An audit into Covid spending in Malawi
has found that around $4.7m (£3.7m) cannot be accounted for from $21m set aside
to deal with the second phase of the pandemic.
This is on top of $881m from the
first phase that a 2020 audit showed had been spent irregularly or was not
After the first audit, President Lazarus
Chakwera promised to crack down on the culprits and several officials were taken
to court, though none of the cases have yet concluded.
The latest investigation - a 66-page
report by the country’s auditor general - lists the irregularities, which include
undelivered medical supplies, allowances paid without attendance sheets and fuel
acquired without official documentation.
It has been presented to the minister
of finance for action.
organisations (NGOs) say this second exposé shows that public systems for managing resources are broken,
with no political will to hold people accountable.
“We lost many countrymen and women
because funds that could have been used to buy basic equipment and essential
drugs were abused; sadly we do not have a leadership that is showing
enough concern to change things,” said Sylvester Namiwa, who heads the Centre for Democracy and Economic
Development Initiative (CDEDI).
Ex-Malawi president loses appeal over corruption case
Former Malawi president, Bakili Muluzi, has lost an appeal which would have led to a
corruption case he is facing being discontinued.
The 79-year-old who served two five-year terms as president between 1994 and
2004 stands accused of diverting 1.7bn Malawi kwacha ($2.4m; £1.9m) of government money into his personal account during his
tenure. He denies the charge.
The case was
first brought to court 14 years ago but multiple postponements and
disagreements over technicalities have delayed its conclusion.
Mr Muluzi had
sought to have the case discontinued by the Supreme Court of Appeal,
arguing the section of law used by the graft-busting body contradicted the
country’s constitution and infringed on his rights as an accused person.
Malawi gives 155-year jail terms for albino murder
Three men in Malawi have been each
sentenced by a High Court to 155 years in jail for killing a person with albinism.
Aged 44, 45 and 71, they were found
guilty after they confessed to the murder of a 23-year-old albino man in January
One of those sentenced was the man’s
Over the past decade,
Malawi has experienced gruesome attacks and killings of people with albinism,
fuelled by false beliefs that concoctions mixed with their body parts bring
luck and wealth.
Since 2014, there have been more than
170 cases ranging from killings and grave-tampering to attempted abductions and
Earlier this month, a High Court
ruled on another albino murder case, finding a former Roman Catholic priest, a police
officer and a hospital clinician guilty of trading in body parts.
The convictions were the
first of prominent members of society linked to the attacks.
That ruling and these long jail terms are a message from the justice system that such killings and violence will not be tolerated.
Malawi's parliament has started public enquiries in the capital, Lilongwe, on a proposal
to abolish the death penalty following last month’s adoption of
a report recommending the move.
It comes after parliament mandated its Legal Affairs Committee to solicit
views from the general public on the subject, before potentially changing any laws.
appeared to have abolished the death sentence in April last year after Supreme
Court judge heard the petition of a convicted murderer, and ruled that the death
penalty negates the right to life which is otherwise provided for under the
The judge then ordered the re-sentencing of all cases where the
death penalty was handed down.
months later, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying the judge had
expressed his personal opinion and the death penalty remained applicable.
There have been
growing calls both locally and internationally for Malawi to abolish the death
penalty, especially because the country is a signatory to the declaration of
Universal Human Rights in which the punishment is not allowed.
Tuesday's public hearing is the first of
three such sessions with similar events planned for the northern city of Mzuzu
and the southern city of Blantyre later this month.
currently has 25 people sentenced to death and awaiting execution, but none have been carried out since 1994.
A High Court
in Malawi has found five people guilty of murdering an albino man and three others - a former Roman Catholic priest, a police officer and a
hospital clinician - guilty of trading in his body parts.
Masambuka went missing in February 2018 and when his body was discovered a
month later, the legs and arms had been removed.
man had albinism, which affects the production of melanin - the
pigment that gives eyes, skin and hair its colour.
Over the past
decade, Malawi has experienced gruesome attacks and killings of persons with
albinism, fuelled by false beliefs that concoctions mixed with their body parts
bring luck and wealth.
According to official statistics, more than 170 albinos have been killed or maimed since 2014.
The convictions at the High Court in Blantyre are the first of prominent members of society linked to the attacks.
Shaun Keaveny hears about the delights of Lilongwe, Malawi, from Daliso Chaponda.
Malawi government doing bad job fighting corruption - survey
think their government is doing a poor job fighting corruption, the Afrobarometer survey released on Thursday says.
President Lazarus Chakwera promised zero tolerance for corruption when he first took office in 2020, but Afrobarometer's findings suggest that up to two-thirds of Malawians believe his government is
performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” in fighting corruption - and that over
the past year corruption has, in fact, increased.
is a pan-African research institution whose Malawi team is led by the
Centre for Social Research, a department of the University of Malawi.
There has been
no immediate reaction from the government, but in the past President Chakwera
has said he remained committed to fighting corruption, saying proof of his
commitment was his full backing and funding for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
findings released in the capital, Lilongwe, have not come as a surprise.
In the past
few months several groups have staged demonstrations across the country
protesting against what they perceive as the government's failure to deal with
influential Catholic Church also issued a damning statement in which they said the country's leadership was "weak and indecisive” and not doing
enough to fight corruption.
Malawi police frees top journalist after office raid
Malawian police have released a top investigative journalist after detaining him for hours following a raid in his office.
