Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Gov’t pressed to protect Tanzanian citizens living in Malawi

The Malawi government has been urged to protect Tanzanian citizens residing in the country who are now a target for mob justice following xenophobic attacks and the deportation of Malawians who were resident in Tanzania.

Police stabilizing the tension after some Malawians
wanted to attack Tanzanians on Monday.
“We strongly behold that all law abiding Tanzanian citizens like all people have the right to security,” a statement issued Monday by Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS), Young Politicians Union (YPU) and Africa Enterprise Mission (AEM) which Nyasa Times has a copy reads in part.

On Monday, Malawi woke up to a shocking development of violent deportation of Malawians from Tanzania. Over 30 Malawians camped at Mzuzu St. Andrew’s CCAP premises looking seriously victimized and destitute.

The statement – co-signed by Charles Kajoloweka, Peter Mumba and Tiyane Nyirenda of YAS, YPU and AEM respectively – asked government tighten up security in “some vulnerable parts of the country affected by the Crisis such as Mzuzu where tensions are rife” and also furnish the general public on the current happenings between the two countries.

“Malawians deserve to know the urgent measures their government is employing in dealing with the crisis,” the statement further said.

But reacting to the development Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said no Malawian living in Tanzania with legal documents has been deported.

“Those who have been deported are those without legal documents [to stay in Tanzania],” Kunkuyu said Tuesday.

But the government spokesperson decried the beatings on some of the Malawians.

He said “we are only sad that some have been beaten up.”

Kunkuyu brushed aside rumors going viral on social media that the deportation of Malawians from Tanzania is as a result of the misunderstanding between the two countries over the Lake Malawi border.

“The deportation of Malawians has nothing to do with the Lake Malawi border dispute. Actually, Tanzania has been so cooperative on the issue.”

He added: “It is an exercise every country can conduct. It is not only Malawians that are being deported. Burundi, Rwanda and other countries have also been affected.”

Kunkuyu warned the citizenry not to take the law into their hands by attacking Tanzanians living in the country.

“That’s a responsibility of the Malawi government. No citizen can do that on his or her own,” he said.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Mnganya Mikayele Msowoya (My friend Mikayele Msowoya)

By Pius Nyondo

Pagona nkhwantha apo
Mikayele Maviyambewa Msowoya
Chikaya chake nipalapalapala
Pa Yotamu panena pala
Kula ku Mphompha

Doda lagona apa ili
Libenge kuti lichali kuthuta
Mphanyi ine nkhukhuta,
Nkhumwa na kubezera
Mphanyi ine ntchimwemwe perapera

Nkhuti bakaba banthu aba
Nyengo yila bakati bawerako waka ku Joni
Chiponde Mikayele Maviyambewa Msowoya?
Njani wakalekanga kubamanya?
Makopara bakiza nayo ndundundu

Ndipo tikakondwa nakumwa nabo
Kangala? Chipumu?
Yaye mwana wane tikamwanga tuwemituwemi
Ngati tula ukanigulilapo pa Lunzu
Akumbuka nyengo yila nkhiza ku Bulantayala

Kweni ha! Munyane uyu wagona apa uyu
Wakamba kuponya maso uku na uku
Wakamba kuzgeba na tumaswenga 
Nkhumanya cha uko bakanjililanga
Nkhanjimweranga waka ine, mwana wane

Pachoko na pachoko bakamba kulwala 
Tuvikhoso, kufumila
Tuvilonda pose na pose
Ulendo ukaba weneuwo
Ni aba bali kujigonela apa

Sono wati panyake yikaba Edzi?
Wamwana Edzi yifumelenge kochi mukaya nga ni muno?
Edzi yili ku boma na
Pa Rumphi pala
Pala pa Kanyika kusika kula

Tikumanya kuti ndiwe dokotala sono
Kweni pala ukukhumba kuti uwelele na umoyo
Nkhani ya Edzi iyi uyileke
Muleke mnganya Mikayele Maviyambewa Msowoya wapumulenge
Wamwana bakufwa bakwenera kupumula!

