defense Forces officers who told his committee that the army is prepared for a military confrontation, should diplomacy fail.

“We are satisfied with progress being made by the government o the diplomatic front, but military preparations must also be made to make sure all options are available when it comes to making the final decision,’ the former Prime Minister said

Earlier Malawi had vowed to continue with oil and gas exploration in the lake, defiantly dismissing the demand by Tanzania to halt prospecting.

“We categorically put it to them that, said far as we are concerned, the entire lake belongs to Malawi,” Patrick Kalambe the Principal Secretary in Malawi’ Ministry 0f Foreign Affairs said I a recent statement. He said the saw no reason to stop the oil exploration project,”

A week ago Minister Membe said “exploration activities I the northeast part of the lake should be shelved to pave the way for dialogue to resolve the crisis.”

Malawi’s oil exploration affects villages in Kyela district that depend on fishing and farming along the eastern shore.

Lake Nyasa is the home to a variety or ornament fish, which are exported to Europe.