NGO’S ISOLATING POLITICAL PARTIES- CHRR


Most local Non-Governmental Organizations have distanced themselves in helping the country’s political parties, a development that has not helped the nation in establishing concrete political structures.

Executive Director for the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation CHRR Undule Mwakasungula made these observations in Mzimba on Monday.

“This is the reason CHRR has started training district leadership of different political parties in the country to help them participate in consolidation of democracy and good governance,” he said.

Mwakasungula said the training was looking at building the capacity of political parties and is one of the series of trainings CHRR will conduct before and soon after the elections across the country.

“Since multiparty democracy, numerous political parties have emerged but non-governmental organizations in the country have not assisted the parties at all so that they in turn effectively participate in the consolidation of democracy and good governance,” he explained.

He said NGOs have distanced themselves from helping political parties and yet they have been attacking the very political parties of not being exemplary.

“It is ironic that while the masses expect any political party in existence to take over the mantle of government, the parties themselves are disorganized and it is a clear indication that they can therefore not be able to run affairs of government,” he observed.

Mwakasungula therefore said this is the reason CHRR has embarked on this training in order to prepare each and every political party in the country to be ready to rule this country once ushered into power.

One of the participants to the training, Mr. Shadreck Mazunda United Democratic Front (UDF) Governor for Mzimba North said the training has made them realize that their leaders have been misleading them.

“We have realized that different political parties are supposed to co-exist for a common developmental purpose which can only differ in ideological approach,” he said.

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TWO PEOPLE SHOT BY GAME RANGERS


Two people were shot on Friday night near Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve in Rumphi District.

Police have confirmed of the incident and said the two were allegedly shot by game rangers while poaching in the protected area.

Residents of Thundiwike area which is close to the reserve alleged that the game rangers are said to have shot the two and left them for dead before they were rescued.

According to locals close to Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve that ZBS interviewed, on the Morning of Saturday they heard a crying sound from the reserve and when they followed the cry they found a man who was lying on his back and helplessly bleeding profuzire profusely from both knees and took him to Thunduwike health centre.

“Four hours later, we heard another voice coming from the South Rukuru river banks, which is part of the Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve and upon following it up we found another man sprawled in blood crying in agony,” explained one villager.

The blood was coming from his left thigh. He explained that besides him were two muzzle loaders which they did not touch but only carried the injured man to the near by Thuduwike Health centre as well.

One of the locals who refused to be named said the first person they rescued is Black Mkandawire of Kaseka Village Traditional Authority Mpherembe in Mzimba while the other one is only identified as Maloya.

Nonetheless the two who have since been admitted at Rumphi District Hospital will answer to a number of charges upon their discharge according to Rumphi Police Public Relations Officer Victor Khamisi.

MAN FOUND SHOT DEAD IN VWAZA GAME RESERVE


A man who was in the company of two others that were reportedly shot by Game rangers inside Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve in Rumphi has been found dead with gun shot wounds in the stomach.

Rumphi Police could not confirm or deny the reports but said they arrested a third man who had secretly visited Rumphi Hospital to be treated to a gunshot wound on the thigh.

One of the villagers of Kaseka Village in Traditional Authority Mpherembe in the area told ZBS that they forced their way into the protected area to retrieve the dead body of their relative after they were refused entry by the game reserve authority.

Rumphi Police Public Relations Officer Victor Khamisi said in an interview that according to a Report from the game reserve officials, on a friday night they discovered that the protected area had been invaded by poachers who were wearing headlamps which they were using to spot in the game reserve.

“When the poachers discovered that they have been spotted they exchanging gun fire with the game rangers,” he said.

The police said they are keeping in their custody two muzzle loaders suspected to have been used by the poachers.

Last Saturday, people rescued two people from the game reserve who were badly injured and took them to Thunduwike Health Centre before the police arrested the third person with a gunshot wound on a thigh on Sunday at Rumphi District Hospital when he was trying to get treatment.

People of Kaseka Village in Traditional Authority Mpherembe, ZBS talked to said after discovering that several people have been shot they realized that one man Mr. Tito Mkandawire young brother to one of the shot persons from the same village was missing.

“We tried to plead with authorities of Game Reserve to allow us search for the missing person but we were refused and this prompted us to force our way into the protected area on Monday where we have discovered the body of Mkandawire,” said one of the villagers.

FIVE ARRESTED IN CHITIPA FOR THREE FAKE COUPONS


Police in Chitipa have arrested five people in different incidents of trying to use fake fertilizer coupons to purchase the commodity at Mwakumbwa ADMARC depot.

Chitipa Police Publicist Mr. Solemn Chunga told ZBS that the five will appear before court on Friday where each will answer to attempting to obtain goods by false pretense charge.

The first incident is where two people were arrested at the same time, when they both tried to buy fertilizer at Mwakumbwa Admarc depot using fake coupons.

The two Mr. Wallem Kalambo 20, of Mkombanyama Village and Mr. Chimwemwe Mwamphasi 16 of Maskeske village in Traditional Authority Mwaulambia’s area both mentioned each other as the source of either’s coupon.

The second incident involved a 60 year-old-woman Mrs. Mercy Mwanja of the Mkombanyama village who also produced a fake coupon at a time she was trying to buy fertilizer at the same market.

When quizzed by the police she mentioned Mr. Tyman Kawonga 65 of Ishakira village as the seller of the coupon who also named Mr. Enock Simfukwe 21, of the same village as the person who sold him the voucher.