---This poem was inspired by a true life story.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Political parties challenge Chakwera’s ‘popularity’: ‘It’s mere excitement,’ says UDF, PP, DPP

Political parties in the country have described the popularity that has followed the Reverend Lazarus Chakwera due to his election as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate as “mere excitement” that will not translate into votes.

Although there has been no official survey to gauge Chakwera’s popularity, the social media and the public sphere has been awash with discussions that point to his and MCP’s increased popularity. 

Speaking in separate interviews, People’s Party (PP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have dismissed suggestions that Chakwera is gaining popularity.

Said UDF publicist Ken Ndanga: “When we [UDF] had a convention there was a lot of euphoria. The same thing with PP and DPP. So there is nothing new with Chakwera’s case. This is temporary excitement that will go away.”

He said UDF is not threatened with Chakwera, stating that UDF has its own “people centred” manifesto which will be unveiled soon.

He however noted that the coming in of Chakwera will offer the electorate a wider choice in the forthcoming presidential elections.

PP deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda also dismissed suggestions that PP might be threatened with the euphoria of Chakwera.

“He is not a game changer in Malawian politics. He may be a game changer to MCP but not to Malawian politics. The game changer for Malawian politics is God. God is the one who made it possible for PP to take over government. So we are not threatened of him,” said Msonda.

He concurred with Ndanga on the excitement of Chakwera, saying “this is Chakweramania. It happens in politics; it happened before and soon the dust will settle.”

Commenting on Chakwera’s ideology of basing his politics on issues, Msonda said PP as a party has a similar ideology only that it might have a “few dirty players” with politics of personalities.

DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi cautioned the electorate to patiently wait on Chakwera if he will stand the test of time before making their decisions.

“There is nothing unusual with Chakwera’s election. The euphoria will die. Let’s wait and see if he will stand the test of time,” he warned.

A political scientist Henry Chingaipe, while admitting that the excitement will fade with time, said the excitement might be an indicator that more people support him.

“People wanted change in MCP and Chakwera represents that change. His election explains that excitement. He might also represent change the country expects because his ideology is clear, at least as of now.

“But he may not have a walk over in next year’s elections because MCP is confined to the Central Region,” he said.

Chakwera was elected MCP president at a convention earlier this month where he beat 10 other contestants.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Mugabe argues compulsory HIV testing way to go for SADC member states

Re-elected Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe says if countries in the SADC region are to make headway progress in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, compulsory HIV testing ought to be adopted.

Mugabe said on Sunday during a meeting on AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) by the Heads of State and Government chaired by newly elected chairperson, Pres Joyce Banda.

“The problem is that when it comes to HIV/AIDS testing, issues of freedom and rights come into play and yet, we force people to go for testing and vaccinations for diseases such as polio,” 89 year old Mugabe is quoted as saying by New Zimbabwe.

He challenged that compulsory testing could be the most viable way.

Mugabe added by telling fellow leaders how his idea of making available levies to those affected by the pandemic has proved to be a workable policy in Zimbabwe.

But fellow attendees to the 33rd SADC Summit held in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe downplayed Mugabe’s suggestion.

While Botswana leader Ian Khama said compulsory HIV testing would be unbearably expensive for SADC member states, Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete suggested a different approach altogether.

He said leaders should be at the fore in getting tested for HIV saying he has done it before and that the gesture has positively impacted on the mindset of Tanzanians as regards HIV testing.

“Today, over 18 million Tanzanians are tested and they know their respective status,” said Kikwete.

My Going

By Pius Nyondo 

I shall pick up a rope, of course
No treasures. Just a bunch of frustrations.
I shall not head south, this time
My crime shall not need judges,
Magistrates and lawyers.

It will be a matter of the heart, of course
A bunch of frustrations, of course
A crime of conscience, of course
A point of no return, of course
A moment for a do or die pronouncement.

I shall wait, for twilight
While seated in the heart of Chikangawa Forest
Beneath a pine tree
To make use of the rope
The K500 rope
That will define my fate

My car – the latest version of BMW models –packed
By the roadside on the M1 road shall smile and,
Thank me a bunch, of course.
For my going
Will make her rest, bring about a new beginning.

