Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Certified Seed taking farmers beyond food security

John Msuku would easily have been just another farmer trying too hard
to eke out a living from growing rice in the Rice Scheme at Hara,
instead he stands out as a rare success story from the crowd. He now
takes care of his parents and siblings, he has build a modern iron
sheet house, he has roped piped water into his village, he has secured
land on which he plans to build a house to rent out.

So much has changed in his life for the better and he is just 29.
Life wasn't as rosy for John until him and about 11 others were picked
Higgins - This is what Irish Taxpayers want to see
in 2009 by the International Crops Research Institute for the
Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to try out better yielding certified seed.
The selected farmers formed Chigomegzo Seed Multiplication Group in

The selected 12 were drilled with agricultural and management skills
and given seed whose harvest is sold back to ICRISAT at a higher
price. John Msuku at one point grew one and a half hectare of rice
which brought him seventy 100kg bags which were converted into a cool
K400, 000 upon selling to ICRISAT.

"People have profited from the certified seed, some have bought
fishing trawls, built houses, secured carts and life is good for them,
we eat healthy you cannot even notice that we are farmers," said
Witness Ngwira, President of Hara Water Users Association and member
of Chigomegzo Seed Multiplication Group.

Rice varieties that have been planted in the paddy fields all through
history produce an average of two 100kg bags of rice from 0.1 of a
hectare, the certified seed fills up five 100 kg bags from 0.1 of a

Apart from being disease resistant Ngwira said the certified seed is
John Msuku (2nd from right) poses with an admiring Higgins and his parents
quick maturing available for harvesting after only 112 days unlike the
145 the common variety demands.

The farmers grow FAYA, Kilombero, Pusa 33 certified varieties which
they alternate between the two growing seasons.
Seed multipliers have also been given Pigeon Pees seed to multiply;
John Msuku has filled up about a hectare with Pigeon Pees and is
expecting about thirty 50Kg bags. This will also be sold to ICRISAT so
that other farmers can buy it for next season.

"Pigeon peas take about 6 months to mature, apart from selling them,
its good relish, we can use the stems as firewood and the leaves can
be burnt and used as a preservative," said Msuku

Principal Scientist (Agronomy/Seed Systems) Country Representative for
ICRISAT Malawi, Dr. Moses Siambi, said his organisation aims at
bettering people's lives using science and usually it is the farmers'
success stories that speak for the organisation.

"We usually work with groundnuts and pigeon peas but this time Irish
Aid asked us to try rice, so we asked farmers to form an association
so that they can produce, package and sell the seed it to others,"
said Siambi.

Elizabeth Higgins, the Irish Ambassador to Malawi said her country's
Siambi - Donations do not have to always be big
aid focuses on improving people's lives especially in the areas of
livelihood security and reducing mother and child mortality by
improving their nutrition.

"We have pumped in 2.2 million into ICRISAT and such kind of success
stories are what the Irish taxpayers want to hear," said Higgins, "I
have urged the seed producers to emphasize on quality, myself coming
from a farming background, I know that one cannot achieve quality
without putting effort into it."

Asked how sustainable the project is, Higgins said that is up to the
farmers' commitment and Ministry of Agriculture's supporting policy.
Siambi added that he hopes that the money that the money that the
farmers make from selling seed to other farmers will ensure that the
project sustains itself until everyone is growing certified seed.

"I always insist that donations do not have to be big to make an
impact, they just have to be tailored and you will hear success
stories like we heard here in Karonga," said Siambi.

Siambi also said that ICRISAT is working on an upland rice variety
which will not require flooded conditions to grow which according to
him is a positive step in meeting the increasing demand for rice.

Watch the farmers welcoming the Ambassador with an amazing display

Ngwira however notes that even though better seed is available, it is
difficult to convince the local farmers to adopt it; instead farmers
cling to the low yielding varieties their parents taught them to grow.
Even if they adopt the high yielding variety, rice farmers at Hara
Rice Scheme keep on being swindled by vendors who buy the rice at give
away prices. During the harvesting season there are even tales of
fishermen exchanging rice with fish or cassava.

Despite Hara rice farmers forming an association that buys member's
rice, it still doesn't have the capital to buy all the rice and after
buying finding market outlets is the problem.

"Government should help farmers sell their own rice to get the
Msuku's pigeon peas captured at exactly 30 days
benefits that middlemen get. Rice from Karonga is being exported but
do the farmers get the benefits? "said Siambi.

