Theresa Kasawala's blog

Choosing running mates in Malawi

The electoral bandwagon in Malawi is gathering pace after the presidential candidates officially entered the race – along with their respective running mates. Escorted by diehard supporters clad in their party paraphernalia, the candidates passed through Blantyre last week on their way to file their nomination papers with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).


Darkness reins over Malawi's Cashgate

Following the massive looting of taxpayers’ money known as cash-gate, Joyce Banda’s government promised Malawians that they would thoroughly investigate the scandal so as to bring the culprits to book and to let Malawians know what really happened.


Malawi's corrupt blame game

Malawians should brace themselves for even tougher times ahead after donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) decided to suspend budgetary aid to the government estimated at K160 billion (US$400 million) until they got assurances from independent sources that their money would be used for its intended purposes if channelled through the government system.


Bye bye boys

In the wake of the massive looting of government money known as cash-gate, Malawian President Joyce Banda came under pressure to act decisively. Civil Society leaders called on her not to shield any big wigs within her government and party and to fire any officials connected to the escalating corruption crisis.

In response, Banda did more than most people expected – by dissolving her entire cabinet. The questions on everyone’s lips were what would she do next? And what would her new cabinet look like?


Who is in poll position in Malawi?

At first glance, Malawi’s 14 million people have a remarkable array of registered political parties to choose from – 48 to be exact. But with the clock ticking down towards next year’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections, the reality is far simpler since most of the country’s plethora of parties are inactive.


Top ten tasks for Malawi's new president

While there was a mixed reaction to the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, the ascendancy of Joyce Banda to the highest office in the land has given most Malawians hope that something can at last be done to resolve the country’s political, social, judicial and economic crises. Indeed, there is almost universal consensus about what the new government needs to do.

But it is a daunting task. While there are many other issues to address in future, the top topics in President Banda’s in-tray include:


Time for Bingu to pack his bags?

There is one very important fact to mention at the start of this column – President Bingu wa Mutharika is not going to leave office before 2014 whatever civil society is saying. And it’s saying quite a lot, including asking him to resign within 60 days.


A Country without a Justice System

The old adage that justice delayed is justice denied has never been more pertinent in Malawi – as the whole arm of government that helps citizens to access justice has not been functioning for the past two months. The reason – critical support staff are on strike in order to force the government to review their conditions of service.


More pain for Malawi's poor

For the first time since independence, Malawi has implemented something called a Zero Deficit Budget (ZDB). In a nutshell, ZDB means that instead of receiving the usual 40 percent of its annual budget from donors, government would cover this amount by sourcing funds from elsewhere – namely through the introduction of exorbitant taxes on products. But given the severe economic challenges that Malawi is facing, it does not require an economist to conclude that ZDB has definitely failed to deliver any kind of benefit and has instead further impoverished Malawians. 

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