I shall feel pain, of course
May be
For sure
I shall cry, of course, but to no avail
For I will be miles and miles and miles away from the rest
Alone in Chikangawa Forest.

Friends will come, of course
To sympathize with my two week old Nancy
Poor widow!
18 year olds don’t make poor widows!
Much more when they get betrothed to
Men they never dreamed of tying a knot with.

But that will be the end
No talk about my rubbish
My accolades in sexcapading
My knighthood in beerscapading
My HIV, awarded to me as a hit-and-run goer
At Sinners Live Long Bottle store.

May be the mighty one up there
Will whisper into the preacher’s ears
To say to the crowd:
This man lying here
Was not as good as we thought, of course
He married this under aged girl
Against her will
Beat her up like a bull.
This man was not very good, of course
He was achidyamakanda
Sleeping with school going girls
Infecting them with HIV.

The preacher will be booed at, of course
For speaking ill of the dead
For talking ill of a man who
Lived a good life
Offering tithe on daily basis to the Church
Good sums.

But Nancy will smile, of course
And my soul will rest in peace
For that will be the truth
Nothing but the truth.
Just wishful thinking, anyway
For no one will be courageous enough
To say ill of the dead me
And it shall not be true at all
It will only be a dream.

Such shall be my fate
As dreamt on my reed made mat.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Backbiting at Mchinji District Council: Juniors say DC is hard

By Pius Nyondo

Back-biting–apparent recipe for disarray–has ensued among employees at Mchinji District Council who claim that the present authority District Commissioner James Kanyangalazi is not ardent in addressing their concerns, Nyasa Times has established.

According to our source, Kanyangalazi is new in town– with no more than two months old– but is already leading with a heavy hand.

“He is very hard and no one likes him,” said our source.

The source also divulged to Nyasa Times that for the two months Kanyangalazi has been at the helm, the council’s direct employees have been receiving their salaries very late.

“When he [the DC] was probed, he said the council was not collecting enough money and that they are currently thinking of reducing the number of members of staff.”

Additionally, Kanyangalazi is allegedly also denying local newsmen in the district interviews.

“I once followed up a story on the salaries and I was condemned [by Kanyangalazi] for that,” one of the reporters who works in the district said.

According to the reporter Kanyangalazi, apart from denying him interviews, has refused to give him contact details including e-mails.

But a senior official at the council who did not want to be named described the allegations as unfounded and blatantly untrue.

“That’s surely the work of backbiters. People don’t like principled men,” he said.

In a telephone interview with Nyasa Times on Friday Kanyangalazi refused to comment on both allegations and referred this reporter to Mchinji District Information Officer (DIO).

“Where are you getting all this from? I have not been in the office for the past three weeks so talk to the District Information Officer,” said Kanyangalazi before cutting the line.

When this reporter tried to call the DIO, the number he was provided with could not be reached the several times it was tried.

Hike in lodging prices crippling local participants: Lilongwe SADC Heads of State Summit

By Pius Nyondo

Local participants for the ongoing SADC summit are finding it hard to lodge in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe following a hike by service providers.

According to a snapshot investigation, the new prices which are being attributed to the influx of foreign dignitaries, the hikes are between 40 and 120 percent.

“The prices have been hiked because of the SADC hype,” said Gift Msiska, an Area 47 lodge owner.

He added that because travellers have no option but to find lodging, they, as business persons, have to grab opportunities.

The Economic Empowerment Action Group (EEAG), however, has described the development as a “bad tendency.”

The group’s chairperson Lewis Chiwalo said “We’ve to be realistic with our businesses if they are to blossom. There is also need to look at the long term plans so that we attract more customers.”

Rooms that were previously at K12 000 are now going at about K40 000 while those that were pegged at K39 000 are now at K63 000.

Earlier this week, Nyasa Times revealed that the summit has also resulted in a boom in commercial sex.
The SADC Heads of State Summit is expected to commence today.  Malawi is hosting the summit for the second time after 2001.

Malawi Pres Joyce Banda has taken over the SADC chairmanship from her Mozambican counterpart Almando Guebuza.