Hara Rice Scheme, which totals 238 hectares, was started in 1967 and
was being run by the government until the early 2000s when the farmers
took over running the scheme. The rice farmers are drawn from 11
villages surrounding the scheme and some have formed a cooperative

In 2009 a factory was built aided by the European Union to help
farmers add value to their rice, it buys up to 21 tonnes which the
cooperative secretary Peter Msomphola agrees is too small, membership
to the cooperative is still at 65 as people fear the membership fee of

"We have a small capital just above K1 million, we lack transport to
Hara Rice Scheme - Underused by tradition? 
reach far placed markets and lack of training," said Msomphola

Only a few focused farmers and lucky ones like John Msuku and Witness
Ngwira are able to earn real money from the waters and land of Karonga
South East, the rest continue to get ripped by vendors and grow low
yielding varieties making Hara a potential tool in fighting food
insecurity and yet underused.

Bright Baghaya Mhango - +265993205259
'I Am A Soul Rebel'

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Robert Chasowa Inquiry: Start from Here

Chasowa's death is no joking matter - it psychologically affected me and many others, it took a life, it violated several rights and most painfully it went is what those who want to probe Chasowa's murder should do. I will be quoting from a document that widely circulated on the internet, dont worry about its authenticity, i was in the shadows when it was being compiled...

Here is the list of the people that should be asked questions: 

Davie Chingwalu and the police publicity team: Why did they go to town saying Chasowa had committed suicide? why was their inquiry rushed? and why did the police findings differ with Dr. Charles Dzamalala's. They should explain how Chasowa wrote a 'suicide note' and yet was murdered.

Police Commissioner Jose: He drove Chasowa to Lilongwe to meet the Police Chief, He was the one that paid for the hired car, the rented house in Chitawira....he should tell us more on who was funding the whole operation, its aims and how it ended - was it from the police budget? 

Peter Mukhito: He gave out moneys to Chasowa's gang when they visited him, he used to call and be called by Chasowa and crew - why was he dealing with young men without badges? Where did he get the 50 grands that he gave to Chasowa and company? Why did he not make it public that he had been working with Chasowa and company soon after his death? 

Mr Mathanga: Him is the guy that rented out a house to Robert Chasowa and friends. Who was paying him? what did the youngsters say when renting the house for? 

Black Moses: He is reported to have gone to influence Rafiq Hajat over the failed Demos, demanding some kind of package for 'protection.' He should be asked: who gave him and his click the expensive looking car he was in when he went to meet Hajat? who was funding the whole Anti-demos campaign that saw them go to Catholic University, Chancellor College and on the radio.

 Duncan Phiri, Phaniso Mhone and Justice Kangulu: They were operating with Chasowa, they minus Justice went to meet Mukhito in Lilongwe - they are the guys that i suspect talked to Chasowa in the last days or even hours - to that end, Chasowa's new number needs to be checked with the mobile company he belonged to, who called him on the fateful night? were there any SMS's

The Guards on duty: The company providing security on the fateful night was Kamu (partly owned by Mulli) - luckily sources from Poly tell me that the register for the night Chasowa died is available meaning to say we know who was on duty around the place Chasowa died - the thing is there was supposed to be a guard 5 meters from where Chasowa died - surely the guard must explain how without hearing a thud or cry a dead body showed up there.

Noel Masangwi and Peter Mutharika: Justice is said to have talked to Masangwi in his car, Chasowa is said to have kept on calling Peter, Masangwi, Jose and Mukhito reminding them of the K10,000000 - I think they also need to face the inquiry because if somehow Chasowa talked to them, they need to tell Malawi what they spoke with him about -  

Now Below is a publication that was compiled during an interview Duncan Phiri had with Poly lecturers led by Simbarashe Mungoshi....The author is a bird and its publication here is just for reference purposes.....if you want the document, well it was published on Medaifire: Whatever is written below this line is not me....

“The Info in this publication was put together by an intensive interview with Duncan Phiri in the presence of several Polytechnic lecturers and interviews with several Poly students. Let it be known that if the remaining members of Chasowa’s click are hurt in any way, it is the people implicated in this document trying to silence them.”


Robert Chasowa had links with a grouping called New Vision Youth Organisation (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Group’)
Grouping was formed between 2001 and 2002 by Duncan Phiri, Phaniso Mhone and Justice Kangulu (a childhood friend to Chasowa who recruited him [Chasowa] into the fold of the grouping)

The group was into various socio-economic activities, and it survived on rewards from reporting Tax evasion to MRA.
The organisation planned to stop demonstrations planned for August 17 2011 in favour of dialogue with the national president.

Towards this end, the grouping through Duncan (0992222277) at 6:30pm, Saturday 13 August 2011 phoned the Malawi Police Inspector General Peter Mukitho (0888203776) to link them up with the president so that the group could lay down its plan to him in person.

Mukitho liked the idea and on the same evening instructed Southern Region Police Commissioner, José to make contact with the group to get a more vivid picture of what the group was really about.
9:30PM same day, José (0888866369) called Duncan to arrange for a meeting on the following morning (Sunday 14 August).

