Fight against sachets needs holistic approach – Activists

Parents and guardians will now breathe a sigh of relief as the High Court rules in favour of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), allowing them to implement a ban against the selling of sachet liquour.

Making the ruling at the High Court,  Judge McLean Kamwambe said the decision has been made to put right the legal irregularities that have been there over the years. Malawi Distilleries Limitied, manufacturers of Premier Brandy and Powers No. 1, have since obtained a stay order on the implementation of the ban.

In a similar development, the Cabinet has also made a decision to ban liquor sachets. According to Government’s spokesperson, Kondwani Nankhumwa, the ban has been effected ‘to safe guard the lives and development of the population, especially the young generation’.

Government’s ban has been done regardless of the court case.

Meanwhile, activists across the country have expressed their appreciation on Government’s decision as well as the ruling in the MBS case.

However, they say there is need for a holistic approah to ensure enforcement is done and sustained.

President of Young Achievers in Development (YAD) Jefferson Milanzie said Government’s announcement is not the end of the fight against sachets. He said there is need for the National Assembly to proceed with making policies and by-laws to ensure there is compliance and the impact of the ban is felt.

Concurring with the sentiments, Drug Fight Malawi executive director, Nelson Zakeyu said there is still a long way to go in ensuring the fight against the sachets bears fruit. He has since made a plea to government to adopt a National Alcohol Policy, which is currently in draft form, to ultimately deal with drug abuse in the country and safeguard the lives of school-going children, who have negatively been affected.

He told a local media house that one of the proposals in the draft policy document is for the total ban of liquor sachets which government has now considered to implement


Malawi wins 2-0 against Mali, determines to defeat Ethiopia on Wednesday.

Blantyre: Shouts of joy and admiration have filled the streets of Blantyre following the national team, the Flames’, win at Kamuzu stadium this afternoon.

With the 2-0 win against Mali the flames have strengthened their chances in their Group B African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

The goals, both scored veterans in the second half, followed an impressive first half that was dominated by the Malawi football team.

In the 64th minute, Robert ‘Baggio’ Ng’ambi shook the Mali net with a header that took the keeper unawares. Later on Esau Kanyenda, in the 85th minute, also headered home an awesome goal from a pass by CIVO United player, John Lanjez.

Malawians across the country have expressed their satisfaction with Flames win as the team has faced a series of unsuccessful international feats.

The Flames face Ethiopia on Wednesday in the last leg of their Afcon campaign. This is a game that the Flames must win if they expect to take part in the tournament. Ethiopia face Algeria today. Algeria has already qualified to the tourney.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Friday the 2015 AFCON games will be played in Equatorial Guinea after Morocco was stripped of the event having asked for it to be postponed over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

More arrests in the Cashgate scandle

There has been a fast development of events over the infamous Cashgate scandal that saw billions of tax payers money swindled from government coffers towards the end of 2013.

Early this month first cashgate suspect, Theresa Namathanga Senzani, a former Principal Sectetary in the Ministry of Tourism was convicted and given a  three year custodial sentence at the  High Court in Lilongwe.

Senzani’s lawyer, Necton Mhura, has since said he will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court to reduce the sentence, citing his client pleaded guilty and returned the K61 million channeled through her company.

Also found guilty is former assisant accountant, Victor Thole. Thole was charged with theft and laundering money.  His sentence is scheduled for October 28.

In other developments, newly appointed Assets Declaration director, Christopher Tukula, budget director Paul Mphwiyo and his wife,Thandie, were arrested on Friday and Saturday reapectively. Tukula was charged with  interfering with the ongoing investigations in the cashgate. While the couple was charged with theft and money laundering.

Tukula and Mphwiyo’s wife have been granted bail while Paul has been detained awaiting a ruling on his bail application by the magistrate court judge on Wednesday October 22.

On Tuesday evening Deputy Inspector General of Police, Nelson Bophani, has also been arrested In connection with the cashgate and is yet to be charged. Bophani was recently appointed chairperson of the Cashgate investigation committee.

These arrests have been made by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Malawi Elections 2014: Results to be announced on Friday 30

Blantyre: There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel as Malawi Electoral Commission of Malawi says it is ready to announce the results as it has received and tallied all results of the May 20 elections.

Justice Maxon Mbendera, Chairperson of MEC made the announcement at a press briefing held at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre.

Mbendera said the Commission is waiting on the judgement of a case at the High court which will determine whether the results will be announced on Friday or whether there will be a vote recount. The ruling is expected anytime not later than 4pm on Friday.

Justice Mbendera also said the commission has received over 280 complaints on the electoral process and has managed to process 187 of the complaints. He added that the remaining complaints will be commented on in the report to be compiled later.

Responding to a question from the BBC on whether the Commission will use the votes from the 58 constituencies that have registered anomalies, the Chairperson said at the moment the Commission has used the votes with the queries. Mbendera said if the court allows them extend the time to announce the results then it will enable the Commission to do away with the ‘suspicion’ that has been identified in the constituencies.

Over the past few days there have been many court applications for injunctions and vacations of the same from various political parties restraining the MEC from halting the entry of results and going on with a voter recount. The hearing of the case will be held tomorrow, Thursday, May 29. The ruling will be made on Friday, May 30.

Justice Mbendera extended his gratitude to all stakeholders like Civil society, the media, political parties, election observers and Public Affairs Committee (PAC) for their support in the electoral process. He also called upon Malawians to maintain peace and calm whatever the ruling on the case may be.

According to the Presidential and Parliamentary act MEC is obliged to announce the results of the election eight days after the last polling day which, in this case was on Thursday 22 May.


Joyce Banda’s statement (full verbatim)

Below is the statement in verbatim.



WHEREAS it has come to my attention that there have been several fraudulent and rampant irregularities in relation to the 2014 Tripartite Elections for the election of President, Members of Parliament and Councilors;

AND WHEREAS it is in the public interest that all ongoing processes in the relation to the2014 Tripartite Elections for the election of President, Members of Parliament and Councilors be nullified:
NOW THEREFORE, I DR JOYCE BANDA, President of the Republic of Malawi, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 88 (2) of the Constitution, hereby issue this Proclamation nullifying all on-going processes in relation to the 2014 Tripartite Elections for the election of President, Members of Parliament and Councilors, including the process of counting of votes and announcement of the results thereof which shall cease forthwith.

AND I HEREBY further proclaim that Tripartite Elections for the election of President, Members of Parliament and Councilors shall be held within ninety days of the date of this Proclamation.

Given under my hand at LILONGWE on this 24TH day of MAY , 2014.




Malawi Elections 2014: President Banda orders a re-run of the elections

Lilongwe, 12noon: In a twist of events in the Malawi elections today, May 24, President Joyce Banda issues an order stopping the Malawi Electoral Commission from continuing with vote counting.

She made a statement a press briefing which was held at Kamuzu Palace less than an hour ago.

Band has exercised her presidential powers under section 82(2) which empowers a sitting president to call off an election process if he or she feels the process is not credible.

The order, signed by the president states that a re-run of the elections will be done in 90 days.

Malawi Tripartite Elections 2014: Electoral Commission’s Preliminary results

Official results from MEC tally center are now being made public. So far this is how they stand:

Peter Mutharika – 683.621 votes – 42%
Joyce Banda – 372.101 votes – 23 %
Lazarus Chakwera – 289.145 votes -18 %
Atupere Muluzi – 269.250 votes – 16 %

The results are said to be from 1333 centers of the 4445 centers in the country.