Chitipa Police Publicist Mr. Solemn Chunga said they took the three coupons to Chitipa Offices of the Agriculture Development Division to compare them with other coupons there where they discovered that the fake coupons where missing some watermark security features.

MZIMBA RAISES 1.8 M SEEDLINGS


Mzimba has beaten 15 other districts in raising over 1.8 million seedlings in readiness of the forthcoming forestry season.

Income Generating Public Works Programme Task Manager responsible for forestry Mrs. Rose Bell disclosed this in Mzimba on Thursday during a field day at Bhebula Mhango Village.

According to Mrs. Bell the 15 districts are expected to raise 6.5 million seedlings.

The Task Manager responsible for forestry in the Income Generating Public Works Programme Mrs. Rose Bell said by next year they would have planted over 35.5 million trees in the country’s fifteen districts since the programme started in August 2005.

She said while other districts are badly deforested, Mzimba is lucky because its people have realized before things got out of hand to start afforestation.

District Forestry Officer for the Mbelwa district assembly Mr. Evance Nyirongo said they are set to redress over 750 hectares with the 1.8 million seedlings which they have raised.

At 2 percent loss of forest per year, Malawi is the worst in the SADC region and women interviewed at Bhebula Village where the Income Generating Public Works Programme witnessed a forestry field day for the area where close to 15,400 seedlings have been raised conceded that indeed they have destroyed their forests.

Mrs. Isabel Mhango said they are experiencing tough time especially when there is need to fetch firewood and water since they are supposed to travel long distances at Chiling’oma hills, some twenty kilometers from their village.

But she said with the coming in of the programme they hope all this will now be history.

HIGH FERTILISER PRICES PORTENDS HUNGER THREAT FOR MALAWI


High fertilizer prices this year is a threat to the country’s current food security status achieved in the last two years.

Chief Irrigation Officer for the European Union and Malawi Government supported Income Generating Public Works Programme Mr. Patrick Mautanga said this on Wednesday in Mzimba.

He said realising the danger the programme has now gone flat out encouraging farmers in the country to switch to extensive usage of manure.

Income Generating Public Works Programme is a Malawi Government programme funded by European Union aimed at contributing towards the reduction of poverty.

The programme intends to achieve this through the enhancement of the socio-economic situation of rural and peri-urban population through improving accessibility, infrastructure and promotion of productive activities within the said areas.

The programme which is also enhancing district assemblies is using labour intensive approaches to implement interventions in roads, forestry and irrigation works which is carried out in 15 districts and has benefited over 7000 farmers.

The Mphundwe Irrigation Scheme was started after perennial hunger experience that rocked the area which is in traditional authority Mabulabo in Mzimba district.

Mrs. Grace Shawa said their children used to suffer from malnutrition due to hunger and they were forced to start the initiative after noticing that the surrounding villages had succeeded in achieving food security through irrigation farming.

Group Village Head Man Chibisa Phiri of the area said for seven years some of the villages under him have been practicing irrigation farming but their efforts were not bearing any fruits since a lot more villages were not willing to join forces.

Now with the project at Mphundwe, which has 45 beneficiaries 35 of them women, there are now four out of the fifteen villages that he looks after, that are yet to join the rest in irrigation farming.

Since the programme provides farm inputs including fertiliser and seeds to help the farmers start off, Chief Irrigation Officer for the Programme Mr. Patrick Mautanga said there is danger that the programme won’t continue due to high fertiliser prices.

A 50 kilogramme bag of fertiliser is now selling at between K10 thousand and K13 thousand kwacha.

This could however defeat the purpose of ending hunger in the country and he said the best solution is to start using manure in place of fertiliser.

EDUCATIONIST WARNS MALAWIANS ON ABMA


Chairperson of Share World Open University Professor Jack Makhaza has said it is time Malawi became dubious foreign examination bodies.

In an interview with ZBS after it was discovered that examination papers for Association of Business Managers and Administrators ABMA were leaked Prof. Makhaza said it is was an embarrassment to the country.

He also revealed that institutions in the country administering ABMA do so illegally because this body is not registered with the government of United Kingdom’s Qualification and Curriculum Authority QCA.

All United Kingdom based examination boards strive to get recognition of the government of the United Kingdom through its Qualification and Curriculum Authority QCA.

This body accredits, regulates, develop and modernize curriculum besides assessing examinations and qualifications for the examination boards with an aim to build excellent education and framework.

However the Association of Business Managers and Administrators ABMA whose courses are administered in the country is one body that is not recognized by QCA and therefore its operations in country is illegal.

To make matters worse ZBS revealed this week that examination papers for the board especially in Rural Development, Gender and others found their way unto the market days before candidates were to take them.

During a workshop organized by Share world in conjunction with Association of Business Executive ABE in September last year Founder and Chairman of ABE Mr. Lyndon Jones said pleaded with local colleges to crosscheck with QCA before embracing examinations.

Chairperson of Share world Open University Professor Jack Makhaza said countries like Kenya, Namibia and South Africa have since banned it and Malawi needs to do something and that his institution has never offered any ABMA courses.

He warned that the country should not just rush for anything because it offers a fast course or because it is from outside Malawi saying of what good is it going to do Malawi if people write exams that are leaked.

The professor said ever since Share World was accredited by government they have been running their own programmes because they have recognized that some of the foreign examination bodies are bent at ripping off unsuspecting Malawians.

He said since this seems to be like a continuation of lowering the standards government is not just sitting down as the creation of a regulator on education of higher learning is now in the pipeline.