José met Duncan at Green Corner (along Chikwawa Road) and drove to Mirale in Toyota Corolla as Duncan explained the group’s agenda. José talked to Mukitho who ordered that José drive the group to Lilongwe at once.
José and Duncan drove to the Polytechnic where they met Robert to inform him of the trip to Lilongwe. The rest of the group members were also told.

Around 1PM the next day Robert, Duncan, Phaniso (minus Justice who was on the day attending a family tombstone unveiling ceremony) were driven to Lilongwe by José, at Chingeni the group even stopped to talk to Justice who was driving back to Blantyre from the family ceremony, they briefed him of the trip.
Between 6 and 7pm the group arrived in Lilongwe and it was Robert who explained the groups aims to the IG, they were offered Chivas and Robert being of sober orientation had some soft but expensive refreshments.
The IG walked out for a good five to 10 minutes and talked to the president and returned with K50,000 bundles which he distributed to each member and even gave another K50,000 for Justice.

Mukitho told the group that they couldn’t meet the president and instead just asked what the group needed to carry out its plan.
Phaniso suggested K300, 000 but the IG countered with K500, 000 and made a promise that if the group was successful in thwarting the 17 August demos, TEN MILLION KWACHA awaited the group.

The group made demands of a car, an office space, two Ipads, two laptops, three desktops, a colour printer, two digicams, two still cameras, a laminating machine, three sensitive recorders and a perforating machine.
The IG provided all the above (in cash?) and offered the group another round of Chivas for the group to carry with them on their way back to Blantyre.

José drove the group to Kameza in Blantyre where they met Justice {at this point José left}. Justice happens to be Black Moses’ cousin. The group spent the night at Black Moses’ house.

On 15th August around 11 AM, Commissioner José called the group to come pick up their the promised essentials: Money amounting to K300,000 and a car (Suzuki Jimmy) rented for three months from Country Wide Car Hire registration Number MN 2452. The things were picked up by Justice.

The group paid K140, 000 upfront in rentals for a house in Nkolokosa belonging to a Mr Mathanga (K35 grand per month)


1. Robert bought over 10 influential students from Polytechnic with a promise of a K200, 000 from the TEN MILLION promised by Mukitho.

2. The Group won over Ken Msonda and Black Moses with a promise of K250, 000. Msonda was instantly given K6000.00 as transport money and he went over to radios spreading Anti-demonstration messages, Msonda also won over Undule Mwakasungula over the same. Hajat was approached by Black Moses and was reluctant but amicable to the group’s ideas of “No-Demos.”

3. Chancellor college students proved a problem to buy over as they were not learning and thus showed no mercy to the government and were in total support of the demos. However Duncan spoke of Robert and Black Moses successfully buying over one Symon if not Symon Mchawe who he said was given K15,000 and that he is the student that reported Associate Professor Blessings Chinsinga to the police after he gave a revolutionary example in class.

4. Robert, Duncan and Phaniso also courted Catholic University students and promised them K1500, 000 for their cooperation.

5. Robert urged the Polytechnic Student Union (PSU) to issue anti-demo statements but this was to no avail.

6. Robert went on air to speak against demonstrations and called for dialogue

NB: The university students, especially the Polytechnic were the ring leaders in the 20 July Demonstrations and the group targeted them to talk them out. Each of the groups’ moves was reported to some police as progress.


After the Demos were cancelled, the group took that as success but the relationship with the police soured especially with the IG failing to give the TEN MILLION KWACHA.

On 20 August José called Robert and Justice to their Nkolokosa offices and accused them of being too slow and that the police had to use some other grouping (CSO?). José also told Chasowa and Justice that the police had convinced Civil Society Organisations by itself hence the cancellation of the 10 million deal
On 23rd August the Suzuki was returned to the police on Jose’s instructions
The grouping was bombarded with demands for money from the bought over Poly students, the Catholic University students and Ken Msonda.

The group even bought a simcard (0994378323) for Msonda to talk to the IG himself on why the money was delaying. Msonda sensed trouble from what he discussed with Mukitho and told the group to drop the matter.
Group rented out the offices to a tenant identified by Justice at K105, 000


Robert was bitter and joined YDF where he and his mates: Black Moses and a Chikapa sourced sensitive information from Kamlepo Kaluwa, Rafiq Hajat, Ken Lipenga and other disgruntled DPP high ranking officials to publish in their “Weekly Political Update.”

Robert kept calling José, Mukitho and Peter Mutharika (0999005276) to remind them of the money that was supposed to be given; he [Robert] even created a special email that he used to talk to Peter Mutharika.
One day Robert and Justice called Peter and he gave the phone to Mulli and Masangwi who told them off.
Justice also talked to Masangwi in his car.
Robert was frustrated, he called José and said that he would go public on 27 September if the money was not given by then.
Two days earlier, he had already talked to Nyasa Times but didn’t shed more light on the gravity of his war with DPP.


