Jun 23, 2018 Last Updated 2:14 PM, Jun 22, 2018
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Integrated mobile network and ICT provider TNM Plc this Saturday returns to Mulanje Golf Club to rekindle its romance with golfers during an individual stablefold tournament under the banner of TNM Contract.

With a tradition for being an unwavering partner and sponsor of golf in Malawi, the Mulanje Tournament has become a bi-annual ceremony where TNM interacts with customers and other partners on the greens while enjoying the bewitching and spectacular views of Mulanje Mountain massif and its surrounding green tea plantations.

TNM Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Daniel Makata said the company is excited to return to Mulanje after hosting similar tournament in July 2016.

“Our return to Mulanje Golf Club underscores the commitment we have towards golf, and overall sports sponsorship in Malawi,’’ said Makata.

He said the weekend’s tournament will provide the mobile and ICT company a platform to showcase Contract packages for personal and business customers.

“TNM Contract is a fully-packaged offering that enhances user experience by providing incentives for voice, data and unparalleled connectivity to our high speed and reliable internet. Saturday’s tournament accords us an opportunity to interact with our customers from the tea industry and related sectors to share with them our competitive offerings on the Contract packages and other TNM products and services,” said Makata.

Mulanje Golf Club Captain, Ajay Lujeri welcomed TNM’s tournament saying it helps to expose the club to the golfing community.

“Last time TNM hosted the competition in Mulanje was in July 2016 and it attracted 102 golfers. TNM Golf Competitions are very popular and prestigious among golfers across the country and when the company approached our Club to host the competition this year, we felt very honored and privileged and we look forward for this partnership to continue for years to come,“ he said.

The Mulanje tournament attracted a full field of over 72 golfers and it will be played on an individual stableford format.

During the 2016 TNM tournament Charles Mukiwa and Carol Banda won in men’s and ladies category respectively.

The government plans to soon start discussions with the IMF and the World Bank on the financing of the Salima-Lilongwe Water project.

The project intends to tap water from Lake Malawi from the Salima point into Lilongwe with an aim of easing sporadic water supply in the capital city.

In a statement made available to capital FM, the Ministry of Finance explains that the project was still in the offing and that it has not been abandoned.

Capital Hill estimates the project at $500 million.

The statement from the finance authorities further reveals that both a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment have been completed and what was remaining is funding.

It adds that the government is expected to meet the international Monetary Fund and World Bank to discuss the appropriate financing of the project.

The statement discloses that the discussions are expected to be held in line with the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) agreement which makes countries like Malawi eligible for assistance from these Bretton woods institutions.

The project was the centre of controversy when it was discovered that some initial works had commenced before the environmental assessment was done.

Further to this, heads rolled when the owner of the contracted company Khato Civils Ltd, was the guarantor for the loan on the very same project.

Embroiled in contractual politics, the project has often sparked debate both in parliament and outside the house.

Khato Civils is a Construction and Engineering Company belonging to South Africa based Malawian billionaire Simbi Phiri and was contracted by the Lilongwe Water Board.

The project was halted after the Malawi Law Society filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the Water Board awarded the contract before carrying out the necessary studies.

The court in October last year ruled in favour of Khato.

Debate was re-ignited again during the presentation of the 2018/2019 national Budget statement where the project was conspicuously missing on the list of infrastructure projects mentioned in the financial plan.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party shadow Finance Minister Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi is accusing the government of deliberately seating on the project.

On this the government stresses that the project is not a direct baby of Capital Hill, but the Lilongwe Water Board hence its absence in the budget.

Kusamba Dzonzi argues that the contractor has already identified funding.

The Ministry of Finance, however, insists that there is still no funding for the project as of now hence their discussions with both the IMF and the World Bank,

Meanwhile, Khato Civils reveals that it has so far invested over Nine Billion kwacha in purchasing machinery for the project.

The John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) has embarked on a project aimed at finding an estimated 364 000 people in the country who are HIV positive but are not aware of their status.

This will be made possible through the PEPFAR funded ‘The Gateway Project’ which will be implemented in Blantyre, Thyolo, Dedza, Ntcheu, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Mzimba, Nkhatabay and Rumphi.

The project which will run for four years aims at addressing unmet need for HIV testing services through effective innovative delivery models.

In 2015, Malawi adopted the UNAIDS 90, 90, 90 strategy which aims at eliminating HIV and AIDS as a public health problem by 2030.