Gregory Gondwe heads the Platform for Investigative Journalism
(PIJ), an online investigative publication that has become famous for
publishing a series of reports exposing high-level corruption.
His colleague, Golden Matonga, said the police demanded
to know the sources of some government documents the PIJ published.
The security officers on Tuesday seized computers and other hand gadgets belonging to Mr Gondwe and the media house, he added.
The police declined to comment on the detention.
A media watchdog in Malawi has condemned the development, saying forcing a journalist to reveal sources of
information violates whistle-blower protection privileges.
The UK embassy in Malawi said on Twitter that it was "very concerned" about the police raid:
Noting that he had been released, the embassy however called for the police to return of the confiscated equipment and respect the privacy of information contained therein.
Malawi axes tax on sanitary pads
Malawians no longer have to pay tax on sanitary pads – as a
16.5% levy has been axed.
“In the spirit of promoting girl child education, government
has listened to the contributions that came from various stakeholders and has
consequently removed duty and excise tax on sanitary pads,” Finance Minister
Sosten Gwengwe said earlier this week.
Girls who can't afford sanitary pads often miss school
during their periods.
The minister also announced that value added tax would no
longer have to be paid on cooking oil and tap water in a bid to help Malawians
with rising prices and access to drinking water.
The changes take effect from Friday 1 April.
Malawi ramps up polio vaccination after outbreak
BBC Africa Health, Kenya
on Monday kick off a polio vaccination campaign targeting up to three million
children under the age of five.
It follows a wild polio virus outbreak in February after a
case was detected in a three-year-old child in the capital, Lilongwe.
Malawi last reported such a case about 30 years ago. The latest one is believed to have come from Pakistan.
It is still
unclear how it arrived in the country, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an immunisation campaign to contain any possible spread.
"All of the essential supplies have been moved where they
are needed. This includes, vaccines, protective equipment for health workers,
mothers and care givers, as have the indelible ink markers issued to mark
a child has received the vaccine," said Janet Kayita, WHO country representative for Malawi.
Health workers will move from house to house to administer the vaccine to all
children under five regardless of previous immunisation status.
the campaign will eventually be spread to all
bordering countries of Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique by the end of the week.
Subsequent vaccination phases will expand to more countries targeting a total
of 80 million children on the continent.
is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system and may cause paralysis in a
very short time. It can be transmitted from person to person mainly through
contamination by faecal matter, contaminated water or food.
Although polio has no cure, it can be prevented through vaccination.
Malawi bishops label government 'weak' on corruption
The Catholic Church in Malawi has criticised the country's leadership describing
it as "weak and indecisive” and not doing enough in the fight against
In a pastoral letter, which was signed by bishops, and read out across parishes on Sunday, the Church expressed sadness that decision-making at the highest level of government was slow when it comes to corruption, despite politicians having the necessary legal powers, authority and information to fight it.
that a President who campaigned on a platform of anti-corruption, and promised
to deal with the vice, will not keep any of his ministers and aides when there
is sufficient information about their involvement in corruption,” the bishops
Malawi's government has said it “will look at the letter” and engage with the bishops on the issues raised.
The opposition and civil society groups have praised the clergy for raising issues they have said are a reflection of concerns
members of the general public have.
In the past
few months several groups have staged demonstrations across the country
protesting against what they perceive as the government’s failure to deal with rising
levels of corruption and lack of support for the popular head of the
graft-busting body, Martha Chizuma, who has emerged as a stalwart in the
Tay Grin is a hip-hop artist with a strong connection to Malawian musical traditions.
He has won national awards and has his own record label.
He calls his sound Nyau music, and he's known in Malawi as the “Nyau King”.
"My sound originates from the soil. It's a fusion of modern day sounds and drums. I'm from a tribe called the Chewa, and when I'm performing on stage I have my traditional drummers. Even our dancing is a fusion of traditional and modern day dance."
Tay Grin explains that they use specific Nyau drums that have to be warmed up over a fire to thicken the hide.
"This gives them a quality that doesn't sound like any other drum you've ever heard. It's a very spiritual sound. When you watch the set it's a portrayal of who we are as a people."
His biggest song is called Chipapapa featuring 2Baba from Nigeria.
"Chipapapa comes from a game that we used to play as kids and I turned it into a song that everyone can enjoy. It became a huge hit because it resonates with both the younger and older generations.
Tay Grin grew up listening to many different artists in his household.
"My mum used to love Kwassa Kwassa so I grew up listening to Kofi Olomide, Papa Wemba and Pepe Kalle."
Ironically he dropped out of music classes when he was in high school because he was getting bad grades.
"Fast forward a few years and here I am. Music is a thing that I do every day."
Tay Grin has a close relationship with his mother: "She has always supported me from the beginning. She even made an appearance in one of my music videos."
His mother worked with the United Nations and when she retired from the UN and returned to Malawi she became a cabinet minister.
"Watching my mum in all these leadership roles has sharpened my skills and I hope that one day I can look back and say I've also done great things."
Tay Grin has also run for political office himself, but came second.
"I care passionately about the development of my nation. There is a possibility that I might go back, but I think music is the focus now, and there's a lot more that needs to happen in terms of developing the music industry back home and getting Malawi on the map internationally."
He says he has many exciting projects on the way with his third album dropping this year, and a new song on its way celebrating the Chewa king.