8PM/ 23rd September, Robert speaks to his lawyer (Trouble Kalua) about his being wanted by police.
12AM, 24 September, Robert arrives in his room in the company of Ndagha Mkandawire (his classmate), they pick up poems to go study them at Ndaghas place (about 300 metres away)

1PM Robert is spotted in the student’s common room where Ndagha came to buy a cigarette

1PM a VW Carvella parks just outside Poly campus near the Police Headquarters inside are five people one stays in and the four go to Poly student’s common room.

2AM, Allan, Robert’s roomie finds several missed calls of a new number, he calls back and Robert answers and says that that is his new number and that he was at Ndagha’s place.

3.33AM Exactly, Robert leaves Ndagha’s room for his place

Around 4AM, four strangers leave Poly campus, they seem in a hurry.

Around 4AM KAMU Security Guards who were guarding the campus on that day, (KAMU = a company Belonging to Mulli Brothers) thought they saw some people pulling on someone and thought it was just drunken students

Around 5AM, Robert is found Dead about 400 metres away from Poly students common room and Ndagha’s Hostel, where he was

Chasowa lost very little blood (not more than a litre) showing that he was not killed by a fall, loss of blood and most importantly that the blood came out via rigor mortis (if the heart was still pumping, there would be a lake of blood) this shows that he was dead before he bled.

Chasowas had dust on his knees, showing that he had knelt….what this the time he was being forced to write the suicide notes?

Chasowa still had his inner shirt tucked in…this shows that he didn’t resist or struggle to his death.

Chasowa was found lying face down, but the face had no dents to show that he had fallen, his shoulders and all parts of his body had no fracture to show that he had fallen.

Chasowa was found about 10 metres from a place where over 6 years ago a guard had fallen to his death and there was brains and blood spread all over….that was not the case with Chasowa
Chasowa had a clean slit just above his neck; it looked like it had been delivered by a sharp edge like a panga.

The place where Chasowa was found is surrounded by about five security guards within the ranges of 5, 20, 10 10 and 25 metres and none of those guards had heard a thud or cry.

Chasowa’s room keys were still in his pocket but the phone he had used to call his roommate at 2am was in his room.
Chasowa was an Adventist and also a Pentecostal sympathiser, suicide was out of the question.


Why did police investigators only spend 5 minutes on the crime scene and ask nobody else but his roommate and Ndagha and yet come up with a report?
Why did police work over the weekend to release a report when they cannot even give bail over the weekend?
Why did they confiscate Ndagha’s computer [which Robert used a lot] when they had already found a suicide note?
Who put back Robert’s phone in his locker? When? Is he/she not the one who planted the suicide notes?
Why were the suicide notes misaddressed? Would a son address a letter to a dead brother when he meant to address the father?
Why was the case handled by the national police spokesperson when it fell under the regional police?
Why hasn’t Mukitho or José admitted that they knew Robert?
Why was there no DPP presence at Roberts’s funeral?

Robert gave away his position by visiting the student’s common room, the spies on campus then alerted the assailants, the assailants were also in that very bar!

There is about 20 metres of unguarded and dark open space between Ndagha’s hostel [where Robert was] and the next hostel. As Robert stepped into this darkness he was tasered by a stun gun (electric immobilizer) which have just been purchased in their thousands by the Malawi Police or he was hit by a blunt object on back base of his skull. He was then dragged (hence the dust in the knees) to the point where he was found (hence the absence of blood trails).
The killers then knew that the place was surrounded by guards so they dumped him and gored his head to make sure that he was very dead…and then they left.

Robert died with a look of surprise, open eyes and open mouth and the areas surrounding the eyes were red with blood (internal bleeding). That shows that the blow from behind was so powerful that it nearly ruptured his eyes, the surprise in his eyes might be the fact that the killers were people he knew well and hence didn’t expect the blow….the police? Remember the group reported their progress to some police officers? They could have rang him to come discuss the issue and then attacked him. Also note that earlier, police had been coming to talk to the Poly academic registrar (Chirambo) about Chasowa’s role in YDF. Why not just call him and arrest him?

Liberian Sirleaf calls Joyce Banda a Dear Sister and Friend

President Johnson- Sirleaf has  congratulated Madam Joyce Banda for her ascendency to the position of President of the Republic of Malawi as Africa’s second female president, reports The Liberian Times

The Liberian leader who addressed her Southern African counterpart as Dear Sister and Friend stated: “I am exceedingly heartened that another illustrious female has assumed the highest political position in an African state. I pray that God will grant you wisdom to steer the affairs of the state and unite the people of Malawi as you join us in moving our continent to a nobler destiny.”

Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf has sent a message of condolence to the Government and People of the Republic of Malawi following the death of Former President Bingu wa Mutharika who died last Thursday as a result of a reported heart failure.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Johnson-Sirleaf, on behalf of the Liberian Government, extended heartfelt condolences to her new Malawian counterpart, Joyce Banda, and through her to the Government and people of Malawi, particularly the bereaved family for the irreparable loss sustained.

“The late President Bingu wa Mutharika will be remembered as an astute statesman and an ardent advocate for African unity and development”, the Liberian leader stated in a letter addressed to the new Malawian leader, Madame Joyce Banda.

President Johnson-Sirleaf prayed that as Liberians join the people of Malawi in mourning this sad national loss, the Almighty God will grant them fortitude as they go through the period of bereavement.

The new Malawian leader becomes the second female African Head of State after Liberia’s President Johnson-Sirleaf.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The White House Speaks Out on Malawi: Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor

 White House has  Released this Statement just now, its the first time America is speaking out on Mutharika's passing, i think...i will not write a story, i have just yanked the whole statement...

"The United States extends its condolences to the people of Malawi and the family of President Bingu wa Mutharika following his recent passing, and we welcome today’s announcement that Vice President Joyce Banda was sworn in as President.  By following constitutional procedures for this transition, the government and people of Malawi have reaffirmed their commitment to democratic principles and demonstrated the critical importance of sound democratic institutions.  We stand with the people of Malawi during their time of mourning, and look forward to deepening the partnership between our nations."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Questions Mutharika Should Answer Even in Death

I have only reproduced it...

(A) What hugely profitable beneficial trusts does Mutharika have (as allowed him by Section 88(4)) that have allowed him to accumulate such immense wealth to afford him the following?
a)     Build a K14B Ndata house
b)     Acquire a $18m Presidential villa and yatch in Portugal
c)      A lavish expenditure of K200M on his 78th birthday
d)     Acquisition of a $60m hotel in Portugal through the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM)
e)     Extending a K400M loan to Mulli Brothers Ltd to purchase Bestobell through Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre
f)       Purchase of a K300M Lonhro house in Limbe
g)     To act as surety to Mulli Brothers Ltd’s overdraft facilities with MSB (K5B), NBM (K2.5B), NBS (K2B), First Merchant Bank (K1.2B) and Stanbic Bank (K0.8B)
h)     Money for building a K1.8B mausoleum for his late wife, Ethel
i)       Acquisition of K20B worth of shares in Zimbabwe Commercial Bank
j)       Purchase of a personal K65M Maybach Benz (sent to his farm in Zimbabwe)
k)     Purchase 150 Toyota pick-ups for his party DPP valued at K400M
l)       A lavish expenditure of K350M on his April 2010 first wedding anniversary to Callista
m)  A K7.8B IndeBank  joint account with President Robert Mugabe
n)     Purchase a K38M house in Nyambadwe on August 24, 2010 (from Shanil Muluzi)
o)     K100M February 2010 valentine celebrations