The strategy states that by 2030, 90% of people living with HIV and AIDS will know their status, 90% living with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have durable viral suppression.

While there has been progress in the last two 90s with 87% and 91% respectively achieved so far since the adoption, there is need for more work for the first 90 where the country is currently at 77%, about 13 percent short of the target.

It is estimated that there are 1, 089, 000 people living with HIV in Malawi with only 723, 000 currently on Antiretroviral drugs leaving out 364, 000 people living with HIV as they are not aware of their status.

“The gateway project is here to support the districts through the Ministry of Health and Population in closing that gap thereby achieving the first 90 target,” JHPIEGO District Team Lead Jimmy Chisema Midwa said.

The gate way project will target men and adolescents, Men Sleeping with Men and Female Sex Workers as key population, and Teachers and Police men as priority population.

Midwa said they decided to have their target audience bearing in mind that they are among the most difficult groups to be reached out with HTC services as they are mostly busy with their routine works that prevent them from seeking HTC services.

Malawians are calling for the country’s leadership to find a permanent solution with Tanzania on the Lake Malawi claim by Dodoma.

Tanzania continues to argue that the northern part of the lake is on its side.

In July last year, the SADC former Heads of State, who are the mediators on the issue, recommended the leaders of the two countries to meet to map the way forward.

Almost a year after the recommendation from the mediators, President Peter Mutharika and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli have not met.

It was after two day mediation talks in Pretoria South Africa in July last year where the High Level Mediation Team led by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano proposed the meeting.

Delegates from both Malawi and Tanzania had accepted the proposal that their leaders would start meeting in three months time from July last,a development which is yet to be realised.

Just at the time when expectations were high to see what would transpire at the meeting between the two heads of state, the public is still waiting on what the final solution will be on the issue.

While emphasizing that they strongly believe that they are the sole owners of the lake, Malawians think their government should be quick in resolving the matter for good.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its spokesperson Rejoice Shumba told Capital FM that they are waiting for the Mediation Team to advice on the exact day when the talks would start.

Asked as to whether Malawi has ever sought update from the mediation team on the proposed meeting, Shumba says they have not.

Minus the former Mozambican leader, the mediation team comprises Thambo Mbeki and Festus Mogae who are former presidents of South Africa and Botswana respectively.

Malawians insist that the whole Lake Malawi belongs to them as established by Article 1(2) of the 1890 Anglo-Germany Treaty.

On the other hand, Tanzania claims the boundary is the median line of the lake, based on principles of customary international law.

Malawi’s Former President Joyce Banda insists that age should not be a limiting factor for a person to contest as a presidential candidate in Malawi.

The Peoples Party leader spoke at Nyambadwe ground in Ndirande, Blantyre on Sunday during political rally.

The debate over the right age for presidential candidates was sparked by former First Lady Callista Mutharika who openly supported Vice President Saulos Chilima over President Peter Mutharika.      

But Banda, who is 68, argues that a person should be voted into power based on his or her capabilities.

She wondered why people are only considering the old and the young age without considering those in the fifties and sixties.

According to Banda, the world has seen presidents of old age who have governed very well and young people who have failed to rule.

The former Malawi leader Banda gave an example of a Botswana president who discovered diamonds in his country and handled them for the benefit of the country.

The former leader urged people to scrutinize all candidates whether young or old and vote for them according to their manifestoes.

One Member of Parliament who believes that age should be a limiting factor is Joseph Chidanti Malunga.

Malunga is expected to move a motion on Thursday last week, which may limit the age of people are to run for the presidency of this country.

According to the Member of Parliament for Nsanje South West, an ideal person to run for the presidency should be below the age of 65.

A political analyst from the Chancellor College Ernest Thindwa believes the two should go hand in hand as they depend on each other.

Thindwa states that age should not necessarily limit a person from standing as president as a good leader emanates from the heart.

He however says that as a person grows old, his or her thinking capacity shrinks therefore it is good to consider age as another factor.

Thindwa agrees with Banda and Malunga but adds that a person’s capabilities should be paramount in choosing a leader.

The tension about age is coming at a time Malawi is rushing towards the 2019 tripartite polls where citizens are expected to be elected new councilors, MPs and the President.

Among those who are expected to contest next year, are Peter Mutharika who is the oldest at 78, Lazarus Chakwera, 63, Joyce Banda, 68, and Saulos Chilima who is 45 and the youngest.

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