(B) Mutharika would be in a better position to Educate the Malawi Nation on how the below listed unlawful transactions have helped advance the requirements of Prudent Economic Management (as per Section 13(n) of the Constitution) and Sustained Public Trust and Good Governance (as per Section 13(o) of the Constitution):
a)     Mutharika draws K50M from Malawi Savings Bank every two weeks for his personal use
b)     Mutharika got K200M from Reserve Bank of Malawi to buy maize for Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe
c)      Mutharika instructed the sale of the old presidential jet without the approval of the National Assembly
d)     Mutharika instructed MRA to surrender 10% of MRA’s revenue to DPP 2014 Campaign
e)     Mutharika instructed ESCOM to give Mulli Brothers Ltd K160M to buy Chitakale Estate
f)       Mutharika has allowed the Chinese nationals in the country to externalize forex without undue restrictions
g)     Mutharika instructed the transfer of K5B from Treasury to Masangwi’s shipping company
h)     Mutharika instructed Press Trust and National Bank of Malawi to deposit to his personal account K70M every month
i)       Mutharika instructed government to send 8 vehicles and 4 tractors (that Malawi government received fro the government of Libya) to his farm in Zimbabwe
j)       Mutharika instructed the Reserve Bank of Malawi  to lend the government of Zimbabwe $30m  at a time Malawi was experiencing an acute shortage of forex
k)     Mutharika instructed Treasury to deposit K60M to Malawi Savings Bank to be used towards wooing and silencing NGOs
l)       Mutharika fraudulently pocketed K1.6B through his FBM account from money meant for preparation for 2009 general elections
m)  Mutharika draws K20M allowance each time he makes an internal trip (or on ‘government project’ tours)
n)     Mutharika instructed the Reserve Bank of Malawi to extend to his wife Callista a loan of K160M
o)     Mutharika instructed  government to give his wife Callista a K2M allowance each time she travels away from station
p)     Mutharika instructed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi to transfer $6m  to his Zimbabwe account
q)     Mutharika fraudulently benefited to the tune of K3.8B  from MTL Privatization proceeds
r)      Mutharika diverted $8m given to the government of Malawi by the government of Taiwan for the Army and Police Marine at Monkey-bay
s)      Mutharika diverted a $50m loan from Taiwan authorized by the National Assemblyfor the construction of the National Assembly
t)      Mutharika instructed government topping of K10M over every Safe Motherhood function
u)     Mutharika set the salary for his wife Callista at K1.3M per month for doing charity work which previously was not salaried work
Section 13(o) of the Constitution requires the President to put in place effective measures which will ‘guarantee accountability, transparency, personal integrity and financial probity’ to strengthen and ensure sustained Public Faith & Trust and Good Economic Governance.    There is ample evidence of financial malpractice by President where existing financial control instruments and systems were deliberately thwarted and frustrated.
(C)   Mutharika would, again, be in a better position to Educate the Malawi Nation on how the below listed corrupt decisions have helped  to subordinate his self-interests to the interests of the people of Malawi in the running of the affairs of the nation (as per Section 88(5) of the Constitution)
a)     Mutharika accepted the selling of Chikangawa Forest to Mulli Brothers Ltd
b)     Paladin Mining Company is depositing $5m every quarter to Mutharika’s Australia account
c)      Mota-Engil is giving Mutharika 50% of all contract proceeds through his Portugal account
d)     Mutharika accepted the award of a K6B government stationary supply contract to Mulli Brothers Ltd (without tender )
e)     Mutharika accepted the award of a K4B government fertilizer subsidy supply contract to Mulli Brothers Ltd (without tender)
f)       Mutharika accepted the award of an K11B government petrol & diesel supply-by-tanker contract to Mulli Brothers Ltd (without tender)
g)     Mutharika accepted the award of a K200M  supply of foods-to-prisons contract in Malawi to Mulli Brothers Ltd (without tender)
h)     Mutharika instructed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi to offer Mulli Brothers Ltd a $8m loan on February 24, 2011
Section 88(5) of the Constitution forbids the President from using his office for personal gain or placing himself in situations where his material interests conflict with the responsibilities and duties of his office.   The onus is on the President to assure the nation his actions are above suspicion and innocent. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Afternoon With A Lioness: Rose Lomathinda Chibambo

Can you introduce yourself, your background and beginnings?

I was born Rose Ziba to a father who was a teacher and businessman in the Kafukule area. The first born to my mother and the fifth born to my father since he had to remarry after his first wife died. I did my primary school at Kafukule Village School before being sent to Ekwendeni Boarding School. I did my Standard 1 to 5 and could not go to Standard 6 because a young man by the name of Edwin Chibambo, a son of a reverend of the church where I belonged and at a station I was schooling, was insisting that we get married.

We got married in 1947 and moved to Livingstonia where Edwin taught for a little while, he quit teaching and went to work as a station master with NTC Bus Service at Salima before being invited to join the government service in Zomba where my political life begun.

Childhood memories?

Carrying ghee from Kafukule to sell at Zombwe, ferrying earth when the church at Kafukule was being built.

What was your father like?

He was a good Christian but a strict one, he was industrious, influenced his already married brothers to go to school. He never let me go out and play at night and by the age of twelve I could do housework, cook and carry the meal to give to mum and dad in the field. He taught me to be honest and live an upright life.

What schools did you attend?

I went to Kafukule village school, then Ekwendeni boarding school, I finished my standard 6 at a night school in Zomba and did my adult education in England.

What made you start Politics?

Politics in my days was being done by the civil servants; Edwin was the treasurer of Zomba Branch of Nyasaland African Congress. In our marriage life, I wouldn’t eat without him being there, when federation was imposed in the early 50s, politics reached its height, my husband as not coming home in time, they were meeting and discussing and this caused me a bit of curiosity. I confronted him and he explained that they were trying to organize themselves o fight federation. I asked him if there were any women at the meetings and if I could attend the meetings and he said I could. He was the one really who influenced me more, explaining to me about politics”

So you went and joined the men right away?

“I became interested but asked myself why women did not attend such meetings? So before I went and joined the men’s group I set to organizing my fellow women. That’s how the Women’s League was born. I talked to fellow women in my locality, I was only 24 and had to talk to bigger ladies, of course I waited for the husbands to return from work before I could talk politics.

What happened next?

One day while I was coming from Zomba hospital on my way to Mapale, I saw all the chiefs from the southern region gathered at the recreation hall, they were being addressed by the Secretary for Relations Welfare who was telling the chiefs that federation was good and that they would be rich in federation. I came up and confronted chief Chikowi who I knew and he told me off saying the meeting was only for men. I became so emotional, to me selling my country was serious. From that time I started organizing women. I called a meeting at the same hall the chiefs had gathered at to discuss the issue and I was elected Chairman of the Women’s League alongside the likes of Mrs. Chibambo wife to late Qabaniso Chibambo

So how did you find yourself in Blantyre?

Authorities transferred my husband to Blantyre after they saw my family’s activity in politics but they couldn’t stop us, soon we were under Mikeka Mkandawire, Hartwell Solomon and later Manowa Chirwa, Kanyama Chiume, Masauko Chipembere who headed Blantyre’s arm of Nyasaland African Congress.

I continued influencing the men to bring forward their wives so that they also know the badness of the federation. Women’s League started in Blantyre and I chaired it. Politics grew in Nyasaland and when the Legislative Council wanted more African faces it was us in NAC that influenced chiefs to elect Chipembere and Chiume to go to the Council fearing that the white might elect puppets. We felt that we should elect some of our young men who could speak in the Legislative Council; we had to influence the chiefs especially in the Northern and Southern Regions.

Tell me about the plot to kill the whites and Indians and the coming in of Kamuzu

Kamuzu was invited because we were young and chiefs didn’t take us serious, we needed someone to convince them. He was also chosen because he was always in touch with the people we sent to protest the federation overseas. We wouldn’t have called Kamuzu if Manowa Chirwa hadn’t refused to resign from the government when we asked him; we also saw TDT Banda’s weaknesses.

Holding meetings required getting permission so we head a meeting in the bush at Soche, Kamuzu was not there because we didn’t want him arrested if they decided to arrest us. After the meeting the whites panicked and thought we had had a plot to massacre whites and Indians and so they arrested all NAC leaders, I was not arrested because I was expecting my fifth child.

You continued politics even when you were so near to giving birth?

Oh yes, I never cared, all I cared for was a free Nyasaland and since I was the only free leader, people came to me saying that I should tell them why one of our members was being kept by the police. I got on a bus to Zomba and walked straight to the Inspector Generals house and demanded that I speak to Mr. Kalua. He told me that he was being forced to be a state witness against the arrested members. He gave me a written statement which we sent to international journalists through some Scottish friends.

Talk about your life in jail

I drove to Malamulo and gave birth to my daughter the next day they arrested me and took me to Zomba Prison, I spent a year there. We slept on the floor and I shared the cell with other two Women’s League members, Vera Chirwa also briefly spent time with us there. My child cried all night and we named her Gadi because of the circumstances surrounding her birth.

You got freed, Nyasaland became free, you got the job of deputy minister what do you remember about working with all the men and Kamuzu.

I was really close with Kamuzu, we organized all his meetings, he never knew what to do when he came from abroad, I remember being chairman of the decorations committee for the Independence celebrations, I remember going to the rural areas campaigning for the first elections. I liked working with me, we would argue but it ended there and they were understanding.

What really caused the cabinet crisis?

Kamuzu surrounded himself with people from outside the Nyasaland African Congress executive and the fear of the unknown made him take us as threats, maybe he thought we would stage a coup or something, but we really just wanted to develop Malawi.

You ran to Zambia, what did you miss most about Malawi while you were in exile?

My children, since we were being harassed we sent our children back home and when we went to exile we left them behind, we tried to get them to join us but we couldn’t. I always cried when I thought about my children knowing the suffering they were going through back home.

You and your husband got arrested, who else in your family got arrested?

My first born son was arrested, my mum was arrested, my daughter was arrested 

What makes your lowest moment in life?

The death of my husband and the separation from my children left a deep scar in my life, I wish I gave my children a proper education you know nobody can come to say that they can replace a mother’s love.

How did you Meet Edwin, your husband?

Edwin was qualified as a teacher but was staying at Ekwendeni School with his brother, one day he stood in for his brother’s English lesson and he gave us a dictation exercise, upon returning the books, he requested my book and got my name. He sent me a love letter through his friend, I ran at first because my friends said I shouldn’t be dealing with the reverend’s son but I went back to get the letter. You see, I never fell for any man while growing up, but the moment I saw Edwin, it was love at first sight, we courted for 5years before marrying.”

You have six children who are they, where are they and what relationship do you have with them?

The first born is Roy, the only son he lives with me, then Royce, married in Zambia then Malibase, she is in Blantyre, then Khataza she is also in Blantyre, the Gadi, a dentist married to an African American and living and practicing in New York and lastly Phumile who is living in Washington DC.

What kind of mother are you?

I am a strict mother, I always wanted the best for my children and it pains me that they never the education I wanted them to get.

Are you writing any book?

“Am not a god writer, am a good talker. I begun writing it a long time ago…am calling it ‘The Journey of My Life’”

You are a pious member of church, what themes do you like to preach about?

“I really like the theme of fellowship and love of others”

What did you miss most about Malawi while you were in exile?

“My children, I missed them so much and I used to cry when I thought of them. Nobody can say I will look after this child as the mother does. Even now I miss them because what I wanted them to be is not absolutely what they are. Separation has left a deep scar and a huge dent. ”

In your life what are your regrets, things that you should have done and didn’t do? Do you feel accomplish in your life?

“In life, my dear, you cannot accomplish everything,”

What made you return?

“Chakufwa Chihana insisted that I return after multiparty politics had been reestablished, I had always wanted to come because my mother was alive. Chakufwa told Bazuka Mhango to drive me home. He even made a big emotional rally at Ekwendeni where he presented me to the people. I always dreamt of building a house in Mzuzu and am glad that dream came true.”

Any women leaders that you like in Malawi currently?

“I don’t see anybody who can express their real feelings. Politics of today are still those of Banda era after we had left; politics of praising the leader. People don’t seem t think. All they are thinking about is what I can say to praise the leader,”

Challenges you faced as a female politician?

“I went around meeting people in my constituency and the roads were impassable those days. I used to differ with my colleagues because I let people ask me questions and tell me what they want in their area. My fellow MPs didn’t like that”

What gave you the courage to speak out in an age when women were expected to be subservient?

Because I knew and still know the truth plus I grew up under a father and mother that taught me to express myself and to be honest, it’s why Kamuzu couldn’t stand me, because I do not dabble in appeasement. Speaking your mind is not being disrespectful, Malawian tradition has that flaw and it affects women a lot, I believe that nobody should hesitate to speak what they feel.

Word of advice to Malawian women politicians

“They should be hones, they should have a commitment to work for the people and they should have love for the people they are representing, they should approach the people before going to parliament,”

Where did you get your courage to stand up to men or even speak out in a male dominated world back then?

“I had the courage because I knew the truth then and even now, if I have the truth I don’t hesitate to say what is right, what you know is the truth, whether it will be painful, you must speak it out. I grew up in the environment of being honest under the leadership of my father and my mother.”

Lowest moments in your life?

“Death of my husband and the separation from my children that I suffered.”

Edwin was buried there even after President Kaunda offered a plane to repatriate the body, authorities in Malawi refused saying he was a rebel. Even when her septuagenarian mother went to console her in Zambia, Kamuzu had her arrested and stayed in jail for two years.

“Imagine after fighting for the country to be free, they locked up my mother, that also hit me.”

How do you look at the current political situation in Malawi?

“The beginning was good but the way things are going now, I am concerned. Economically we are suffering, as it is now there is real hardship especially to us who are not working.”

I see you still drive very well, do you still cook too?

“I do cook, I love derere, and I love my Sima”

What do you do with your free time?

“I am now tired, my dear, used to rear chicken but stopped in 2010. I sometimes go to the women fellowship and we have a prison group we go to prison to give them soap, sugar, bread and something they don’t usually have. ”

Anything you want to say to the nation?

“You journalists must be strong, nobody wants to hear the truth, and you have to be strong because you are speaking for the silent. There are so many people whose chests are full but have nowhere to complain and when you write they feel relieved and hope that someone somewhere might have listened. I believe that we all have a destiny in life, if you follow it, God will always reveal things that you should do, also never deviate from doing what is right.”

On her kids not getting education

“Roy finished his standard 5 but they never accepted him because they said he was the son of rebels, one of another of my kids was chased from Mzuzu government when i tried to send her money in the post, Gadi was dropped from university in Zambia because they started trimming down the number of foreign students she struggled to get education in the states and only did dentistry after she couldn’t do surgery which was expensive, Phumile was qualified but they could not accept her, she ended doing catering”


Was arrested in 1959 and released in 1960, Gadi was born a day before going to jail.


2006: Livingstonia Synod: Political Veteran

2008: Mzimba Heritage – Recognition for her participation

2009: Bestowed by Mutharika - Grand Achiever of the Malawi Order of Achievement – Mutharika, also named a street in Mzuzu after Rose viz “Rose Chibambo Crescent”

Further education:

I went to Britain to further my education; I did Adult and General Education


She returned in 1994 from exile

On orphans

“We also used to feed many orphans in the Katawa area until our funding expired in December of 2011.”

was a member of Church Action Relief Development, which assists the orphans of victims of HIV/AIDS, the Christian Service Committee, the Malawi Council of Churches and the Interdenominational Support Group for Prisoners

On her Kids while she was in Exile

“After I went to exile in 1965 to of my older children had been sent to Ekwendeni to live with our relatives because we were being harassed in Zomba on daily basis that was the separation.”